Reflexology: It's Origin, History, Theory & Hypothesis, Anatomy & Physiology 12 hr

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Reflexology, also called zone therapy, is based on the principle that each body part is represented on the hands and feet and that pressing on specific areas on the hands or feet can have therapeutic effects in other parts of the body:

  • The body is divided into 10 longitudinal zones—five on each side of the body.
  • Each organ or part of the body is represented on the hands and feet;
  • The practitioner can diagnose abnormalities by feeling the hands or feet
  • Massaging or pressing each area can stimulate the flow of energy, blood, nutrients, and nerve impulses to the corresponding body zone and thereby relieve ailments in that zone.

Reflexology (0) may be defined as a practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands using thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oils, creams, or lotions. Based on a system of zones, that reflects an image of the body on the feet and hands which in turn effects the physical changes made in the body.




Using reflexology to restore the equilibrium balance by means of the foot or hand is a rather strange but totally accurate. Many people have tried reflexology to address specific medical problems with overwhelmingly successful results.


The pressure sensors in the feet and hands are all connected to various parts of the body’s systems. It functions like a network of intricate connections flowing from one to the other. By using reflexology the experienced practitioner is able to pinpoint the cause of the problem and manipulate it through a succession of pressure points on the feet or palms of the hands. All these sensors work and respond to the sometimes light but mostly painful pressures on the feet and hands.


Other deviations but equally suitable forms of reflexology are walking on a pebble path, using foot massages that simulate reflexology movements, and using rollers. Surprisingly other simple tools like a golf ball can also be used as reflexology item though they are not as good as the original natural way of the thumb and finger. Reflexology sessions ideally last for bout 30 – 45 minutes, as any longer might cause undue stress to the already pain heightened situation. The reflexologist uses pressure, stretches and movements to work thought the foot methodically. After which an assessment on the body condition may be given.

Click on Link to Review: Reflexology Interactive Maps

Ideally the chart on the subject on reflexology reflects the various pressure points and their corresponding parts of the different organs, glands, structures, and systems of the anatomy. These charts can also be looked upon as maps of the intricate workings of the human body.


The Areas


Though popularly accepted as a foot and hand, palm focused style of treatment; there are also instances of having the reflexology points in the ear area. Simply put, reflexology sessions strive to open up the stubble energy channels thus directing reflexology pressure points to stimulation mode. There is a spot on each of your hands which for thousands of years has been rubbed by and for human beings, bringing notable relief to headaches. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is said to correspond to the adrenal glands, clearing blockages from this glands' energy circuit, bringing life force to these often overworked treasures.

History of Foot Reflexology

The foot reflexology's history dates back to the reign of Emperor Wendi but its most flourishing period was in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.). Later, the foot reflexology massage was spread into Japan. Yet, there were some specialists in China who did not pass their knowledge to others or did not make any written records. This resulted in the degeneration of this art of healing. Fortunately, the foot reflexology massage was brought to the Western countries when more and more Westerners started to get in touch with the Chinese around the late Manchu Dynasty (1643-1912 A.D.).

Then in 1913, Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American doctor, wrote an article about foot reflexology massage. He developed a systematized chart of longitudinal zones in the body. The 10 zones, ending in the fingers and toes, illustrated reflex areas with their corresponding connections, as well as physical conditions influenced by the connection. Fitzgerald discovered that pressure on one part of a zone could affect other parts of the body within that zone. That's how this ancient modality was restored in the Western countries. And it was V. M. Bechterev, a Russian physiologist who coined the term "reflexology".

Afterwards, Fitzgerald's zone theory was further studied by Dr. Shelly Riley who added horizontal zones across the hands and feet to determine individual reflexes. After that, Eunice Ingham, a physical therapist and associate of Riley, refined the zone therapy into therapeutic foot reflexology through full scale researches with hundreds of clients. She made an anatomical model in which the organs of the body were mapped out on the feet. Her findings, published in 1938, resulted in more precise identification of reflex points and gave us the framework of foot reflexology as it is known today.

According to Chinese medicine, the sensory nerves of the internal organs that spread throughout the body are mainly gathered around the soles of the feet.

Foot Reflexology

Reflexology specialists work towards helping patients feel better by performing a specialized kind of massage to areas of the feet and hands. The art has actually been revealed to be practical in getting rid of numerous symptoms that happen in various other spots throughout the body, and reflexology is beginning to be more and more preferred of a choice for those finding a sort of alternative or complementary therapy. The basis of reflexology is that there are hundreds of nerve endings found in the feet that link to organs found throughout the body. By maneuvering these nerve endings, practitioners hope to acquire a significant enhancement in symptoms for several different sorts of diseases. Particular parts of the foot are called having various effects on the wellness, and reflexology charts have been developed that assistance to clarify exactly how specific locations of the foot represent various other organs. In that regard, in order to be a totally qualified reflexologist, you need to know all that you could about the anatomy of the foot. In this article, we'll work towards offering you a fundamental understanding of exactly how the foot works in order to increase your knowledge.

