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Reflexology Association of America

Serving the profession since 1995

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Reflexology Research

People often ask if there are any evidence-based studies to substantiate the claims clients make of reflexology. There are hundreds.

Most studies investigate whether or not reflexology has a positive effect on specific health challenges. Studies that explore the mechanism or route by which reflexology actually works – the "how of it" – are extremely expensive to conduct, so most studies have not focused on that goal.

Research literacy (the ability to find, understand and critically evaluate research findings) is very valuable for educating clients and groups to whom you may wish to speak regarding the benefits reflexology can offer. Below are links to case studies and randomized controlled studies conducted worldwide. Abstracts are generally available at no cost; full research data often involves a fee.

Specific Studies

The following table lists studies on reflexology worldwide. It lists the source, whether it's a link to another website or PDF file, or whether it's a downloadable PDF from our website. See the Legend below for the sources.

Year Title Link Source Link Type
2013 A randomized-controlled trial examining the effects of reflexology on anxiety of patients undergoing coronary angiography. NIH
2009 Biopsies of Foot Deposits Reveal Organic Composition and Mechanism of Action for Reflexology; Dr. Jesus Manzanares, M.D. RAA
2015 Comparing the Effects of Reflexology and Relaxation on Fatigue in Women with Multiple Sclerosis NIH
2014 Determination of Efficacy of Reflexology in Managing Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial NIH
2013 Effects of Foot Reflexology for High Blood Pressure; Dr. Jesus Manzanares, M.D. RAA
2021 Efficacy of Reflexology in Prevention of Post-operative Nausea Vomiting; Dr. Shweta Choudhary RAA
2011 Epilepsy Case Study – by Kay Sainsbury RAA
2013 Exploratory study on the efficacy of reflexology for pain threshold and tolerance using an ice-pain experiment and sham TENS control. NIH
2005 Global Effect of Reflexology on Blood Flow; Mar Piquemal, M.D., E.E. RAA
2010 Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research: Effects of Reflexology on Pain & Outcomes of Primiparous Women NIH
1993 PMS Reflexology Research Study, 1993 RAA
2015 Reflexology After End-Stage Liver Disease and Liver Transplant: Cristina Posse, PhD, OTR/L AAR
2013 Reflexology and Post-operative Pain; Dr. Shweta Choudhary NIH
2003 Reflexology in the Management of Encopresis and Chronic Constipation, 2003 NIH
2003 Reflexology Treatment Relieves Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, 2003 NIH
2012 Reflexology versus Swedish Massage to Reduce Physiologic Stress and Pain and Improve Mood in Nursing Home Residents with Cancer, 2012 Hindawi
2013 Reflexology: An Intervention for Advanced Breast Cancer; Dr. Gwen K. Wyatt, PhD, RN RAA
2011 The Effect of Reflexology on Pain Intensity & Duration of Labor on Primiparas NIH


AAR: Academy of Ancient Reflexology Hindawi: Hindawi Open Access Research NIH: National Institutes of Health RAA: Reflexology Association of America

Internet Search Engines

Research Websites

American Academy of Reflexology

National Institutes of Health Clinical Reflexology Trials

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Reflexology Research Project

The Reflexology Association of American is a 501(c)6 non-profit professional organization.

Contact Information

Reflexology Association of America
107 Sutherland Court, Unit 224   Madison WI 53704

Phone: 608-571-5053

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