PMS Resource Center
Controlled Study of Premenstrual
Symptoms Treated with Ear, Hand,
and Foot Reflexology
This study was designed to determine whether reflexology treatment can significantly reduce premenstrual symptoms compared to a placebo treatment. Thirty-five women who complained of previous distress with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) were randomly assigned to be treated by ear, hand and foot reflexology or to receive placebo reflexology. All subjects completed a daily diary, which monitored 38 premenstrual symptoms on a four-point scale. Somatic and psychological indicators of premenstrual distress were recorded each day for 2 months before treatment, for 2 months during reflexology treatment, and for 2 months afterward. The reflexology sessions for both groups were provided by trained reflexology therapist once a week for 8 weeks, and lasted 30 minutes each. Results: Analysis of Variance for repeated measures demonstrated a significantly greater decrease in premenstrual symptoms for the women given true reflexology than for the women in the placebo group. The treatment group showed a 46% reduction in premenstrual symptoms, which was sustained at 41% during the post treatment period. It was concluded that ear, hand and foot reflexology is an appropriate therapy for the treatment of PMS.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 82, No. 6, December 1993
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