Foot Reflexology Theory says: there are 104 points on the bottom of your feet – these reflexology points represent specific parts of your body.The foot has lots of different bones. The toes include bones that are called phalanges, and there are proximital phalanges at the base of the toes, middle phalanages in the middle, and diatal phalanges at the end. Attached to the phalanges are the metatarsal bones, which are quite long and make up a good part of the bone structure discovered in the foot. The metatarsals connect to a series of bones at the base of the foot: the cuneiform bones and the cuboid bone. Behind these bones are the calcaneous bone, the talus bone, and the navicular bone, making up the complete bone framework of the foot.

The nerve endings of the feet are the part of the body which reacts the most to reflexology therapy. There are about fifteen thousand nerve endings in the feet, and numerous reflexologists describe the feet as a ‘hologram of the body’ since so many nerve endings are connected to them. Maneuvering the nerve endings could increase blood flow to the area and assistance to separate any waste particles that could be found in the tissues, helping to flush them from the body.

All in all, there are twenty eight bones in the feet. Nineteen muscles help the foot to relocate effectively, and there are a complete one hundred and seven ligaments located in them. There are over a hundred thousand gland in the feet, thirty different joints, and thirty one tendons. Plainly, the feet are rather the compact system! They compose the biggest mass of energy in the whole body, so it is simple to see why reflexology can be a helpful practice when it pertains to helping somebody to remain in excellent spirits and wellness. If you are interested in which parts of the body represent which areas in the foot, it would be in your best interests to purchase a reflexology chart which will provide you a fantastic standard idea of where the unique reflexology points are.

Hand Reflexology

The hand has always been a focal point in the advancement of civilizations. We can state without a reasonable doubt, that without this anatomical member of the human body and its intricate functions, we would not be who we are today.

The function of the human hand with its opposable thumb is in essence, one of the most versatile and delicate tools in nature. It can perform a great number of tasks and functions with amazing ease. Just like the feet, the hands reflected all the body’s anatomical configuration. It should not be a surprise, that earlier human inhabitants on this planet has placed so much emphasize on the hand, the same way that we do! Like foot reflexology, a form of hand reflexology has been around for millenniums.

Variations from Foot Reflexology

Hand reflexology takes into account the following:

1. The hands are exposed all the time so they are less sensitive then the feet.

2. Anatomically they are different.

3. The reflexes on the hands are closer and more compressed than on the feet.

Each part of the body has a corresponding reflex, mapped out on the hand and fingers. The reflexology maps of the hands describe all of the anatomical location of all the glands, organs and other parts of the body.

Hand Reflexology Zones

Like the foot, each hand is represented and divided into 5 longitudinal zones. The hands are interconnected through the concept of zone therapy to all the parts of the body. Like the foot, the left hand represents the left side of the body and the right hand represents the right side of the body.

The hand is very similar to the foot and the spine since it has a similar number of bones. The foot has 26 bones, the spine has 26 bones, and the hand has 27 bones. It is quite interesting, that this anatomical part of the body has one more bone than the foot and the spine, when the foot and spine must bear the full weight of the body.

The hand is similar to the foot but is more delicate with long mobile fingers. It has 4 fingers and one thumb and the thumb is made up of two bones called flanges and each finger also has 3 phalanges. For someone to really learn hand reflexology one must study and comprehend the anatomy of the hand.

Anatomy of the Hand

Bones of the Hand

ULNA AND RADIUS - are the 2 bones of the forearm which articulate with the carpal bones at the wrist joint and with each other at the superior and inferior radio-ulnar joints.

CARPALS - (or wrist bones) - consist of 8 bones - Proximal row: scaphoid, lunate, triquetral, pisiform. Distal row: trapezium, trapizoid, capitate, hapitate. The bones of the proximal row are associated with the wrist joint and those of the distal row form joints with the metacarpal bones. These bones are closely fitted together and held in position by ligaments which allow a certain amount of movement between them.

METACARPALS - (bones of the hand) - consists of 5 bones that form the hand. They are numbered from the thumb side inwards. The proximal ends articulate with the carpal bones and the distal ends with the phalanges.

PHALANGES - (finger bones) - consist of 14 bones, 3 in each finger and 2 in the thumb. They articulate with the metacarpal bones and with each other.

Muscles of the Hand

SMALL MUSCLES - (Intrinsic muscles) - of the hand are used for fine co-ordination.

LARGE MUSCLES - (Extrinsic muscles) of the forearm give us flexion, extension, adduction, abduction and rotation.

THE THUMB - has its own flexor, extensor, abductor and adductor muscles.

Tendons of the Hand

EXTENSOR TENDONS - enable us to straighten the fingers.

FLEXOR TENDONS - enable us to bend the fingers.

Important Structures of the Hand

CARPAL TUNNEL - is a narrow, rigid passage formed by the carpal bones of the wrist and is a tough, inelastic transverse carpal ligament (Flexor Retinaculum).

Nine (9) flexor tendons and the median nerve pass through the carpal tunnel.
The median nerve branches into one motor nerve, which goes to the thumb muscles, and a sensory branch, which provides half of the hand sensation.

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME - The symptoms are: paresthesia (tingling), night pain, daytime pain and thumb muscle weakness.

It is caused by compression of the median nerve against the transverse ligament which can be caused by swelling of the synovial flexor tendon sheaths.

The Seven Hand Reflex Sections

For locating the reflexes on the hands in addition to the zones, the hand can be divided into seven reflex sections as follows:

1. The head and neck area. (located in the thumbs and fingers)

2. The thoracic and open area of the abdomen. (located at the waistline of the hand usually found at the base of the metacarpal)

3. The lower areas of the abdomen and pelvis. (located over the carpel bones)

4. The reproductive organs including uterus, prostate, ovaries and testes reflexes. (located in parts of the wrist)

5. Spinal column. (located on the outside edge of the thumb extending down where it meets the wrist)

6. The arm reflexes. (located on the little finger of each hand)

7. The breasts, lungs and lymphatics. (located on the back of the hand and top of the wrist)

Ear (fetals-head down body mapped) Reflexology

The ear respresents the human body in the fetus position. The head starts at the ear lobe and the rest follows along the spine, or the outer edge of the ear with the organs located within. It is hypothesized as a highly effective system for analyzing areas of problems, and treating the entire body from the external ear. It originated in China, but has been redeveloped in Europe (primarily France and Germany) over the past 40 years. Prior to that, Egyptians used earrings to treat vision and fertility problems. Through Mediterranean trading routes, the Romans learned this technique and used it, for example, cauterizing specific points on ears for treatment of sciatica.

The ear also has various pressure points which are connected to the autonomic functions of the heart and stomach. When addressed these pressure points seem to successfully invoke stronger autonomic responses in the cardiac and gastric systems when compared to the foot or palms. The ear lobes seem to contain master sensory points which affect the eyes, pineal and pituitary glands. Ear Reflexology can be traced back to Chinese medical work undertaken 4000 years ago. The Chinese use it as a diagnostic and healing treatment that by stimulating points on the ear that are believed to correspond to different parts of the body. Pioneering work by the Chinese over the last 40 years has lead to the World Health Organisation authorising the standardisation of the points on the ear (1990). They defined 91 auricular points.

According to the principles of ear reflexology, each area of the ear corresponds to a different anatomical portion of the body. A large number of sites have been identified on the ear which become spontaneously tender or otherwise react to the presence of disease or injury elsewhere in the body. These sites are reportedly consistent from one individual to the next. These ear points have positive effects on those parts of the body to which they are associated.

As a comprehensive system of diagnosis and treatment, ear reflexology is of recent origin. A French physician by the name of Nogier, writing in a German acupuncture periodical in 1957, first drew serious attention to the correspondences between specific sites on the ear and other parts of the body. After years of careful observation relating points of tenderness, morphological and coloration changes on the ear to disease elsewhere in the body, more than 200 sites were charted on the auricle (ear) by Chinese medical workers. It has been hypothesized that ear reflexology is not only effective in the treatment of a wide range of common diseases, it can also be used with good results in the treatment of difficult emotional states.

Besides assessing the treatment effects resulting from , both French and Chinese physicians have reported that it is possible to diagnose a variety of pathological conditions by examining the ear. When there is a pain problem involving a given area of the body, the corresponding ear point is said to be "reactive", manifesting greatly increased tenderness and electrical conductivity as compared to the surrounding areas of the ear. Several investigators have provided clinical evidence supporting the therapeutic efficiency of ear reflexology for the relief of pain and the healing of disease.

With ear reflexology, clients are able to find out what is wrong with their body, way before signs show up on a typical physical or blood test. Whereas a physical exam or blood test is unable to treat abnormal readings, ear reflexology is hypothesized to be able to treat even slight abnormalities. That's the sheer beauty of natural health care says one researcher- actually treating abnormalities before they progressively worsen.

In 1957, Paul Nogier, M.D., a French neurologist noticed several of his patients had scars on the same spot on their ears (Nogier, 1972). They each related their scars to a prior treatment for sciatic pain by a local complimentary medicine practitioner. Nogier confirmed that treatment of specific points on the external ear alleviated specific problems in other parts of the body. He proposed and proved a somatotopic relationship exists between different anatomical areas of the body and specific points on the ear. He then began mapping auricular points based on an embryological model, and found somatic correlation's with mesoderm, ectoderm and endodermal auricular structures.

In the U.S., Oleson, Kroening and Bresler (1980) completed a conclusive study to determine the validity of auricular points. They achieved a 75.2% correlation between auricular diagnostic measurements and problem areas.

Researchers indicate the key is to treat at the exact point on the front and directly behind it on the back of the ear associated with the regional area of pathology. These areas they indicate are called corresponding points. They will be sensitive to pressure, sometimes long after the pathology is considered healed. The points Shen-men (literally, "heaven's gate"), Adrenal, and Subcortex (thalamus) should also be treated on the front of the ear for neuromusculoskeletal pain disorders.

What is Ear Reflexology?

Ear Reflexology is integrates Western and Chinese theories of health as balance and equilibrium.

The use of the ear is based on the rich and the multiple connections which it has on the central nervous system. The shape of the body is projected into the ear and every point of the body corresponds to a point of the ear. In a healthy person the link is not apparent but when there is an imbalance of the physiological equilibrium it's point of projection in the ear becomes painful.

What are the benefits of Reflexology?

Activates the meridian which regulated energy flow
Stimulates the internal organs
Improves the circulation in general
Aids in the flow of the lymphatic system
Induces deep relaxation
Stimulates the brain
Improves the immune system as prevention measure

Reflexology is a compression technique applied to specific reflexes on hand and feet. Pressure in one zone will effect the part of the body to which it relates. Tenderness to certain reflexes is an indication of congestion in the system. As the congestion breaks up, wastes are carried to the proper organs of elimination. Circulation improves as tension is reduced and the body normalizes its rhythmus.

The Ear

The basic concept of Ear Reflexology is that the nerves in the skin overlay specific areas of the external ear which correspond to specific parts of the brain, which has a reflex connection to the body. These reflexes are activated when problems in part of the body induce reflex reactions in the external ear, manifested as changes in tenderness and altered blood circulation. These reflexes are activated when points on an ear are stimulated to relieve pathology in another area of the body.

Stimulation of ear reflex points leads to an enhancement of diminished tender activity of the affected region. By correcting pathological reflex centers in the brain, stimulation of auricular points can lead to balance, where any form of stress or pain is lessened.

Auricular (ear) reflexology can be used to treat health conditions in distant parts of the body. By stimulating points in the ear can not only help problems in the face and head, but can also relieve pathological disorders in the chest, abdomen, lower back and feet. According to theory, it is not that there are direct connections between the ear and the back, rather nerves from the ear connect to reflex centers in the brain, which send neurological reflex pathways to the spinal cord and then to neurons going to the spine or to the foot.

Almost all health conditions can be affected to some degree by stimulated ear points. The most common reported uses have been for control of chronic pain, detoxification from addictions, (smoking and heroin and cocaine), relief from nausea, and high blood pressure.

Human studies have shown that stimulation of ear acupuncture points appears to cause the systemic release of endorphins.


According to medical research there are 10 zones or meridians that are logistically located in the human body. For instance, when pressure is applied to the big toe the benefits are seen in the brain area. Likewise, when pressure is applied to the base of the foot, it treats the neck and throat ailments. Pressure on the ball of the foot puts the connection through to the lungs and heart. The foot arch when pressured affects the adrenals, kidneys, gastrointestinal track, and bladder. The middle of the foot when pressured affects the waistline, while the ankle bone affects sexual functions.


Being supposedly easy to detect these various pressure points and their connections for treatment is not reason enough to completely discontinue an ongoing medical treatment program. Even if reflexology is considered as an added complimenting factor, a doctor’s opinion should always be sought, especially if the illness is serious.


Ideally when treating a particular illness, ailment or disease, it should not be the practice to only address the particular area affected but besides focusing on the affected area, the other parts of the body should also be looked into (0).


Kevin and Barbara Kunz, state:

The individual's foot reflex areas reflect the individual's overall state of tension that has resulted from a lifetime of adaption to stress. Stress cues in the feet are a roadmap to the reflexologist. Wherever it is found on a foot, it is a sign that stress and its effect have begun to accumulate in the corresponding parts of the body [1]

Reflexology was introduced into the United States in 1913 by William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. (1872-1942), an ear, nose, and throat specialist who called it "zone therapy." As noted in the diagram to the right, he used vertical lines to divide the body into 10 zones. Eunice D. Ingham (1899-1974) further developed reflexology in the 1930s and 1940s, concentrating on the feet [3] Mildred Carter, a former student of Ingham, subsequently promoted foot reflexology as a miraculous health method [4-6]. A 1993 mailing from her publisher stated:

Not only does new Body Reflexology let you cure the worst illnesses safely and permanently, it can even work to reverse the aging process, Carter says. Say goodbye to age lines, dry skin, brown spots, blemishes -- with Body Reflexology you can actually give yourself an at-home facelift with no discomfort or disfiguring surgery [7].

