Does Hand Reflexology Help Fight Anxiety?

Hand reflexology is a kind of massage therapy founded on the belief that the entire body is connected through nerves in the hands.

Hand reflexology is the less popular sister therapy of foot reflexology, which involves applying pressure to nerve junctures and pressure points present on the hands, which are believed to be linked to other parts of the body.

This belief of applying pressure and stimulating blood flow to those areas on the hand leads to changes in other areas and organs of the body.

Benefits of Hand Reflexology

Some general benefits of the therapy are better supported with evidence; these include:

Improving Circulation: Several anecdotal reports and studies have shown an improvement in circulation with hand reflexology. This manipulation of pressure points and nerve endings can inherently boost circulation to given areas, so this claim is more widely believed than some others.

Relieving Anxiety Levels: Hand reflexology showed a positive effect on anxiety levels of patients undergoing coronary angiography as per the findings of a research study. This research has spurred other research on the efficiency of the therapy on more generalized anxiety.

Aiding Physical Relaxation: Similar to any form of massage, hand reflexology also has a relaxing aspect to it, when done correctly.

Reducing Inflammation: The manipulation of pressure points is believed to boost circulation and reduce those tight or swollen areas in the hands or feet. According to a review, the link between the hands and other parts of the body can aid inflammatory symptoms in non-localized regions as well.

PMS Symptoms: Studies related to hand reflexology found that women who underwent hand and foot reflexology experienced notably fewer symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Cancer-Related Symptoms: Researchers identified that reflexology when applied for patients undergoing chemotherapy, increases endurance and energy, lowers anxiety levels, and reduces nausea and pain.

Alleviates Hand and Wrist Pain: Massage and pressure point manipulation on other parts of the body helps in increasing circulation and relieving tension/inflammation, thereby alleviating chronic pain.


One of the best things about hand reflexology is that there is no evidence of any harmful side effects of the therapy. It is a non-invasive therapeutic procedure that can be applied for a huge range of problems as complementary or secondary medicine.

The efficacy of the treatment often depends on the practitioner, and there is a chance of discomfort or pain if the reflexologist is inexperienced.


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