Cancer patients deal with a multitude of side effects as part of their cancer treatment. This includes stress, nausea, pain and fatigued muscle. Reflexology can be used in to ease these discomforts. It is a technique of applying pressure to the feet, face or hands of the body to ease the pain.

The history of reflexology can be traced back to 4000 BC in China and Egypt. But in the modern world it came to be recognised by between 1915-1917 American Dr William Fitzgerald, who realised that applying pressure to certain peripheral nerves can act as a local anaesthetic. The technique was later developed by Eunice Ingham in 1930s as zone therapy.

Massaging and applying pressure on certain points on the foot can have a therapeutic effect on other parts of the body. This is a great solution for those who cannot be moved, or are not open to massages on the body. The relaxation techniques of foot reflexology also help patients feel rested and improves the quality of their sleep.

There are two kinds of reflexology – Inghum method and Rhu Sur method. Ingham method does not use any external tools. Tools such as wooden sticks are used in Rhu Sur method.

Reflexology and Cancer

When body’s peripheral nerves get affected due to chemotherapy, it is called as neuropathy. Reflexology is a great way to ease the discomfort stemming from neuropathy as it employees techniques that directly work on the peripheral nerve endings by nudging the nerve endings to send and receive signals.

References & More Information

  1. Credit: Beyond Conventional Care Therapies
  2. Integrative Oncology Cancer Care
  3. What is reflexology? 
  4. What is chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy or CIPN? 
  5. Reflexology in the management of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy: A pilot randomized controlled trial 

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