Foot reflex therapy and cancer

Traditional medicine considers a foot reflex massage a soothing relaxing massage that provides a short sensation of well-being.Researchers from Michigan State University have already shown in 2012 that foot reflex massage besides relaxation also has a definite positive effect in improving the overall quality of life of patients with cancer. The outcome of this research was published in 2012 by PlaceboNocebo magazine 1).

The participants in the research were divided up in 3 groups: One group that received foot reflex, a second group that received regular massage and a placebo group (receiving only standard treatment).

The participants that received a professional foot reflex massage showed clear physical improvements after 11 weeks. They were much less short of breath and were able to do their daily routines such as getting dressed, shopping and climbing stairs with much more ease.

Complementary or alternative therapies for people diagnosed with cancer should never replace regular treatment. They may however prove to be very supportive. Foot reflex massage is a supporting therapy that cannot cure cancer, but may give some relief when dealing with the secondary effect of the often quite severe regular treatment. When you have finished your treatment and want to pick up your regular life again our therapy may provide a boost to the process of recuperation.

During a foot reflex massage various substances are released and the body reacts in different ways to assuaging and touching.

Oxytocin is the Feel Good Hormone. Your body itself produces it. It is released in large quantities during childbirth and regulates mother – child attachment and is also active when a person is in love.
The production of the hormone can also be stimulated by a professional foot reflex massage, as long as the receiver is open for it. Clearly Oxytocin is not produced during every massage. Other functions of the hormone are stimulation of the immune system and improvement of the blood circulation in the synovial bursa.

Endorphins, the other hormone that is released, reduces the activity of stress-hormones and provides a pleasant feeling. Endorphins also provide improvement of the immune system.

Besides the release of various hormones foot reflex massage has a positive effect in reducing fear and depression. Massage provides an increase in recognizing a person physical state; your will feel earlier that the body experiences tension and can therefore respond sooner. During massage hidden emotions can be released, sometimes resulting in crying, which is a positive reaction that releases tension from the body and should not be suppressed.

During chemo treatment, sometimes including immune-therapy, a patient receives a lot of poisons that not only attack the bad cancer cells, but also do considerable damage to healthy cells and tissue. Foot reflex massage provides an improved blood circulation to help the body absorb medication with more ease. Because of the poison reducing result of this therapy non-beneficial ingredients of the medicine and damaged cells will be released faster from the body.

Radiation treatment is a very intense period of time in which little time and energy remains to deal with your body and find relaxation. Here also the adagio applies that the faster damaged cells are released, the lesser the impact of the treatment will be for your life after cancer! A supporting foot reflex massage can certainly be recommended during the intensive time of radiation treatment.

After treatment your body surely can use something extra. A foot reflex massage continues the healer of poisons from your system. An additional advantage is that your body will much faster deal with the unavoidable after effects of your treatment, you will sleep better, will be less tired and are able to relax better. This will also help releasing hidden emotions.
So, besides all the direct positive effect of the foot reflex massage it will also help you relax. And you have deserved some relaxation after an emotional and stressful period in your life.

Do you want to experience the positive effects of a foot reflex massage yourself? Contact Saskia Hoeboer of Feet Your Body Leidschendam at telephone 06-27 59 21 27 or by email at

1)Wyatt G, Sikorskii A, Rahbar MH, Victorson D, You M. Health-Related Quality-of-Life Outcomes: A Reflexology Trial With Patients With Advanced-Stage Breast Cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2012 Nov 1;39(6):568-77.