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Hypertension and Reflexology

The results proved that foot reflexology was an effective nursing intervention to decrease systolic pressure, and triglyceride but not for the blood cholesterol and to improve life satisfaction. Therefore, blood cholesterol should be further evaluated in a larger group of subjects and for a longer period. Further research is regarded as necessary to evaluate and to compare effects of self-foot reflexology and foot reflexology. There was a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure but no significant decrease indiastolic pressure in the experimental group compared to the control group. The total cholesterol level in the experimental group compared to the control group was not significantly decreased after foot reflexology. However, the triglyceride level in theexperimental group compared to the control group was significantly decreased after foot reflexology. On the other hand, high density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein levels in the experimental group compared to the control group was not significantly decreased after foot reflexology. Life satisfaction in the experimental group compared to the control group was significantly improved after foot reflexology.
-- Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2004 Aug;34(5):739-50. -- Effects of foot reflexology on essential hypertension patients. Park HS, Cho GY.

Type of massage was associated with change in blood pressure: Swedish massage had the greatest effect at BP reduction. Trigger point therapy and sports massage both increased the systolic BP, and if both forms of massage were included in a session, both the systolic and diastolic BP readings significantly increased. No other massage factors were associated with a significant change in BP. Type of massage was the main factor affecting change in BP. Increases in BP were noted for potentially painful massage techniques, including trigger point therapy.
-- J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;12(1):65-70. Changes in blood pressure after various forms of therapeutic massage: a preliminary study.Cambron JA, Dexheimer J, Coe P.

A 61 year old male patient, with hypertension for more than 10 years that was treated with medicine, was given foot reflexology every other day for 10 sessions focusing on the adrenal gland to normalize the excessive adrenaline and norepinephrine that it secretes. After the third session, patient's blood pressure was lowered, his headache was relieved and his sleeping improved. Reflexology sessions were continued for 6 months until blood pressure was stabilized. Foot reflexology was found to be effective for the relief of hypertension.
-- Zhong, Z., "Exploration on the Treatment for Hypertension with Reflexology Applied to Adrenal Reflex." 1996 China Reflexology Symposium, Beijing : China Reflexology Association, pages 24-25.

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last update: April 2009

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