Reflexology For Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Phobias

Reflexology For Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Phobias

Many people suffer from some form of anxiety from mild to severe and debilitating. Most people also recognize that massage in general can act as a stress or anxiety reducer. Is it possible that Reflexology could be an effective treatment for stress and anxiety even including panic attacks or phobias? Well, there have been some studies that show this might be the case.

In one case study a patient that was having panic attacks frequently and was taking Xanax daily to reduce the severity of the attacks. The patient was sent to a reflexologist and underwent foot reflexology treatments once a week for 6 weeks. By the third week the patient experienced a reduction in stress levels and panic attacks. By the end of the sixth week of treatment the patient had a stress level of 1.5 on a scale of 1-10 and felt very good. They experienced no panic attacks during the last two weeks of the study. Now, the patient was also taking medications so it is impossible to determine just how effective the reflexology was without the interaction of the medications but both the reflexologist and patient concluded that the relfexology was helpful and certainly couldn’t hurt.

Another study was conducted at the School of Nursing, Eastern Carolina University. It examined the effects of foot reflexology on patients with breast and lung cancer. The study covered 23 patients and utilized 30 minute foot reflexology sessions to determine if there was any affect on the patients levels of pain and anxiety. They concluded that out of three measures of pain that reflexology had a positive impact on one of those measures and reduced pain in those suffering from breast cancer. They also concluded that the majority of patients experienced a significant reduction in anxiety levels. The researchers recommended that reflexology could be useful as a self-care therapy to reduce anxiety.

A similar study done in the same hospital looked at 86 patients suffering from varying forms of cancer. The researchers had the patients partners undergo a brief training session with a certified reflexologist and then the partners applied a 30 minute foot reflexology session to the patients. This study also found a significant reduction in pain intensity and anxiety. The control group partners read to the patients for 30 minutes and applied no relfexology. This group experienced no real reduction in pain or anxiety.

So, the evidence seems to lean toward reflexology being effective at treating some levels of pain and anxiety. Massage in general seems to be a relaxing practice so it is still uncertain whether specific reflexology points are important or just massage in general. Nonetheless, reflexology is non-invasive, is easily applied, and seems to be effective so why not try it?

So, the evidence seems to lean toward reflexology being effective at treating some levels of pain and anxiety. Massage in general seems to be a relaxing practice so it is still uncertain whether specific reflexology points are important or just massage in general. Nonetheless, reflexology is non-invasive, is easily applied, and seems to be effective so why not try it?

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