Reflexology History

History Of Reflexology

Reflexology dates back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, India and China, but was only introduced to the UK in the 20th Century.

In China there is evidence of some form of foot and hand therapy being practiced as long ago as 4,000 B.C. The Cherokee tribes of North America to this day practice a form of reflexology that they continue to pass down from generation to generation. Evidence dating as far back as 2500 BC reveals reflexology practiced in ancient Egypt. The evidence comes from a pictograph in the tomb of an Egyptian Physician. The pictograph shows two men working on the feet and hands of two other men.

As new knowledge was added over the centuries many changes took place. In China, reflexology diverged into a new branch of therapy called acupressure. The practice of acupressure using fingers then morphed into the practice of acupuncture using needles. 1913 saw the re-pioneering of reflexology for the modern age by an American Doctor called William Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was a practical medical man, who became a natural healer through the art of using pressure therapy to benefit and heal the human body. He observed that by applying pressure to certain parts of the body the patient would feel no pain, and he was able to do minor operations without using cocaine or any other anesthetic.

Fitzgerald is responsible for what today we call zone therapy. He identified zones in the body running from the fingers to the top of the head and down to the soles of the feet. He devised the system of mapping the body into five zones on each side of a median line. It was later discovered that 7000 nerve endings could be found in the feet so this was where the most effective section of pressure was applied. Had it not been for the inquiring medical minds from doctors like Fitzgerald, the modern understanding of reflexology might never have occurred. If you have never had a reflexology before then we definitely recommend it. You can find a list of London’s reflexology therapists here.