Can Reflexology Help Back Pain?
Reflexology CAN help back pain.
A recent study that divided two small groups of lower back pain sufferers into those receive proper reflexology treatments and those being subjected to a placebo treatment found that the former experienced reduced mental and physical symptoms.
Study participants, of a median age of 42, received 40-minute treatments once a week for six consecutive weeks. At the end of this period, patients were then asked by means of a visual analogue scale (VAS) to grade their symptoms.
Though by no means an official medical association, the Reflexology Certification Board (RCB) represents a major step forward for the practice of these therapies in the United States. Governed by reflexologists, the private organization's website for example offers a handy list of certified practitioners, classified by state.
The first line in the RCB code of ethics is, "Reflexology does not replace medical treatment." This is a key tenet to understand. Ideally, the stimulation of feet and hand nerve points to treat lower back pain and other ailments should always be seen as a complimentary, rather than stand-alone, solution. Another part of the RCB creed is, "I will not exceed the scope of my practice." Once again, the idea here is to not make false promises or lead the patient to expect more than they should. Results vary widely from patient to patient, and in some cases, reflexology may have little positive impact on the back pain.
As another sign of the progress being made by reflexology both in the U.S. and abroad, many hospitals now have such specialists on-call. Treatment is usually charged on by the half-hour or hour and is generally cheaper than similar massage treatments. Causing an improved nerve, blood, and lymphatic supply through the stimulation of feet can impact much more than back pain. Some hospital patient testimonials point up the effectiveness of the treatment for something as severe as chemotherapy side effects.