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Current Funded Research > Ireland


Andrea Lowe-Strong, PhD

Department of Life and Health Sciences

Rehabilitation Sciences Research Group

University of Ulster at Jordanstown

Belfast, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

Pilot Research Award: $40,000, 2/1/04-11/30/06


“The effectiveness of reflexology in the management of pain in MS” Conducting a clinical trial of a complementary therapy to determine if it can relieve pain in people with MS.


The practice of reflexology is an increasingly popular complementary therapy based on the theory that massaging areas on the feet may correspond with benefit in different parts of the body. One study suggested that reflexology might improve motor, sensory, and urinary symptoms in people with MS. Now, Andrea Lowe-Strong, PhD, is conducting a study testing its effects on pain in persons with MS.


Dr. Lowe-Strong is recruiting 40 people with MS for this study. Twenty are receiving reflexology treatments, and 20 are receiving foot massages that do not involve reflexology techniques. Treatment in both groups is being carried out for one hour per week for 10 weeks. Scales used to measure pain are being administered at the beginning and end of the regimen, and again at weeks 16 and 22, to gauge any follow-up effects.


This study may increase evidence for the usefulness of a popular complementary therapy in treating a troublesome symptom of MS.