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What is Reflexology?


Reflexology, is a manual practice, consists of working with specific finger, thumb, and hand techniques, applied to specific reflex areas to stimulate the complex neural pathways linking body systems, supporting the body's efforts to function optimally. The traditional practice of reflexology primarily focuses on the theory of reflex maps and their representation on the feet, hands and outer ears, and face.

What are the Benefits? 

  • Promotes Balance + Normalization of the Body Naturally

  • Relaxation

  • Stress Reduction

  • Clarity

  • Reduces Diabetes

  • Improves Circulation

  • Improves Delivery of Oxygen and Nutrients to cells.

  • Improves Sleep Patterns

  • Improves Digestion

  • Reduces Pain and Inflammation

  • Improves Nerve Communication

  • And so much more!

foot reflexology chart 10.jpg

Reflexology History

One of the earliest findings of Reflexology is found illustrated in a painted carved relief from the Tomb of the Physician in Saqqara, Egypt – dating from 2330BCE.


“Interesting find to reflexologist is the translation in hieroglyph, “ Do not let it be painful”


There is a finding of a healer tending to the feet of soldiers at the battle of Qadesh, this is found at The Temple of Amon at Karnak. 


There are no findings (relics) in ancient China of healing work on the feet. Earliest record dates back to the rule of Chinese Emperor Huang Ti, 2704-2596 BCE. He writes “The Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor”. In this text he includes the “Examining Foot Method”. This “Method” was studied and then “systemized” by physician and termed the “Tao of Foot Center”. (206-220 CE) Soon spread to Japan, earliest finding can be found at the Yakushiji Temple at Nara – Built in 680CE. It is a Etching of a Footprint.

The first use of the word “reflex” was used by a German physiologist Johann August Unzer in 1771. In 1883, Marshall Hall introduced the concept and coined the term “reflex action”.In 1880 Neurology became its own medical branch. The study of reflexes deepened. Interesting find by Dr. T. Lauter Brunton – he finds the beneficial use of inducing a blister on the skin for healing an internal problem. This article and study can be found in “Brian, A Journal of Neurology.” – the article name is “Reflex Action as a Cause of Disease and Means of Cure”.Sir Henry Head an English physiologist was able to identify and chart areas of the spinal segment to which they belong – he creates “Head Zones” also knows as “Dermatomes” He proves the relationship between skin and the internal organ. Super Cool!!Studies continue to grow and expand, such as Ivan Pavlov’s Famous Reflex Theory ~ The ringing of the bell and the dog salivating.

But HOW did we get the name REFLEXOLOGY? In 1907 Dr. Vladimir Bekhterev’s termed “Reflexology”. Shown in his work, “Objective Psychology – translated in English in 1932 under the title “General Principals of Human Reflexology”.Around the same time if not a little earlier late 1890’s – to early 1900’s Germany began to study and develop massage techniques later known as “reflex massage”.Dr. Alfrons Cornelius discovers “Pressure Points” and also shows evidence that when a reflex is sensitive – the organ is becoming imbalanced and malfunctioning. He greatly explored the relationship of the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous System.

In 1861-1952, Sir Charles Sherrington proves that reflex responses are more complicated in that the whole Nervous System adjusts to stimulus. He coined “Proprioceptive Action” Sherrington worked with Dr. Edgar Adrian. Adrian made the discovery that light or heavy pressure is just as effective to stimulate the reflex. In 1911 Dr. Barczewski introduced the term “Reflex Massage”, used widely for healing.Dr. William FitzGerald (1872-1942) ~ credited for being the father of “zone therapy”.


Dr. Vladimir Bekhterev

Russian Neurologist

Zone Therapy divides the body into 10 vertical zones, 5 on each side. Dr. Joe Shelby Riley, trained by FitzGerald furthered his theory and developed eighthorizontal divisions to each zone. His work is the beginning of what we know asReflexology.In 1930 Eunice Ingham worked for Dr. Riley – she continued to refine Reflexology.Eunice is known as the “Mother of Reflexology”. For 40 years she traveled widely educating and offering Reflexology. She is known also for the discovery of alternatingpressure and technique to promote healing. Her nephew Dwight Byers worked closely and toured with her. After her transition he took ownership of her work and continued her teachings, Forming the International Institute of Reflexology.


Eunice Ingham ~ “The Mother of Reflexology”

South County REFLEXOLOGY is a Proud Professional Member of
RAA, ARCB, NCRE, RARI and is committed to the standards below: 

Maintain the highest standard of professional conduct.

Provide services in an ethical and professional manner in relation to clientele, business associates, health care professionals, and the public.

Practice within the professional boundaries of the practitioners training.

Ensure client comfort and safety.

Protect client privacy.

Respect client confidentiality.

Maintain anonymity of the client when discussing the client’s case with other professionals, unless written consent is obtained.

Adhere to the RAA Scope of Practice.

Adhere to the RAA Standard of Practice.

Further information:  RAA website

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