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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Reflexology And Restless Leg Syndrome 

Jul 26, 2017 05:10PM
Research published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing has found that reflexology (and  stretching exercises) have an effect on the severity of restless leg syndrome (RLS) diagnosed in patients receiving hemodialysis.

RLS is a neurological (and sleep) disorder characterized by a nearly irresistible urge to move the legs, typically in the evenings, and when the person is resting—sitting or lying in bed. (According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), 7 to 10 percent of the U.S. population may have RLS.) The 90 participants in the 2016 study completed a restless leg syndrome severity standard questionnaire and were then randomly assigned to a reflexology group, a stretching exercise group, and a control group. Interventions on the reflexology and stretching groups took place three times a week for four weeks, and lasted 30 to 40 minutes per session. Results of the research showed a significant improvement in the mean severity score for restless leg syndrome in participants receiving the reflexology treatment.

Further research shows that reflexology (along with pharmacological therapy) may relieve the weakness, numbness, and tingling sensations in legs and feet associated with peripheral/diabetic neuropathy and other forms of neuropathic pain.

A caregiver-based study conducted in 2014 at the India Institute of Medical Sciences, and published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal, tested 58 subjects with diabetic neuropathy. Participants were randomly distributed into reflexology and control groups. Outcome measures were pain reduction, glycemic control, nerve conductivity and thermal and vibration sensitivities. The reflexology group showed more improvements in all outcome measures than the control group.

The findings were significant for showing the efficacy of reflexology integrated with conventional medicine in managing diabetic neuropathy.

Source:  Christel Haase, Certified Reflexologist. 

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