Reflexology is NOT massage.
Reflexology is a non-invasive, complementary practice involving the use of thumb and finger techniques to apply alternating pressure to
reflexes shown on reflex maps of the body located on the feet, hands, and outer ears.
Reflexology is a relaxing therapy that can be used alone, as a complement to, or in conjunction with integrative Healthcare therapies.
Scope of Practice
Specific techniques and areas of application define the unique quality of Reflexology as opposed to any other practice. The traditional
practice of Reflexology primarily focuses on the theory of reflex maps and their representation on the feet, hands, and ears. Reflexology as a
manual practice consists of working with specific finger, thumb, and hand techniques in order to stimulate reflex points on the feet, hands, and
ears. Reflexology is applied to a fully clothed person, only the shoes and socks are removed.
What is a Reflexologist?
A Reflexologist is a person who uses special pressure techniques on the reflexes of the feet, hands, and ears; one who has studied the
principles of Reflexology, anatomy, and physiology generally included in a regular course of study and who has received a minimum 300 hour
training certificate or diploma of education in Reflexology, or certification through a national, independent non-profit Reflexology certification
History of Reflexology
"The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art." Leonardo da Vinci
• Many forms of footwork have been known and used throughout human history in Egypt, India, China, Japan, the European countries and the
North and South Americas. In 1909 - 1913 Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American medical doctor, began introducing a new therapy to the west
known as "Zone Therapy". He noted that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body within the
same longitudinal zone (Fitzgerald Zones). He noted that zone therapy brought pain relief to his patients.
• Dr. Joe Shelby Riley, a student of Dr. Fitzgerald’s, added to Fitzgerald’s longitudinal lines with his discovery of the eight horizontal lines and
also made the first drawings of the reflex points located on the feet and hands, and he was the first to add the ears. Dr. Riley published the
first book on "Zone Therapy" in 1919. Altogether, he wrote four books (twelve editions) and several correspondence courses on the subject.
• In the 1930’s to the mid 70’s, Eunice D. Ingham, a Physiotherapist in Dr. Riley’s office, further developed zone theory and renamed it
“Reflexology”. Through her study and work on many clients, she observed that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the
corresponding part of the body and created detailed “reflex maps” of the reflex points on the feet. She also discovered that an alternating
pressure was more effective than continuous pressure and created the “thumb walk” technique.
• In 1938 Eunice published her first book, Stories the Feet Can Tell and began a 40 year lecturing and teaching career that took her across
the US and many parts of Europe. In 1945: "Zone Therapy" and "Gland Reflexes" was published. Later the two books were combined and
renamed "Stories the Feet Can Tell" and "Stories the Feet Have Told". Eunice’s work and legacy lives on through her books and the Original
Ingham Method™ by nephew Dwight Byers of the International Institute of Reflexology.
• To learn more about Reflexology’s history read "Reflexology: Art, Science & History and Eunice Ingham"; A Biography by Christine Issel.
|AZRA ~ Arizona Reflexology Association
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