What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is an ancient healing art that was first practiced by the early Indian, Chinese and Egyptian peoples many thousands of years ago.
Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American ear, and nose and throat surgeon introduced its modern form to the western world in 1913. He noticed that by applying pressure to specific points on the body there was a resulting anaesthetic effect on a related area. Using this as the basis for his work, he then went on to develop his own theory by dividing the body into ten equal and vertical zones, ending in the fingers and toes, concluding that pressure on one part of a zone could affect everything else within that zone. He then used this to map out the reflex areas on the feet and hands in the knowledge that they are linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.
Further development of Dr. Fitzgerald’s system were made in the 1930’s by Eunice Ingham who refined his zone therapy into what is now known as foot reflexology. It was her observation that congestion or tension in any part of the body mirrors congestion or tension in a corresponding part of the foot.
Reflexology is a holistic system of healing that treats the whole person, not the symptoms of disease. It is suitable for all ages and can be used to treat a broad spectrum of acute and chronic conditions. Once initial treatment has been given and the body reaches a more harmonious level, it is advisable to have regular treatments that will help to maintain health and well-being.
During treatment, the reflexologist will firstly discus your current state of health before beginning to work on your feet, or hands if necessary, noting any problem areas. In the main, the experience of receiving reflexology is pleasant and soothing but there may be some short-term discomfort on some points, this being an indication of congestion or imbalance in a corresponding part of the body.
Treatment sessions last for about one hour. A course of treatment varies in length depending on your needs. Your therapist will discuss this with you at the first session. After the first treatment or two your body may respond in a very definite way: you may have a feeling of well-being and relaxation; or you may feel lethargic, nauseous or tearful, but this is transitory. It is, however, vital information for reflexologists, as it shows how your body is responding to treatment.