Healing crisis in reflexology: becoming worse before becoming better

6 mins read
Healing crisis in reflexology: becoming worse before becoming better


Purpose: In the previous study the effects of reflexology on symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM) were investigated. In this paper it will be explored whether healing crisis is experienced after reflexology in the same sample of women.

Methods: Multiple case study method as developed by Stake was used to investigate the effects of reflexology on six cases of women with FM who were given ten weekly sessions of reflexology. Data were collected with observation, interviews and diary. Within and across case data analysis was employed.

Results: Several different symptoms were experienced by all of the women after reflexology sessions, although differently for each of them. The symptoms presented as mixture of pain, fatigue, and flu like along with a variety of some other symptoms. This constellation of symptoms was more in tune with descriptions of the healing crisis phenomenon than with fibromyalgia. It gradually became worse until rather abruptly started to diminish around the seventh and eighth session.

Conclusions: For the majority of the women the healing crisis symptoms gradually became worse before they started to decrease. This has similarities with other health professionals’ accounts in the literature. Nurses and health professionals need to be aware of healing crisis effects when offering reflexology to patients.


Gunnarsdottir TJ, Jonsdottir H. Healing crisis in reflexology: becoming worse before becoming better. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010 Nov;16(4):239-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Feb 11. PMID: 20920811.

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:

Για την πλειονότητα των γυναικών, τα συμπτώματα της θεραπευτικής κρίσης σταδιακά επιδεινώθηκαν προτού αρχίσουν να μειώνονται. Αυτό παρουσιάζει ομοιότητες με τις αναφορές άλλων επαγγελματιών υγείας στη βιβλιογραφία. Οι νοσοκόμες και οι επαγγελματίες υγείας πρέπει να γνωρίζουν τις  επιπτώσεις της θεραπευτικής κρίσης όταν προσφέρουν ρεφλεξολογία στους ασθενείς.

Previous publication

Educating New Mothers about Infant Reflexology for Colic

Next publication

Does reflexology impact on cancer patients’ quality of life?