News and Events

Rambam Oncology Patients Enjoy Free Reflexology Treatments

Publication Date: 9/1/2022 10:30 AM

For cancer patients, balancing body, mind, and soul are important factors in treatment and recovery. Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel, is now providing six free, one-hour, reflexology sessions to suitable oncology patients.

Efrat Akiva treating a patient with reflexology. Photography: Rambam HCC
Efrat Akiva treating a patient with reflexology. Photography: Rambam HCC

Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to specific areas on the feet (or hands) to promote healing. Reflexologists apply pressure to various points that serve as a symbolic map to organs, systems, and other specific areas of the body. Proponents of reflexology believe that massage and applying pressure to these points promotes healing. Considered to be a relaxing treatment, it also helps alleviate stress and energy levels, bringing balance to the body, mind, and soul.

Understanding the value of reflexology and other forms of complementary and alternative medicine, Rambam recently decided to offer their oncology patients, a series of six, free reflexology sessions with a qualified therapist. Each complimentary session is about one-hour long.

Professor Moshe Frenkel, Head of Rambam’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Service in the Division of Oncology explained, “Clinical studies have found that reflexology helps in a multitude of conditions including: stress, fatigue, sleep disorders, digestive problems, pain, depression, and edema. A general improvement in the patient’s emotional and physical wellbeing has been observed.”

Efrat Akiva, a reflexologist within the division adds, “Reflexology allows us to influence what happens in the human body by applying pressure and massaging specific points on the feet (and hands). Each pressure point has a meaning that helps with diagnosis and treatment. During initial diagnosis, we look for signs, such as fissures, warts, and skin color, which might provide a ‘picture’ of the patient’s physiology.”

Each treatment is personalized to the patient’s specific physical condition and administered with great care. Akiva concludes, “By massaging the feet at these specific pressure points, we help to bring the patient’s body back into balance.”