Reflexology: Reflexology study relieves symptoms of multiple sclerosis

By Susan Watson

Massage magazine published an article in issue 108 in 2004 that discussed research studies dealing with reflexology and the relief of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms.

A randomized controlled study was held in Tel-Hashomer, Israel, at the department of Orthopedic Rehabilitation, Complementary Medicine Clinic, and the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Sheba Medical Center in conjunction with the Gertner Institute of Epidemiology and Health Policy Research. This study randomly assigned 71 MS patients to receive either reflexology or a controlled treatment for 45 minutes once a week for 11 weeks.

Of the 71 patients, 53 completed the study. There were 36 participating reflexologists; each assigned two subjects, one to receive reflexology and one to receive the control treatment.

The controlled treatment was a massage to the lower leg, while the reflexology was applied to specific points on the feet as well as massage to the lower leg.

At the end of the study, those who received reflexology showed a marked improvement in three areas of measured outcomes: paresthesias, urinary symptoms and spasticity.

Three months after the study, the improvement in the paresthesias was still evident. Those in the controlled group had no measurable improvements.

If you would like to find a trained certified reflexologist or are interested in certification classes in the Rockford area, see my Web site,, and click on “Meet the Graduates,” or call Susan Watson at (815) 986-8308.

Susan Watson, a National Board Certified Reflexology Therapist (NCRT), is author of Practical Reflexology, a reflexology certification textbook published by McGraw-Hill, and is founder and instructor of Healthy Soles School of Reflexology.

From the Dec. 16-22, 2009 issue

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