A research article, “Activity in the primary somatosensory cortex induced by reflexological stimulation is unaffected by pseudo-information: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study,” published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, notes how researchers employed the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate how reflexological stimulation of the reflex area is processed in the primary somatosensory cortex when correct and pseudo-information about the reflex area is provided.

Thirty-two Japanese volunteers participated in the study. Half of the subjects were told the base of the second toe was the eye reflex area and were also given pseudo-information that the base of the third toe was the shoulder reflex area. The other half of the subjects were told the opposite information.

As the experimenter stimulated the reflex areas, an MRI was used to record brain activity and measurements were taken.

When the eye reflex area was stimulated in either foot, there was corresponding activity in the left middle postcentral gyrus, the area to which tactile sensation to the face projects, as well as the foot representation area. Also, this activity was not affected by pseudo-information.

Conclusions suggest a robust relationship exists between neural processing of somatosensory percepts to the reflex being stimulated and the tactile sensation of a specific reflex area.

Author: David Allen is a master bodyworker, chiropractor and internationally known teacher and lecturer


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