The effect of reflexology training on postural stability and postural sway in elderly womenMarayam Faraj Khoda, Eidy Alijani and Mehdi Kohandel
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of six weeks of reflexology exercises on postural stability and postural sway in active elderly women.
40 healthy women aged 60 to 80 years old were randomly divided into two experimental group (n = 20) and control group (n = 20).
Before beginning any exercise program pretest with Biodex system were used.
Post-test was performed in the same condition after six weeks of normal training and reflexology exercises.
Reflexology is based on Byers’s exercise instruction including three sessions a week, each session 30 minutes working on both legs (each leg 15 minutes).
Experimental subjects did the reflexology exercises for six weeks plus their normal activities.
Control subjects only perform their normal activities for the same duration.
Descriptive and inferential statistics including independent t-test and paired t-test at a significant level of p≤0.05 were used to analyze the data .
The results showed that postural stability and postural sway were significantly improved in experimental groups with open and closed eyes on both firm(hard) and foam surfaces. So, these findings indicated that six weeks reflexology which may effect on proprioceptive sense of one’s own body position in space can lead to a better balance in elderly women with open and closed eyes.
Setting and Sample:
This research is a semi-experimental design with pretest and posttest. 40 healthy old female between the ages of 60 to 80 years participated in this study.
40 subjects were randomly assigned into two groups of experimental (N=20) and control (N=20).
Informed consent was obtained from each patient before entering the study. Reflexology training program was carried out for 6 weeks (three sessions of 30 minutes per week) while the control group did not receive any intervention.
The foot reflexology protocol was performed by the researcher on the experimental group under the surveillance of a physiotherapist for 18 sessions (6 weeks, 3 sessions each, each session 30 minutes).
The patients had to lie down supinely on a bed in a quiet, bright location and remain in a completely relaxed state. Then the sole was gently massaged, and after that, with the heel held in one hand and the sole were given alternate ripple and smoke massages in a reciprocating motion [4, 13, 14, 15].
This treatment was performed for 30 minutes on the feet (15 minutes for each foot). Based on the reflexology code, at the end of each session, the patients were asked to take much water and liquids over the next 24 hours .
For each measurement time, the postural test consisted of four conditions of quiet stance: stance on a firm surface with eyes open (EO); stance on a firm surface with eyes closed (EC); stance on a foam surface (thickness 7 cm) with eyes open (FEO); and stance on a foam surface with eyes closed (FEC).
Participants stood quietly while barefoot, with the head in a straight-ahead position, their arms along the body. During conditions with eyes open, they were instructed to look a black spot (with a diameter 2 cm) placed in white wall in the front at a 2 m distance. For each condition, three trials were performed. The duration of each trial was 90 s, followed by a short rest period.
The twelve trials were presented randomly.
The whole experiment time was about 25 min. Under these recommended conditions (three trials, sampling duration of 90 s, sampling frequency of 100 Hz and cut-off frequency of 10 Hz, visual and surface conditions), the high reliability of parameters has previously been reported in the literature(8).
Descriptive and inferential statistics, including independent t-test and paired t-test, were used to analyze the data at a significant level of p≤0.05.
European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2014, 4(1):198-202