People often ask if there are any evidence-based studies to substantiate the claims clients make of reflexology. There are hundreds.
Most studies investigate whether or not reflexology has a positive effect on specific health challenges. Studies that explore the mechanism or route by which reflexology actually works – the “how of it” are extremely expensive to conduct, so most studies have not focused on that goal.
Research literacy (the ability to find, understand and critically evaluate research findings) is very valuable for educating clients and groups you may wish to speak to of the benefits reflexology can offer. Below are links to case studies and randomized controlled studies conducted worldwide. Abstracts are generally available at no cost; full research data often involves a fee.
Academy of Ancient Reflexology (case studies)
American Academy of Reflexology
National Institutes of Health Clinical Reflexology Trials
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Reflexology Research Project
Reflexology Boosts Pain Threshold Tolerance, 2013
Upper Foot Reflexology Decreases Cardiac Index, 2-13
Swedish Massage, Reflexology Benefit Elderly Cancer Survivors, 2012
Reflexology Reduces Intensity, Duration of Menstrual Pain, 2012
Reflexology for Chronic Constipation, 2011
Reflexology, Foot Massage Ease Multiple Sclerosis Pain, 2010
Reflexology Improves Sleep for Postpartum Women, 2010
Reflexology Reduces Symptoms of Low-Back Pain, 2008
Reflexology Reduces Stress in Nursing Home Residents with Dementia, 2008
Reflexology Reduces Anxiety in Chemotherapy Patients, 2006
The above studies are all accessible online at Massage Mag Research