HAND & FOOT REFLEXOLOGY
Reflexology (zone therapy) is a gentle form of therapeutic treatment applied to the feet and sometimes to the hands. It evolved around 1913 from the work of Dr. William H. Fitzgerald, an ear, nose and throat surgeon in the United States. Reflexology is considered to be a holistic healing technique that aims to treat the individual as a whole, in order to induce a state of balance and harmony in body, mind, and spirit.
Reflexology is based on the belief that there are reflex areas on the feet (and hands) corresponding to all the parts of the body including major organs. It is believed that applying pressure to specific areas on the feet, hands and ears can affect internal organs and body systems, and therefore promote good health. Theories of the effects of reflexology include the removal of blockages in the flow of energy or Chi (Qi), release of endorphins (natural pain killers found in the body), the promotion of lymphatic flow in the body and the dissolving of uric acid crystals.
The therapist stimulates and works these organs and systems through the reflexes areas on the hands and feet, applying pressure to the feet with thumb and fingers. Pressure is applied to clear out congestion and restore normal functioning and health.
Benefits of Reflexology
Reflexology has many benefits besides feeling good and relaxing the body. Among its noted benefits are pain relief associated with migraine, sinus problems, breathing disorders, digestive problems, circulatory problems, back problems, tension, and stress.
Reflexology was first found in ancient cultures such as Egypt and China and Reflexology. It was brought to America in the early 1900s by Chinese immigrants. The precursor of modern reflexology was introduced to the United States in 1913 by William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. (1872-1942), an ear, nose, and throat specialist, and Dr. Edwin Bowers. Fitzgerald claimed that applying pressure had an anesthetic effect on other areas of the body.
Reflexology was further developed by Eunice D. Ingham (1899-1974), a nurse and physiotherapist, in the 1930s and 1940s. Ingham claimed that the feet and hands were especially sensitive, and mapped the entire body into "reflexes" on the feet. It was at this time that "zone therapy" was renamed reflexology.
Modern reflexologists in the United States and the United Kingdom often learn Ingham's method first, although there are other more recently developed methods.
A reflexology chart shows the "reflex zones" worked by reflexologists on the soles of the feet. Similar maps exist for the position of the reflexes on the hands and ears.