Reflexology is the application of gentle pressure and massage to reflex points located on all parts of the feet. It is based on the belief that these reflex points relate to and mirror the internal organs, glands and structures of the body. By using pressure on a specific area of the foot, an effect will be stimulated on the corresponding area of the body.
The goal of the reflexology is to stimulate those points and break down any crystal deposits located in the feet, hands or ears to restore normal function to that body system. Pressure on the feet can therefore affect the functioning of the body and encourage the healing process to begin.
Rooted In Ancient History
The history of reflexology goes back thousands of years. Cultures in Europe, as well as in the Far East, have found traces of ‘foot work’ dating back thousands of years. The oldest documentation of the use of reflexology
was found in Egypt, a pictograph showing the use of reflexology was found in the tomb of an Egyptian physician. This image is well known and often reproduced in reflexology books.
It is thought that it was brought from India to China and Japan by traveling Buddhist monks. Monks and priests have often been involved in healing in almost every culture and religion, but especially in the Far East. During the reign of the Mongolian leader Kublai Khan, the fourteen meridian theory of massage was developed.
In 1295, Marco Polo, the great Venetian explorer, a friend of the Khan, brought back stories of healing methods to Venice while European missionaries and monks brought back the knowledge of reflexology to their orders.
The Incas are believed to have practised some form of foot work, and applying pressure to the feet was used by many First Nations.
Reflexology as it is known in the West today had its origins in the study of Zone Therapy, a practice that utilised the longitudinal lines of energy that run through the body starting at the feet and moving up to the brain.
In the early 20th Century American Dr William Fitzgerald spent time broadening his medical experience at various hospitals but it was during his post as head of an ear, nose and throat department that he brought to the attention of the medical world his research into ancient Chinese healing techniques.
He had discovered that by applying pressure to the feet he could bring about an increase in the functioning of other parts of the body. By pure chance Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist overhead a talk on Dr Fitzgerald’s findings and was immediately fascinated by his discoveries and the benefits of Zone Therapy.
In her practice at an orthopaedic hospital she introduced the practice of Zone Therapy after post operative surgical procedures. She noticed that it speeded up the body’s natural healing and that these patients were able to move more quickly after their operation. Eunice Ingham introduced Zone Therapy or Reflexology as we know it today.
In 1930 Eunice Ingham started a private practice as a Reflexologist. She was instrumental in writing the first book on Reflexology and later opened a teaching school dedicated specifically to train students in the practice of Reflexology.
The hands and feet are microcosms of the body and by stimulating the nerve endings in these parts of the body we send messages along the nerve pathways to the various organs. In other words we stimulate and communicate with the complex network of nerves which helps to balance the energies within the body. Reflexology also releases endorphins, chemical messengers which produce a calming and euphoric effect.
I’ve never had reflexology treatment before and I’d read a number of articles about the improved health benefits, including improving fertility. Jo made me feel very comfortable during the initial meeting, we discussed what I wanted to get out of the sessions and I was made to feel completely at ease. I have been for a number of sessions now and have already found a great improvement in my well I think Jo is fantastic and would definitely recommend reflexology, for those of us who want to improve their physical and mental well being.–Natalie J Frost
I was really impressed with my first reflexology session with Joanne that I’ve now booked a further 6 sessions! I felt really relaxed and Joanne did a wonderful job of getting to know me and giving me useful information about the benefits of reflexology before the start of the session. Her hands are definitely ‘healing hands’! Thanks Joanne, I am looking forward to my next session!–Neesha Patel
Joanne is exceptional at what she does. She is extremely knowledgeable and puts you at ease with her very friendly, easy-going nature. I have had a number of reflexology sessions with her and have always been amazed by the results. She offers her services at a very reasonable price – fantastic value for money. Her ranking on Freeindex.co.uk says it all.–Liam Hand
Had a fabulous morning, I experienced my first ever Reflexology treatment from Joanne. I can thoroughly recommend a session, delivered in a most relaxing and professional manner. Thanks Joanne.–Mark Eastwood
Reflexology psychological, emotional, physical and energetic benefits
By stimulating the nerve endings of the hands or feet, through application of alternating pressure and touch, reflexology improves blood and nerve supply to the whole body, stimulates the lymphatic system which boosts the immune system, improves circulation to aid in elimination of excess waste products and fluids, increases oxygen from the lungs to all tissues, and promotes the natural function of the body.
A survey of 170 reflexology studies from 21 countries shows reflexology impacts a variety of physical and psychological concerns. To find out more visit our article Reflexology Research.
Reflexology was ranked the 1st most popular complementary therapy demanded by clients in a survey conducted by Professional Association the FHT!
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- Foot Reflexology
- Reflexology is the application of gentle pressure and massage to reflex points located on the feet that mirror the internal organs, glands and structures of the body. This can encourage the healing process to begin, eliminating toxins, inducing deep relaxation and improving health and well-being.
- Hand Reflexology
- Hand Reflexology is the application of gentle pressure and massage to reflex points located on the hands when it is inappropriate to work on the feet. These reflexes that mirror the internal organs, glands and structures of the body. This can encourage the healing process to begin, eliminating toxins, inducing deep relaxation and improving health and well-being.
- Fertility Reflexology
- Fertility Reflexology helps to create a healthier environment for a possible pregnancy to occur by encouraging the body to work more efficiently. One of the major benefits of Fertility Reflexology is the balancing of the endocrine system, the set of glands that produce the body’s hormones. Hormones play a key role in fertility and can be affected by stress. In these days of high pressure careers and increased debt, as well as the underlying worry of infertility, stress could be one of the big reasons why couples are not getting pregnant.
- Maternity Reflexology
- Pregnancy is a special time for a woman but hormonal changes cab occur dramatically, provoking an alteration in many physiological functions. Maternity Reflexology can to help restore balance in most of the cases, treating conditions symptomatically, alleviating and stimulating. Maternity Reflexology has been found to be completely safe during pregnancy in terms of helping mums to be to go full term and beyond with a reduction of the common symptoms of pregnancy. Research studies have shown that expectant mothers who receive regular maternity reflexology treatments may enjoy much shorter labour times and require significantly less pain relief than those who did not have reflexology.