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A Quick History Lesson on Reflexology

A Quick History Lesson on Reflexology

While the true origins of Reflexology aren’t clear, there have been references to working with hands, feet, and ears in many different civilizations and cultures throughout history. A classic example of this is a set of Egyptian drawings in the tomb of a Physician. Suggesting the act of Reflexology could have been used by the Egyptians as early as 2330 B.C. 

The general belief in reflexology is that all parts of the body are reflected in your hands and feet and in some cases, even your ears. And evidence of this theory can be found in Zone Therapy - an early version of Reflexology which can be traced back as far as AD1500. It was also used by American President, James Abram Garfield as he said the pressure applied to his feet relieved pain. During the 16th century, there were a number of books published on Zone Therapy and the effects pressure applied to specifics parts of the foot. In 1915 an article was written entitled “To stop that toothache, squeeze your toe” was published in “Everybody’s Magazine”, written by Edwin Bowers which was based on a Dr. Fitzgeralds' theory regarding ‘Zone Therapy’."

Dr Fitzgerald, who is considered one of the founders of ‘Zone therapy’ said, “Six years ago I accidentally discovered that pressure with a cotton-tipped probe on the muco-cutinous margin (where the skin joins the mucous membrane) of the nose gave an anesthetic result as though a cocaine solution had been applied. I further found that there were many spots in the nose, mouth, throat, and on both surfaces of the tongue, which, when pressed firmly, deadened definite areas of sensation. Also, that pressure exerted over any bony eminence of the hands, feet, or over the joints, produces the same characteristic results in pain relief. I found also that when the pain was relieved, the condition that produced the pain was most generally relieved. This led to my ‘mapping out’ these various areas and their associated connections and also to note the conditions influenced through them. This science I have named “Zone Therapy”.

From 1915 right through to the 1930s, Zone Therapy was considered controversial. However, it was met with some success by specific practitioners such as dentists and osteopaths.

Eunice InghamAlongside Dr. Fitzgerald, Physiotherapist Eunice Ingham painstakingly mapped out feet and matched the areas with corresponding organs and glands within the body. This pioneering work was designed to help people help themselves and Eunice worked alongside doctors to prove her findings. These findings are what is now known as Reflexology. 

Not only did Eunice Ingham become a pioneer in the Reflexology movement, but she also founded the Institute of Reflexology where her nephew is currently the President. Through the institute, her work is carried forward by her nephew and those passionate about the practice. They have taken the Original Ingham Method and refined it further to provide an effective and economic way to enable practitioners to contact the reflexes. 

After forty years of devoting her life to her reflexology studies, Eunice Ingham died in 1974. Her legacy continues through those who practice the art of Reflexology both professionally and personally. 

Reflexology benefits people of all ages and most conditions. There is a range of four to six-week courses that can help provide pain relief and improve or eliminate ailments. Revs Reflexology Shoes are designed to provide an element of relief on a daily basis and can be used alongside a normal course of Reflexology to enhance its effectiveness.

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