Body Sense

SPRING | 2019

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8 Body Sense 8 Body Sense Several other studies have shown reflexology to be beneficial for pain reduction, including research out of the Department of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK. This study found that participants receiving reflexology were able to stand pain for about 45 percent longer and felt about 40 percent less pain overall. Researchers said it is likely that reflexology works similarly to acupuncture "by causing the brain to release chemicals that lessen pain signals." THOSE WHO'VE TRIED IT Reflexology clients don't need scientific proof to establish the benefits of this therapy. They know it works. "Ruth," a retired nurse, suffered from frequent back pain for years. She tried different painkillers, which provided temporary relief, and endured several surgeries, only to have her pain return. She tried reflexology after a friend of hers recommended it, and now she has been virtually pain-free ever since. "After numerous surgeries in the past for my wrist, back, and shoulder, I decided I'd had enough surgeries and wanted to give reflexology a try. I'm so glad I did! From the very beginning, I started to feel better. I would go several days without any pain, and the more sessions I had, the longer I went without pain. Now, I rarely, if ever, have any back pain at all. If I do, I schedule another reflexology session, and one session usually takes care of the pain. I always feel so much better after a reflexology session." "Barbara" underwent back surgery in April 2012. After surgery, Barbara experienced excruciating pain (a 15 on a pain scale of 1–10, she said). Typical painkillers were administered to her, but after receiving the maximum prescribed doses, she had little to no relief from her pain. Her niece, a reflexologist, applied reflexology and within 15–20 minutes, her pain had decreased from a 15 to a 5. Although her pain was not totally eliminated, at least it was now manageable. "What a relief that was. I was so grateful for my niece and reflexology. I scheduled several more sessions with her once I got out of the hospital." While reflexology and massage share some of the same benefits, they differ on multiple levels. Interested in giving it a try? See if your therapist is certified in reflexology or if they can refer you to someone who is. You can also visit to find a reflexologist near you. Adrianne Fahey is nationally board certified in reflexology through the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB). She has served in many roles, including ARCB's administrative assistant; secretary and president of the Associated Reflexologists of Colorado (ARC); and board secretary for the Reflexology Association of America (RAA). For more information, visit

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