Reflexology Association of British Columbia
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Reflexology

A brief History

The practice of modern Reflexology stems from knowledge that was known in the ancient societies of Egypt, India and China. Reflexology has been practiced in China for over 5,000 years.

In 1913 ‘zone therapy' was introduced to North America through the research on pressure point therapies by Dr. William Fitzgerald, an ear, nose and throat specialist. Modern Reflexology was born from continued research by Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist.

The first Egyptian record of Reflexology dating back to approximately 2300 B.C. found in an Egyptian physician's tomb.

China, Denmark and the United Kingdom excel in their research on the benefits of Reflexology as a health care modality. Each of these countries recognize Reflexology as a safe and beneficial therapy that can be integrated into an existing and established health care system.

China continues to expand their areas of research in over 100 illnesses and health conditions. Denmark follows next in clinical research, where Reflexology is the most common complementary treatment used by the public. In the United Kingdom clinical studies are conducted on the benefits of Reflexology with qualified Reflexologists and mainstream health care practitioners working together.

In North America Reflexologists and conventional western medical practitioners are just beginning to explore the possibilities and benefits of collaborative research on Reflexology. One such study has been documented in a respected research journal: Oleson, T. and Folocco, W. “Randomized controlled study of premenstrual symptoms treated with ear, hand and foot Reflexology”, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1993;82(6): 906-11.

Definition and Practice

Reflexology follows the principle that a vital energy or life force, circulates throughout the body and into every cell and tissue. If the energy pathways become blocked or stagnated, the part of the body relating to the blockage is affected. The techniques used in Reflexology are designed to dissipate energy blocks, stimulate the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems and to release toxins in tissue. Reflexology encourages and supports the body's self-healing capabilities. A Reflexology treatment also assists a person to experience the benefits of improved circulation and reach greater relaxation throughout their entire body. When the body is in a relaxed state and not under the effects of stress, the natural healing processes of the body can function more efficiently, allowing a return to health more quickly.

Through touch and pressure, Reflexology is a non-invasive method of stimulating reflexes points within the hands, feet and/or ears, which are points that have a relationship to body glands, organs and tissues. The therapist approaches each session with balance by systematically applying varying degrees of touch to the reflex areas on the feet, hands, ear or face of both the left and right sides of the body. Reflexology is beneficial as a regular treatment for all ages and is safe to receive during pregnancy and labour.

Reflexology is an effective way of dealing with a variety of ailments for all age groups. It is used in conjunction with chiropractic and therapeutic massage treatments and physiotherapy programs. Many people use Reflexology as a complement to enhance the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine and conventional, naturopathic and homeopathic health care. The Reflexologist does not diagnose or prescribe.

Commonly reported benefits developing soon after a treatment are:

  • Stress relief
  • An increase in mental and physical well being
  • Reduction in pain and discomfort
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