Reflexology and Chemotherapy

Reflexology is a gentle non intrusive treatment carried out upon the feet alone, using reflex points that correspond to the body systems.

Reflexology is highly beneficial in alleviating adverse side effects of chemotherapy, by helping the patient to deeply relax, it also helps to reduce the level of anxiety, helping patients cope with the distressing symptoms of pain and nausea, the results reveal that treatments produce a significant and immediate effect on the patients’ perceptions of pain, nausea and relaxation.

There is a myth that because reflexology rids the body of toxins, that the chemotherapy won’t work properly. There is no evidence to support this and there is a wealth of evidence about the positive results patients have felt.

Many people who have cancer and who have used Reflexology say that they find it helps ease some of their symptoms or helps them cope with the side-effects of treatment. Other people say that they just find it a very pleasant way of relaxing.

Reflexology is used by many people under going treatment for cancer, and Reflexology is included at complementary therapy centres within cancer units at Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, Harley Street Clinic, and Lister Hospital as well as being offered at many Macmillan cancer relief hospices and day care centres, with very good results.

Many patients say that as well as enjoying the relaxation and stress relief they also feel able to cope with the physical side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Its also an important factor in having time for themselves and a person to talk to that is not a part of their family and in many cases, being able to voice their problems and fears without worrying about the effect on close relatives or friends.

Reflexology is a good treatment for helping those that suffer with lymphoedema (swelling of limbs) after surgery to remove lymph glands, as it helps improve circulation and lymph flow and the Reflexologist can work over the specific reflex points for the effected area. In some cases the limb affected with lymphodeoma can be quite painful, Reflexology is very gentle and effective and in such cases is a good compliment to lymphatic drainage massage.

Overall Reflexology helps to improve the circulation and lymph flow, which benefits all body systems and organs and aids deep relaxation and better respiration and mobility, helping patients to relax and cope with the physical side effects of their treatment.

by Amy Brennan

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