Most laypeople will know that reflexology pressure points are found in the feet and many have already experienced a massage. However, the person who is bashful to take off his or her shoes in public, whether it be because of an odor problem or the feet are just to ticklish etc, there is an alternative – the hand massage. Hand reflexology also concentrates upon pressure points or zones in the hand which corresponds to the various body organs and systems similar to foot reflexology.
The pioneer experts, Barbara and Kevin Kunz are specialists in this area. They have provided much information on hand reflexology and foot reflexology in their various websites and in their www.facebook.com reflexology group. The couple has been in practicing for over 25 years, but the practice of foot and hand reflexology has been in existence since ancient china, India, Egypt and even some parts of Africa.
Kevin Kunz maintains that there has been a renewed interest in hand reflexology of late due to the amount of stressful activities we are now subjecting our hands to such as: playing video games, spending long hours on the computer, using new electronic equipment such as the blackberry and text messaging back and forth. Many people are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome because of the pressure put upon the hands.
Hand reflexology will produce a calming effect, once administered. Furthermore, with our busy lifestyles we are in constant motion, taxing our minds and bodies and leaving ourselves open to various diseases such as heart attacks and other problems.
Therefore the aim of the hand reflexology massage is to sufficiently de stress the body parts in order to facilitate its ability to repair itself. There are many nerve ending within the hand and by messaging these various pressure points, the hand will relax, blood will circulate more freely, and pain will dissipate. The calming effect will travel to the various body systems and organs for a generalized stress free feeling of well being.
Hand reflexology is simple to learn, the touch points or pressure zones have been extensively mapped out for us in hand reflexology charts. There are even hand reflexology gloves worn directly upon the hand thus avoiding errors in zone point locations.
The technique to use requires pressure and stretching movements. You can commence by pulling upon the web part of the tips of your fingertips and thumbs, while gently applying pressure. Now take the body of the hand (palm and top of the hand) and stretch the skin back and forth, always be gentle and produce just enough pressure to get the task done.
Kevin Kunz maintains that you can overdo these simply techniques if you are messaging too hard, too long, or too much. Do not overdo it! He cautions if any part of the hand becomes too sensitive to touch because of the massage stop it, let your hand rest for a few days before resuming the massage.
Kevin Kunz recommends rolling a golf ball around the palm of the hand as a great source of energy releasing power. He states that this energy release will benefit the adrenal glands, stomach, kidneys, solar plexus and pancreas.
More information can be found on his various websites, facebook, and other reflexology training institutes.
Evidence of reflexology has existed since ancient times. The art of reflexology dates back to around 5000 B.C. in India and china. Before the age of writing and the onset of reflexology books, archeologists discovered ancient pictures on the cave walls and Egyptian hieroglyphics on tombs of the physicians of the great pharaohs. These pictures depicted feet with clear markings of pressure areas. With the onset of modern writing we get the onslaught of actual reflexology books.
There were celebrated people such as the sculptor Cellini, practicing reflexology in Europe since the 14th century, but actual writings in the west are noted later on. One of the first reflexology books was written by Dr. Cornelius in Germany, entitled Pressure Points and their Significance (1902). Dr. Cornelius wrote about pressure zones and how applying force or pressure to painful sites had medicinal purposes. He found that the application of pressure would actually relieve the pain.
After the publishing of his work and the work of his colleagues, the art of reflexology began to germinate in America about this time as well. The curiosity of the alternative medicine community peaked; and the need for reflexology books expanded.
In The USA, attention was given to reflexology as early as 1900’s, when Dr. Edwin Bowers published in Everybody’s Magazine, To Stop the Toothache – Squeeze your Toe. Much attention and a flurry of interest resulted from the amazing new to America approach to holistic medicine. Dr. Bowers, Dr. Fitzgerald and Dr. George Starr White lectured at The Riley School of Chiropractic and further advanced the theory of pressure zones (reflexology).
