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What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a complementary health therapy, based on the theory that different points on the feet, hands and face correspond with different areas of the body. For thousands of years, techniques similar to reflexology have been used.

The Chinese believed that applying needles and pressure on different parts of the feet helped to fight different illnesses. This is how Traditional Chinese Medicine developed.  In India, acupressure was integral to deep massage, and Ayurveda helped to heal the body from disease.  The Incas, an ancient Peruvian civilisation in Latin America, used reflexology to help the body to deal with illnesses.

A technique called “zone therapy” was developed in the early 20th century by an American physician named William Fitzgerald. Dr. Fitzgerald suggested that maps of the foot could be used to diagnose and treat medical conditions. He divided the body into 10 zones and labelled what he believed to be the corresponding parts of the foot. He proposed that gentle pressure on the foot could bring relief to the corresponding zone.  In the 1930s, Eunice Ingham, a nurse and physiotherapist, further developed these maps to include specific reflex points and zone therapy has been renamed reflexology. Click here to find out about what reflexology is all about.

I am a member of the Association of Reflexologists (AOR) which was formed in 1984. The purpose of this professional organisation is to provide guidance to reflexologists.  In addition it works with external bodies and advisory groups to promote a high standard within the profession of reflexology.  The Association of Reflexologists is also a member of RiEN, the reflexology Forum and the CNHC.  It also has representation at the Parliamentary Group for Integrated and Complimentary Healthcare (PGICH).  Members of the Association of Reflexologist are regular invited to talk about reflexology to the press.  Please see click here to see a video of Tracey Smith, the Reflexology and Research Manager of the AOR talking to Martyn Lewis.

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