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Reflexology and bronchial asthma

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Many asthma patients seek alternative or adjunctive therapies. One such modality is reflexology, whereby finger pressure is applied to certain parts of the body. The aim of the study was to examine the popular claim that reflexology treatment benefits bronchial asthma. Ten weeks of active or simulated (placebo) reflexology given by an experienced reflexologist, were compared in an otherwise blind, controlled trial of 20+20 outpatients with asthma. Objective lung function tests (peak flow morning and evening, and weekly spirometry at the clinic) did not change. Subjective scores (describing symptoms, beta2-inhalations and quality of life) and also bronchial sensitivity to histamine improved on both regimens, but no differences were found between groups receiving active or placebo reflexology. However, a trend in favour of reflexology became significant when a supplementary analysis of symptom diaries was carried out. It was accompanied by a significant pattern compatible with subconscious unblinding, in that patients tended to guess which treatment they had been receiving. No evidence was found that reflexology has a specific effect on asthma beyond placebo influence.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftRespiratory Medicine
Vol/bind95
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)173-9
Antal sider7
ISSN0954-6111
DOI
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2001

ID: 50845926