Reflexology works on the principle that there are reflex points on the feet, hands and ears that correspond to every part, gland, and organ in the body.
By applying pressure to these points, tension is relieved in a corresponding body part and the body is encouraged to return to its normal balanced state. Reflexology sees the body as a whole integrated connective system similar to the Chinese tradition which sees the body as a network of energy channels.
Some form of foot reflexology has apparently been practiced from ancient times and in different cultures. Its modern revival in the west began in the 1920s with the work of American physicians W. Fitzgerald and J.S. Riley. Building on their work, Eunice D. Ingham developed it into a therapy (the Ingram Method) and through her efforts it began to be practiced widely. Brief histories of the topic are given on the website of the International Institute of Reflexology and on several other websites.
Many countries have national reflexology associations that organize activities and set standards of practice. Examples of these are the reflexology associations of America, Australia, Britain, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Poland and South Africa. Many national associations can be linked through the website of the International Council of Reflexology. The Reflexology in Europe Network coordinates the interests of reflexologists among member organizations in Europe. At least three countries (China, Denmark and the United Kingdom) recognize reflexology in their national health care systems.
Much of the evidence regarding the effectiveness of reflexology is anecdotal but some experimental data are becoming available. Abstracts of research papers can be found, for example, on the website of the Pacific Institute of Reflexology and at www.reflexologyresearch.net.
The concept of walking on a pebbly surface as a healthful activity has been known for a long time. "Reflexology paths" and "cobblestone paths" exist in public parks in many parts of the world. Examples of these are found in China, Malaysia, and Washington State (USA). Devices such as the circulatory mat described on this website do not replace a treatment by a qualified reflexologist but they have the advantage that they are always available for a self-administered foot massage. These mats are designed to apply pressure to the reflex points as well as to give a general massage to the bottoms of the feet.
Reflexologists do not diagnose, prescribe or treat specific conditions. Always consult your medical professional for health-related problems.
A typical reflexology session lasts 45 to 60 minutes. The client relaxes while the reflexologist takes a history, cleans the feet, warms them up and then applies pressure to the reflex points in a systematic way.
If you want to learn reflexology, please contact Danielle.