Reflexology aims to treat the imbalances of each individual and to alleviate and improve symptoms. It does not however claim to prescribe, diagnose or cure a specific medical problem. It is a well-established complementary therapy but, in common with most complementary therapies, there has only been limited research aimed at validating it. Reflexology should never be used in place of seeking medical advice.
What evidence is there to validate Reflexology?
Many of the research projects in reflexology are very small studies. This is due in part to lack of evidence to allow the studies to be set up in the first place and in part due to the lack of funding opportunities. However, there is a suggestion that reflexology may have an effect from the following studies:
Disorders of the urinary system range in severity from easy-to-treat to life-threatening which can be caused by aging, illness, or injury. Water retention can be one of the presenting symptoms of a urinary disorder.
The Urinary System filters the blood and removes waste chemicals from the body. The kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra make up the urinary system.
There is, as yet, no unified theory as to how Reflexology works but some Reflexologists believe that their effects may involve some or all of following on the urinary system
• It is medically accepted that good kidney function promotes a healthy cardiovascular function, including influencing blood pressure. Though not medically proven, it is common to find that those suffering from hypertension have sensitive kidney reflexes. The bladder is directly related to the stress response and can be affected by emotions such as fear and anxiety.
• Reflexologists believe that Reflexology may breakdown deposits in the feet and that the stimulation of Reflexology may decongest energy pathways (possibly via Meridians believed to exist in the body by practitioners of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)). This process, Reflexologists believe, may allow the urinary system to work optimally (as it may do for all body systems).
What is Water Retention?
Oedema is fluid retention. It occurs when there is too much fluid (mainly water) in the body's tissues, causing swelling to occur in the affected area. The swelling is usually related to the venous (veins) system or the lymphatic system (tubes that carry lymph, a fluid that helps fight infection and clear fluid).
Oedema can affect:
the hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs (swelling is most common in these areas),
the brain (known as cerebral oedema), and
the eyes (known as macular oedema).
Normally, the amount of water in the body is determined by the difference between fluid that is taken in and fluid that is taken out (discharged). Fluid is taken into the body by eating and drinking, and by water produced by bodily processes. It is discharged from the body in the form of urine, faeces, sweat and non-visible perspiration, for example, when breathing out.
Factors such as the surrounding air temperature and strenuous exercise can affect the amount of water that is taken in and out of the body.
In people with oedema, the excess fluid can be caused by a number of factors. This is because oedema is not a condition itself, but is often a symptom of an underlying condition. For example, it can be a sign of kidney disease or lymphoedema. Lymphoedema is a type of chronic swelling that occurs when the lymph fluid doesn't fully drain away from the tissues.
Oedema can also sometimes be caused by lifestyle factors, such as pregnancy, or a high dietary salt intake.
more info http://www.reflexclinic.com/conditions/Water_Retention_Reflexology.html