From antiquity to today
Reflexology over time
Ancient history of foot reflexology
Reflexology has been practiced throughout the world for thousands of years. There are traces and various testimonies. Here are some of the proofs of the existence of Reflexology, which have come up to us:
- We find the first stigmata of foot reflexology in Egypt, on the tomb of Ankhamahor. These are estimated at 2330 BC.
- In China, the famous book of Chinese medicine “Nei Ching” attributed to Huang Ti (or the Yellow Emperor), which is between 1000 and 400 years before our era, relates passages on reflexology.
- In the Buddhist religion there are statues of Buddha where his divine qualities are represented symbolically under his feet.
- In India we can observe the feet of Vishnu garnished with symbols: we find a correlation between the positioning of the symbols, what they represent, with the reflex zones. For example, on the feet of Vishnu we observe at the level of the heel, which corresponds to the reflex zones of the organs located in the pelvis, symbols related to fertility, longevity and virility.
- Indians of the Cherokee tribe in North America also testify to their practice of plantar reflexology, which they pass on from generation to generation.
There are two main influencers when we discuss the history of reflexology in the Western world. Dr. Fitzgerald (1872-1942), who developed “Zone Therapy” and Eunice Ingham (1889-1974) considered the mother of modern reflexology. A trained physiotherapist, she has spent much of her career researching foot reflexology. Plantar reflexology as it is practiced today in Europe relies mainly on his research.
However, they are not the only ones interested in this method. In the 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe, several medical researchers are focusing on the fact that the stimulation of a part of the body acts on a distant part.
After the discovery of the chemical molecule, the medical community turned more and more to pharmacology, leaving the other techniques aside.
Aujourd’hui la réflexologie plantaire est très utilisée dans les pays nordiques, et est reconnue aux Pays-Bas, au Danemark, en Suède, au Royaume-Uni et en Irlande.