Barbara Brower, lead reflexologist in the largest federally funded study involving reflexology, was on hand at the Reflexology Association of America’s conference 10 days ago, to pass on the results and the protocol used to receive the astounding results that emerged from this 5-year study. The results are very significant, because of the size of the grant ($3.1 million) and the fact that it was the first robust reflexology study completed in the United States .
The goal of the study was to improve quality of life for women in late stage 3 and 4 breast cancer who were on chemotherapy. Barbara shared that, because of the success of the first study, the University of Michigan has been awarded a second grant of $2.65 million to run another 5-year program to teach the caregivers of female breast cancer patients the 9-step protocol used in the first study!
Each participant received one foot reflexology session for four consecutive weeks, and was studied for eight weeks afterwards.
Reflexology improved the physical function of the participants by about 10%, compared to the control group. This is considered a substantial improvement in research and reflects an improved ability by the women to carry out daily activities of living, such as walking, carrying groceries, climbing stairs, etc. The improvement in physical function resulted from a reduced difficulty in breathing, a direct result of the foot reflexology sessions.
Two other desired changes were noted in Group 2: Reflexology opened the pathways for the body to more easily receive chemotherapy; and the body more readily released the residual by-products of the chemotherapy drugs.
Another important discovery of the study: not one patient had a negative side effect from receiving reflexology – a very important consideration for this fragile population.
In conclusion, this grant established three points. In women receiving allopathic treatment for advanced breast cancer, reflexology has now been proven to be:
The conclusion: Reflexology, used in conjunction with standard medical care, is beneficial to late stage breast cancer patients.
You can read more about the study here.
Here are the reflexes that the team of reflexologists worked in the study:
2. Chest/Breast (primary reflex worked)
3. Lungs – for breathing
4. Diaphragm – for stress and breathing
5. Adrenals – for stress and inflammation
6. Kidneys – for detoxification
7. Spleen – for blood purification and energy
8. Intestines (small and large) – for absorption of nutrients and evacuation
9. Lymph organs and vessels – for detoxification
Have you worked with this population? What have been your results? Or have you been hesitant to give reflexology to women battling late state breast cancer? Do the results of this study affect your beliefs about offering reflexology to women fighting cancer?