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Reflexology is an ancient healing art based on the principles that there are pressure points in the hands and feet that correspond to every organ and gland in the body.
This whole body treatment was first introduced in the West by Dr. William Fitzgerald in 1913. Dr. Fitzgerald was a medical professional, working as an ear, nose and throat specialist and surgeon. However, when working with patients' feet, the doctor noted that when he applied pressure to specific parts, it sometimes affected another portion of the body in a positive way. Working from this newfound theory, Dr. Fitzgerald created his first reflexology chart. He divided the body into ten vertical zones. The zones traced reflexes on the hands and feet, and noted that when pressure was applied to these "zones" other areas and organs of the body responded.
Today, a reflexology therapist will still apply accupressure and massage to the ears, hands and feet within these same zones. The client is said to benefit from improved circulation, detoxification, reduced tension and the body's ability to heal itself. The Association of Reflexologists claims that this treatment method can be effective for back pain, migraines, infertility, arthritis and many other problems.
During a reflexology appointment, the therapist will ask you questions to determine your present condition. She or he will then apply pressure to the hands and feet - according to a reflexology foot map. Different spots will, theoretically, have an effect on different internal organs.
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