Many expectant mothers turn to reflexology to help manage some of the side effects of pregnancy including headache, fatigue, lower back pain and nausea. Reflexology is a gentle and non invasive therapy and can often help with pain management.
A group of scientists from Iran conducted a randomised controlled study comparing the effect of foot reflexology on anxiety, pain and outcomes of labour for primigravida women (that’s first time mothers to you and me). 80 first time mothers in labour were randomly allocated to an intervention group (n=40) who received reflexology for 40 minutes or a control group (n=40). The reflexology group was asked to rate their pain intensity before reflexology, then immediately after. Both groups were asked to rate their pain at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after the intervention.
The reflexology or intervention group were found to report significantly less pain intensity, less anxiety and shorter labour times.