Reflexology is a therapy in which pressure is applied to specific areas of the feet, which in turn correspond to certain organs.
Whilst there is a lack of concrete evidence as to whether reflexology treatment is indeed effective, the most recent research has revealed that massaging the heart point (somewhere on the ball of the left foot) in volunteers, seemed to improve cardiac output – the measure of how the heart is pumping.
In contrast, when the volunteers underwent a fake treatment in which the wrong point of the foot was massaged, there was no change in cardiac output – suggesting that reflexology is not a treatment that works on the placebo effect.
PhD student Jenny Jones from Stirling University said that these findings were “intriguing”, but added that the researchers had no idea what it was specifically that caused these changes.
Whilst this discovery is positive, researchers have warned that the trial was small and far more significant testing would need to be conducted in order to establish the true efficacy of reflexology on heart efficiency.
If you would like to find out more about the practice of reflexology, please visit our Reflexology fact-sheet to find out how it may be able to help you, what to expect from a session, how often and how long you can expect sessions to last, common misconceptions and information about the training of practitioners.
View and comment on the original Telegraph article.