Can reflexology help menopausal symptoms?

A study conducted by Williamson et al 2002 looked into the beneficial effects on the symptoms occurring in menopausal women, particularly psychological symptoms.

In this RCT 76 women between the ages of 45-60 years reporting menopausal symptoms where chosen

The women were randomised to receive nine sessions of either reflexology or nonspecific foot massage (control) by four qualified reflexologists given over a period of 19 weeks.

The womens health was monitored using the Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ), the primary measures being the subscores for anxiety and depression. Severity (visual analogue scale, VAS) and frequency of flushes and night sweats.

Results Mean (SD) scores for anxiety fell from 0.43 (0.29) to 0.22 (0.25) in the reflexology group and from 0.37 (0.27) to 0.27 (0.29) in the control group over the course of treatment. Mean (SD) scores for depression fell from 0.37 (0.25) to 0.20(0.24) in the reflexology group and from 0.36 (0.23) to 0.20 (0.21) in the control (foot massage) group over the same period. For both scores there was strong evidence of a time effect (P < 0.001) but no evidence of a time–group interaction (P > 0.2). Similar changes were found for severity of hot flushes and night sweats. In the control group, 14/37 believed they had not received true reflexology.

The study illustrated some improvements in psychological symptoms occurring during the menopause; where foot reflexology and foot massage had similar outcomes.

For more information on this study click link below:

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