Effects of 10 minutes of reflexology on arterial compliance in healthy volunteers

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Background: Reflexology is a widely used complementary therapy. The effects of reflexology on the cardiovascular system are not well characterised. Arterial stiffness (compliance) is a marker of vascular health. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of reflexology on arterial compliance in healthy volunteers.

Methods: 12 healthy volunteers (1 male; 11 female; mean age 44.8 ± 10.8 yrs) received 10 min of reflexology on each foot in a single-blind randomised study. The main outcome measures were measurements of cardiovascular parameters including heart rate, blood pressure and arterial compliance (augmentation index).

Results: Reflexology had no significant effect on heart rate, blood pressure or augmentation index (all p > 0.05).

Conclusions: In healthy volunteers, there were no consistent changes in haemodynamic parameters with a single brief reflexology treatment. Thus from a cardiovascular point of view, reflexology (as delivered) would appear to have a limited (if any) effect on the cardiovascular system.

Keywords: Augmentations index; Health volunteers; Reflexology; Vascular health.


Rollinson K, Jones J, Scott N, Megson IL, Leslie SJ. The acute (immediate) effects of reflexology on arterial compliance in healthy volunteers: A randomised study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Feb;22:16-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.11.001. Epub 2015 Nov 17. PMID: 26850799.

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:

Σε υγιείς εθελοντές, δεν υπήρξαν σταθερές αλλαγές στις αιμοδυναμικές παραμέτρους με μία μόνο σύντομη θεραπεία ρεφλεξολογίας. Έτσι, από καρδιαγγειακή άποψη, η ρεφλεξολογία (όπως  εφαρμόστηκε) φαίνεται να έχει περιορισμένη (εάν υπάρχει) επίδραση στο καρδιαγγειακό σύστημα.

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