Reflexology, or Zone Therapy, utilizes the stimulation of specific areas of the hands or feet that correspond to areas of the body. When stimulated, these areas can be cleared of blockages restoring the body to its natural function.
It is believed that some form of reflexology dates back to ancient Egypt and China. In its infancy, reflexology was rediscovered by William Fitzgerald, a specialist in ear, nose and throat in 1913. Fitzgerald divided the body into ten zones, five on each side. He demonstrated when pressure is applied to one area of the body, pain can be reduced to a different area. It wasn’t until Eunice Ingham, continuing Fitzgerald’s work, mapped out the entire body on the feet through observing her patients over time that modern reflexology was born.
With the use of thumbs and fingers, deep pressure is applied to particular places in the hands and feet, releasing tension and encouraging better circulation. Clients have reported a wide range of healings from relieving headache tension and high blood pressure to difficulty in digestion and even reducing symptoms of PMS. In many cases, relief is found in a single session; however, several sessions may be required depending on a case by case basis.
While some may specialize in Reflexology alone, many massage therapists incorporate zone therapy into their practice. Oregon School of Massage offers several reflexology classes for students as electives to their massage curriculum, or as continuing education for massage therapists. These include: Foot Reflexology Basics, Reflexology Variations and Reflexology for Women’s Health. The Foot Reflexology Basics class is open to the public and scheduled for Sunday, September 9th as part of the Massage & Wellness Weekend.
OSM graduate Nancie Hines, LMT, a Portland reflexologist has devoted many years to developing her expertise and knowledge of reflexology. She is a nationally certified reflexologist. If you are looking for a Portland area reflexologist, you can contact her at, Nancie.Hines@gmail.com.