At the recent Reflexology Association of America conference in Orlando, Dr. Jesus Manzanares of Spain shared his findings from a small study he conducted with children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The results will be of importance to any parent whose child lives with ADD (with or without the hyperactivity component) or any reflexologist wishing to provide therapy to this population.
The first thing Dr. Manzanares shared was that the medical profession now classifies Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a syndrome, with scaled expressions of the condition (like autism is). The latest research also shows the ADHD-diagnosed brain to exhibit organic lesions.
His study investigated the effects of foot reflexology on attention levels and school performance of children diagnosed with ADD. The study employed the ADHD Rating Scale-IV tool, the industry benchmark for assessing diagnostic criteria of ADHD, to evaluate the children’s speed levels at testing and accuracy at mathematical calculation.
Group 1 – the Control Group – was composed of 20 children, each of which received 20 weekly foot reflexology sessions at Dr. Manzanares’s clinic, followed by 15 sessions given at home by parents who were trained to duplicate the clinic session. Stimulation was applied to the reflexes in the pelvic region of the foot (heel).
Group 2 – the Reflexology Group – was composed of 22 children, who received the same number of clinic and home sessions. The reflexes stimulated with this group were those of the frontal cortex, parietal lobe cortex, left temporal cortex and eyes.
No significant changes resulted in Group 1 in any of the tests used to assess attention level and school performance.
Group 2 showed an improved reading speed average of 19% and improved mathematical calculation average of 21%. On the ADHD scale, a score of 18 or more indicates a diagnosis of ADD; 18 or less, not. The ratings of the subjects in Group 2 dropped from 20 to 14.
Another speaker at the conference, Lilian Tibshraeny-Morten, an acupuncturist and reflexologist, spoke of the importance of stimulating the liver reflex when working with children of ADHD.
So, there you have it – the latest guidelines in offering productive reflexology sessions to children with ADD: detailed work on the brain reflexes, eyes and liver. Let us know your results.