Cancer and Palliative Care
According to Cancer Research UK (2017), reflexology is considered one of the most popular types of complementary therapy in the UK amongst people living with cancer, and of those requiring palliative care. This may be due to a number of things:
How you feel determines how you cope ..
Reflexology may help relieve symptoms related to conventional cancer treatments such as nausea (Yang, 2005), stress, and insomnia. There is also evidence to suggest that, as part of a holistic approach to wellbeing, reflexology may encourage pain relief, particularly in breast and lung cancer (Stephenson et al., 2000), elevate mood, and boost immunity. In palliative care the aforementioned is of particular importance to ensure the patient lives as well as possible.
In the final stages of life, reflexology may also help calm emotions and relieve anxiety; enabling the patient to feel more in control. In addition to physical benefits, reflexology is also believed to help palliative care patients on an emotional and spiritual level: by providing positive and therapeutic touch, reflexology offers a way to communicate silently, express love and concern, and help the patient relax.
Stephenson, N. L., Weinrich, S. P., and Tavakoli, A. S. (2000) ‘The effects of foot reflexology on anxiety and pain in patients with breast and lung cancer’, Oncology nursing forum, United States, Vol. 27, No. 1, p. 67. [Online] Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10660924/
Yang, J. H. (2005) ‘The Effects of Foot Reflexology on Nausea, Vomiting and Fatigue of Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy’ Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 177-185. [Online] Available at: https://doi.org/10.4040/jkan.2005.35.1.177