REFLEXOLOGY, MASSAGE, & LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE

Welcome to Reflexology in Barcelona, your manual therapy center


We specialize in: 

. Clinical hand and foot reflexology 
. Massage therapy 
. Lymphatic drainage
. Stress management techniques

...to help you enhance your well-being, manage stress-related symptoms, or as a natural way to implement or complement your health plan or medical treatment. 


Book a session              Get to know us         

Reflexology in Barcelona collaborates with your medical doctor, psychologist, or other therapist, to help you improve your integrative health, whether preventive, therapeutic, or both.

News





Below, you will find an English selection of our articles, also sorted by theme under "Recommended reading" on our side-bar.

Please visit  www.barcelonareflexologia.com our Spanish website for a complete list of all our articles in English and in Spanish (translation tool provided).

Thank you.


Reflexology against Pain: A Natural Analgesic

Recent studies (2018) have further demonstrated the effectiveness of reflexology in dealing with pain,
concluding that "adding reflexology to standard analgesic care is effective in reducing postoperative pain at rest and in motion, especially for patients experiencing moderate to severe pain".

Analgesic Effects of Refleoxlogy in Patients Undergoing Surgical Procedures: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  2018 Aug;24(8):809-815. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0167. Epub 2018 Jun 8.

Additional Reading:

"Pain, which is caused by an unpleasant (noxious) stimulus, is a stressor that can threaten homoeostasis. The body’s adaptive response to pain involves physiological changes, which are useful and potentially life-saving in the initial stages. If the adaptive response persists, harmful and life-threatening effects may ensue. Pain is noxious, which makes it a powerful protective force: indeed the inability to feel pain is associated with a shortened life expectancy (Shin et al, 2016). After injury, pain encourages us to adopt behaviours that help the healing process; for example, resting the painful part of the body...

..Pain inhibition can be stimulated or enhanced by endogenous or synthetic opioids. Endogenous opiods can be stimulated by acupuncture, exercise and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) (Claydon et al, 2011), and by touch therapies such as Reflexology through which sensory input competes with pain signals, which reduces the onward signalling of pain by the brain
.
Pain inhibition can also be stimulated by hypnosis (deep relaxation), which has been used with good effect in acute and long-term pain... (Brugnoli, 2016, Uman et al, 2013)..."

Understanding the effect of pain and how the human body responds

Additional Reading:

Evaluation of the Effect of Reflexology on Pain Controñ and Analgesic Consumption after Appendoctomy 

. 2015 Dec;21(12):774-80. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0270. Epub 2015 Sep 24


Mind and Body: the link between stress, illness, and the immune system, scientific findings


Doctor Robert Ader linked Stress and Illness

Dr. Robert Ader, an experimental psychologist  was among the first scientists to show how mental processes influence the body’s immune system, a finding that changed modern medicine

Dr. Robert Ader was known for his research on the relationship between the mind and body...he spent his entire career as a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, conducted some of the original experiments in a field he named himself, psychoneuroimmunology. His initial research, in the 1970s, became a touchstone for studies that have since mapped the vast communications network among immune cells, hormones and neurotransmitters.
It introduced a field of research that nailed down the science behind notions once considered magical thinking: that meditation helps reduce arterial plaque; that social bonds improve cancer survival; that people under stress catch more colds; and that placebos work not only on the human mind but also on supposedly insentient cells.

As late as 1985, the idea of a connection between the brain and the immune system was dismissed in an editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine as “folklore.” “Today there is not a physician in the country who does not accept the science Bob Ader set in motion,” said Dr. Bruce Rabin, founder of the Brain, Behavior and Immunity Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who considered Dr. Ader a mentor.


By PAUL VITELLO nytimes.com 2011/12/26

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By HARRIET BROWN Published: October 11, 2011 

Two brains are better than one. At least that is the rationale for the close - sometimes too close - relationship between the human body's two brains, the one at the top of the spinal cord and the hidden but powerful brain in the gut known as the enteric nervous system. 

For Dr. Michael D. Gershon, the author of "The Second Brain" and the chairman of the department of anatomy and cell biology at Columbia, the connection between the two can be unpleasantly clear. 

The connection between the brains lies at the heart of many woes, physical and psychiatric. Ailments like anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and Parkinson's disease manifest symptoms at the brain and the gut level. "The majority of patients with anxiety and depression will also have alterations of their GI function," said Dr. Emeran Mayer, professor of medicine, physiology and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles....

Understanding reflexology

Somatotopical relationships between cortical activity and reflex areas in reflexology: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.



We examined the somatotopical relationship between cortical activity and sensory stimulation of reflex areas in reflexology using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Three reflex areas on the left foot, relating to the eye, shoulder, and small intestine were stimulated during the experiment.
A statistical analysis showed that reflexological stimulation of the foot reflex areas corresponding to the eye, shoulder, and small intestine activated not only the somatosensory areas corresponding to the foot, but also the somatosensory areas corresponding to the eye, shoulder, and small intestine or neighboring body parts.

Thus, the findings showed that reflexological stimulation induced a somatosensory process corresponding to the stimulated reflex area and that a neuroimaging approach can be used to examine the basis of reflexology effects.

by Nakamaru T, Miura N, Fukushima A, Kawashima R. Source Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan. Neurosci Lett. 2008 Dec 19;448(1):6-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.10.022. Epub 2008 Oct 14
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by Flynn LL, Bush TR, Sikorskii A, Mukherjee R, Wyatt G. Source Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. 

Reflexology is a common choice of women with breast cancer as supportive care during treatment. It involves stimulation of specific locations of the feet called reflexes using a specialised walking motion with the thumb of the reflexologist. 

