Reflexology and bronchial asthma | 40 Cases

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Reflexology and bronchial asthma


Many asthma patients seek alternative or adjunctive therapies. One such modality is reflexology, whereby finger pressure is applied to certain parts of the body. The aim of the study was to examine the popular claim that reflexology treatment benefits bronchial asthma. Ten weeks of active or simulated (placebo) reflexology given by an experienced reflexologist, were compared in an otherwise blind, controlled trial of 20+20 outpatients with asthma.

Objective lung function tests (peak flow morning and evening, and weekly spirometry at the clinic) did not change. Subjective scores (describing symptoms, beta2-inhalations and quality of life) and also bronchial sensitivity to histamine improved on both regimens, but no differences were found between groups receiving active or placebo reflexology.

However, a trend in favour of reflexology became significant when a supplementary analysis of symptom diaries was carried out. It was accompanied by a significant pattern compatible with subconscious unblinding, in that patients tended to guess which treatment they had been receiving. No evidence was found that reflexology has a specific effect on asthma beyond placebo influence.


Brygge T, Heinig JH, Collins P, et al. Reflexology and bronchial asthma. Respir Med. 2001;95(3):173–179. doi:10.1053/rmed.2000.0975

Actionable Information for Reflexologists

In this section you will find how this research paper enacted reflexology to produce these results. We at Reflexology.Report distilled the Methodology portion of this research paper and we are presenting you with:

  • General methods used
  • Organization and duration of sessions
  • Reflexology points

The purpose of this section is to make this research paper useful to all 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.

All patients received 10 treatments of 45 min once a week by the same qualified, trained reflexologist in a specially allocated room at the Allergy Unit. The patients were treated in an almost supine position in a designated chair. Special areas of planta pedis bilaterally were treated for approximately 2 min at each point.

Then, with the patient prone, pressure was applied at special points on the extremities and back. Then the patients returned to the chair, where a relaxation technique was applied lasting approximately 10 min.

Όλοι οι ασθενείς έλαβαν 10 θεραπείες των 45 λεπτών, μία φορά την εβδομάδα από τον ίδιο εκπαιδευμένο ρεφλεξολόγο σε ένα ειδικό δωμάτιο στη Μονάδα Αλλεργιών. Οι ασθενείς ήταν σε σχεδόν ύπτια θέση σε καρέκλα. Ειδικές περιοχές του πέλματος και των δύο άκρων δέχτηκαν ρεφλεξολογία για περίπου 2 λεπτά σε κάθε σημείο.

Στη συνέχεια, με τον ασθενή σε πρόσθια θεση, πίεση ασκήθηκε σε ειδικά σημεία στα άκρα και την πλάτη. Έπειτα οι ασθενείς επέστρεψαν στο καρέκλα, όπου εφαρμόστηκε μια τεχνική χαλάρωσης περίπου 10 λεπτών. 

Full PDF of the Reflexology Research Paper


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