Reflexology: a randomised controlled trial investigating the effects on beta-endorphin, cortisol and pregnancy related stress.

Julie E.M. mccullough, Sarah Dianne Liddle, Ciara Close, Marlene Sinclair, Ciara M. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
135 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Reflexology is used for various pregnancy related complaints. A three-armed, pilot randomized controlled trial was conducted to test changes in physiological and biochemical stress parameters. Ninety primiparous volunteers experiencing low back and /or pelvic girdle pain (LBPGP) were recruited to receive either six reflexology or footbath treatments or usual care. Primary outcome data included pain intensity and frequency measured on a visual analog scale (VAS), and salivary beta-endorphin and cortisol levels. 61 (68%) women completed the intervention. A clinically important reduction of 1.63cm occurred for VAS pain frequency following reflexology. Beta-endorphin levels increased by 8.8% and 10.10% in the footbath and usual care groups respectively and decreased by 15.18% for the reflexology group. Cortisol increased by 31.78% for footbath participants, 31.42% in usual care and 18.82% in the reflexology group. Reflexology during pregnancy may help reduce LBPGP, and associated stress. However, antenatal reflexology is under researched and requires further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-84
Number of pages9
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Volume31
Early online date03 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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Massage
beta-Endorphin
Hydrocortisone
Randomized Controlled Trials
Pregnancy
Pelvic Girdle Pain
Pain Measurement
Visual Analog Scale
Volunteers
Pain

Keywords

  • reflexology
  • endorphin
  • cortisol
  • Pregnancy

Cite this

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title = "Reflexology: a randomised controlled trial investigating the effects on beta-endorphin, cortisol and pregnancy related stress.",
abstract = "Reflexology is used for various pregnancy related complaints. A three-armed, pilot randomized controlled trial was conducted to test changes in physiological and biochemical stress parameters. Ninety primiparous volunteers experiencing low back and /or pelvic girdle pain (LBPGP) were recruited to receive either six reflexology or footbath treatments or usual care. Primary outcome data included pain intensity and frequency measured on a visual analog scale (VAS), and salivary beta-endorphin and cortisol levels. 61 (68{\%}) women completed the intervention. A clinically important reduction of 1.63cm occurred for VAS pain frequency following reflexology. Beta-endorphin levels increased by 8.8{\%} and 10.10{\%} in the footbath and usual care groups respectively and decreased by 15.18{\%} for the reflexology group. Cortisol increased by 31.78{\%} for footbath participants, 31.42{\%} in usual care and 18.82{\%} in the reflexology group. Reflexology during pregnancy may help reduce LBPGP, and associated stress. However, antenatal reflexology is under researched and requires further investigation.",
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Reflexology: a randomised controlled trial investigating the effects on beta-endorphin, cortisol and pregnancy related stress. / mccullough, Julie E.M.; Liddle, Sarah Dianne; Close, Ciara; Sinclair, Marlene; Hughes, Ciara M.

In: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Vol. 31, 05.2018, p. 76-84.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Hughes, Ciara M.

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