Reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears, which correspond to every gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes, Reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.
How Does Reflexology Work?
Reflexology is highly effective in reducing stress and pain throughout the body by putting the client into a deeply relaxed state. In this state, the function of the nervous system shifts mainly into its optimal parasympathetic (involuntary) mode. When the body is in this state of relaxation, it has the ability to re-establish its balance and consequently its self-healing potential.
There are approximately 7,200 nerve endings on the bottom of each foot, which have connections through the sciatic nerve to the spinal cord and brain. By alleviating blockage by breaking up uric and lactic acid crystals deposits in the feet, the crystals are released into the blood stream and eliminated through the urinary system. This relieves the congestion in the body and the body functions flow smoothly, ultimately allowing the body systems to achieve refined internal peace and balance.
Zones of the Body and Foot Chart
Reflexology identifies 10 vertical zones of the body, which link one part of the body to another. Five of these are located on the right side of the body and five are located on the left. Each zone travels the length of the body from the toes, fingers and top of the head.
There are 10 vertical zones on the feet, five on either foot. Generally, the right side of the body is related to the right foot and the left side of the body is related to the left foot. Occasionally there are some people who show a crossover of sensation.
Zones in the body
Hering's Law of Cure
Hering's Law of Cure states that all cure starts from within out, from the head down, and in reverse order as the symptoms have appeared.
BENEFITS OF REFLEXOLOGY
- Reflexology can be used for all ages
- It is a holistic non-invasive therapy
- Reduces stress, tension, and anxiety
- Increases blood and lymphatic flow
- Improves oxygen and normalizes glandular function
- Cleanses the body of toxins
- Improves emotional imbalances
- Enhances all other treatments such as shiatsu, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments
- Reflexology helps the body to heal faster after surgery
- Reflexology increases the attention span
WHAT REFLEXOLOGISTS DON'T DO
We do not diagnose - Reflexologists are not doctors, doctors treat specific conditions we treat the whole person. The Reflexologist is limited to complementing medicine not replacing it.
We do not prescribe medication - this does not fall within our scope of practice.
We do not treat for specific conditions - we treat the body and allow the body to release stress and tension and assist the body to balance itself.
We do not use machines or instruments - The use of tools is not encouraged or endorsed by RAC.
Reflexology dates back more than 4000 years to the ancient time of the Egyptians. This wall painting is dated approximately 2,330 B.C. early 6th Dynasty. It depicts the practice of hand and foot reflexology in the tomb of Ankhmahor (highest official after the Pharaoh) at Saqqara, known as the physicians' tomb.
Painting from the tomb of Ankhmahor
Approximately 2,330 B.C. early 6th Dynasty.
Prior to the discovery of the painting, it was widely believed that Reflexology had ancient origins along with the Oriental practices of shiatsu and acupuncture. Some researchers believe that Reflexology is over 5,500 years old. It is speculated that it was known thousands of years ago in India, and was brought to China and Japan by Buddhist Monks. Monks and priests have often been involved in healing in every culture, but especially in the Far East. Similarly, in North America the Inca's are believed to have practiced Reflexology on the feet.
Dr. William H. Fitzgerald
Dr. William H. Fitzgerald was a nose and throat specialist and is currently hailed as the "Rediscover of Reflexology". In 1913 he discovered that pressure, when applied to certain points on the body relieves pain and improves the functions of certain organs. Dr. Fitzgerald further developed the practice of Reflexology by introducing it into modern Western society. He used the name "Zone Therapy" and Reflexology was known by that name until the early 1960's. Dr. Fitzgerald brought his findings to attention while he was head of the Nose and Throat Department of St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut.
Eunice Ingham, is known as the "Mother of Reflexology". She initially worked with Dr. Fitzgerald as a physical therapist, also practiced Zone Therapy and helped develop it. Eunice Ingham is recognized for naming Reflexology, as we know it today. She was also devoted to promoting Reflexology by educating lay people in North America. She traveled widely for over 30 years giving Reflexology information seminars. She published anatomical charts and her two books: "Stories the Feet Can Tell" (1938) and "Stories the Feet Have Told" (1951).