Written by Helen Cooke and the CAM-Cancer Consortium.
Updated October 24, 2016


Is it safe ?

Adverse events

Some authors have reported adverse effects including fatigue and changes in kidney or bowel function 1.


Anecdotal evidence suggests that the following may be contraindications: Gout, leg ulcers, peripheral vascular disease, deep-vein thromboses, infections, bruising, wounds and lymphoedema 13.


It has been purported that interaction with insulin is conceivable, dues to the possible stimulation of the pancreas during a treatment session 1,2. There are no known reports of this interaction occurring.


Although reflexology has a good safety record, there is concern that some reflexologists with inadequate competence may attempt to diagnose conditions as part of their treatment package 14. Reflexologists do however state that they are not trained to diagnose diseases or to attempt to treat or cure specific medical conditions 2.


Helen Cooke, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Reflexology [online document]. http://cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Manipulative-body-based/Reflexology. October 24, 2016.

Document history

Last update and revision in October 2016 by Helen Cooke.
Fully revised and updated in September 2014 by Helen Cooke.
Fully revised and updated in June 2012 by Helen Cooke.
Summary first published in March 2011, authored by Helen Cooke.


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  19. Reflexology in Europe Website: http://reflexology-europe.org Accessed 3rd October 2016