The Effect of Reflexology on Blood Pressure and Perceived Stress
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background Reflexology is a popular form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and has been suggested to have a heamodynamic effect. Previous research has not managed to provide a clear mechanism of action but the impact of stress on blood pressure (BP) may help to explain some of its cardiovascular effects. Aims The research aimed to evaluate the impact of reflexology on BP in normotensive individuals and to determine the role of stress in this process. Method A Single-Subject Experimental Design (SSED) was used with a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures. Results BP and stress tended to decrease during the sessions, apart from one BP anomaly. However correlations between BP and stress were mostly weak and long-term effects are questionable. Conclusion The results indicate that reflexology has potential to decrease BP and stress in a group of normotensive individuals. Although there is a link between BP and stress the effect of reflexology on BP is not determined solely through the impact of stress. More research is required to explore the effects of reflexology in different sample groups before reflexology can be recommended for a specific increase or decrease within a group of hypertensive or hypotensive individuals.
B.Sc.(Hons) Complementary Healthcare
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