Reflexology is a form of massage used in order to help relieve tension and treat illnesses. An alternative medicine, reflexologists believe that the body houses a series of zones and ‘reflex areas’ that correspond precisely to areas on the hands and feet. The main premise of reflexology is that by manipulating and massaging certain areas on the hands and the feet, one is able to assist in recuperation, recovery and the general wellbeing of specific body parts.
Reflexology is particularly popular in Scandinavia. Elsewhere around the world reflexology is often regarded as a slightly risky treatment to have as it does not have a scientific basis. The reflexology community have recognised this criticism and consequently a reflexologist will generally recommend that you only utilise reflexology in addition to medical help.
Reflexology is performed by a professional reflexologist massaging and manipulating specific areas on a patients hands and feet with the aim that they will be able to contribute towards the health of that individual.
It is speculated that reflexology is an ancient discipline, and this speculation has some validity on the basis that the art of reflexology may well be represented on the wall of an Egyptian tomb dated around 2500 BC.
The physician and writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus was also believed to be a believer in reflexology. He wrote during the first century and derived many of his ideas from the Greek physician Hippocrates.
Despite these earlier instances, it wasn’t until 1913 that reflexology was introduced to the United States by Williams Fitzgerald and Edwin Bowers. This work was then expanded upon in the 1930s and 40s by the nurse Eunice Ingham. There are a number of osteopathy websites online that can provide further information.