During the time frame of 1917 – 1942, Dr. Riley of the School of Chiropractic wrote twelve books on zone therapy culminating in his final work, Zone Reflex in 1942.
Many of these early reflexology books are out of print, but there are many more modern books available on the market today.
Whether you want to practice the art of reflexology yourself, or you want to simply learn about the subject, note that there is a wealth of information found in reflexology books. There are books on specialized locations such as foot reflexology, hand reflexology, ear reflexology as well as general principals, self healing and general techniques and applications.
You can purchase reflexology books at your local books store and online at various sites including amazon.com.
Some of the best selling reflexology books include:
Reflexology: Health at Your Fingertips by Barbara Kunz, Kevin Kunz, Ruth Jenkinson, published 2003,
The Family Guide to Reflexology by Anne Gillanders, published 1998,
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Reflexology by Frankie Avalon Wolfe, Russell McAllister, published 1999.
There are also several websites that give comprehensive lists of valuable reflexology books on the market today. Anthony Larkin, a registered reflexologist provides a reflexology book list on the internet, as well as Virginnia E. Sevilla, or you can do a Google search on your own to find the many sites available to you.
The light force therapy originated back in the 1960s, with Jana Sullivan developed a prototype of a hand-held device that would eventually become the initial product of “Light Force Therapy.” Based on technology from photo-stimulation, the new process used light emitting diodes to produce beams of light at specified frequencies and wavelengths.
Her photo-stimulation, also called LED therapy, was developed in order to relieve acute and chronic pain that occurred from disease and injury. It also increased circulation and decreased inflammation, which is associated with joint pain preventing range of motion. The Light Force Therapy offers hope for anyone with chronic pain, such as degenerative disease or arthritis, or even sprained ankles.
Cleared with FDA approval, Light Force Therapy is marked for therapeutic use on both animals and humans for pain relief, especially as its original purpose was for the pain of horses. Either way, the Light Force Therapy stimulates the body’s ability to relieve pain by using the power and energy of light. This process uses the activity of certain cell components, and is considered a simple and effective way to control pain, in a non-pharmaceutical manner.
A study on the control of wounds in bruises was done in Kenyan STD/HIV/AIDS patients with the use of the light emitting diodes used in Light Force Therapy. Scientific evidence in this area has shown there are two main sources of single wavelength light–both laser and light emitting diodes–as studies have demonstrated that the human cell actually responds better to the single wavelength of light, in comparison to multiple wavelengths. What happens in Light Force Therapy is a multitude of physiological changes occur in the body. The real advantage came when working with children, as with this therapy no needles, cutting or swallowing were involved. The flashing lights were fun for the children as they thought it was a game and exciting.
The Light Force Therapy methodology is a light unit developed into a hand-held machine, with 48 red and infrared LEDs, and eight frequency settings. The unit is held near the injured skin area, whether it is a bruise, open wound, or sore for about 10 to 15 minutes per area. Additionally, a one-minute application was placed on other body area–the palm of the hand, the soles of the feet, the ears, and the stomach. This EPS system opens up the meridians and reflexology points for the entire body, boosting the entire immune system to clear energy blockages–a treatment similar to acupuncture.
When we review foot reflexology, we no doubt will come across the areas of the foot that have been mapped out for us; to give us a quick reference to the various organs and systems of the body that can benefit from the healing offered through reflexology. It is important to consult a reflexology foot map to know that we are massaging the proper area to correct a problem that we have been having.
A reflexology foot map is a wonderful tool to guide us along the road of good health care. A reflexology foot map is also known as a reflexology foot chart and there are numerous reflexology foot maps to choose from. Relexologists; both practitioners and teachers alike, use the reflexology foot map in their private practice and in the classroom setting.
