Contrary to the belief of many, reflexology and foot massage are two completely different things. Foot massage is the process of massaging the foot for the foot’s sake. Reflexology techniques involve massaging certain areas of the foot to benefit other parts of the body, both internal and external. Reflexology is also used to improve circulation and other bodily functions. With the right kind of pressure applied to certain pressure points on the feet, hands or ears, the recipient can walk away with less pain and/or a happier body.
The earliest use of reflexology is thought to be some cave sketches that show two men having their feet and hands massaged. Those depictions are dated to 2450 B.C. In 1913, Dr. Edwin Bowers and William H. Fitzgerald, M.D., introduced the concept of applying pressure for anesthetic benefits.
In the ’30s and ’40s, nurse/physiotherapist Eunice D. Ingham modified the holistic practice, mapping the “reflexes” on the hands and feet. The treatment known as “zone therapy” was renamed reflexology. Her methods are still utilized with some slight modern modifications.
Today, reflexology has been recognized by many professionals as an accepted means of alleviating pain and refreshing certain elements of the recipient’s well-being. There are numerous websites and videos dedicated to reflexology. Many schools offer classes to students around the world. Reflexology techniques are used for a multitude of reasons from relaxation to improving a body’s circulation.
Holistic medicine practitioners use reflexology along with acupuncture to help their patients deal with pain and internal organ malfunctions. In Norway, reflexology is very popular with as much as one fifth of the population availing themselves of treatment on a regular basis.
Millions of recipients of reflexology treatment swear by its effectiveness. They eagerly attest to the fact that reflexology helps relieve pain, relaxes stressed nerves and muscle tension and helps their body regain normal body functions.