|History of Reflexology- An ancient art for a modern world...
Around the world and throughout history, reflexology has been rediscovered time and time again.
Archeological evidence points to ancient reflexology medical practices in Egypt (2330 BCE),
China (2704 BCE) and Japan (690 CE).
In the West, the concept of reflexology began to emerge in the 19th century with European and
Russian research into the nervous system and reflex- think Pavlov. Reflex therapies were created
as medical practices but were soon eclipsed by use of surgery and drugs. The ideas of reflex use
for health improvement were carried on sporadically and brought to American in 1909 by Dr.
William Fitzgerald, an eye-ear and nose specialist from Connecticut. Physiotherapist Eunice
Ingham is credited with developing a system of reflex areas by 1938.
Research has shown the specific techniques of reflexology to be effective and beneficial in many
ways. A survey of 170 reflexology studies from 21 countries shows that reflexology is effective,
impacting a variety of physical and psychological concerns.
Benefits of Reflexology studied:
~ Creates relaxation: From the moment the reflexologist's hands start their work, the relaxation
begins as shown in research using EEG brain activity. All together, 24 studies demonstrate
reflexology's relaxation effects.
~Reduces pain: Pain reduction following reflexology work is documented in 27 studies including
research showing impact on individuals of all ages and health states
Ameliorates health concerns: Research shows that reflexology work helps indiviuals of all ages
with some 78 health concerns ranging from aggressive behavior Êin children to urinary concerns
of the elderly.
~Improves blood flow: Separate studies show that reflexology work increases blood flow to the
feet, brain, kidneys and intestines.
Aids post-operative recovery: Reflexology work aids recovery after surgery as shown by several
studies, reducing pain and lessening the use of post operative analgesics.
Impact on physiological measures (e. g. blood pressure and cholesterol; measurements by ECG,
EEG, and fMRI)
~Enhances medical care: Reflexology helps where nothing else can for many: phantom limb pain
sufferers, neuropathy patients, and hemodialysis patients to name a few.
Benefits mental health: Research demonstrates that reflexology can reduce depression (11
studies) and anxiety (9 studies).
~Complements cancer care: Pain, nausea, vomiting, and/or anxiety eased for chemotherapy
patients following reflexology work as shown by16 studies fom 7 countries.
Eases pregnancy, delivery and post-partum effects: Women who received reflexology
experienced shorter labor times and used less analgesia. In addition, reflexology showed a
positive impact on postpartum depression, anxiety, urination and bowel movements.
In general terms, the benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress. Because the
feet and hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body, they are an easy way to
interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis, the body's equilibrium.
Reflexology is a complement to standard medical care. It should not be construed as medical
advice. It should not be a replacement to medical help. Please use it wisely. I care about your