A foot reflexology map can be as large as a wall chart for classroom purposes or as small as a thumbnail drawing within a text book. For the layperson who just wishes to relieve stress or sooth tired burning feet at home, there are reflexology maps that illustrate the reflex points within the foot. They provide effective instruction on how to massage the areas of the foot to hit your target goal. Whether it be stimulating the thyroid gland, or massaging the heart, a foot reflexology map will pinpoint you to exact area on the foot to utilize.
The development of reflexology socks is an interesting concept to provide easy instruction coupled with a practical use. Reflexology socks allow an individual to have a foot massage just about anywhere without having to carry extra baggage around with them. Simply sit down, relax, kick off your shoes and commence. You can do this individually or joyously with a partner.
A basic internet search will bring you to various sites that will sell a reflexology foot map for your personal convenience. There are many sites to choose from.
If you live in the UK or US, the site http://www.dorlingkindersley-uk.co.uk/static/cs/uk/11/features/reflexology/footchart.html provides information and maps of the foot. The areas that they have mapped on the foot correspond to several body organs and areas including: Adrenal Gland, lower back, liver, arm, elbow, eye, face, groin, bladder, gall bladder, sciatic nerve, brain, head, breast, heart, chest, fallopian tubes, colon, pancreas, diaphragm, elbow, lung, ear, lower back, upper back, spine, tailbone, eye, ileocaecal valve, solar plexus, gums, shoulder, tops of shoulders, jaw, teeth, stomach, kidney, sinus, neck, brain stem, liver, spleen, spine, knee, leg, lymph glands, parathyroid gland, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, thymus, small intestine.
For more information and a vmore interactive group setting, you can visit Kevin Kunz’s reflexology group on www.facebook.com.
You can go to various sites such as amazon.com, bizrate.com and smarter.com to find the right reflexology foot map (reflexology foot chart) for your personal use.
What is reflexology is a question that is commonly asked and the answer is simply a system that applies pressure to various designated areas of the body such as ear, hand, and foot without the using any other sources such as instruments, materials, lotions, oils and creams. Okay, you might say, “I get it so far but what is reflexology, why are you applying pressure?” To answer the question what is reflexology and how it is applied it is best to start with the philosophy and work our way through.
Reflexology, also known as touch therapy, has it roots in ancient china where it was considered that pressure or massage stimulation applied to the feet could treat or reduce diseases of certain organs. Certain pressure points were said to stimulate certain organs in ancient Taoist belief. The ancient Chinese derived acupressure and then acupuncture from this starting point and today it is very much a part of modern Chinese medicine.
When trying to answer the question what is reflexology? We must look at its progression from its origin in China to its inception in the west. This eastern view of “pressure points”, “life force or chi”, in Taoist belief could be likened to the Hindu charkas points located in the human body. Again, stimulating such places, or pressure points, such the heart charka is said to provide health benefits. More to the point, ancient pictures have been discovered in India with medical pictures demonstrating various pressure points marked off on the soles of the feet of the Buddha. Similar archeological findings in Egypt show evidence of touch therapy in hieroglyphics on the tomb of Ankhmahor dating back to 2000 BC.
The concept spread to the western around the 14th century and today it is used as an alternative medicine form for relieving stress. It was said that Cellini, the Florentine Italian sculptor (1500 – 1533) practiced pain relief therapy by using finger pressure techniques. By 1582, doctors in Europe were already beginning to write about zone therapy (pressure point therapy of today).
On this side of the Atlantic we know that South American Incas practiced a foot message which is still widely in use by the North American Cherokee. By the turn of the 20th century books on the subject were sprouting out all over the place as the medical community began to take notice of this eastern form of medicine.
Finally when addressing the question what is reflexology bear in mind the appeal of reflexology and eastern medicine is largely due to its holistic approach to medicine. The belief behind holistic medicine is centered upon the ability of the body to heal itself. With reflexology there is no need for drugs. The simple massaging of key reflex points in the hands and feet releases the energy block within the human body, stimulates the immune system, dislodges toxins so that the body can eliminate them naturally and is considered preventative care against illness.
