Reflexology uses pressure points primarily on the soles of the feet, hands, or ears. Practitioners of reflexology believe that applying pressure to these points can affect specific organs or processes in the body.

Reflexology is primarily used for ongoing pain in people with cancer, excessive crying in infants (colic), and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is also used for asthma, back pain, fibromyalgia, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Reflexology is LIKELY SAFE for most people. Practitioners of reflexology say that some people experience some side effects such as feelings of fatigue, nausea, or flu-like symptoms. But there isn't enough reliable information to know how often this might happen.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Reflexology is POSSIBLY SAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding. So far, no harmful effects have been identified. But reflexology has not been well-studied during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Children: Reflexology is POSSIBLY SAFE in children.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
  • Pain in people with cancer. Some early research shows that reflexology may reduce pain and anxiety in some people with cancer. But the effect doesn't last long. The pain returns in less than 3 hours.
  • Excessive crying in infants (colic). Most research shows that reflexology may improve excessive crying in infants.
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Most evidence shows that reflexology given for at least 30 minutes decreases PMS symptoms, including bloating, cramps, breast tenderness, anxiety, depression, and irritability.
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
  • Asthma. Reflexology doesn't appear to improve symptoms or lung function in people with asthma.
  • Diagnosing a disease. Early research shows that practitioners of reflexology are unable to consistently detect symptoms or accurately diagnose medical conditions.
There is interest in using reflexology for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

The appropriate or safe use of reflexology depends on several factors such as the condition being treated or the person administering the treatment. Be sure to seek and follow relevant directions from your physician or other healthcare professional before using this treatment.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

It is not known if this treatment interacts with any medicines. Before using this treatment, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.


There is no scientifically reliable information about how reflexology might work to reduce pain or treat other medical conditions. Reflexology practitioners believe that disease is caused by an energy imbalance and the reflexology can correct this imbalance. They believe that this helps the body's natural ability to heal itself. has licensed monographs from TRC Healthcare.
This monograph was last reviewed on 16/12/2021 00:52:02 and last updated on 29/09/2022 08:52:30. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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