Reflexology Effective on Constipation of 60 Elderly People

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Effect of Reflexology on the Constipation Status of Elderly People



The current literature shows that one of the alternative therapies used to control constipation is reflexology. This study was conducted to assess the effect of reflexology on the constipation status of elderly people.


This study was randomized clinical trial conducted from at the private nursing home in the Ankara Province. At the nursing home, 60 eligible elderly people were randomly assigned into experimental (n = 30) and control (n = 30) groups. The experimental group received foot reflexology massage for 1 month three times per week for 30 min. Reflexology was initiated from the patient’s right foot.

The foot was relaxed primarily by applying effleurage followed by shaking, rotation, and stretching methods. The practice ended by applying solar plexus pressure on both feet. For elderly people in the control group foot surface massage without pressure was applied to simulate the interventions similar to the experimental group.

The scale scores before and after reflexology were noted for the experimental group, and those for the control group, which did not receive any reflexology massage, were also determined.


After the implementation of reflexology, the rate of emptying bowels on alternate days increased in the experimental group as opposed to that in the control group (P < 0.001). In this study, reflexology was found to improve the quality of life of the elderly and decrease the severity of constipation.


 Foot reflexology massage was found to be effective in relieving the constipation of elderly people. Therefore, reflexology is recommended as part of nursing care to reduce the constipation status of elderly people.

Keywords: constipation; elderly people; randomized controlled trial; reflexology.


Inkaya B, Tuzer H. Effect of Reflexology on the Constipation Status of Elderly People. Yonago Acta Med. 2020;63(2):115-121. Published 2020 May 18. doi:10.33160/yam.2020.05.007

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.

Five-ten drops of cold-pressed olive oil were used. The practice was initiated for the patient’s right foot. Reflexology sessions started with a relaxation massage along with ankle rotations. The foot was relaxed primarily by applying effleurage followed by shaking, rotation, and stretching methods. At first, general massage was done on the right foot for 5 min and then reflexology was done for 10 min by performing specific movements of two hands on the area related to the gastrointestinal system (stomach, liver, small intestine, large intestine and solar plexus).After this step, reflexology was performed with the same technique on the left foot. Reflexology massage was performed for 30 minutes after breakfast in order to benefit from the effect of gastro-colic reflex.

Χρησιμοποιήθηκαν πέντε-δέκα σταγόνες ελαιολάδου ψυχρής έκθλιψης. Η συνεδρία ξεκίνησε με το δεξί πόδι του ασθενούς, στην αρχή με μασάζ χαλάρωσης και περιστροφές στον αστράγαλο. Το πόδι χαλάρωσε πρωτίστως με την εφαρμογή θωπιών και στη συνέχεια με ανακίνηση, περιστροφή και τέντωμα. Αρχικά, έγινε γενικό μασάζ στο δεξί πόδι για 5 λεπτά και στη συνέχεια ασκήθηκε ρεφλεξολογία για 10 λεπτά εκτελώντας συγκεκριμένες κινήσεις και των δύο χεριών στην περιοχή που σχετίζεται με το γαστρεντερικό σύστημα (στομάχι, ήπαρ, λεπτό έντερο, παχύ έντερο και ηλιακό πλέγμα). Κατόπιν, η ρεφλεξολογία πραγματοποιήθηκε με την ίδια τεχνική στο αριστερό πόδι. Το μασάζ ρεφλεξολογίας πραγματοποιήθηκε για 30 λεπτά μετά το πρωινό, προκειμένου να επωφεληθεί από την επίδραση του γαστρο-κολικού αντανακλαστικού.

Full pdf of the research paper

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