A double blind study was conducted over a 10 week period monitoring the effects of Reflexology in the maintenance of pain for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis. The objective of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of Reflexology as compared to sham (placebo) or non precision reflexology in patients suffering from symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.
Seventy three participants suffering from symptoms of MS were randomly selected to receive either precision reflexology or sham reflexology weekly for 10 weeks. Outcome measures were recorded both pre- and post- treatment. A follow-up was also conducted at the 6 week mark and 12 week mark by a clinical researcher blinded to the group allocations.
The primary outcome of the study revealed a “significant and clinically” important decrease in pain intensity which was observed in both the precision and sham groups compared to baseline measures. A Visual Analog Scale (pain rating scale) was used to measure pain intensity and pain reduction in both groups.
The median VAS scores were reduced by 50% following treatment. This improvement was maintained for up to 12 weeks in most participants. Additional improvements were noted, including significant decreases in fatigue, depression, disability, and Spasm. Quality of life improved as well for the participants involved.
The conclusion of the study revealed that both precision and sham reflexology offer clinically significant improvement for those suffering from the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.
Patients showed improvement from precision reflexology as well non-precision reflexology. This is an important fact because it reveals to us that the power of the human touch for those who suffer the most can and should be one of our first tools for improving the health and well being of those who need it the most.
Research Source: PMID: 19825891
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