Reflexology is a time-honoured treatment that dates back about 5,000 years having emerged in a variety of cultures including Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Native American. Illustrations of Reflexology have even been found in what is known as “The Physicians Tomb” in Egypt (circa 2330 BC).
In the early 1930’s Dr William Fitzgerald, an American Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, introduced the western world to Zone Therapy – a simplified meridian acupuncture therapy. Using this technique was thought to enable therapists to stimulate organs and other areas of the body by applying pressure to specific areas or zones on the hands or feet.
Dr Fitzgerald performed surgery after applying pressure to various points in the hands or feet to induce an analgesic effect in other parts of the body.
Zone Therapy was further advanced in 1938 by Eunice Ingham a colleague of Dr Fitzgerald. Eunice Ingham’s research has founded what is now the most used Reflexology Foot Chart around the world. Her work demonstrated that by applying pressure to the feet in precise areas, a reflex response would occur throughout the body, travelling along nerves to the spine and out to the body – much like a knee jerk response.
Reflexology and its benefits
Modern day Reflexology is a treatment that is thought by practitioners and clients to provide an avenue for the body to balance itself via the stimulation of pressure points found within the hands, face, feet and ears. This stimulation promotes circulation and can assist in easing impediments within the joints, organs and nerve endings which is thought to stimulate the removal of toxins and improve the body’s energy levels.
Because feet are the foundation of the body, the entire skeletal alignment can also improve when ligaments and muscles within the feet are loosened and released. A vast network of nerves resides in each foot, along with 19 muscles, 107 ligaments, 28 bones and 19 joints.