Is it safe to receive reflexology during pregnancy?
Yes. Reflexology has been proven scientifically to benefit pregnant woman. There is no sign of it causing early labor or other adverse outcomes. As such, reflexology during pregnancy is believed to be safe and effective. In fact, it is to be encouraged for its many benefits.
How can reflexology benefit a pregnant woman?
Reflexology has been shown to promote general relaxation and provide stress relief. It can also improve energy levels, and help ease indigestion and heartburn. Backache, sciatic pain, constipation, and edema are also relieved with regular reflexology. Research has shown that pregnant women receiving regular reflexology have shorter labors and need less pain medications than women who have not had regular reflexology.
Can reflexology during pregnancy cause premature labor?
There is no evidence to support the idea that reflexology could cause a pregnant woman to go into premature labor. Reflexology normalizes the functions of body parts and helps the body to regulate itself into health. Suzanne Enzer is a midwife, nurse, reflexologist, and author of the Maternity Reflexology Manual (Soul to Sole Reflexology, 2004). She insists that reflexology cannot, does not, and will not make the body do anything unnatural.
Dwight Byers, director of the International Institute of Reflexology, agrees. He is emphatic that massage cannot negatively or overly stimulate the uterine and ovarian reflexology zones. Nor does he believe that reflexology applied to these zones will stimulate miscarriage or preterm contractions. However, to err on the side of caution, it should be considered contraindicated if there is a history of premature labor, severe hypertension, placenta previa or recent vaginal bleeding.
More information on reflexology during pregnancy
An excellent article on reflexology during pregnancy, written by Jeanette Barsalini, Certified Reflexologist, can be downloaded here: http://www.relaxingfeet.co.uk/phdi/p1.nsf/imgpages/3320_reflex_pregnancy_jul11.pdf/$file/reflex_pregnancy_jul11.pdf