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Relexology - Term Paper Example

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Reflexology The association of human life with ailments is as old as humanity itself. Long before the advent of modern medicine, different civilizations had different ways to treat diseases. These treatment methods had their roots in the long held beliefs and cultural norms…
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Download file to see previous pages According to the theory of reflexology, different areas on the palms of hands and soles of feet correspond to various organs and glands of the body. Applying pressure on these reflex points stimulates the flow of energy. This creates a balance within the body and brings about a state of relaxation and peace of mind. In reflexology, the term reflex corresponds to ‘reflection’, and comes from the belief that these reflex areas are small mirrors that reflect the internal state of the body (Wills 2004). The oldest evidence of reflexology, dating back to 2500 BC is in the form of a painting that was found from the tomb of ancient Egyptian physician Ankmahar. This painting shows two people, one receiving a foot massage and the other getting a hand massage. Another belief that is particularly held for the reflexology techniques observed among North American Indians is that is that it originated from Incas civilization of ancient Peru in 12000 BC. In 1955, Dr. Henry Bressler published a book called ‘Zone Therapy’ after studying the effects of applying pressure on certain points on feet and its effects on internal organs of the body. He wrote about the use of reflexology techniques in middle Europe countries and also stated its use to date back to the 14th century. Nevertheless, the technique of reflexology came to be realized as a definitive form of healing and therapy when Dr. William Fitzgerald, an ear nose and throat specialist documented that applying pressure to one part of the body can block pain signals in another part of the body, away from where the pressure is applied. He performed various minor surgeries involving ear, nose, jaw, face, throat and shoulder using this technique, without the need of using anesthetics (Keet 2009). In 1917, Dr. Fitzgerald and Dr. Edwin Bowers published their work on reflexology in their book ‘Zone therapy’. It divides the body into ten equal longitudinal zones through an imaginary line running from the top of the head, down through the center of the body. Five equal zones on each side of the imaginary line end on the soles and palms. Zone one starts from the thumb, includes the arm, shoulder neck and the brain. Running downwards it moves straight towards the big toe. Zone two starts from index finger, running up to include the corresponding areas on the arm, shoulder, neck and brain, it moves down towards the second toe. The third zone starts from middle finger and includes the arm, shoulder, neck, brain and runs down towards the third toe. Zone four starts from the ring finger and includes arm shoulder neck and brain and runs down towards the fourth toe. Fifth zone starts from the little finger and extends up the arm to include shoulder, neck and brain and then down the body up to the fifth toe. Each zone includes the muscles and organs underlying its division. Dr. Fitzgerald also gave courses on reflexology and soon medical practitioners started adopting these techniques and incorporating them in their practice. The credit for the development of this pressure point technique from ‘zone therapy’ to ‘reflexology’ goes to Eunice Ingham, who is considered as ‘mother of reflexology’ by many (Keet 2009). She related the zones on feet to the anatomical structure of the body. She also documented the higher sensitivity of feet to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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