Origins of Reflexology
Reflexology is thought to have originated over 5000 years ago when the Chinese practised a variety of pressure therapies and acupuncture, as a preventative form of medicine. However, the earliest record we have of the origins of Reflexology is in an Egyptian tomb painting dating back to 2330BC, which clearly depicts a foot therapy. It is known that in addition to the Chinese and Egyptians, Japanese, Indians and Russians also worked on the feet to promote good health.
We do know Reflexology is based on the same principle as acupuncture, but using applied pressure rather than needles to the feet or hands to bring about a desired response and pain reduction in a correlating area. It is believed that there are energy zones running throughout the body, and these reflex areas are mapped on the feet mirroring the exact organs, glands and corresponding body parts.
This concept is not as daft as you may initially think as pain referral is well known in medicine and often where the pain is – the problem isn’t. For example, a person having a heart attack may feel pain down their left arm, via a neural pathway, while patients with a gall bladder problem may feel referred pain to the tip of the right shoulder, and another example would be compression of a nerve root in the lumbar spine, that refers pain into the glutei, leg and/or sole of the foot.
History of Zone therapy
Early in the 20 century, Dr. William Fitzgerald developed the modern zone therapy of the human body, offering proof of pressure applied to one part of the body can anaesthetise a corresponding area. Proof was given by Fitzgerald’s colleague, Dr. Edwin Bowers, who demonstrated sticking a pin into a volunteer’s face without causing pain if he first applied pressure to the correlating part on the volunteer’s hand. Fitzgerald’s findings were that energy links the organs in each particular zone and, if one area is out of balance, then the whole zone may indeed be affected. He also discovered that the application of pressure to these zones not only helped to relieve pain but also helped to relieve the underlying cause. The pain would often manifest itself at a distance from its origin, having been referred to another part of the zone.
Dr. Shelby Riley developed zone theory further developing vertical and horizontal zones on the hands and feet to determine individual reflexes. Eunice Ingham, a physical therapist working with the Dr Riley started to use zone therapy in the treatment of her patients with much success and began to develop the foot reflex theory, mapping the whole body on the feet. Her first book was published in 1938.Reflexology was introduced to Britain in the 1960s by a student of Eunice Ingham, a lady by the name of Doreen Baily.
Modern reflexology is both a science and an art. It requires careful study of anatomy and physiology, faithful practice, a sound knowledge of techniques and skill. And yet as one of the healing arts, reflexology proves time and time again to be very powerful and yield the best results for pain reduction and stress related disorders ·
- Reflexology improves circulation
- Reduces stress and induces deep relaxation
- Cleanses the body of toxins and impurities·
- Balances the whole system
- Revitalizes energy
- Is preventative health care
This is a very basic chart for entertainment purposes only.