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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Title: Reflexology: Science or Belief?
Author(s): Jones, Jenny
Leslie, Stephen
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Issue Date: Sep-2012
Date Deposited: 18-Mar-2013
Citation: Jones J & Leslie S (2012) Reflexology: Science or Belief?. In: Carter K & Murphy G (eds.) Alternative Medicine: Practices, Health Benefits and Controversies. Health Care Issues, Costs and Access. New York: Nova Science Publishers, pp. 27-60.
Series/Report no.: Health Care Issues, Costs and Access
Abstract: The use of complementary and alternative therapies, even in western industrialised countries with well developed conventional health care systems, ranges from 10-52%. Annual expenditure on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the UK alone is estimated to be in excess of £1.6 billion. Despite this extensive use, complementary and alternative therapies have recently come under scrutiny in terms of their safety and efficacy, particularly in relation to claims made by practitioners. To date, robust scientific evidence for health benefit has been lacking for many alternative therapies, but despite this they remain popular. Reflexology therapy is a form of sophisticated manual pressure applied most typically to the feet. It is one of the top six complementary and alternative therapies purchased. It is distinct from general massage due to two key therapeutic claims. First, that distinct areas on the feet correspond to specific internal organs within the body. Second, that massage to these discreet areas affects the haemodynamic status of the referred or "mapped" organs in the body. This chapter will describe and discuss in detail the basis for these haemodynamic theories by reviewing the original work of William H Fitzgerald and Eunice Ingham. The chapter will finish by describing the available contemporary evidence to support these theories and discusses the challenge of proving specific treatment effects in CAM in this current era of evidence-based medicine.
Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this work in this Repository. Published in Alternative Medicine: Practices, Health Benefits and Controversies by Nova Science Publishers:

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