What is reflexology

Reflexology is an alternative medicine that is mentioned among healing therapies. A specific part of the body represents the entire human body to scale. By manually stimulating a specific zone, a beneficial influence is exerted on the corresponding organ. According to reflexology, illness is the result of energy blockages and this energy flow is the basis of our health. Body and mind are inextricably linked. As mentioned, according to reflexology, all organs of the body are connected to a reflex point. Reflexology can be applied to different parts of the body, each of which is discussed in detail in the following chapters.

  • Foot reflexology : is applied to the sole of the foot. The nerve endings are stimulated with the hands (thumbs, fingertips or knuckle).
  • Hand reflexology : applied to the palms.
  • Ear reflexology : is applied to the ear with needles.
  • Facial reflexology : also called and with a dien’ cham’ and is applied to the face with an instrument with a rounded tip. This makes this method easy to apply yourself with the help of a mirror.


What is a reflex?

The word ‘reflex’ is derived from the Latin reflectere’. Re means again and flectere means to bend or fold. Reflect therefore means to redirect energy, to send something back.
During a reflexological massage, specific body points are worked on. With it , a lost balance can be restored, various ailments can be prevented and cured. The treatment can remove blockages that have formed in the body. The reflex zones form a kind of map with which the therapist can estimate what a patient has too much or too little. The therapist unblocks the flow points for energy. Once these blockages are removed, the body is able to heal itself. As a result, the symptoms of the disease decrease, the organs regain their vitality and proper functioning and health is gradually restored. By stimulating the reflexes, a number of body reactions can arise, depending on the case. This may be a hormonal response, a muscular contraction or relaxation, the closing or removal of a blood vessel or the stimulation of a body function.
Reflexology is not intended to replace traditional medicine, but rather to be a valuable help and addition. A professional reflexologist or someone who treats themselves should never take the place of a doctor. This may therefore never make diagnoses or impose the use or ban of a medicine. Reflexology is very useful for the preventive or non-preventive treatment of almost all diseases. It has proven to be extra valuable in combating fatigue and stress-related ailments. Reflexology can be useful for asthma, headaches, kidney disorders, menstrual and rheumatic pains, lumbago, stomach ulcers and much more. The patient usually experiences a relaxing and nurturing feeling during treatment.


The first historical evidence of reflexology sessions is found in an Ancient Egyptian tomb dating from 2330 BC. Inside, a mural shows a doctor stimulating his patient’s fingers and toes. In the meantime, numerous folk traditions have reached us, including from India, Indonesia and Pakistan. Zone massage therapy also became known in America through oral tradition and is still practiced on reservations by numerous Indian tribes today.
The founder of modern reflexology is Dr. William H. Fitzgerald. From 1902 he started studying reflexology. He concentrated on the patients’ hands and feet and applied pressure to different parts of their fingers and toes to ease the pains spread throughout the body. Eunice Inghàm began practicing foot reflexology in the 1930s. She investigated the relationship between the sensitive points of the foot and the anatomy and was therefore able to draw an extremely detailed map of the foot zones and their connection with body organs. In 1938 the book: Stories the feet can tell was published.
With this she introduced the general public to reflexology and is now seen as the basis of modern reflexology. Most foot reflexology therapists work according to this concept. There were many students who had taken her courses and after her death several reflexology schools were started. In 1983, the Association of Dutch Reflex Zone Therapists was founded in the Netherlands, which is still the largest professional association in that field in the Netherlands.

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