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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 904729, 9 pages
Case Report

Optical, Spectroscopic, and Doppler Evaluation of “Normal” and “Abnormal” Reflexology Areas in Lumbar Vertebral Pathology: A Case Study

1Department of Biophysics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansarinagar, New Delhi 110 029, India
2School of Medical Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, West Bengal, Kharagpur 721 302, India
3Chilakapati Laboratory, ACTREC, Tata Memorial Center, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai 410210, India

Received 5 June 2012; Revised 14 November 2012; Accepted 14 November 2012

Academic Editor: Arduino A. Mangoni

Copyright © 2012 Krishna Dalal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Scientific validation of reflexology requires an in-depth and noninvasive evaluation of “reflexology/reflex areas” in health and disease. The present paper reports the differential properties of “normal” and “abnormal” reflexology areas related to the lumbar vertebrae in a subject suffering from low back pain. The pathology is supported by radiological evidence. The reflexology target regions were clinically assessed with respect to colour and tenderness in response to finger pressure. Grey scale luminosity and pain intensity, as assessed by visual analogue scale scores, differentiated “normal” from “abnormal” skin. Skin swept source-optical coherence tomography recorded their structural differences. Infrared thermography revealed temperature variations. A laser Doppler study using a combined microcirculation and transcutaneous oxygen monitoring system indicated alterations in blood flow and oxygen perfusion. Raman spectroscopy showed differences in chemical signatures between these areas. The present findings may indicate a potential correlation between the reflexology areas and subsurface pathological changes, showing an association with the healthy or unhealthy status of the lumbar vertebrae.