Preliminary Results from Michigan State University Study on Reflexology and Chemotherapy
Reflexology improves by 10% the physical function of women undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 and 4 breast cancer according to preliminary results from the much anticipated 5-year Michigan State University (MSU) study. The results reflected less difficulty in breathing for study participants who received reflexology with consequent improved abilities in activities such as walking, carrying groceries and climbing stairs.
Such improvement in quality of life for the cancer patients was reported by lead reflexologist Barbara Bower of Branch Reflexology noting the findings by Dr. Wyatt, principle investigator and Dr. Alla Sikorskii, co-investigator and statistician of MSU. Barbara developed the 9-step reflexology protocol utilized in the research.
385 women participated in the study with: 141 assigned to a reflexology group (1 session each week for 4 weeks); 143 assigned to receive "manipulation of the feet that was designed to be similar to reflexology, but delivered by lay people" and 96 assigned to a control group. "Women in the reflexology group had less trouble breathing compared to women in the control group, and also compared to women who received lay foot manipulation." More will be reported here as the official study results are released. A $3.5 million National Institute of Health grant made possible the study. Thanks to positive results, a grant in a similar amount will fund a further study of reflexology and cancer care patients expected to begin later this year. Studied will be the impact of reflexology administered by primary care givers trained in the 9-step protocol developed by Barbara Brower. Barbara has launched an education program for teaching others the protocol.