Evaluation of anxiety, salivary cortisol and melatonin secretion following reflexology treatment: a pilot study in healthy individuals

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Evaluation of anxiety, salivary cortisol and melatonin secretion following reflexology treatment: a pilot study in healthy individuals

Abstract

This pilot study sought to identify an appropriate methodology to investigate the impact of reflexology in healthcare settings. The study involved healthy volunteers to prevent unnecessary intervention to individuals who may already be experiencing health related trauma. Thirty participants underwent either reflexology or no treatment (control), in a cross-over experimental design. Self-reported anxiety (Spielberger STAI), cardiovascular parameters (BP and pulse rate) and salivary cortisol and melatonin concentrations were assessed before and after reflexology. Control data were obtained at the same time points in identical settings. Reflexology had a powerful anxiety-reduction effect (‘state’; P<0.001) but no significant effect on underlying anxiety (‘trait’). Cardiovascular parameters decreased (P<0.001). Baseline salivary cortisol and melatonin were not significantly correlated with STAI scores and did not change significantly following reflexology. Reflexology reduced ‘state’ anxiety and cardiovascular activity within healthy individuals, consistent with stress-reduction. Considering the connection between stress/anxiety and well being, the effects of reflexology may have beneficial outcomes for patients. These findings will be transferred to a study involving breast cancer patients where effects may be more pronounced particularly since cancer patients display disregulation of cortisol and melatonin secretion.

Citation:

McVicar AJ, Greenwood CR, Fewell F, D’Arcy V, Chandrasekharan S, Alldridge LC. Evaluation of anxiety, salivary cortisol and melatonin secretion following reflexology treatment: a pilot study in healthy individuals. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2007 Aug;13(3):137-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2006.11.001. Epub 2007 Jan 4. PMID: 17631256.

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 ρεφλεξολογία μείωσε τα επίπεδα άγχους και την καρδιαγγειακή δραστηριότητα σε υγιή άτομα όσο αφορά τη μείωση του στρες. Λαμβάνοντας υπόψη τη σχέση μεταξύ άγχους και ευεξίας, τα αποτελέσματα της ρεφλεξολογίας μπορεί να έχουν ευεργετικά αποτελέσματα για τους ασθενείς. Αυτά τα ευρήματα θα μεταφερθούν σε μια μελέτη στην οποία συμμετείχαν ασθενείς με καρκίνο του μαστού, όπου οι επιδράσεις μπορεί να είναι πιο έντονες, ιδίως επειδή οι καρκινοπαθείς εμφανίζουν απορρύθμιση της έκκρισης κορτιζόλης και μελατονίνης.

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