A Significant Decrease in PMS Symptoms
A controlled study* carried out among a group of volunteers who had previously complained of distress from PMS symptoms has shown a significant decrease in these symptoms following reflexology treatment.
Taking place in California, the study ran over six months with the participants recording their symptoms, both physical and psychological, throughout. During the middle two months, the volunteers were divided into two groups each of these being treated by qualified reflexologists; however, individuals in one group received eight 'genuine' reflexology treatments and the other group eight placebo treatments. Within the placebo group, the therapists worked with areas not relevant to the treatment of this condition. Both groups believed that they were receiving genuine reflexology.
Studies have previously shown that deep relaxation can be of benefit in relieving symptoms of PMS and the placebo group reported that as well as having relaxed and enjoyed their treatments, they experienced a 19% decrease in symptoms. However, a remarkable 46% reduction in symptoms was shown by the 'genuine' group, whose symptoms had been specifically treated.
The volunteers then continued to record their symptoms and in the two months following treatment the 'genuine' group maintained a 41% reduction in symptoms, showing the continued beneficial effects of reflexology with PMS.
As is our policy the following case study interview is given anonymously:
How long had you been suffering from PMS before you started Reflexology?
Really since the age of thirteen or so, although my parents put it down to my being a moody teenager. My periods were very painful and irregular too.
How did the PMS affect you?
I was ratty and had no patience for a few days from about a week before my period, sometimes a bit tearful as well. I was probably a nightmare to live with!
What made you try reflexology?
A friend told me about it. I actually went for the period pain. I had been prescribed the pill for about six months but although it had helped to make me regular it didn't really help much with the pain, so when my friend recommended reflexology I decided to give it a go. It was my reflexologist who said that he may be able to help with the PMS.
How often did you have treatment?
To start with my reflexologist suggested I should try four treatments once a week and then review the situation, but the Christmas holidays fell in the middle so my third treatment was actually five weeks after the first, but what surprised me was two pain-free periods during that time. The PMS had improved as well, so I was really pleased with the result and went along with the plan the reflexologist gave me which was to have a treatment once a month.
So Reflexology helped you?
I believe it did, otherwise, I wouldn't have carried on, and apart from a couple of hiccups, I have been fine ever since. I went to the same reflexologist for about a year until I moved, and he recommended someone where I now live.
*The study was carried out by the American Academy of Reflexology and the Division of Behavioural Medicine, California Graduate Institute, Los Angeles, California.