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

8 Citations (Scopus)
278 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

Keywords

  • reflexology
  • endorphin
  • cortisol
  • Pregnancy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reflexology: a randomised controlled trial investigating the effects on beta-endorphin, cortisol and pregnancy related stress.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this