Role of reflexology and antiepileptic drugs in managing intractable epilepsy–a randomized controlled trial

5 mins read
Role of reflexology and antiepileptic drugs in managing intractable epilepsy--a randomized controlled trial


Background: This report is based on the results of a randomized parallel controlled trial conducted to determine the efficacy of reflexology therapy in managing intractable epilepsy.

Methods: Subjects who failed epilepsy surgery or were not candidates for epilepsy surgery or were non-responders of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) took part in this study. The trial was completed by 77 subjects randomly assigned to 2 arms: control (AEDs) and reflexology (AEDs + reflexology therapy). The hypothesis was that hand reflexology therapy could produce results similar to those of vagus nerve stimulation, and foot reflexology therapy could maintain homeostasis in the functional status of individual body parts. Reflexology therapy was applied by family members. The follow-up period was 1.5 years. Quality of life in epilepsy patients was assessed with the QOLIE-31 instrument.

Results: In the reflexology group, the median baseline seizure frequency decreased from 9.5 (range 2-120) to 2 (range 0-110) with statistical significance (p < 0.001). In the control arm, the decrease was less than 25% with a baseline value of 16 (range 2-150). The pretherapy QOLIE-31 scores in the control group and the reflexology group were 41.05 ± 7 and 43.6 ± 8, respectively. Posttherapy data were 49.07 ± 6 and 65.4 ± 9, respectively (p < 0.002). The reflexology method allowed detection of knee pain in 85% of the reflexology group patients (p < 0.001), and 85.3% of patients derived 81% relief from it (p < 0.001). 4 reflexology group patients reported nausea/vomiting (n = 1), change in voice (n = 2), and hoarseness (n = 1).

Conclusion: Reflexology therapy together with AEDs may help reducing seizure frequency and improving quality of life in individuals with epilepsy.


Dalal K, Devarajan E, Pandey RM, Subbiah V, Tripathi M. Role of reflexology and antiepileptic drugs in managing intractable epilepsy–a randomized controlled trial. Forsch Komplementmed. 2013;20(2):104-11. doi: 10.1159/000350047. Epub 2013 Apr 15. PMID: 23636029.

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:

Η θεραπεία με ρεφλεξολογία μαζί με αντιεπιληπτικά φάρμακα μπορεί να βοηθήσει στη μείωση της συχνότητας των κρίσεων και στη βελτίωση της ποιότητας ζωής σε άτομα με επιληψία.

Previous publication

The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Acute Pain in Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Next publication

Reflexology: A randomised controlled trial investigating the effects on beta-endorphin, cortisol and pregnancy related stress