Research: ATKINS and HARRIS,

Listed in Issue 158


ATKINS and HARRIS, Centre for Complementary Therapies, Cardiff School of Health Sciences, University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Cardiff, Wales, UK, have used reflexology to manage stress in the workplace.


Work stress is a major occupational problem in the UK. Few studies have examined the role of complementary therapies in reducing stress in the workplace. To help determine the usefulness of reflexology in managing stress a preliminary study was conducted in an occupational setting. AIM: To explore the use of reflexology in managing stress in the workplace.


In a single-subjects experimental design, four employees from a single organisation received reflexology treatments. A range of outcome measures, including the GHQ-12 and the MYMOP2, were used to monitor psychological health and well-being, symptoms and quality of life. Measures were taken at baseline, intervention and follow-up.


The data suggested some trends towards improvement in perceived health and well-being following reflexology intervention. Improvements varied by participant and across the different measures.


This study was limited by the size of the sample and the nature of the design, which cannot demonstrate cause and effect. The trends towards improvement associated with reflexology suggested that further research may be warranted.


Atkins RC.  Harris P. Using reflexology to manage stress in the workplace: a preliminary study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 14(4): 280-7. Nov 2008.

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