Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Reflexology

Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Reflexology

Article excerpt

Reflexology is based on the theory that applying pressure to specific areas on the feet and, less commonly, on the hands and ears can affect internal organs and body systems, and therefore promote good health. It evolved from the work of Dr. William H. Fitzgerald, a U.S. ear, nose, and throat specialist who was interested in the theory of energy lines, or meridians, and developed "zone therapy" (see below) around 1913. A reflexology treatment tends to be extremely relaxing; not only do most people enjoy having their feet massaged, but stimulating the extensive nerve endings in the feet is beneficial in itself and can have profound effects throughout the body. The sequence opposite is a simple reflexology treatment.

REFLEX POINTS ON THE FEET

The theory of energy zones was developed further by Dr. Fitzgerald's followers, including Eunice Ingham, who produced charts in the 1930s that "mapped" the soles, sides, and tops of the feet to indicate the locations of reflex points for every part of the body.

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THE ZONES

According to Dr. Fitzgerald's zone therapy, the whole body can be divided into longitudinal zones, or energy channels, that run through the whole body, terminating in the feet and hands. Any part of the body can be stimulated by working on the reflex area of the foot in the same zone.

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PRACTICING REFLEXOLOGY

In reflexology, pressure is applied with the thumb or forefinger. You either use a static pressure or a "walking" technique, when a digit is bent and straightened to move it forward. Support the foot throughout, with the other hand as near as possible to the area you are working on. If an area is sensitive, focus on the tender spot until the pain subsides, but always stay within your partner's pain threshold. Work systematically on one foot and then on the other. Avoid using off, since this makes your fingers slip. …

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