Can Reflexology Be Beneficial for Aging Adults?

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to isolated regions of the feet, hands, and ears to cause reactions in other areas of the body. Although Asian and Middle Eastern cultures have used reflexology for centuries, the philosophy was introduced in the United States in 1913 by Dr. William Fitzgerald, an upper respiratory physician and surgeon who became interested in reflexology when he observed that applying pressure in one area of the body affected another. Later, the reflexology chart was created, which identifies 10 specific zones corresponding to certain organs and body systems. Below is everything family caregivers need to know about the practice and how it can benefit seniors.

Reflexology Sessions

Reflexologists might apply pressure or massage using their hands, rubber balls, elastic bands, or similar instruments. Practitioners administer treatment after determining clients’ medical history, current conditions, and complaints. Sessions last up to one hour. Follow-up appointments are recommended based on the type of ailment being treated.

Anxiety, Depression, & Pain 

Studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute found reflexology has the potential to reduce pain while encouraging relaxation and sleep. Evaluations performed in 2002 and 2015 found clients experienced a reduction in anxiety and depression following reflexology treatments.

Socialization is another essential component of helping seniors stave off anxiety and depression. For families living in Frederick, senior home care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Assisting Hands Home Care Frederick, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Controlled reflexology studies conducted from 2000 to 2002 involved approximately 150 individuals receiving cancer treatments. Those who also underwent reflexology therapy experienced relief from nausea, constipation/diarrhea, pain, and generalized fatigue. Some also expressed relief from anxiety, depression, and appetite loss associated with cancer treatment.

Multiple Sclerosis

In 2014, the American Academy of Neurology found reflexology reduced nerve discomfort in people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Another study performed in 2015 determined the therapy minimized fatigue symptoms in women afflicted with the disorder.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of homecare families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Sinus Problems

A trial involving 150 volunteers in 2002 evaluated the effects of reflexology on subjects with chronic sinusitis. One group received reflexology treatments, while another underwent nasal irrigation treatments. Both groups experienced the same positive effects. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elderly home care. Frederick families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call Assisting Hands Home Care at (301) 786-5045 today.