Cigarette smoking is linked to hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs and lost productivity, and nearly a half million deaths each year. Reflexology can help reduce cravings, as well as help the body restore health to the lungs and respiratory system.
Case Study – Reflexology for Smoking
E. LoResa Robertson, LMT, CST reports on a case study she performed on the ability of reflexology to reduce the urge to smoke. The case study involved a 56-year-old female with a desk job who was smoking 20 or more cigarettes per day. She also reported neck and shoulder pain. During her morning and afternoon work breaks, instead of a smoking break, she received a 15-minute reflexology treatment. These twice-a-day sessions continued for four weeks (20 consecutive workdays).
At the end of the 20 days, her cigarette use decreased approximately 50% (from 20+ to 8–10 cigarettes per day). She also reported a significant reduction in a Numeric Pain Rating Scale, going from a 9 out of 10, to a 2 out of 10 rating, over the 20 days. She also experienced a reduction on her Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependency score, going from a 5/9 to a 3/9. Other positive benefits that she reported included more sleep each night, a feeling of increased energy, an improved appetite, and overall greater level of relaxation.
Reflexology Points for Quitting Smoking
In the book Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology, authors Laura Norman and Thomas Dale Cowan claim that reflexology may significantly reduce the irritability and anxiety that accompany nicotine withdrawal. Their recommendation is that anyone wanting to stop smoking should have 15 to 20 minutes of reflexology twice weekly, or any time an urge to smoke becomes hard to resist. Reflexology points recommended include points linked to the solar plexus, lungs, diaphragm, and heart, as well as several glands: the adrenal, pineal, pituitary and thyroid glands.
Michelle R. Kluck, author of Hands on Feet: The New System That Makes Reflexology a Snap!, also recommends reflexology for those wishing to stop smoking. The points that she has found helpful include areas of each foot that relate to the function and health of the brain (to ease cravings), and areas that relate to the respiratory system (to help with breathing).
Learn to Perform Reflexology for Feet and Hands
To learn a complete, full-body routine for foot and hand reflexology, the Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a 16 CE online course for massage therapists, titled Reflexology for Feet and Hands. We also offer a 3 CE online research course, titled Research – Reflexology. Both courses are valid for massage therapy continuing education for NCBTMB, AMTA, ABMP, and most states. To learn more about each course, click on the following links:
Reflexology for Feet and Hands
Research – Reflexology