Complementary medicine (Reflexology) for laboring women

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Complementary medicine for laboring women: a qualitative study of the effects of reflexology


Background Despite pharmacological interventions, labor pain and anxiety still remain a challenge, and can carry long-term psychological complications. The goal of this study was to assess the effect of reflexology on these symptoms and to explore the physical and psychological components of women’s experience associated with this treatment. Methods This qualitative study was conducted in an Israeli university hospital that offers integrative medicine services. Reflexology was offered to laboring women in the hospital, by the medical staff. In-depth, open interviews were conducted with 36 women, still in hospital, who consented to be interviewed, within 48 h after delivery. Questions referred to their labor experience with reflexology treatment. Results Of the 36 participants, 34 (94%) described a positive and empowering experience. They reported reduced pain and anxiety, and an increased sense of self-efficacy brought about by the ability to become active and manage labor. Conclusions Using reflexology as one of the complementary medicine treatment available can contribute greatly to the entire labor experience as it empowers women and increases self-confidence and ability to self-manage labor and delivery.

Keywords: childbirth; complementary medicine treatment; qualitative study; reflexology; self-empowerment; women’s experience.


Arnon Z, Dor A, Bazak H, Attias S, Sagi S, Balachsan S, Schiff E. Complementary medicine for laboring women: a qualitative study of the effects of reflexology. J Complement Integr Med. 2018 Jul 19;16(1):/j/jcim.2019.16.issue-1/jcim-2018-0022/jcim-2018-0022.xml. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2018-0022. PMID: 30024855.

The conclusion of this research paper in Greek

The purpose of this section is to make this research paper useful to Greek speaking reflexologists. This is a tool developed by the Center of Reflexology and Research (Κέντρο Ρεφλεξολογίας και Έρευνας) in Greece and supervised volunteers from across the world.

Μετάφραση των συμπερασμάτων της συγκεκριμένης έρευνας:

Η χρήση της ρεφλεξολογίας ως μία από τις διαθέσιμες συμπληρωματικές θεραπείες μπορεί να συμβάλλει σημαντικά σε ολόκληρη την εμπειρία του τοκετού καθώς ενισχύει τις γυναίκες και αυξάνει την αυτοπεποίθηση και την ικανότητα αυτοδιαχείρισης του τοκετού και της γέννας.

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