Although Reflexology has only recently been rediscovered in the West, it has been used in other cultures for many thousands of years. There is evidence for foot massage as therapy in China and India amongst other places, while the first pictorial evidence of Reflexology dates from approximately 2500BC. It was found in the Tomb of the Physician, and the inscription translates as “Please don’t hurt me”, and the practitioner replies “I shall act so you praise me.”
Reflexology was rediscovered in the West by Dr William Fitzgerald in the United States who developed the concept of Zone Therapy. He taught this technique to Dr Joseph Shelby-Riley and his wife Elizabeth who used this method in their practise for many years.
Riley’s assistant, Eunice Ingham (1879 – 1974) advanced Reflexology dramatically when she separated the reflexes on the feet from Zone therapy in general. She felt that the feet should be special targets for therapy because of their highly sensitive nature, and she eventually evolved on the feet themselves a “map” of the entire body. Her contribution is acknowledged to be so great that she is known as the mother of Reflexology, and is credited with being the founder of foot Reflexology.
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