Reflexology – Complementary Relief throughout Cancer Care

Nowadays there is not a single family unaffected, directly or indirectly by cancer: everybody more or less, knows of someone who is suffering from this dreadful condition. Studies suggest that one in three people in the industrial world will develop cancer. But since progression in medical research and availability of medical treatments and drugs, cancer is no longer necessarily fatal and we are dicovering more and more ways to fight against it and it’s various causes.  Among those causes are smoking, obesity, environmental factors (pollution, chemicals…), stress and genetic predisposition…


Advice to help reduce the risk of developing cancer includes, having a healthy diet, giving up smoking, doing physical exercise and avoiding excess stress and anxiety. Reflexology is very helpful in alleviating stress and anxiety, the impact in nerve stimulation and blood circulation enhances the immune system function and keeps the balance of the hormonal system, which strengthens your whole body and mind.

During the illness and treatment itself, reflexology can help patients. The Association of Reflexologists has reported very positive findings and clinical evidence. A study, carried out by H. Hodgson, titled “Does reflexology impact on cancer patients’ “(Nursing Standard 2000; 14:33-38), shows that the participants who received reflexology benefited, besides comfort, in terms of quality of life, through improvements regarding nausea, pain, appetite, breathing, communication, concentration, constipation, diarrhoea, urination, fear of the future, isolation, mobility, mood, sleep and tiredness. When practicing reflexology on patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy it is recommended not to have reflexology session for at least 6 days following each chemotherapy/radiotherapy treatments: reflexology, having stimulating effects, could give the person side-effects which would not be welcome on top of those associated with chemotherapy/radiotherapy.

A reflexology session with a person receiving treatment for a serious illness is practiced with light pressure and should last no more than 30 minutes. Once the period of medical treatment is complete, the person can begin to regain their strength, reflexology can help with their recovery through this difficult period, helping them to rediscover their balance and energy. Then they can enjoy longer sessions of comforting reflexology.

Marie Regner


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