PhD student Jenny Jones researched the effect of foot massage on 15 participants and found a small effect that vanished shortly after treatment.
Additionally, there were no differences in other cardiac measures, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
Jones stated that the effect was not clinically relevant. Though reflexolgists claim that the effect of treatment is cumulative not from a single sitting.
The study used a new and reductionist model of reflexology. Not using the established map of the feet used by practitioners rather comparing massaging the top of the feet and the balls of the feet. So what it can tell us about the validity of reflexology is severely limited.
What can we deduce from this study? Well it shows receiving a foot massage is relaxing but has little or no long term clinical benefit.