The origins of Reflexology reach back to ancient Egypt as evidenced by inscriptions found in the physician’s tomb at Saqqara in Egypt. The translation of the hieroglyphics are as follows: “Don’t hurt me.” The practitioner’s reply:- ” I shall act so you praise me. ”
Different forms of working the feet to effect health have been used all over the ancient world. This form of healing spread from Egypt via the Roman Empire.
In 1917 Dr. Fitzgerald discovered that the application of pressure on the specific zones of the feet not only relieved pain but in the majority of cases also relieved the underlying cause as well. Dr. Fitzgerald along with Dr. S. Riley worked closely to develope the Zone Theory which is still used today. In the 1930’s Eunice D. Ingham worked closely with Dr. Riley and was fascinated by the concept of Zone Therapy and started developing her foot reflex theory in the early 1930’s. Dr. Riley encouraged her to write her first book entitled “Stories The Feet Can Tell” where she documented her cases and carefully mapped out the reflexes on the feet as we know them today.
Eunice Ingham died in 1974 at the age of 85. Her undisputable contributions to the world of Reflexology are as follows:
1. The discovery that the reflexes on the feet are a mirror image of all the organs, glands and parts of the body – the charted map of the reflexes according to the anatomical model.
2. The alternating pressure, has a stimulating effect on the body rather than a numbing effect as demonstrated by Dr. Fitzgerald.
3. Bringing Reflexology to the public and the non-medical community, as well as Naturopaths, Chiropodists, Osteopaths, Massage Therapist and Physiotherapists.
These are the people who have pioneered, developed and built the solid foundation
for Reflexology as we know it today.