Using reflexology for pain management. A review

J Holist Nurs. 2003 Jun;21(2):179-91. doi: 10.1177/0898010103021002007.


More than two thirds of Americans with chronic pain are now using complementary and alternative therapies. One complementary and alternative therapy, reflexology, has a long history and has been found useful on a case-by-case basis. This article provides a review of the literature on the use of reflexology as a therapy in pain management. Although reflexology is widely used, systematic research is needed to examine its effectiveness. To date, however, only a few studies have focused on reflexology's use in pain management. Because reflexology is a noninvasive, nonpharmacological therapy, nurses are in a position to do research on and make decisions about its clinical effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Massage* / methods
  • Massage* / nursing
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical
  • Pain / nursing
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement / nursing
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States