Reflexology is a focussed pressure technique, usually directed at the feet or hands. It is based on the premise that there are zones and reflexes on different parts of the body which correspond to and are relative to all parts, glands and organs.
Zone Theory is the foundation of Foot Reflexology and an understanding of the Zones as a system for organizing relationships between various parts, glands and organs of the body and the reflexes are essential to reflexology and its applications.
When the reflexes are stimulated, the body's natural electrical energy works along the nervous system to clear any blockages in the corresponding zones.
Pressure applied to any part of a zone will affect the entire zone and can be stimulated by working any reflex in that same zone.
Manipulating specific reflexes removes stress, activating a parasympathetic (nervous system) response in the body to enable the blockages to be released by a physiological change in the body. With stress removed and circulation enhanced, the body is allowed to return to a state of homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the 'automatic' process that the body incorporates to bring it back to the 'normal' state.
China, India and Egypt practiced Reflexology thousands of years ago. The oldest documentation is that of an Egyptian papyrus depicting medical practitioners treating feet and hands in 2,500 BC.
Used throughout Europe, Zone Therapy, a form of Reflexology, was developed in the late 14th century.
Zone Therapy is practiced by the North American Indians and uses pressure to the feet. "Our feet walk upon the Earth and through this, our spirit is connected to the Universe. Our feet are our contact with the earth and the energies that flow through it.�
The Western world was introduced to Reflexology in 1913 by Dr. W. Fitzgerald, MD with "Zone and Pressure Therapy" and later with Edwin Bowers, MD, George Starr White, MD and Dr. Joe Riley, MD
Early authors of Reflexology books were Eunice Ingham who worked with Dr. Joe Riley and Mildred Carter.
Reflexology sessions are for people of all ages, from the newborn to the elderly, for a general tune-up or for an unhealthy body.
The vast majority of people usually realize the benefits of reducing stress which in turn minimizes physical symptoms. Reflexology in conjunction with other forms of therapies complements ongoing medical treatments.
The therapeutic intervention in a session is limited to "working the reflexes" and assessing a "tender reflex".
A complete Reflexology session is performed on both feet. The session, depending upon what is required, will last 45 to 60 minutes.
Using a firm pressure, the reflexes are worked according to the client's requirements. Stress removal is the first priority followed by enhancing circulation.
The pressure exerted by the Reflexologist usually ranges from 0 to 10 or 20 pounds. Reflexology is not meant to inflict pain and common sense dictates when less pressure is required.