Reflexology can provide effective pain relief, says study

New research has found that reflexology can complement pharmaceuticals as a method of pain relief.

A study carried out by researchers at the University of Portsmouth found that people felt around 40% less pain and were able to stand pain for about 45% longer when reflexology was used as a method of pain relief. 

Subjects’ pain endurance was tested twice, on one occasion receiving a reflexology treatment before and on the other a placebo. Both times they placed their hand into iced water to see how long they could stand the pain.

The academic behind the study, Dr Carol Samuel, said this is the first time reflexology has been scientifically tested as a pain treatment. She recommended that it be used in conjunction with drug therapy to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis of cancers. 

Samuel said, "As we predicted, reflexology decreased pain sensations." 

Her colleague and co-author, Dr Ivor Ebenezer said they were pleased with the results. "Although this is a small study, we hope it will be the basis for future research into the use of reflexology," he said.