"Reflexology has an acute (immediate) haemodynamic effect in healthy volunteers: A double-blind randomised controlled trial" - click to read abstract
This publication already has the attention of the media and we have found articles from two different sources.
1. Reflexology 'improves heart efficiency', claim researchers
2.Reflexology treatment affects heart functions
Just from reading the titles of the articles you could be able to guess which one is more favourable towards Reflexology than the other, can you?
If you guessed the 2nd one I say yes, in the 1st article we will read also the statement of an "old friend" of Reflexology, Edzard Ernst!
Reflexology, is not cheap: a course of six to eight sessions can “easily be in excess of £400”, said the researchers.
Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary therapy at Exeter University, said the effect was "very small, not clinically relevant and probably a fluke due to multiple testing for statistical significance".
He added: "Before I believe these results, I want to see an independent replication."
Bottom line "Don't believe everything you read, question everything, especially me!"
Where is the heart reflex?
I, as an Orthopedic Reflexologist will question and speculate on everything, and I remember very well the differations of the heart reflex in many books I have read, I am sure many of you Reflexologists also! It seems though that this has been investigated on a more official level by the same reseachers at Stirling University, ....you are right, the same ones that have published the research article at the top!!!! What did they find? You can read (you must!) the abstract by clicking here: Reported treatment strategies for reflexology in cardiac patients and inconsistencies in the location of the heart reflex point: An online survey. or continue reading below the conclusion.
CONCLUSIONS:Professional clarification around the heart reflex point location and further clinical research is urgently needed to establish the appropriateness of reflexology techniques for cardiac patients.
So it seems that the AoR with Stirling University agreed on a "large" zone and not on a pinpoint reflex as you will see in Fig. 1. of the research article (Photograph showing the tape applied to the subjects feet, along the shoulder girdle demarcation line.)
2nd Question? Do you see any obvious "anatomical reason" why the area above the demarcation line would have an affect on heart function - cardiac index, compared to let's say, ....the heel zone?
Personal comments: It would also be interesting to see what would happen if they would work only on the right foot?
Do not get me wrong, I love this research paper and congratulate the AoR, I just have many more questions.
And let us stop hassling each other with pinpoint reflexes, ok?
Ohhh! Here in Greece the Hellenic Association of Reflexologists had done some research on patients undergoing cardiac surgery, Reflexology interventions pre and post surgery, with great results, read-translate here.