The beginning student or layperson interested in dabbling in the art of reflexology will no doubt want some free reflexology charts. The subject of reflexology is truly satisfying especially when practiced. The novice will quickly learn that certain areas of the body such as the feet, hands, ears, and head are reflex areas that when manipulated or massaged will promote healthy tissue and organ health. No doubt to know exactly where to manipulate the foot, hand, ear, or feet is quite tricky. The student will need the aid of free reflexology charts; at least in the beginning. As the student becomes more involved in the art of reflexology or becomes interested in becoming a teacher or practitioner then, would be the time to invest money for a worthwhile career.
If you do a Google search for reflexology charts you will come up with tons of sites selling reflexology charts, but to find free reflexology charts is a bit harder. Do not fret or worry, there are free reflexology charts out there. Here are a few sites to investigate for your free reflexology charts.
An excellent site for information on reflexology can be found at the American Academy of Reflexology http://www.americanacademyofreflexology.com/ChartsFreeBill.shtml they also run the www.ReflexologySchoolLosAngeles.com and www.ReflexologyResearch.net sites.
You will find free reflexology charts offered by expert reflexologist, Bill Flocco there. This site offers an ear, foot, and hand chart as well as free books and other materials. These free reflexology charts are in black and white only and are quite small but they are place to start. The site does offer an email address to contact them for further information: ReflexologyEdu@aol.com
It would be very practical and easier to understand and read if you could obtain free reflexology charts in color. The reflex zones that you are particularly interested in will stand out in color whereas in black and white you will have to look a little more closely. Color is also easier on the eyes as it jumps out to you. You will have to concentrate and perhaps strain your eyes to see the zones clearly when using black and white charts.
However, if black and white is the only option available open to you, do not let that become a handicap, if the printing is small and you have the chart as a download, adjust your printing size, or zoom feature on your computer. If you have printed it to full size and still find the chart is too small, go to a photocopier machine or service and have it blown up. Remember, don’t give up there are always options available.
CircleofLight.com http://www.circlesoflight.com/alternative/reflexology-chart.html will send you two high quality free reflexology foot charts to you by email, because their philosophy is that everyone should have foot reflexology chart to promote good health.
Mindbodyandsoul.com http://www.thebodymindandsoul.com/free-foot-reflexology-charts.htm will also send you free reflexology foot charts in word format if you provide your email address.
The foot reflexology chart or diagram is also known as a foot reflexology map. The foot reflexology map is labeled as such because it works like a guide or map pointing out strategic points on the foot in order to trigger corresponding body organs and systems through the use of massage, pressure, and specific thumb and finger manipulations.
Dr. William Fitzgerald of the Riley School of Chiropractic in Washington, DC, 1913-1920 was the originator of the first foot reflexology map. He found that by massaging the foot, his patients would maintain that pain was relieved in other parts of the body. Together with Dr. Edwin Bowen and Dr. George Starr White, Fitzgerald developed the practice and theory of Zone therapy. Later on Dr. Riley the founder of the School of Chiropractic took interest in the new field of zone therapy as a complement to his work in chiropracty.
The physicians who became interested in zone therapy at the time were doctors who believed in a holistic approach to medicine, they advocated drug free medicine and thus performed foot and body massages as a means to relieve pain. Although much of modern reflexology does not use drugs of any kind, creams or lotions, these pioneers did use an artificial apparatus that served as a body massager for zone therapy and chiropractic work. Modern reflexologists can purchase massagers to aid in treatment. The new and improved Dr. Riley’s ultra massager has no doubt been named after the pioneer who dedicated his life work to healing people.
Dr. Riley also used a machine he called the percuss o meter to aid in stimulating the zone pressure points. Pictures of the rudimentary machines can be found on the net or in the archives of the Modern Institute of Reflexology.
