San Diego Edition

Reflexology and Imagery Relieve Preoperative Anxiety

Complementary Medicine Reduces Stress Before Surgery

Photographee.eu/Shutterstock.com

Anticipating surgery can be stressful, and many patients suffer from preoperative anxiety, which can cause serious health complications such as hypertension, rapid pulse and sugar metabolism changes. Israeli researchers from the University of Haifa have found that complementary medicine, combined with standard use of anti-anxiety drugs prior to entering the operating room, can significantly reduce preoperative anxiety levels and improve outcomes.

Researchers divided 360 preoperative patients ages 17 and up into three groups: those receiving standard care for preoperative anxiety; those receiving standard care along with complementary therapy, featuring acupuncture, reflexology, individual guided imagery or a combination of the latter two; and those receiving standard care combined with generic guided imagery via a recording. Anxiety levels were measured preoperatively before and after the intervention on a scale of one to 10, with scores of four or more constituting intermediate or higher-level anxiety.

The study found that complementary therapy in combination with standard care produced a 60 percent reduction in anxiety, with the mean score dropping from 5.54 to 2.32. Combining standard care with reflexology and guided imagery provided the best relief, reducing anxiety by an average of 4.22 points. Patients receiving only standard care experienced a slight rise in their average anxiety level.


This article appears in the February 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Being Beauty

Contrary to what we’re led to believe, the quickest way to be beautiful is to fill ourselves up with the beauty of all we love.

Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo

The founders of Science & Nonduality discuss why scientists and meditators should collaborate in examining the nature of consciousness.

Aging with Passion and Purpose

As our bodies grow older, we can engage with life in ways that build belonging, generate enthusiasm and spark rewarding self-discovery that also blesses the world.

Fluoride Alert

High levels of fluoride in processed dog food and in tap water means our pets are being exposed to the risk of multiple health problems.

Caring for Others Prolongs Life

In a multi-country study, half of seniors aged 70 to 103 actively caring for others—including grandchildren and friends—were alive seven years later, while half of those that weren’t care giving died within four years.

Comments posted are subject to review and removal if they are not in line with publication guidelines. Opinions are those of the person posting them.

Add your comment: