* Reflexology Article

------------------------------ CONTENTS ------------------------------

{ About Mystic Gateway } { About Directors } { Articles - Current } { Articles - Previous }
{ Bulletin Board } { Classes } { Events - Ongoing } { Health Freedom Watchdog }
{ Legal Disclaimer } { Links - Holistic (commercial) } { Links - Holistic Oriented }
{ Links - Other } { Links - Search Tools } { Mailing Address } { Newsgroups }
{ Practitioner Listings } { Products & Services } { Therapies } { What's New }
{ Drinking Water Filter Systems, Drinking Water Safety (offsite) }


Mystic Shoppe - Vitamins, Herbs, Books, Gifts, etc.

 * Order Books and Tapes from Amazon.Com*


Another "Step" Towards Better Health

by Jan Rosenstreich

Reflexology is a 4000+ year old method of natural health care. Its earliest dating goes back to approximately 2330 B.C. where it is depicted in cave drawings in Egypt. Although its exact origins are unknown, there are several theories. Some people theorize that it developed out of acupuncture and acupressure (shiatsu). Others theorize that it was an independent creation. There are Reflexology points throughout the body including the hands and feet. This article will focus on Foot Reflexology.

Reflexology is based on zone theory. There are ten vertical energy zones (energy pathways) present in the body - five on each side. They run down the body from the head to the toes. These zones also pass through the shoulders, down the arms and to the fingertips. Zone therapy (using zone theory) was first practiced in the United States in the early 1900's. One of its pioneers, Dr. William Fitzgerald, learned about it in Europe and used it extensively in his practice. In 1917, he wrote a book titled, Zone Therapy, or Relieving Pain at Home. Years later, a physician, Dr. Joe Shelby Riley, expressed interest in Fitzgerald's book and encouraged his staff to learn more about it. One of his physiotherapists, Eunice Ingham, began to notice the positive effects of the treatment, especially when applied to the patient's feet. Through cause and effect, observation, etc., Eunice mapped out the feet and spent years fine tuning her craft. She realized that by applying pressure to various parts of the foot, the time frame the body needed for healing would often shorten and certain ailments would start to clear up. She noticed that all organs and glands were also represented at the feet. She spent many years documenting her successes, lecturing , and teaching Reflexology. She also wrote 2 books on the subject. She is considered, by many, to be the founder of modern Reflexology in this country.

Zone theory states that any blockage of energy in a zone affects all the organs & glands present within that zone. The energy that is being referred to here are the subtle energies in the body rather than the conventional meaning (the get up and go). It is also important to note that most of these energy blockages are small, but the net effect is sometimes much greater. The body is designed to work best when there is harmony between all the parts of the body. When one part or system is ailing, the rest of the body does its best to compensate. If this out of balance condition is temporary, the body recovers and balance and harmony are restored. Unfortunately, in this society filled with stress, toxins, negativity, etc., the body may remain in this state of imbalance. This can create havoc with the body systems that are "working overtime" to compensate for these deficiencies, and they may also begin to break down. This chain of events eventually leads to dis-ease (out of easiness). The key is to prevent this dis-ease state from occurring. A healthy lifestyle including appropriate foods, exercise, stress management, positive outlook, etc., are an important part of staying healthy. There are many different modes of healing that can assist the body. Since every person is unique, some techniques are better suited for that individual than others.

There are two other types of energy which can be influenced by Reflexology. The circulatory system develops an energy from liquid flow (blood, lymph fluid) which is based on pressure and volume. The circulatory system pumps blood to all parts of the body which provides nourishment to all the cells. In addition, it picks up the waste products (toxins) from the cells and transports them to the points of elimination (kidneys, liver, intestines - for example). Since the feet are the furthest from the heart and must also contend with the effects of gravity, some of the waste products may remain down by the feet. Other factors, including poor circulation, poor fitting shoes, etc., may also contribute to this condition. If this continues for any length of time, these accumulated waste products harden (calcify) and start to grow as more waste products accumulate.

In addition to the effect on circulation, this calcification may also begin to affect the electro-magnetic energy of the nervous system. There are hundreds of nerve endings present in the feet. These connect to the network of nerves in the nervous system. Each organ and gland is represented at the feet. As this calcification becomes larger, it may start to put pressure on these nerve endings which may upset the communication between various parts of the body. This communication is essential to maintain harmony and balance within the body. Without harmony & balance, the body becomes even more stressed.

Reflexology focuses on the whole person (holistic) approach. The purpose is to help the body heal itself. Reflexology may assist the body in several ways. Applying pressure to parts of the foot helps break the calcification deposits into smaller pieces which makes it easier to transport these toxins, by the blood, to the points of elimination. This action also takes the pressure off the nerve endings and helps restore better communication along the electro-magnetic network of the nervous system. The nerve endings in the feet are also reflex points for the body (the origin of the name - Reflexology). Pressure at these reflex points send signals to the corresponding organs & glands and acts like a wake up call.. Using the body's own innate intelligence, the signals will either help speed up an underperforming body part or slow down an overperforming body part. As the body begins to normalize, harmony and balance are restored.

Reflexology also reduces stress by bringing the body into a deep state of relaxation. In 4 years of private practice, I have seen many of my clients go into a deep, sleep-like, state of relaxation. The clients report feeling wonderful after a session and some say the effects last several days. The length and frequency of the sessions will vary depending on the individual. People with chronic conditions may need more frequent sessions, at first, to help release old toxins and bring the body into balance. People wanting to do it for prevention, would need less frequent sessions.

If you want more information, here are a few recommended books: Feet First by Laura Norman, The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology by Kevin & Barbara Kunz, The Original Works of Eunice D. Ingham - "Stories the Feet Can Tell Thru Reflexology", "Stories the Feet Have Told Through Reflexology" by Eunice D. Ingham, and Better Health With Foot Reflexology by Dwight Byers.

Jan Rosenstreich has been involved in Alternative Medicine and natural healing for over 8 years. He is trained and has a private practice in Foot Reflexology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Hypnosis, and Reiki II (energy balancing). Jan facilitates healing circles, lectures and workshops. In 1994 he founded Mystic Gateway, a holistic center set up to assist people in their healing process and personal growth.

Alternative Therapies Page



E-mail us

Page maintained by Jan Rosenstreich, Copyright(c) 1996. Created: 11/26/96 Updated: 11/4/98