Reflexology specialists have indicated that foot reflexology can cleanse the body of toxins, increase circulation, assist in weight loss, and improve the health of organs throughout the body. Others have reported success in treating earaches, anemia, bedwetting, bronchitis, convulsions in an infant, hemorrhoids, hiccups, deafness, hair loss, emphysema, prostate trouble, heart disease, overactive thyroid gland, kidney stones, liver trouble, rectal prolapse, undescended testicles, intestinal paralysis, cataracts, and hydrocephalus (a condition in which an excess of fluid surrounding the brain can cause pressure that damages the brain). Some indicated they were able to "balance energy and enhance healing elsewhere in the body." [2] One practitioner has even claimed to have lengthened a leg that was an inch shorter than the other.

Reflexologists have indicated that the majority of health problems are stress-related and that they can help people by relieving the "stress" associated with various diseases or body organs [1]. Pauline Wills, author of the Reflexology and Color Therapy Workbook, teaches that colors can be applied to "areas where an abnormality has been diagnosed but which has produced no noticeable symptoms in the physical body." She states that the application can be done by imagining colors transmitted through the practitioner's hand or by firstly, if the practitioner is sensitive to color, they can visualize it being projected or by using "reflexology crystal torch." [8].

Training, "Credentials," and Legal Status

Some nurses and massage therapists are reported to offer reflexology as part of their licensed practice. Some courses are accredited for continuing education for nurses and massage therapists. The most widely publicized training source is probably the International Institute of Reflexology, of St. Petersburg, Florida, which has indicated that it has about 25,000 members worldwide [9]. Its seminar on the "Original Ingham Method of Foot Reflexology" are taught by Ingham's nephew, Dwight Byers. Its "Certified Member" status requires 200 hours of instruction plus passage of written and practical tests. The Institute's Web site states:

The Ingham Method™ of Reflexology is used primarily for relaxing tension. Doctors agree that over 75% of our health problems can be linked to nervous stress and tension. Reflexology improves nerve and blood supply, and helps nature to normalize.

The International Institute of Reflexology® wishes to make it perfectly clear that it does not purport to teach medical practice in any form; or is the Ingham Method™ of Reflexology intended to replace conventional medical treatment.

Reflexology is a unique modality in the health field. Its purpose is not to treat or diagnose for any specific medical disorder, but to promote better health and well being in the same way as an exercise or diet program. Its practice should not be compared to massage or any other kind of manipulative procedure.

A brochure for a Byers seminar at the Big Sky Somatic Institute quotes him stating:

As a Reflexologist works each reflex, it triggers a release of stress and tension in the corresponding area or body zone, as well as an overall relaxation response. The release of tension unblocks nerve impulses and improves the blood supply to all parts of the body. Because reflexology works from the inside, it also has a balancing effect on each gland, organ and body region. . . ." [10]

Prior to practicing massage therapy, reflexologists need to be licensed in their State.  In some states that license massage therapists, unlicensed reflexologists might be prosecutable for practicing massage therapy without a license [11].  Sandals, shoe inserts, foot-massage devices and a steering wheel cover based on reflexology theory are being marketed.

Research Findings

A few researchers have conducted investigations on reflexology/massage therapy:

  • The first study was supervised by William T. Jarvis, Ph.D., a professor who taught research methods to graduate students at Loma Linda University. Using questionnaires, 70 subjects were asked to state whether they had had health problems during the previous two years in any of 43 anatomical areas. These data were then compared with the findings of a reflexologist as recorded on a report form. To prevent the reflexologist from asking questions or observing subtle clues, the experimental subjects were asked to remain silent and a curtain was placed so that their feet were the only part of their body visible to the reflexologist [12].
  • In another study, 35 women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) were randomly assigned to ear, hand, and foot reflexology or to placebo therapy done on sham reflex points. The women kept a daily record of 38 possible symptoms selected from previous PMS research questionnaires. The treatment group reported significantly fewer symptoms than the placebo group, and these improvement persisted for 2 months after treatment. Many women in this group fell asleep during the 30-minute sessions and reported feeling more energetic during the next day. The placebo group reported that they thought they were receiving genuine reflexology, The authors note, however, that it was very difficult to develop a credible placebo control group, which may have been the study's flaw. Normally, reflexology is soothing, but the placebo treatment was described as "either overly light or very rough." [13] Thus the differences could have been differences in the quality of the massage being administered. The study suggests that massage may relieve PMS symptoms, but it does not validate the alleged connection between reflex points and body organs
  • In another study, three experienced reflexologists examined 18 adults with one or more 6 specified conditions identified from their medical records. The data showed no significant relationship between the patient's medical diagnoses and the reflexologists' findings [14].
  • Another study compared the effects of foot reflexology, simple massage, and conversation on 130 patients who had undergone abdominal gynecologic surgery under full anesthesia. The patients were asked how they felt, and data were recorded on general condition, pain intensity, movement of the bowels, urination, and sleep, from the day before the operation until until the tenth day afterward. Simple massage turned out to be a relaxing, positive experience, whereas foot reflexology had various effects, some of which were negative. The researchers concluded that foot reflexology is not effective in acute, abdominal postsurgical situations in gynecology and can occasionally trigger abdominal pain [15].
  • Another study examined the popular claim that reflexology treatment benefits bronchial asthma. Ten weeks of active or simulated (placebo) reflexology were compared in a controlled trial of 40 outpatients with asthma. Objective lung function tests (peak flow morning and evening, and weekly spirometry at the clinic) did not change. Subjective scores (describing symptoms, beta2-inhalations and quality of life) and also bronchial sensitivity to histamine improved on both regimens, but no significant differences were found between groups receiving active or placebo reflexology. The researchers concluded that they had found no evidence that reflexology has a specific effect on asthma beyond placebo influence [16].

The Reflexology Association of Canada [17] defines reflexology as:

"A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crèmes or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.

Walking Reflexology

Kings County states the following about reflexology and constructed paths in their path for walking reflexology:

Reflexology is an ancient healing art based on the belief that reflex points exist in the feet, hands, and ears that correspond to all parts of the body. A recent study shows that walking on specifically placed uneven, natural stones stimulates acupressure points in the feet and can improve circulation and reduce overall stress. Common in Asia, people walk reflexology paths daily to enhance health and well-being.

Health and wellness are vital to the residents of King County [18], and our parks are the perfect venues to provide reflexology paths accessible to everyone. Through a partnership with Aegis Living, we've installed at reflexology paths at Marymoor Park, Steve Cox Memorial Park, and 132nd Square Park.

Tips for Walking a Reflexology Path

  1. Walk each section of the path at your own pace, following instructions and breath slowly. Your feet may be tender at first, so start with just a few steps.
  2. For the best acupressure effect, walk barefoot, in socks or with soft-soled shoes.
  3. Use the hand-railing for balance assistance and for rocking exercises to the arch of the foot. Rest on benches between walking sessions and massage areas of soreness on your feet.
  4. After walking the reflexology path, drink water to help flush away toxins.

The Heart


When a reflexologist treats an individual this is the primary concern.  The reflexologist not only focuses on the problem but also try to ensure all the other connecting factors are addressed too. Therefore the individual facing cardiovascular problems should expect to be treated holistically as the art of reflexology demands.


As the cardiovascular system is made up of various corresponding part, which are the heart, arteries, veins, arterioles, venules and capillaries, it should be notes that the actual heart may not be the problem area. Its purpose is to carry all the nutrients and oxygen to the various parts of the body. When these are blocked for one reason or another then reflexology is a good first address. Using reflexology to reestablish the optimum flow and circulation in the system is a good non invasive way of treating the problem before it escalates to a more serious level.


Using reflexology the heart reflexes are addressed as this organ is the instrument that pumps the blood thought-out the body. Then the kidneys are the next in line to be addressed. The kidneys filter the blood constantly. The diaphragm and chest are also noted by the reflexologist because these reflexes would be worked to encourage relaxation in the chest cavity and promote deeper breathing.


Lastly the spinal area is also checked. Located on the inner edges of the feet the spine reflexes would be stimulated to promote communication through the nervous system.


Sometimes reflexology can also be used in the case of an actual heart attack, though it is not recommended if there is immediate medical response available.


Assisting Kidney Function


The kidneys in a human body have a vital part to play in maintaining the body at its optimum levels. This organ is responsible for eliminating all the waste and toxins from the body’s circulatory system. When there is a buildup of all these negative elements the problems like renal failure may occur. Therefore the cleansing method or condition the body should adopt to keep the negative buildups from occurring is by using reflexology.


About The Toxins


Reflexology is a safe and proven method of addressing this, before it becomes a major problem for the body system. Making reflexology a good part of the health care regiment for an individual will help avoid any serious medical issues. Vectorial reflexology methods use very precise reflex points developed from the anatomy to eliminate any possible kidney problems.


