History of reflexology.Reflexology is a holistic therapy which aims to assist your inbuilt healing responses and help restore balance to your mind-body-spirit.
Thought to have been used since ancient times in both Egypt and the Orient, reflexology resurfaced in recent times in America.
Dr William Fitzgerald, an American E.N.T surgeon found that:-
- applying pressure to the extremities resulted in pain relief in the same vertical zone
- pressure was applied for long periods using elastic bands, metal probes and other implements
- he was able to carry out minor surgical procedures using this analgesic effect
Dr Fitzgerald and Dr Edwin F. Bowers published a book called Zone Therapy or Relieving Pain at Home (1917)
- which details the practical application of pressure analgesia
- FitzGerald put forward the theory of ten
vertical linked zones in the body
- at the time his theories received a mixed reception - from support to ridicule
- FitzGerald felt that the effectiveness of the
method was due to a shock effect
The influence of Dr. Fitzgerald's approach can still be seen in America where practitioners often utilise infra red heat lamps and a variety of percussion hammers for drumming on reflexes.
The healing effect of near-infra red light has been confirmed by NASA deep space experience - various trials have been carried out - one such on oral mucositis in young cancer sufferers in 2003. NASA has been working with Quantum Devices to develop flat arrays of LEDS to assist wound healing as in low gravity conditions wounds are slow to heal. (Source -Page 2 of Nasa PDF Report)
Foot massagers with infra red heat lamps for the home market are available widely now - one such is Medisana Thermoped Foot Massager (IFM)
Having a reflexology treatment at regular intervals is excellent for relaxation, boosting circulation and promotes a feeling of wellbeing. But regular treatments aren't always possible for one reason or another.
The beauty of the home massages is that you can make regular foot massage a part of your routine. Although the massage is not the same as a reflexology treatment they will provide stimulation to the nerves of the feet and boost circulation. From rotary kneading action with heat to electro stimulation there are many different models available. If you've tried any of these models and have any feedback - contact us with the details.
Eunice Ingham an American nurse is credited with developing modern reflexology
- she is known as the mother of modern reflexology
- through practical experience she mapped the reflexes for all the internal organs on the feet
- the rest of her life was spent travelling widely promoting the reflexology method she had developed
- her method used an alternating pressure which she felt stimulated rather than producing an analgesic effect
Doreen Bayly studied with Eunice Ingham and later founded the British Reflexology Association and the Bayly School of Reflexology.
In the last 20 to 30 years there has been a mini explosion of interest in reflexology and other complementary therapies as people take a more active interest in their health and wellbeing. Since the days of FitzGerald reflexology has become a mainstream therapy and is especially valued for its stress-relieving properties.