Foot reflexology on quality of life on 63 patients with multiple sclerosis

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The effect of foot reflexology on constipation and quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis

The effect of foot reflexology on constipation and quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis. A randomized controlled trial.



Constipation is a major problem in most patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of foot reflexology on constipation and quality of life in patients with MS. Foot reflexology on quality of life with multiple sclerosis.


This study was a randomized controlled trial, in which 63 patients with MS referred to Arak MS Society, Iran were participated (from May to Dec. 2018).

In this study participants were selected according to inclusion criteria and randomly divided into intervention (n = 33) and control (n = 30) groups.

In the intervention group, foot reflexology was applied twice a week for 6 weeks (each session lasted about 30-40 min).

Data were collected using demographic questionnaire, Constipation Assessment Scale (CAS) and Short Form (SF) 36 Quality of Life (QOL) questionnaire. Finally, the data were analyzed using SPSS Ver. 16 and descriptive and inferential statistical tests.


The results of the study showed that severity of constipation and QOL score were not significant between the two groups before intervention (p > 0.05), but; after intervention, severity of constipation significantly decreased in the reflexology group (p < 0.05).

Nevertheless, after intervention, the QOL was improved in the reflexology group compared to the control group but was not significant (p > 0.05).


The results of this study showed that foot reflexology, as an effective intervention can be useful in management of constipation in patients with MS. Therefore, this intervention can be applied as a safe method for the decrease of constipation in MS patients.


Complementary therapies; Constipation; Multiple sclerosis; Quality of life; Reflexology


Sajadi M, Davodabady F, Naseri-Salahshour V, Harorani M, Ebrahimi-Monfared M. The effect of foot reflexology on constipation and quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis. A randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2020;48:102270. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102270

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.

In current study, the Rwo Shur method of reflexology was used. This method is combination of thumb sliding and pressure techniques. In the Rwo Shur method, soft pressure was applied on the corresponding reflex points.

Reflexology was done by third author of manuscript (trained and certified in the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran) with slow speed, regular rhythm and depths of one to three mm for each patient in a separate room (patient and reflexologist were alone in the room) in MS Society of Arak.

The room had standard light and humidity, and there was no other stimulus. In the intervention group, foot reflexology was done twice a week for 6 weeks (each session lasted about 30−40 min for each foot). Reflexology was done using with a lubricant fluid (natural sunflower oil) to reduce friction on the feet.

At first, general massage was done on right foot for 5 min and then reflexology by performing specific movements of two hands on related area to gastrointestinal system was done for 10 min’ (stomach, liver, small intestine, large intestine and solar plexus).

After this step, reflexology was performed with the same technique on the left foot. For patients in the control group foot surface massage without pressure was applied to simulate the interventions similar to the intervention group. All patients in this study received standard MS therapeutic protocols. Patients were reminded did not take any anti-constipation medication throughout the study.

Στην παρούσα μελέτη χρησιμοποιήθηκε η μέθοδος ρεφλεξολογίας Rwo Shur. H μέθοδος αποτελεί  συνδυασμό των τεχνικών ολίσθησης και πίεσης του αντίχειρα. Εφαρμόστηκε μαλακή πίεση στα αντίστοιχα αντανακλαστικά σημεία.

Η ρεφλεξολογία ασκήθηκε από τον τρίτο συγγραφέα του χειρόγραφου (εκπαιδευμένο και πιστοποιημένο στο Πανεπιστήμιο Shahid Beheshti των Ιατρικών Επιστημών στην Τεχεράνη, Ιράν) με αργή ταχύτητα, κανονικό ρυθμό και βάθη ενός έως τριών χιλιοστών για κάθε ασθενή σε ξεχωριστό δωμάτιο (ο ασθενής και ο ρεφλεξολόγος ήταν οι μόνοι παρόντες στο δωμάτιο) στην κοινότητα MS Society του Arak.

Το δωμάτιο είχε κανονικό φως και υγρασία και δεν υπήρχε άλλο ερέθισμα. Στην ομάδα παρέμβασης, η ρεφλεξολογία των ποδιών έγινε δύο φορές την εβδομάδα για 6 εβδομάδες (η διάρκεια της συνεδρίας ήταν περίπου 30-40 λεπτά για κάθε πόδι).

Η ρεφλεξολογία έγινε με λιπαντικό υγρό (φυσικό ηλιέλαιο) για να μειώσει την τριβή στα πόδια. Αρχικά, η μάλαξη έγινε στο δεξί πόδι για 5 λεπτά και στη συνέχεια ασκήθηκε η ρεφλεξολογία εφαρμόζοντας ειδικές κινήσεις των δύο χεριών στη σχετική περιοχή στο γαστρεντερικό σύστημα για 10 λεπτά (στομάχι, ήπαρ, λεπτό έντερο, παχύ έντερο και ηλιακό πλέγμα).

Στη συνέχεια ασκήθηκε ρεφλεξολογία με την ίδια τεχνική στο αριστερό πόδι. Για τους ασθενείς της ομάδας ελέγχου, εφαρμόστηκε μάλαξη χωρίς πίεση με σκοπό την προσομοίωση παρεμβάσεων παρόμοιων με αυτών που δέχτηκε η ομάδα παρέμβασης.

Όλοι οι ασθενείς σε αυτή τη μελέτη έλαβαν θεραπευτική παρέμβαση σύμφωνα με τα πρότυπα πρωτόκολλα σκλήρυνσης κατά πλάκας. Οι ασθενείς έλαβαν υπενθύμιση για τη μη λήψη φαρμάκων κατά της δυσκοιλιότητας καθ ‘όλη τη διάρκεια της μελέτης.

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