There are various tools on the market today to aid in massage procedures for self care and home care use. The layperson can purchase a Reflexycure Probe which is a device that stimulates the KI meridian point on the sole of the foot. The KI meridian point is located between the second and third metataursal bones in the ball of the foot and is considered to be the solar plexus reflex area. You massage the area by rolling your foot against a wheel designed for this purpose. The exact location may be a bit tricky to find and you will need to consult a foot reflexology chart to help guide you in the process.
Many reflexologists prefer to adhere to the strict codes of using key finger and thumb manipulation without the aid of artificial devices. The only instrument they will rely upon is the foot reflexology map, or other types of reflexology maps for guidance but do maintain that these various devices can help facilitate learning for home care use.
Did you know that you can promote well being and healing within your own body with a few simple reflexology techniques? It’s really not difficult at all. You can easily administer simple reflexology techniques to your hands before rising in the morning and after you go to bed at night. Make it a habit and you will find that you feel better. Many people suffering from anxiety report that applying pressure to the specific zones in the hands and feet can promote relaxation that is cumulative. The more you practice these techniques the more the bad energy leaves the body and is replaced by calm energy.
Anyone interested in learning simple reflexology techniques should click on to Youtube.com and watch a reflexologist demonstrate the procedure. The therapist explains everything as he/she works, and it is very easy to understand. You see how the therapist uses his/her hands to apply pressure to certain areas. Reflexology treatments are good for everyone. You can learn how to apply the techniques to your infants and children, as well as your partner. It was reported that a wife used simple reflexology techniques on her comatose husband and he responded. Over time the person said that her husband woke up out of his coma and spoke to her. It is amazing what touch can do.
Many people learn the techniques by first being treated by licensed reflexologists. Their doctors may have referred them to a reflexology clinic because the patient didn’t want to take prescribed medications for their pain and discomfort. By learning the simple reflexology techniques you can promote relaxation and healing every day of the week. Administering the techniques yourself may not replace seeing a reflexologist, but it does provide continuity in your own level of health care.
By applying simple reflexology techniques to your fingers, hands and wrists you can promote health and healing to every area of your body. By applying firm, but gentle pressure and massage to the fingers of both hands, starting at the ends of your fingers, you can promote health and wellbeing to your ears, eyes, brain and hair follicles on both sides of your body. Each hand represents one-half of the body. By massaging your thumbs with gentle pressure, not enough to hurt, you can affect the thyroid gland, sinuses and your spinal column.
Did you know that simple reflexology techniques applied to the fleshy part of your thumbs can help relieve the pain of a sore throat? These techniques, when done on a regular basis, will help to promote healing and wellness throughout the body. A combination of movements, pinching, rubbing and pulling on specific areas of the fingers and hands can affect the whole body.
Did you know that applying pressure in the center of the anterior wrist can help relieve back pain? Move your pressure upwards a little bit and you can relieve nausea. If you would like to learn more about simple reflexology techniques you may want to contact a reflexology professional, or you may want to purchase a book written specifically as a guide to learning the techniques.
Forms of reflexology have been practiced for centuries in the east, dating back to ancient China, where the peoples of the past upheld the significance of applying pressure to various zones or areas in the feet. The ancients who cultivated a therapy called acupressure (later to advance to acupuncture in China) realized early on that putting pressure on the feet released “the life force”, chi, or energy which was blocked within the human body. They also saw how different body organs and systems benefited from massaging these pressure points. Much of their focus was on the foot, where they believed massage could benefit the rest of the body.
Some modern day historians maintain that it was the ancient pharaohs of Egypt circa 2300 BC who actually practiced hand and foot massage. A diagram of the earliest rudimentary reflexology foot chart has been located on the tomb of Ankhmahor the “overseer of the great house”, vizier, and physician to the Pharaoh. There are several expert opinions of what these ancient carvings actually represented. Much attention was paid to the foot during this time in Egyptian history.
