Reflexology on Hospital Anxiety and Depression in 90 Females

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The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Hospital Anxiety and Depression in Female Older Adults: a Randomized Controlled Trial



Patients with cardiovascular diseases usually suffer from hospital anxiety and depression.


This study aimed to investigate the effect of foot reflexology massage on anxiety and depression in female older adults suffering from acute coronary syndrome.


Ninety older women with acute coronary syndrome were randomly assigned into intervention and control groups (n=45 in each group).

Research design: 

A randomized controlled trial.


The intervention and control groups received foot reflexology massage and routine care, respectively.

Main outcomes measures: 

The levels of anxiety and depression were evaluated using the hospital’s anxiety and depression scale (HADS) before and immediately after foot reflexology massage.


Foot reflexology massage reduced both anxiety (F(1.44)=19.11, p = .001) and depression (F(1.44)=16.76, p = .001) in acute coronary patients relative to control patients. The intervention had a large effect on hospital anxiety and depression.


Foot reflexology massage is an efficient and safe intervention for alleviating psychological responses among female older adults suffering from acute coronary syndrome during hospitalization.

Keywords: acute coronary syndrome; anxiety; depression; hospital; reflexology.


Bahrami T, Rejeh N, Heravi-Karimooi M, Tadrisi SD, Vaismoradi M. The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Hospital Anxiety and Depression in Female Older Adults: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2019;12(3):16-21. Published 2019 Aug 30.

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.

The dorsal and the plantar surfaces of one foot were lubricated using sweet almond oil and were massaged. After general foot massage, relaxing techniques were performed including effleurage movements (10 times), stretching fingers by holding them between thumbs and other fingers (5 times in both directions), and moderate rotational movements around the ankle (5 times).

Next, the reflex zones of solar plexus, pituitary gland, brain, heart, large and small intestines, vertebral column, adrenal, and kidney were used for the stimulation.

The researcher exerted firm downward pressure with her thumbs in the above-mentioned areas for 14 secs in the heart area, 5 times for each intestine, and 5 times for the adrenal gland and kidney. The rubbing technique was used for adrenal and kidney reflex zones. In total, reflexology massage of both feet lasted for a total of 20 min (10 min for each foot).

O ρεφλεξολόγος άλειψε τις ραχιαίες και πελματιαίες επιφάνειες των ποδιών με αμυγδαλέλαιο. Μετά το γενικό μασάζ ποδιών, πραγματοποιήθηκαν τεχνικές χαλάρωσης, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των κινήσεων θωπείας (10 φορές), τέντωμα των δακτύλων με κράτημα από τον αντίχειρα και τα άλλα δάκτυλα (5 φορές και στις δύο κατευθύνσεις) και ήπιες περιστροφικές κινήσεις του αστραγάλου (5 φορές).

Στη συνέχεια, οι αντανακλαστικές ζώνες του ηλιακού πλέγματος, της υπόφυσης, του εγκεφάλου, της καρδιάς, του παχέος εντέρου, της σπονδυλικής στήλης, των επινεφριδίων και των νεφρών χρησιμοποιήθηκαν για τη διέγερση.

Ο ρεφλεξολόγος άσκησε με τους αντίχειρες σταθερή πίεση προς τα κάτω στις προαναφερθείσες περιοχές για 14 δευτερόλεπτα στην περιοχή της καρδιάς, 5 φορές για κάθε κοιλιακό όργανο και 5 φορές για τα επινεφρίδια και τα νεφρά. Η τεχνική τριψίματος χρησιμοποιήθηκε για τις ζώνες αντανακλαστικών επινεφριδίων και νεφρών. Συνολικά, το μασάζ ρεφλεξολογίας και των δύο ποδιών διήρκεσε συνολικά 20 λεπτά (10 λεπτά για κάθε πόδι).

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