A Brief History of Reflexology

A foot massage which uses pressure to stimulate points mirroring areas on the whole body.


A Brief History of Reflexology:

The first evidence of reflexology was found in Egypt in the tomb of a Physician where images depicting men having their hands and feet worked on were discovered. It is believed that this practice was performed for the benefit of the person receiving the treatment, as the translated hieroglyphics suggest that the person delivering the treatment said “I shall act so you praise me”.

DrWilliamHFitzgeraldIt was not until the 20th century that the next key step in the development of reflexology occurred. Dr William H. Fitzgerald was an ears, nose and throat specialist who initiated the zone theory where he used pressure points on the tongue to relieve pain. He later found that this pain relief was treating the underlying conditions as well as giving temporary pain relief. “He was responsible for formulating the first chart on the longitudinal zones of the body.”

This was expanded on by Dr Riley, who, working with Dr Fitzgerald to include horizontal lines across the feet and hands resulting in specific areas. It was Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist, who developed reflexology to what we know today. Inspired by Dr Riley and Fitzgerald’s work she mapped the organs of the body on the hands and feet in relation to the zone theory.

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Written by Robyn Magilton – Robyn’s Holistics

International Institute of Reflexlogy – History of Reflexology – http://www.reflexology-usa.net/history.htm