What is Reflexology?

A Step in the Right Direction!

Reflexology is defined as such:

Reflexology is a science that deals with the principle that there are reflex areas in the feet and hands which correspond to all of the glands, organs and parts of the body.

 Reflexology is a serious adjunct to the health field and shouldn't be confused with a foot massage. It's so much more!

Inscriptions found in physician's tomb in Saqqara, Egypt.

Photo Courtesy of the International Institute of Reflexology

Eunice Ingham doing reflexology on a client.

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A Long Time Ago...

The origins of reflexology are believed to have stemmed all the way back to ancient Egyptian times as seen in hieroglyphics found in a physician's tomb in Saqqara, Egypt(Top Left). It clearly shows the practitioners are working on the hands and feet of their patients. However, reflexology as we know it today was discovered by Eunice Ingham(Bottom Left) who was a physical therapist in a doctor's office in the early 1930's. Eunice treated many patients with her "reflex therapy". She had much success discovering the reflexes in the feet which had an affect on a certain part of the body. As a matter of fact the body's "map" on the feet(as seen below) is an exact copy of the body itself! Finding and working the body's reflexes in the feet helped to relieve an abundance of health problems. Eunice wrote two books on all her findings and she went on to teach seminars to spread the word about the benefits of the Ingham Method of Reflexology, as it came to be known. Alongside Eunice was her nephew Dwight Byers whom she raised from a young child. Dwight taught reflexology at the seminars as well, helped to develop reflexology even further, and went on to establish the International Institute of Reflexology in the early 1970's. To this day seminars all over the world are being taught to keep Eunice's dream alive and that was simply using reflexology to ease the suffering of mankind.

What Can Reflexology Do for You?

To make it simple reflexology does 3 things:

  1. Relieves stress and tension
  2. Improves nerve and blood supply
  3. Helps nature to normalize
It is said by doctors that 75% of health problems have been linked to stress and tension. Imagine giving your body a much needed break from today's stress while simultaneously helping your body function properly, naturally! All through your feet! 

The map of the body depicted on the feet.

Photo Courtesy of the International Institute of Reflexology

Is Reflexology Safe?

Absolutely! Reflexology is non-invasive with the practitioner using just their hands to reflex the feet and help the body from the inside out. Anyone can receive reflexology especially women during pregnancy. Basically if you are able to take a nap you can receive reflexology because its main benefit is relaxation. The mistake is thinking reflexology "stimulates" the body making it do something unwanted. The truth is reflexology simply helps the body to achieve its own natural balance and doesn't make the body do anything it doesn't need to do. If a client does have adverse symptoms following a reflexology session, known as Herxheimer Response, it is the body's way of cleaning out waste that has been locked away due to stress and poor circulation. Reflexology cannot make any condition worse but please remember reflexology is not a replacement for medical care. Reflexologists don't diagnose, perscribe, or treat a specific condition. If you have a specific condition that has not been treated it's highly recommended you see your doctor.  

How Often Should I Get Reflexology?

Reflexology is a lot like exercise. When done more frequently better results are experienced. It is encouraged to have reflexology sessions done twice a week for a couple weeks and gradually spread them out as sensitive areas are worked out. A typical session is 30-40 minutes long but an initial session can take up to an hour. Of course this varies from person to person. Picture, if you will, a piece of cloth. You dip the cloth in yellow paint and then hang it in the sun to dry. If this is done once a week the cloth fades pretty quickly and a brilliant yellow color is never really achieved. Now if the cloth is dipped more often pretty soon it will have a better chance of becoming a brilliant yellow. The cloth is your body, the paint is reflexology, and the sun is stress. Can you picture it? In a high stress world that tries to take your shine, reflexology can help you keep shining!

In Memoriam

Past President of the International Institute of Reflexology

Dwight C. Byers

February 11, 1929 - August 29, 2020

Photo Courtesy of the International Institute of Reflexology

Photo Courtesy of the International Institute of Reflexology

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