When starting a reflexology session the individual hand and feet should be easily accessible. The reflexology kidney zone is in the palm and feet


In using the reflexology exercise the intention is to create the ideal circumstance to assure the flow of energy is restored to its optimum levels again. These pressures should trigger the brain to discharge the negative direct current of regeneration in to the deficient are of the body. The intention is to help clear the interstitial space of congestive debris and bring the body to a more efficient cellular level.


Help With PMS


All women go through the time where a menstrual cycle is part of their lives. The lucky ones breeze through this time of the month comfortably while there are others who are not so lucky. They may experience symptoms like bloating, sleepless nights cravings mood swings and many others.


Reflexology has been known to be able to provide some form of relief to ease the discomfort brought on by the menstrual cycle or otherwise referred to as PMS.


Most people who sought this method to address the discomfort endured every month have been pleased with the results. The reflexologist will begin the session from a holistic point of view.


With this in mind, certain reflex parts will be emphasized as these areas are in direct correspondence to the body parts and organ being affected by the PMS condition.  The reflexologist will spend an extra amount of time on the kidney reflex area if the individual is complaining of bloating or of water retention symptoms.


The glands and organs responsible for regulating the hormones would be another area the reflexologist would focus on as this area generally affects the specific symptoms being experienced.  The areas that might be addressed are as listed below:

  • The brain – this area is pin pointed because of the serotonin pathways
  • Digestive system – also because of the serotonin element which can be found in the intestinal walls
  • Central nervous system – is another reflex area
  • Endocrine system reflexes
  • Relaxation techniques - using reflex points this area of tension is addressed as it does negatively affect the PMS cycle.


Reflexology should only be sought if the PMS symptoms are fairly mild or irritatingly uncomfortable.  If the PMS symptoms are of a more severe nature other medical sources should be consulted first.  As in all things disregarding proper medical treatment in favor of alternative style treatments should only be done with the knowledge and advice of a medical physician familiar with the individual’s medical condition.


Bettering Quality Of Life For Cancer Patients


When an individual first discovers a dreaded disease like cancer is present in his or her body, the effects can be mentally devastating to say the least. Most people fall apart initially, for the lucky ones however, after absorbing the initial shock, they dive in and find out about the disease as much as possible and also all the relevant styles of medical or natural treatments that are available. 


Some Relief: Reflexology has been one such discovery made. Many who use reflexology as a treatment that compliments the ongoing medical treatment have attested to being completely satisfied with the positive results. The commencement and incorporation of reflexology into the general treatment regiment, of course should only be done with a doctor’s consent.


When the reflexology therapy is used to treat the patient, it is done with various intentions in mind. Some of these intentions are to provide comfort and peace of mind, to lessen the impact of side effects caused by the medical treatments, such as pain, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, stress, depression, and fatigue. Other areas also to be addressed by reflexology are the improvements of the quality of life after chemotherapy, mood swings, quality of sleep, morale, and vital signs.


All cancer patients experience stress at various levels and at various intervals during the onset and treatment of the disease. As most negative medical conditions are somehow linked to causing more damage in the body system, reflexology can be used to correct the stress levels effectively. Reflexology is a gentle, effective tool used to assist in supporting and encouraging the patient to be in a better frame of mind and body.


By trying to create some sense of harmony in an already traumatic condition, reflexology works to play a positive role in creating a healing environment during and after the course of medical treatments.


Increasing Energy and Feelings Of Wellbeing


A good percentage of people today are very concerned with their health. This concern may lead them to take better care of the diet and prompt them to exercise more frequently and consistently.  However when there are medical problems, the first choice they usually make is to seek medical advice. While this is of course a wise thing to do, some other alternatives may solve the problem better without the individual having to ingest foreign elements into the body to treat the condition.


The human body already comes with its own healing tools, but sometimes these tools just need that little help to ensure optimum successful results.


Step Up Your Vigor: One option to choose when experiencing mild medical problems is reflexology. Reflexology address the problem is a holistic manner and not just the problem itself.


All contributing factors, needs to be addressed, while detecting the root cause, and meting out the necessary pressures. As the toxins build up in our body systems, something should be done to address this condition before these said toxins begin to cause negative medical conditions. Reflexology helps to ensure all the body organs are working efficiently toward this goal.


In a reputably conducted reflexology session the individual can expect to benefit holistically because there are various aspects that are addressed. These include improving the general circulation in the body system, relieving pain, and stimulated the immune and nervous systems. Each body system is addressed individually with the intention of correcting any disorders that may be present.


The blood circulation system is addressed because it contributes to the wellbeing condition of the varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and high blood pressure. In the case of the digestive system, reflexology is sought to keep the following conditions under control or eliminate them all together; stomach upsets, stomach bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, diarrhea, and ulcers. The nervous system is for addressing any possible sleep disorders, depression, and lack of concentration or energy and memory loss.


