The Reflexology origins remount to ancient times, when pressure therapies were knowledge as a form of preventive and therapeutic medicine. Although it isn't certainly about when and how it started, evidences point for feet therapeutic massage being prathicated by several cultures along history.
One theory, with acceptance in the Reflexology universe, refers that Reflexology was born in China about 5.000 years ago, although evidences are uncertain. However, egyptian and babilonic cultures were born before the chinese and Egypt as contributed with a historical evidence, found in diggings, of a document (pictogram) dated of 2.500 - 2350 B.C. that describes the practice of Reflexology.
It seems that there isn't doubts about the existence of a strong relation between Reflexology and Acupuncture, both based in similar ideas, that means in energetic and meridian therapies, in the way that propose the idea of energy lines linking the hands and feet to several parts of the body. This allows that all the body can be healed working the reflex zones.
In Acupuncture, with origin in China, needles are used to eliminate obstructions in the energetic paths (meridians) that break the body harmony and origin the disease. In it's turn, in Shiatsu, originated in Japan, finger (specially thumbs) pressure is used on Acupuncture points to produce similar results. Reflexologists also work with Acupuncture and Acupressure points, but only those in the feet.
Reflexology is a gentle art, a fascinate science and an extreme effective form of therapeutic massage, with the application of specific pressure in reflex points specially in the feet although could be also applied in the hands, which as conquest a distinct place in complementary natural medicine. It's a science because it's based in physiologic and neuralgic studies, but also an art because it depends strongly in the skill of the therapist applying is knowledge and of the dynamic between the therapist and the patient.
Reflexology in an holistic healing technique - the expression "holistic" derive from the greek word "holos" that means "the all" - so, it seeks to treat the person as an entity with body, mind and spirit. Reflexologists don't isolate the disease to treat it's symptoms, neither act specifically on one organ or system; in turn, they treat the person as one all, with the objective to induce states of equilibrium and harmony.
The reflex massage in feet, practiced in Reflexology, should not be confused with basic massage to feet or with body massage in a general way. It's a specific technique of pressure that acts in exact reflex points of the feet, with base in the premise that reflex zones of feet match with to all body parts.
As feet represent a microcosm of the body, all organs, glands and other parts of the body are organized in a similar way in feet. The microcosm representation of body parts in different areas of the body are also shown in the eye iris, ear and hands. However, the reflex zones in feet are easier to localize because they cover a bigger area and are more specific, and so, are easier to work with.
Pressure is applied on reflex zones with hand fingers and using specific techniques, provoking physiologic changes in the body, in the way that the healing potential of the body of the patient is stimulated. So, feet could perform an important role to conquest and maintain a better health.
The reflexive treatment technique is simple, not requiring years of training for an effective use. In this therapy, useful for treating diseases and effective in maintaining health and in prevention of sickness, the relation between therapist and patient is very important for the healing process. The therapist act as a mediator to activate the healing potential of the patient.
As in other holistic therapies, in Reflexology is emphasized the need of the patient to assume the responsibility of it's own state of health, that means that, for better results, it's necessary the participation of the patient.
The disease is a direct result of thoughts and actions of people. The mind is extraordinarily powerful and affects all the body cells, provoking chemical changes. In this way, negative emotions like anxiety, regret, fear and worry, largely spread in modern society, will have negative repercussions in health.
Negative attitudes will never facilitate the heal, but an positive posture is very useful to conquest and maintain an healthy body, mind and spirit. So, it's primary to the patient the disposal to get free from the disease and to adopt an active role in the treatment.
It's not the reflexologist by it's own that heals since only the body could heal itself. But Reflexology helps to equilibrate all body systems, stimulating less active zones and calming hyperactive areas. Being all body systems closely related, any thing that affects one part will affect the all. It also can be referred that Reflexology is harmless to areas that are adequately working.
Many therapists, after several years of study and practice, concluded that Reflexology acts at physiological, psychological and spiritual levels.
