also known as zone therapy is an alternative
medicine or integrated medicine method of
treatment involving the physical act of
applying pressure to the feet and hands
with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques
without the use of oil or lotion. It is
based on what reflexologists claim to be
a system of zones and reflex areas that
they say reflect an image of the body on
the feet and hands, with the premise that
such work effects a physical change to the
Reflexology's theme is the idea that areas
on the foot correspond to areas of the body,
and that by manipulating these one can improve
health through one's qi. Reflexology is
based on the premise that the body is divided
into ten equal vertical zones, five on the
right and five on the left. There are also
three transverse lines, the upper region
of the shoulder girdle, the waistline, and
the pelvic floor. Reflexology is proposed
by reflexologists as a complementary therapy
and should not replace medical treatment.
It is also believed that reflexology can
relieve stress and pain in other parts of
the body through the manipulation of the
feet. One explanation is that the pressure
received in the feet may send signals that
'balance' the nervous system or release
chemicals such as endorphins that reduce
stress and pain.
Various versions of reflexology have been
practised. This has been documented on four
continents: Asia, Europe, Africa, and North
America. The most common theory is that
the earliest form of reflexology originated
in China, as much as 5000 years ago.
Many changes took place in reflexology,
over the years. In China, the practice of
acupressure using the fingers turned into
the practice of acupuncture using needles.
The belief in the reflex points still existed,
but the practise was taken in a new direction
with a new theory of claimed meridians.
The Chinese concept of meridian therapy
is a fundamental part of the claims of reflexology.