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Effect of foot reflexology adjunct to paced respiration on vasomotor symptoms during menopause: randomized-controlled trail

Abstract

Background

The most common vasomotor symptoms (VMS) are hot flashes and night sweats, which occur in as many as 68.5% of women as a result of menopause. Symptoms caused by fluctuating levels of estrogen may be alleviated by hormone therapy (HT), but a marked global decline in its use has resulted from concerns about the risks and benefits of HT. Consequently, many women in the postmenopausal period search for alternative natural treatment options to manage menopause. As large numbers of women are choosing not to take HT, it is increasingly important to identify evidence-based foot reflexology with paced respiration that has the potential to reduce vasomotor menopausal symptoms.

Aim

To examine the combined effect of foot reflexology with paced respiration versus paced respiration on VMS in symptomatic menopausal women.

Patients and methods

A total of 50 women of menopausal age, 45–55 years were studied; their BMI was less than 30 kg/m2. They were allocated randomly to two groups with equal numbers of participants (A and B). The participants in group A received foot reflexology in addition to paced respiration, whereas the participants in group B received the paced respiration training only. The treatment program was conducted three times per week for 8 weeks. Assessment of all participants in both groups (A and B) was carried out before and after the treatment program throughout by determining blood cortisol level in addition to the use of the menopause rating scale (MRS).

Results

Both groups (A and B) showed a significant reduction in their blood cortisol and MRS values after the end of the 8 weeks of the training program. The mean values of blood cortisol after treatment were 15.40±1.47, 16.32±1.70 in both groups A and B, respectively. The mean values of total MRS were 8.12±2.19, 12.56±2.96 in both groups A and B, respectively.

However, the participants who received foot reflexology plus paced respiration, group A, showed a greater reduction in the blood cortisol value and total MRS (P<0.001 and <0.001), respectively.

Conclusion

It could be concluded that foot reflexology in addition to paced respiration are more effective than paced respiration only in decreasing blood cortisol level as well as VMS in symptomatic menopausal women.

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Correspondence to Asmaa M. El-Bandrawy PhD.

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El-Bandrawy, A., Kamal, W. & Ghareeb, H. Effect of foot reflexology adjunct to paced respiration on vasomotor symptoms during menopause: randomized-controlled trail. Bull Fac Phys Ther 23, 77–84 (2018). https://doi.org/10.4103/bfpt.bfpt_10_18

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Keywords

  • cortisol
  • hot flashes
  • menopause
  • paced respiration
  • reflexology