Many of us will have heard of Reflexology and most probably know that it is some kind of massage that is performed on the feet. It is however not a massage at all but one could call it a manipulation technique that is performed on the feet. The aim of this manipulation is to trigger reflexpoints (on the feet or hands) that correspond to bodily parts or organs that will then react to the trigger.
Reflexology is not new, but existed already in ancient Egypt. It was re-discovered in the beginning of the 20th century by Dr William Fitzgerald in the USA and it spread rapidly all over the world.
One of the reasons of its popularity lies it the fact that it is non-invasive, all you need to do for the treatment is taking off your shoes and socks. If the therapist is lucky you might perhaps considering washing your feet.....
The therapy doesn't use any tools or oils but it is essential that talcum powder is used to obtain the right friction on the surface of your feet. If the therapist is using oil or lotion, you're not getting a reflexology treatment! Reflexology can be done on the hands but it appears to be more effective and easier to work on the feet.
Reflexology is not only a great general toning tool but also an excellent diagnostic tool. It is amazing (almost scary) what the therapist can find out about your health from just a general treatment. It is this quality in reflexology that I personally value most.
The degree of benefit from a reflexology seems to vary per person; generally I find that women seem to get a lot more out of it than men do. Everybody seems to enjoy the treatment but I believe that most men's scepticism often inhibits a positive result from the treatment.
Some people claim that reflexology gets them in a complete relaxed state. In all honesty I must say that I have rarely seen a client in a totally relaxed state, as can be achieved by a Reiki treatment or Aromatherapy massage, following a reflexology treatment.
Conditions that react particularly well to reflexology are:
Constipation (I've been nicknamed 'The colon king') other Digestive problems Sinus-problems (but this may hurt) certain Cardio-vascular problems Genitory / Urinary problems
Foot Reflexology is a ancient method of health and wellness that has been recorded back to the time of Egyptian Pharos, 2400 B.C. recorded on a wall painting in the Egypt tomb of Ankhmahor, a ka-priest. Medical scenes are shown in a doorway that leads into a five pillared room. Thus, this tomb is referred to as the Physician's Tomb. Found on a wall painting in hieroglyphics is an encrypted translation of "Don't hurt me. The practitioners reply, "I shall act so your praise me".
In China, Foot Reflexology Therapy originated around 5,000 years ago. The first noted text was by Hwang Tee. The book was called the "Tao of Foot Centre". This system lasted throughout the Han Dynasty and continued to Japan during the Tang Dynasty.
During the Yuan Dynasty, two authors wrote on the subject. "jin Lan Xun Jing" was by Hu Tai Bi Lie. The other book was by Hua Bo Ren, "Shi Si Jing Fa Hui (The Fourteen Meridians) which elaborated on the Theory of massage Therapy. It was during this period where it then spread to Europe. It eventually found its way to America to a Dr. Riley who teamed up with Dr. William Fitzgerald and they continued investigating their findings. Eunice Ingham worked as a physical therapist in the office and started to develop her own theories and had documented patient cases where upon she presented them to Dr. Riley and with his encouragement, published her first book, "Stories The Feet Can Tell".
The bottom of each foot is a mirror of the entire physical body, mapped out to encompass every bone, muscle and organ. Applying acupressure on these distinct points, can help the entire body back into optimum health; stimulating circulation, activating the lymph system and assisting in the elimination of toxins trapped in the body.
Foot reflexology (foot massage) is a treatment of wide application. It relieves all kinds of chronic health problems and minor ailments, is suitable for people of all ages and is completely harmless and with no negative side-effects.
Reflexology: 1) enhances overall body functioning 2) improves blood circulation 3) assists with better elimination of waste products & "toxic" contaminants of the lymphatic system 4)alleviates chronic health problems - such as headache and migraine, insomnia, neurosis, neck pain and backache, numbness of the limbs, high blood pressure, post-stroke syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome & other discomforts associated with menstrual, hormonal and gastro-intestinal dysfunction.