Click to the right to visit the
Association of Reflexologists'
interactive foot map:
Modern foot reflexology as we know it was developed by Eunice Ingham - the 'mother of reflexology' - in the 1930s. She identified reflex areas on the feet corresponding to organs and parts of the body, expanding on the 'Zone Theory' work of Drs. Joe Shelby Riley and William Fitzgerald in the early 20th century. They had divided the body into ten vertical and eight horizontal zones, and discovered that applying pressure to areas within a zone (e.g. fingers or toes) could have a pain-relieving effect on other parts of the body within the same zone.
Historically, reflexology goes back much further. An Egyptian tomb painting dating back to around 2330 BC depicts courtiers being worked on with foot and hand therapies, and the ancient Chinese are also thought to have used foot pressure techniques in conjunction with Acupuncture.
Clothing - it helps if possible to wear loose, comfortable clothes which can be pushed up to the knee, as meridian points on the lower legs may also be worked during a session.
Remove - only footwear and socks/tights need to be removed.
Footcare - minor verrucas etc. can be covered, but for more serious skin problems or infections you may wish to visit a podiatrist for appropriate treatment before having reflexology.
The best known, 'classical' type of reflexology! Treatments on the feet are a popular way to relax and rebalance.
You’ll be reclined in a comfortable chair with your feet raised. Essentially foot reflexology feels like a relaxing, thorough foot massage using a gentle but firm pressure - so even if you have ticklish feet this shouldn't be a problem, although there are always other options for the extremely ticklish.
You may feel tender spots during the session, but reflexology should never be painful - a good reflexologist will adjust techniques and pressure to work effectively within your comfort level.