Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Reflexology Research of Multiple Sclerosis

Illustration depicts Multiple Sclerosis lesions before the disease had been described

Reflexology made a difference in various measures of anxiety for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Positive effects followed each session and over the six week treatment phase. Significant changes were reported. The effects of reflexology were compared to those of progressive muscle relaxation and there was found to be "limited evidence of difference between the two treatments." Researchers note a difference in favor of reflexology for measures of State Anxiety Inventory values as well as cortisol levels. A complication of the study was that it was a crossover trial. Half of the participants experienced a six week phase of reflexology followed by a four week break and then a six week phase of progressive muscle relaxation. Half of the participants first experienced progressive muscle relaxation, a four week break and then reflexology. Researchers found a problem in that the four week break was not sufficient for participants to "return to their pre-treatment baseline levels." (Makereth, Peter A., Booth, Katie, Hillier, Valerie, and Caress, Ann-Louise, "Reflexology and progressive muscle relaxation training for people with multiple sclerosis: A crossover trial," Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice , Oct 2008)

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