Where did it come from and what it is?

Hieroglyphics in Egypt have pictures depicting people working on the feet. Considering it was very often the ancient Egyptians that pioneered and studied medicine (along with many other subjects) this has great standing to the value of reflexology.

Dr Wang-Wei, a Chinese doctor, in the 4th century BC, positioned acupuncture needles in his patients’ bodies and then would apply pressure with his thumbs to the soles of their feet. This pressure was kept for several minutes until the desired therapeutic effects were achieved. He claimed that this helped release healing energy.

Dr. William Fitzgerald studied at the University of Vermont and graduated in 1895. For two and a half years he practiced medicine in Boston City Hospial and then moved to the Central London Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital in England. He practiced under Professors Politzer and Chiari (at an ear, nose and throat clinic in Vienna). It is thought that it was whilst in Vienna, Dr. Fitzgerald read the papers on pressure therapy. He researched these theories further and this led him to refine the zone theory.

In 1913 Dr. Fitzgerald brought his initial findings to the attention of the medical profession. He discovered that pressure, when applied to certain points on the body, could relieve pain and improve the functions of certain organs of the body. In his research he developed a system of ten zones running from the top of the head to the tips of the toes and hands jointly authored with Dr. Fitzgerald the book “Zone Therapy”. Working closely with Dr. Fitzgerald was another medical doctor by the name of Dr. Joe Shelby Riley. Physical therapist Eunice D. Ingham worked closely with Dr. Riley and was fascinated with his research and started developing her foot reflex theory in the early 1930′s. She proceeded to treat hundreds of patients where she carefully checked and rechecked each reflex point until she determined that the reflexes on the feet were an exact mirror image of the organs of the body.

Reflexology is the manipulation of points on the feet (reflex points) which correspond to parts of the body. The entire body is “mapped” out on the feet.

The Treatment

The treatment begins with a warming foot soak allowing time to discuss areas to focus on and the possible use of beneficial essential oils. The reflexology treatment is performed with the client laying down. The feet are slightly raised so that they can be worked on. Firstly the feet are warmed and relaxed. The entire foot is always worked on although focus can be put on certain reflex points (corresponding to the ailment to be worked on). The treatment is one hour long.


Reflexology (1 hour)