Emotional Healing With Reflexology


The most common reason people seek out reflexology sessions is to ensure their stress levels are kept under control or eliminated altogether. This is because a stress free body is a healthy body.


Even if a foot massage is given without any real reflexology techniques, the receiver would be induced into a state of relaxation and peace. The more often an individual is able to have the peace and relaxation condition within the body system, the less stress levels are detected is any at all.


The Mind


Therefore using reflexology to control emotions is beneficial to the overall health of an individual. As reflexology is used in general to support and encourage the body to right itself, it can be a major element in controlling the emotions that are the byproduct of various negative medical conditions.


Reflexology can be used to resolve the negative emotional states brought on by anger, grief, fear, guilt, stress, jealousy, and depression.  The negative energy is released out to the individual’s system using the various pressure points related to addressing this particular issue.


As the meridian system is the communicator between all the various organs any physiological systems the energy flow can be sustained at an optimum level using reflexology.


The effects of emotions have a direct impact on the health condition of the body as previously pointed out. The body consists of fluids like blood, lymph, urine, sweat, semen and cerebral-spinal fluid all of which are reflected in the feet and can be recognized by a trained and experienced reflexologist.


The fluids need to be in a constant flowing motion and when they are prevented from doing so, due to reasons like blockages then the problem cycle begins. Using reflexology to remove these blockages through the various pressure points is a good non invasive excepted action.


Boosting Your Immune System


The human immune system is the first line of defense the body has for addressing potential negative elements. These elements may consist of viruses, diseases, illnesses and others. Understanding the immune system is very important to an individual’s who intends to always stay healthy.


The Whole Body


Besides removing waste matter of the different forms, the immune system is responsible for protecting the body from external influences that are harmful to the body and facilitating the smooth flow of the interstitial fluids. It also identifies all bacteria and pathogen cells and eliminates them.


The immune system helps the various body parts to stay at optimum conditions in order to carry out all its particular functions successfully.  The smooth flow of the fluids can sometimes cause complications to the other functioning organs when there is a blockage. Reflexology can address this blockage of fluids properly and in a reasonable amount of time.


By listening to the bones, the reflexologist is able to tell if there are pulls in the connective tissues. If not remedied, these pulls, can affect the fluid flow patterns in the body. 


Reflexology is also beneficial as a preventive measure for good health, with particular attention being paid to the immune system; the individual is able to keep the balance of the equilibrium thus aiding the body systems to work more efficiently. Regular treatments to address a specific problem, or just to ensure the body condition is in shape is a good habit to form.


If one’s immune system is working efficiently then, there would be no need or a lesser need to visit the doctor so often. Also the immune system will be able to fight off any outside infections more successfully.


How To Do Self Reflexology, Find A Practitioner and Possible Side Effects


In order to address certain specific problems a careful study of a reflexology chart must be done and Visiting a certified reflexologist for the initial consultation would be better.


The Inside Info

Specific illnesses and problems are treated by targeting specific points. This can be located at the foot, palm of the hands and ears.


Wrapping Up

Though it may seem fairly easy to perform the reflexology moves on one’s self there are some precautions that need to be taken and also some points that everyone needs to be weary off.  Certain conditions may not permit the reflexology to be done on the feet, perhaps due to the pain factor, then the exercise has to be done on the palms of the hands.


When already ill, if reflexology is done on the feet, further toxins will be emitted into the body and this will cause a further deterioration of health.


If a fracture of broken bone condition has occurred it would be a serious folly to administer the reflexology style of treatment, as the pain involved will stress the individual further.


All in all reflexology is safe, but always make sure to check with your doctor or reflexologist first.



Academic Anatomy, Physiology & Reflexology Videos on 12 hr CEU exams:

Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology | Body Organization | Body Systems | Functions/Divisions of Nervous System | Central Nervous System | Anatomy of Foot

Reflexology Introduction | The Theory | Foot Chart | Dorsum | History | 4 Aspects | Adrenal | Feet | Hand | Brain Reflexes and the Toes | Hand Problems to be Aware of

TAKE THE EXAM ONLINE (Certificate will be mailed on verification of exam passing and purchase of 12hr course)

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0.   Rest and Relax with Reflexology

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Here are the Reflexology Charts and Hand, Feet and Ear Reflexology Reference Material that is not a part of the online class which includes interactive charts and videos:


Hand and Feet Reflexology Interactive Maps


Quick Reflexology Introduction



Hand Reflexology


Ear Reflexology


Hands and Ear Reflexology


Foot Reflexology 1


Foot Reflexology 2


Reflexology Foot Chart 1


Reflexology Foot Chart 2


Ear Reflexology Chart


Hand Reflexology Chart


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