According to a large nationwide research study undertaken in Denmark, reflexology treatment has a beneficial effect on patients suffering from migraine and tension headaches. The study was conducted at the Department of Social Pharmacy, The Royal Danish School of Pharmacy in co-operation with five reflexology associations. 220 patients participated with treatment being given by 78 fully trained reflexologist across the country.
Headaches remain the most common health problem amongst the adult population and it has been estimated that they are the reason for the loss of three mil-lion working days every year. Reflexology is renowned for its ability to help relax and calm patients and for this reason it was considered an interesting therapy to study for the treatment of tension headaches and migraine.
Of all the patients who took part in the study, 90 percent said that they had taken prescribed medication for their headaches within the month prior to the commencement of the study and, of them, 36 percent had experienced side effects from the medicines. 81 percent of the prescribed medicine in the acetvlsalicyclic acid and paracetamol group was taken at least twice a week and 72% of the stronger migraine medicines were taken at least once a fortnight which indicates that the majority of the patients were suffering from moderate to severe symptoms. 34 percent had taken medications for ailments other than headaches.
Three months after a completed series of reflexology treatments, 81 percent of patients confirmed that reflexology had either cured (16%) or helped (65%) their symptoms. 19 percent of the patients re-ported that they had been able to completely dispense with the medications they had been taking before the study.
The reflexologist also found that there was a strong link between headaches and the gall bladder, stomach, bladder, and endocrine hormone meridians. At the end of the study the patients who benefited from the treatment showed less stress on the reflex points for the ovaries, small intestine, bladder, stomach, liver and kidneys than they had experienced on their first treatment. The likelihood of successful cure was found to be greatest for: a) those patients whom the reflexologist found no stress on the reflex zones of the uterus or gall bladder, and b) younger patients who had suffered from headaches for a short period of time.
Brendstrup E, Launso L, Eriksen L. Reflexions March 1996, 10