Reflexology has shown potential for the successful management of cancer and treatment-related symptoms and improvement in physical functioning; however to date, the mechanism of action for these improvements is unknown. 
One confounder to the study of reflexology is the 'human factor'. To study the effects of the stimulation of the reflexes independent of the 'human factor', there is a need for an alternative method for the delivery of reflexology. 
The objective of this work was to design and create a robotic reflexology device that would deliver a breast cancer-specific reflexology protocol to the feet of patients. 
A prototype robotic reflexology device was developed and tested for feasibility, safety and acceptability with breast cancer survivors (n= 13), and preliminary efficacy in symptom management and enhanced functional status with a sample of women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer (n= 13). 

Safety, feasibility and acceptability were established, and significant improvements from pre- to post-device-delivered reflexology were seen in symptom severity among women on chemotherapy.

Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2011 Sep;20(5):686-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2011.01268.x. Epub 2011 Jul 19.
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Reflexology in cancer

Health-related quality-of-life outcomes: a reflexology trial with patients with advanced-stage breast cancer.

Reflexology may be added to existing evidence-based supportive care to improve HRQOL for patients with advanced-stage breast cancer during chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy.

Reflexology can be recommended for safety and usefulness in relieving dyspnea and enhancing functional status among women with advanced-stage breast cancer

by Wyatt G, Sikorskii A, Rahbar MH, Victorson D, You M. Source College of Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.
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A study led by a Michigan State University researcher offers the strongest evidence yet that reflexology – a type of specialized foot massage practiced since the age of pharaohs – can help cancer patients manage their symptoms and perform daily tasks. 

Funded by the National Cancer Institute and published in the latest issue of Oncology Nursing Forum, it is the first large-scale, randomized study of reflexology as a complement to standard cancer treatment, according to lead author Gwen Wyatt, a professor in the College of Nursing.

Wyatt’s co-authors include MSU statistics and probability professor Alla Sikorskii and College of Nursing research assistant Mei You, along with colleagues from Northwestern University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Nov 13 2012
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by Sharp DM, Walker MB, Chaturvedi A, Upadhyay S, Hamid A, Walker AA, Bateman JS, Braid F, Ellwood K, Hebblewhite C, Hope T, Lines M, Walker LG. 

When compared to SIS, reflexology and massage have statistically significant, and, for reflexology, clinically worthwhile, effects on QofL following surgery for early breast carcinoma. 

Source : The Institute of Rehabilitation, University of Hull, Kingston upon Hull
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by Stephenson NL, Weinrich SP, Tavakoli AS. 

Following the foot reflexology intervention, patients with breast and lung cancer experienced a significant decrease in anxiety. One of three pain measures showed that patients with breast cancer experienced a significant decrease in pain. 

The significant decrease in anxiety observed in this sample of patients with breast and lung cancer following foot reflexology suggests that this may be a self-care approach to decrease anxiety in this patient population. 

Professionals and lay people can be taught reflexology. Foot reflexology is an avenue for human touch, can be performed anywhere, requires no special equipment, is noninvasive, and does not interfere with patients' privacy.

Source School of Nursing, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA.
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by Nancy A. Hodgson 1 and Doreen Lafferty 

The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate and compare the effects of reflexology and Swedish massage therapy on physiologic stress, pain, and mood in older cancer survivors residing in nursing homes. 
Both Reflexology and Swedish Massage resulted in significant declines in salivary cortisol and pain and improvements in mood. 

Preliminary data suggest that studies of Swedish Massage Therapy and Reflexology are feasible in this population of cancer survivors typically excluded from trials. Both interventions were well tolerated and produced measurable improvements in outcomes. Further research is needed to explore the mechanisms underlying the potential benefits of these CAM modalities in this patient population. 

Swedish Massage and Reflexology were well tolerated and potentially beneficial in reducing distress and pain and improving mood in older cancer survivors residing in nursing homes. 
Previous research has supported the value of CAM modalities such as massage and reflexology for relieving distress in older adult patients with cancer and offer guidelines for therapists
For example, the REST study demonstrated significant benefits of massage on pain and mood in adults with advanced cancer . However, given that few clinical trials of massage or reflexology in a frail, institutionalized, older patient population have been published, few direct comparisons are available. 

Nonetheless, our results confirm earlier studies on CAM modalities in cancer survivors and extend the findings to a sample of participants typically excluded from earlier trials.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 456897. Published online 2012 July 24. doi: 10.1155/2012/456897

Efficacy of reflexology in various pathologies

Labor pain: Weigh your options for relief 


Labor pain on your mind? Understanding pain relief options can give you more control over the labor and delivery process. 

As labor progresses — and contractions become stronger and more frequent — many women add medication to their arsenal of pain relief options. Epidural and spinal blocks, for instance, temporarily block pain in the lower body. An epidural can be used continuously throughout labor, while a spinal block is typically used shortly before delivery. 

Alternatively, narcotics or other medications can be used to alter pain perception. Nontraditional options for managing labor pain might include hypnosis, acupuncture, water immersion or reflexology. These techniques won't stop the pain of contractions, but they might help you feel more relaxed and better able to handle labor pain.


The results of this study indicate that self-foot reflexology is an effective nursing intervention in reducing perceived stress and fatigue and, in improving skin temperature. Therefore, it is recommended that this be used in clinical practice as an effective nursing intervention for in female undergraduate students.

Source: Lee YM. Department of Nursing, Kangwon National University, Samcheok 2nd Campus, Samcheok, Korea.- Feb 2011 - MedLine
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by Sue Bennett  © 2007

An abridged collection of published research from Denmark, Germany, Britain, China, Switzerland and the USA
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