A study led by a researcher at Michigan State University in the US has revealed that reflexology – a type of specialised foot massage – can help cancer patients manage their symptoms and have a better quality of life.
Funded by the US National Cancer Institute and published in the Oncology Nursing Forum, the study is the first large-scale examination into reflexology as a complementary treatment to standard cancer care.
Reflexology is based on the idea that stimulating specific points on the feet can improve the functioning of corresponding organs, glands, and other parts of the body.
The 11-week study involved 385 women undergoing chemotherapy or hormonal therapy for advanced-stage breast cancer that had
spread beyond the breast.
The results showed that those in the reflexology group experienced significantly less shortness of breath, a common symptom in breast-cancer patients. This means they were better able to perform daily tasks, such as getting dressed or going grocery shopping.