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Reflexology and integrated healthcare

Reflexology has become an increasingly popular therapy, which is being offered in NHS and private settings.

For example, many hospices and cancer care centres in the UK are providing complementary health services including reflexology to patients and families/carers (for example the Sir Robert Ogden Centre at HDFT and the Trinity Holistic Centre at South Tees Hospitals NHS FT. Another initiative involves volunteer complementary therapists at Wigan, Bolton, Rochdale & Salford Dialysis Unit providing treatments including reflexology to dialysis patients (article on p.20-21).

A large number of  NHS trusts including York and Harrogate offer free or subsidised complementary therapy treatments including reflexology as part of their staff benefits packages.

Social prescribing is another area which could incorporate complementary therapies including reflexology as part of a locally tailored offering. A pilot project incorporating massage and reflexology is currently underway in West London. This is funded by West London CCG and managed by Kensington and Chelsea Social Council. Independent research showed that the complementary therapies offered in this way created a value to recipients and the local healthcare system of over 3 times its cost.

The above example demonstrates that complementary therapy treatments may offer cost savings - an All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare (APPGIH) report (2019) acknowledges that “there is a great deal of anecdotal and other evidence that patients who use complementary, traditional and natural therapies gain improvements to their health, and that they are often cheaper to provide than their equivalent conventional interventions.” 

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