Reflexology has an acute (immediate) haemodynamic effect in healthy volunteers: A double-blind randomised controlled trial
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Published:25th Mar 2020
Reflexologists claim that massage to specific points of the feet increases blood supply to internal organs. This study measured changes in cardiovascular parameters in subjects receiving reflexology to areas of their feet thought to correspond to the heart (intervention) compared with other areas which are not (control). Method: 16 reflexology-naive healthy volunteers received an active and control reflexology treatment in an RCT, double-blind repeated measures study. Main outcome measures: �Beat-to-beat� continuous measurement of selected cardiovascular parameters, State Anxiety Inventory. Results: Cardiac index decreased significantly in the intervention group during left foot treatment (LFT) (baseline mean 2.6; standard deviation (SD) 0.75; 95% CI � 0.38 vs. LFT mean 2.45; SD 0.68; CI 0.35), effect size (p = 0.035, omega squared effect (w2) = 0.002; w = 0.045). Conclusion: Reflexology massage applied to the upper part of the left foot may have a modest specific effect on the cardiac index of healthy volunteers.