Indications of indigenous cultures working on the feet have been discovered in examples of Art and Sculptures found in Egypt (around 4,000 years ago), Tibet, China, and among Native American-Indian nations
The question would be - does that surviving Art indicate Reflexology treatment applied as we know it today, in line with our modern understanding, framework of knowledge, training, and practice?
We have a few people to thank for progressing Reflexology. The modern concept of Clinical Reflexology was due to the exploration of some American physicians in the 1920's:-
Dr William FitzGerald - discovered how applied pressure to certain reflexes,
deadened sensations in other areas of the body
Dr Joe Shelby Riley - as Dr FitzGerald's trainee, Dr Joe Shelby Riley (1856-1947)
continued exploring how reflexes found on the feet and hands (& ears) follow the anatomy of the body. He developed an understanding of reflex zones across the feet
Eunice D Ingham - (1889-1972) went to work for Dr Shelby Riley (around 1919).
Progressing Dr Riley's work, Ms Ingham figured out how applying pressure to reflex points stimulated healing – also produced a book "Stories the Feet Can Tell"- and a ‘Foot Map’, which is still in use today, and preferred by many examining bodies
Mildred Carter - In 1969 Mildred Carter (a student with Eunice Ingham) wrote the first Reflexology Book published by a major publisher in America; "Helping Yourself with Reflexology". It sold over 500,000 copies, and increased public awareness of reflexology.
It is generally considered that the its publication may well have raised interest in the genre of 'self-help books'
Reflexology in the UK
Doreen Bayly - from England, In the late 1950’s, after training in America with Eunice Ingham, Doreen became the first teacher in Europe of Eunice's method; introducing the work to the UK, and authoring ‘Reflexology Today’ (1984)
Reflexology in Europe
Paul Nogier - In the 1950s French medical doctor, Nogier, developed charts for reflex points on the outer ears (auriculotherapy)
Hanne Marquardt - in 1958, Marquardt (another student with Eunice Ingham) took Eunice's work to Germany in the 1970's.
Today Marquardt still runs seminars and courses on reflexology throughout Europe and has produced 2 books –
“Reflex Zone Therapy of the Feet: A Comprehensive Guide for Health Professionals”, and
“Reflexotherapy of the Feet”
Studies indicate Reflexology to be one of the Number One complimentary alternative medicines (CAM)?
Reflexology is an accepted practice and profession by the governments in China and South Africa
Reflexology and other complimentary alternative medicines are great for use as part of an overall health care plan. If you are suffering from illness it's good to first discuss your requirements with your GP or health specialist prior to commencing a course of Holistic Therapy.
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