Streams in the Desert Reflexology & Wellness

Reflexology More Effective than Progesterone, Birth Control or Antidepressants for PMS

According to the Cleveland Clinic, more than 1 in 3 women suffer from PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). [1]  The exact cause is unknown, but could be related to hormonal fluctuations, low progesterone, toxicity, inflammation and nutrient deficiencies.

Any woman who has ever suffered from PMS (and any man who has been dumbfounded by it!), knows that it is no joke.  I like to refer to the cumulative experience as feeling “doomsday-ish”, where everything feels wrong and hopeless and out of control. Women suffering from PMS often experience the following symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Brain Fog
  • Fatigue
  • Low Back Pain
  • Bloating
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Breast Swelling/Tenderness
  • Mood Swings
  • Crying Spells

A study published in the Journal of Obstretics & Gynecology, performed by the California Graduate Institute and the American Academy of Reflexology in California, found that Reflexology has a significant impact on PMS. [2]  This study was an in-depth study of 35 women suffering from PMS symptoms.  Each woman tracked and recorded the intensity of 38 PMS symptoms, both physical and emotional, for two months before receiving any Reflexology treatments, two months during receiving weekly reflexology treatments, and 2 months after.  Some women were treated with true Reflexology, while others were given a placebo treatment.

The results of the study show improvements in PMS symptoms for both groups, but much more significant improvement with the group who received true Reflexology.  Not only was the improvement drastically higher for the true Reflexology group, but the improvement continued for the duration of the two months after treatment, which was not the case for the placebo group.

Emotional and Psychological symptoms were improved across the board.  Depression improved by 66%, Irritability by 63%, Brain Fog by 76%, Anxiety by 36% and being Overly Critical of Self and Others by 68%.  WOW!

Physical symptoms were also improved.  Headaches improved by 77%, Constipation by 60%, Back Pain by 48%, Difficulty Sleeping by 33% and Fatigue by 27%.

Here is a chart of the results, borrowed from [3]

Psychological Symptoms – Percent Reduction

PMS Symptom True Reflexology Placebo Reflexology


Easily Irritated 63% 43%
Nervous or Anxious 36% 24%
Depressed or Sad 66% 24%
Forgetful or Confused 76% 25%
Critical of Self & Others 68% 36%

Physical Symptoms – Percent Reduction

PMS Symptom True Reflexology Placebo Reflexology


Headache 77% 22%
Backache 48% 26%
Constipation 60% 25%
Tired or Fatigued 27% 08%
Difficulty Falling Asleep 33% 00%


One of the most impressive things about the findings of this study, is that when compared to other controlled studies, Reflexology shows more improvement in PMS symptoms than progesterone treatment, birth control pills or psychotropic medications like anti-depressants.

Plus, Reflexology has none of the negative side effects associated with birth control pills or psychotropic medications.  Birth control pills can alter gut flora, cause systemic candida overgrowth, B-vitamin deficiency, damage the cardiovascular system and ultimately wreak havoc on one’s health.  Psychotropic medications also have negative side effects, such as damaging the liver/gut and altering the function of vital neurotransmitters.

If you are on any of these medications, I am not telling you to quit them.  Specifically, quitting certain psychotropic medications can have extreme effects on behavior and the body.  If you do want to get off of medications, I advise you work with your doctor to do so in a safe manner.

To Finding Natural Solutions for the Body,



[1] [Online]. Available:
[2] p. William Flocco & Terry Oleson, “Randomized Controlled Study of Premenstrual Symptoms Treated with Ear, Hand & Foot Reflexology,” Obstretics & Gynecology, vol. 82, no. 6, pp. 906-911, 1993.
[3] [Online]. Available:



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