Reflexology Used for Cancer Patients

Ten minute reflexology treatments can provide relief from pain, nausea and anxiety, according to a report from the School of Nursing, Division of Science and Design, University of Canberra

Nurses at the School conducted an empirical study on the use of foot massage as a nursing intervention in patients hospitalized with cancer. The study was developed from the earlier work of Ferrell-Torry and Glick (1992).

87 patients participated in the study and each received a 10-minute reflexology foot massage (5 minutes per foot) . The results revealed that the treatments produced a significant and immediate effect on the patients’ perceptions of pain, nausea, and relaxation, when measured with a visual analog scale. The use of reflexology foot massage as a complementary method is recommended as a relatively simple nursing intervention for patients experiencing nausea or pain related to the cancer experience.

The results were so positive that the researchers recommend that further research using larger numbers of patients in controlled clinical trials into its effectiveness of reflexology in alleviating pain, nausea and anxiety in the management of these symptoms by the family at home is warranted. Foot massage. A nursing intervention to modify the distressing symptoms of pain and nausea in patients hospitalized with cancer.

Grealish L, Lomasney A, Whiteman B Cancer Nurs Jun;23(3):237-43

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