RESEARCH

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Use of reflexology in managing secondary lymphoedema for patients affected by treatments for breast cancer: A feasibility study.

Whatley J, Street R, Kay S, Harris PE.

Results

A significant reduction in the volume of the affected arm was identified at follow-up compared to baseline. This reduction in volume appeared to be maintained for more than six months. Participant concerns were significantly reduced and their wellbeing significantly increased. No serious adverse effects were reported.

Please note the above study was using the specific sequence RLD technique which our therapist Andrea is trained in.

Experiences of breast cancer related lymphoedema and the use of reflexology for managing swelling:

A qualitative study.

Whatley J1, Street R2, Kay S3.

Results

Four main themes emerged which comprised physical and psycho-social impacts of lymphoedema, experiences of physical change, and the return of optimism. RLD treatment was considered pleasant and non invasive, and the reduction in swelling helped with pain and mobility.

Please note this study was using the specific RLD technique which our therapist Andrea is trained in.

The effect of massage on immune function and stress in women with breast cancer--a randomised controlled trial.

Billhult A1, Lindholm CGunnarsson RStener-Victorin E.

RESULTS:

Light pressure effleurage massage decreased the deterioration of NK cell activity occurring during radiation therapy. Furthermore it lowered heart rate and systolic blood pressure.

Natural killer cells and lymphocytes increase in women with breast cancer following massage therapy.

Hernandez-Reif M1, Field TIronson GBeutler JVera YHurley JFletcher MASchanberg SKuhn CFraser M.

Abstract

Women diagnosed with breast cancer received massage therapy or practiced progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) for 30-min sessions 3 times a week for 5 weeks or received standard treatment. The massage therapy and relaxation groups reported less depressed mood, anxiety, and pain immediately after their first and last sessions. By the end of the study, however, only the massage therapy group reported being less depressed and less angry and having more vigor. Dopamine levels, Natural Killer cells, and lymphocytes also increased from the first to the last day of the study for the massage therapy group. These findings highlight the benefit of these complementary therapies, most particularly massage therapy, for women with breast cancer.

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Massage therapy for symptom control: outcome study at a major cancer center.

Cassileth BR1, Vickers AJ.

Author information

Integrative Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.

Abstract

Massage is increasingly applied to relieve symptoms in patients with cancer. This practice is supported by evidence from small randomized trials. No study has examined massage therapy outcome in a large group of patients. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, patients report symptom severity pre- and post-massage therapy using 0-10 rating scales of pain, fatigue, stress/anxiety, nausea, depression and "other." Changes in symptom scores and the modifying effects of patient status (in- or outpatient) and type of massage were analyzed. Over a three-year period, 1,290 patients were treated. Symptom scores were reduced by approximately 50%, even for patients reporting high baseline scores. Outpatients improved about 10% more than inpatients. Benefits persisted, with outpatients experiencing no return toward baseline scores throughout the duration of 48-hour follow-up. These data indicate that massage therapy is associated with substantive improvement in cancer patients' symptom scores.

The clinical efficacy of reflexology in nursing home residents with dementia. Clinical efficacy of reflexology in nursing home residents with dementia.

Hodgson NA1, Andersen S.

Author information

ABSTRACT

This experimental, repeated-measures, crossover design study with nursing home residents examined the efficacy of reflexology in individuals with mild-to-moderate stage dementia. Specifically, the study tested whether a weekly reflexology intervention contributed to the resident outcomes of reduced physiologic distress, reduced pain, and improved affect.

INTERVENTIONS:

The first group received 4 weeks of weekly reflexology treatments followed by 4 weeks of a control condition of friendly visits. The second group received 4 weeks of friendly visits followed by 4 weeks of weekly reflexology.

RESULTS:

The findings demonstrate that when receiving the reflexology treatment condition, as compared to the control condition, the residents demonstrated significant reduction in observed pain and salivary alpha-amylase. No adverse events were recorded during the study period.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides preliminary support for the efficacy of reflexology as a treatment of stress in nursing home residents with mild-to-moderate stage dementia.

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