Reflexology For Pms Symptoms Womens Health

Premenstrual syndrome causes many women monthly discomfort and distress. Reflexology for women is purported to relieve PMS symptoms, but do the benefits of reflexology really include PMS relief?

Common PMS Symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome symptoms usually occur between ovulation and menstrual bleeding, although some women experience symptoms slightly before or after these events. PMS symptoms differ from woman to woman. Common PMS symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating and gas
  • Breast tenderness
  • Food cravings
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain due to fluid retention.

Reflexology for women may provide relief from many of these symptoms.

Studying the Benefits of Reflexology for PMS

Reflexology health benefits receive little attention from scientific studies. A small study published in “Obstetrics and Gynecology” (1993) suggests that at least some women experience relief from PMS symptoms with reflexology.

The study examined 35 women with PMS symptoms. Split into two groups, one group received ear, hand and foot reflexology while the control group received placebo reflexology (massage without an attempt to treat symptoms). Results of the study suggested that women receiving the benefits of reflexology experienced fewer premenstrual syndrome symptoms than the control group.

Reflexology for Women

Reflexology for women stimulates points on the hands, feet and ears that correspond to different body symptoms. For relief of PMS symptoms, try massaging the following reflexology points:

  1. Massaging the big toe provides a number of reflexology health benefits. Reflex points on the big toes are said to regulate prolactin production and reduce breast tenderness. Massaging the big toes also reduces headaches caused by tension and stress.
  2. Massage the center of the foot roughly halfway down the sole to stimulate the kidneys. Proper kidney function helps reduce fluid retention, water and bloating during the premenstrual period.
  3. Reflexology points on the ankle are said to keep ovarian hormone production stable, relieving dizziness, insomnia, and back and neck pain.

Critics of the benefits of reflexology sometimes charge that reflexology only works because people want to believe it works. For a woman suffering from premenstrual syndrome symptoms this is a fine distinction. After all, as long as reflexology for women reduces PMS symptoms, does it matter why it works?

Resources

American Academy of Reflexology. (n.d). PMS reflexology research study. Retrieved March 10, 2011, from http://www.reflexologyresearch.net/PMSResearchAbstract.shtml

Braun, D. (2009). Reflexology for PMS. Retrieved March 10, 2011, from http://www.disabled-world.com/medical/alternative/ayurveda/reflexology/pms-stress.php

PMS Cures. (2011). Reflexology. Retrieved March 10, 2011, from http://www.pms-cures.com/pms-alternative-medicine/reflexology.html