Τίτλος:
Reflexology: A randomised controlled trial investigating the effects on beta-endorphin, cortisol and pregnancy related stress

Δημοσιεύτηκε:
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Volume 31, May 2018, Pages 76-84

Συγγραφείς:
Julie E.M.McCullough, Sarah Dianne Liddle, CiaraClose, Marlene Sinclair, Ciara M.Hughes

Highlights

  • Pregnant women use reflexology for a range of conditions.

  • Reflexology may be helpful for managing pregnancy related low back and/or pelvic girdle pain (LBPGP).

  • This is the first investigation which attempts to quantify changes in beta-endorphin in response to a reflexology treatment.

  • The effect of reflexology on salivary beta-endorphin and cortisol concentrations during pregnancy is not yet fully known.

  • Further antenatal reflexology research is required to enable women and health care professionals to make informed decisions.

Abstract

Reflexology is used for various pregnancy related complaints. A three-armed, pilot randomised controlled trial was conducted to test changes in physiological and biochemical stress parameters. Ninety primiparous volunteers experiencing low back and/or pelvic girdle pain (LBPGP) were recruited to receive either six reflexology or footbath treatments or usual care. Primary outcome data included pain intensity and frequency measured on a visual analog scale (VAS), and salivary beta-endorphin and cortisol levels. 61 (68%) women completed the intervention. A

A clinically important reduction of 1.63 cm occurred for VAS pain frequency following reflexology. Beta-endorphin levels increased by 8.8% and 10.10% in the footbath and usual care groups respectively and decreased by 15.18% for the reflexology group. Cortisol increased by 31.78% for footbath participants, 31.42% in usual care and 18.82% in the reflexology group.

Reflexology during pregnancy may help reduce LBPGP, and associated stress.
However, antenatal reflexology is under researched and requires further investigation.