To the modern day reflexologist though the Pharaoh and other dignitaries of the society may have been transported about, the common slave or laborer walked far and wide and was constantly on his feet. These poor tender feet needed care. The tired sojourner or visitor to the society may very well have sought help from the country’s physicians. Therefore it is conceivable to say that physicians of the time were interested in foot therapy. Since hieroglyphics was the language of communication at the time, it makes sense that findings of the physicians on basic foot care would be represented in a reflexology foot chart. Some Egyptologists confirm that these ancient drawings do depict a reflexology foot chart of sorts. They have seen from the Egyptian court culture the drawings of servants massaging the legs of their Pharaohs on Ptah-hotep’s tomb. There are also carvings of foot soldiers having their feet attended to during the time of Ramesses II.
We find evidence of the use of a reflexology foot chart in modern day North American culture dating back to 1913, when an ears, nose and throat physician and surgeon by the name of Dr. Fitzgerald, noticed that when he applied pressure to certain areas on the feet, different parts of the body seemed to response well to the touch. These findings lead him to develop the concept of zone therapy now known as reflexology and to develop a reflexology foot chart to aid in the explanation and teaching of this new founded discipline. The first reflexology foot chart that the good doctor designed was divided into 10 vertical areas which he called zones, each zone corresponded to a different area of the body which he had observed through his practice.
Since then reflexology foot charts have been in wide use as training tools for practitioners and laypeople alike.
Foot reflexology dates back to over 5000 years starting from the east and slowly traveling to the west where it made its debut in Russia. The ancients were aware of the importance of good foot care, evidence shows in hieroglyphics on the tomb of Ankhmahor, the chief overseer and possible physician to the great Pharoahs where foot diagrams reflecting modern day foot reflexology points are mapped out. We can see similar diagrams of the Hindu god Vishnu feet where Sanskrit symbols are precisely located in modern day foot reflexology zones.
Modern day foot reflexology is often accredited to work of Dr. William Fitzgerald and associates at the Riley School of Chiropractic in Washington, in 1913. Doctors Fitzgerald, Bowen and Starr White wrote about their work in this new field of foot massage. They discovered how certain areas or zones in the foot corresponded with various body organs. Dr. Fitzgerald founded zone therapy and is accredited with producing the first foot reflexology charts.
The foot reflexology technique is designed to massage the foot and help you relax as well as stimulate other parts of the body. But it is much more than just a foot massage as this approach to holistic medicine does not only concentrate upon the foot but reflexologists concentrate on the person as a whole. The reflexologist will work with people, find out the different health issues facing them, empathize, support and attempt to therapeutically correct the body imbalance caused by years of stress and strain upon various organs and systems. Reflexologists work with body and soul and claim to touch upon the areas upon which “modern medicine” so often neglects.
Advanced foot reflexology goes beyond foot massage; it incorporates the mind, body and soul. Reflexologists maintain that by doing a foot reading they can ascertain a person’s life style and general wellbeing, they profess that, “The mental, physical and psychological history of the person is spelled out with such accuracy.” Sometimes a person comes to a reflexologist with simply the mention that, “I do not feel well” and the reflexologist begins to analyze the foot to see where the body imbalance originates. Some common indicators of stress within the body can be found by detecting, calluses, bunions, corns and knobby toes, other indications include an unusual tenderness experienced when touching the feet. At this point, the reflexologist will target the stress areas and corresponding organs within the body.
Besides going to a reflexologist, you can obtain information on the web, through your library or bookstore as well. Several excellent books are on the market, one that is highly recommended is The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology by Barbara Kunz, an expert in the area of reflexology. This book is easily found on amazon.com.
Always remember that if the body is experiencing an imbalance through foot reflexology this imbalance can be reversed or corrected for most common ailments. A serious note of caution, foot reflexology is to be used in conjunction with standard medical practice and should never be considered as an application that can be used alone especially if one is suffering from major medical conditions.