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Reflexology

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Antenatal reflexology, auricular reflexology, body reflexology, chakra energy reflexology, foot acupressure, Laura Norman method, macroreflexology (acupressure and acupuncture), metamorphic technique, microreflexology (ear, foot and hand reflexology), Original Ingham Method®, reflex zone therapy, reflexology workout, reflextherapy, reflexotherapy, Vita Flex, zone therapy.
  • Not included in this review: Acupressure, massage therapy, shiatsu.
  • Note: The term "reflexotherapy" has been used to describe acupuncture in some countries.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Reflexology and methods similar to it have been in practice for thousands of years in China, Egypt and other areas. Reflexology is based on the concept that areas of the feet correspond to other parts of the body, and stimulation of these areas on the feet can affect the associated body part. In addition to the feet, some practitioners perform reflexology of the ears and hands. Reflexology is similar, but not the same as acupressure (shiatsu), which is based solely on Oriental energetic principles.
  • Reflexology has been suggested for many health conditions, but there is little high-qaulity scientific evidence available regarding the effectiveness or safety of this technique. Preliminary research suggests that reflexology may not be as effective as other therapies for diagnosing diseases. It is not recommended to rely on reflexology alone to treat potentially dangerous medical conditions.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.