A new British study may help answer old questions about reflexology. Does the reflexologist receive as much benefit from reflexology practice as the client? Do reflexologists live longer? It may also raise a new question. Does self reflexology create results beyond those attributable to working the reflex areas of the hands and feet?
The study was about sitting time and fidgeting. It turns out that the positives and negatives of sitting are not as simple as counting time spent doing it. What one does while sitting is important too. And it’s here the questions about reflexology enter the picture.
According to the study, “Fidgeting is typically defined as involving small movements, especially of the hands and feet, often through nervousness, restlessness, or impatience. … The current results suggest that more complex movements of the hands and feet may be important to measure, in addition to level of physical activity (sitting time).”
The study found women who fidgeted more while sitting lived longer. Among the women in the low fidgeting group, sitting more than 7 hours a day was associated with an increased mortality risk of 30%. “Among women in the high fidgeting group, sitting for 5–6 hours/day … was associated with decreased mortality risk. … Fidgeting may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality associated with excessive sitting time.”
Previous research suggests why fidgeting may be beneficial. Fidgeting expends more calories than sitting still—118 calories an hour versus 80. Calorie consumption is linked to metabolism with more calories indicating more demand on metabolism. Research results showing sitting while reading or using a computer is less impactful on metabolism. It could be the benefit of intellectual stimulation while sitting.
So, where does reflexology fit into such concepts? Reflexology work whether applied to another or oneself includes complex hand movements of technique application. There’s mental mastery of techniques application appropriate to the specific part of the foot or hand and health concern. Then there’s assessment of what’s under thumb or fingers as one works as well as linking techniques in a coherent whole session.
The bottom line? Reflexology is good for you. Keep those hands moving.