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Reflexology and Childbirth

Reflexology & Childbirth

Whenever stress and nervous tension are present, reflexology, like massage and aromatherapy can be very effective in inducing relaxation. It will also help to ‘balance’ organs and tissues throughout the body and, acting through the nervous system, actually help strengthen and normalise the circulatory system. In this way, it can help activate the body’s own healing force to aid recovery.

Reflexology may also be employed to help stimulate the reproductive organs through the autonomic nervous system and so help strengthen and correct under functioning organs and balance hormonal function. Although there are no controlled studies on the subject of reflexology and infertility, there have been research studies relating to the effects of reflexology and childbirth.

A study at the Gentofte Hospital in Copenhagen revealed that reflexology is beneficial to women during the labour of childbirth. 58 out of 60 women giving birth experienced “outstanding pain relief using reflexology treatment”, and 11 out of 14 women were able to avoid surgery under general anaesthesia. Dr Carsten Lenstrup was so impressed by the results that he said: “Taken as a whole, the results are so good that am not in any doubt that reflexology can give many women a better, easier and less painful delivery than they would have had otherwise.” (2)

The findings of the Gentofte study were supported by a further study carried out by Dr Gowri Motva at the Jeyrani Birth Centre on the effects of reflexology on pregnant women. 37 pregnant women completed a course of 10 reflexology treatments with remarkable effect. The average length of the first stage of labour was 5 hours whereas the text book average is 16 – 24 hours; the second stage of labour lasted an average of 16 minutes compared to the text book expectancy of 1 – 2 hours, and only 5.4% of the women who had reflexology treatment required emergency caesarian section compared to an average of 13% in Newham district which was the district where the study was conducted.(2)

(1) Reported in “Berlingske Tidende” 15 July 1988
(2) Reflexology Association – Research Co-ordinator Kristine Walker

http://www.internethealthlibrary.com/WomensHealth/Childbirth-Index.htm#Reflexology & Childbirth

Categories: 1988, childbirth, Denmark, pregnancy