What exactly is Foot Reflexology?
Foot reflexology is the practice of massaging the feet as a treatment for conditions that are completely unrelated to podiatry, which is the actual branch of medicine that has anything to do with the foot. In the early 1900’s Dr. William Fitzgerald believed that the human body had ten energy zones. Years later, nurse Eunice Ingham streamlined Fitzgerald’s notions to cover only the feet, and called it reflexology. Foot reflexology claims that the feet have areas that parallel the rest of the body (e.g. the big toe corresponds to the head), but this claim has never been supported with scientific evidence.
Foot reflexology is by no means original or innovative. Practitioners boast of a link with ancient Chinese and Egyptian practices to bestow a sense of legitimacy upon their trade, but reflexology probably owes more to similar practices like iridology. Both beliefs are based on the synecdoche that a part of the body represents the rest of it. In the case of iridology, the right iris relates to the left side of the body, and the left iris to the right side, whereas in reflexology the right foot corresponds to the right side of the body, and the left foot to the left side.
Some of the alleged benefits of foot reflexology are curing migraine headaches, sinus problems, digestive problems, back pain, circulatory issues, and relieving stress and anxiety. Some reflexologists make even more intangible promises, such as restoring balance to a person’s energy. Not surprisingly, reflexology is frequently used in combination with other unsubstantiated healing techniques, including acupressure, shiatsu, yoga, and tai chi. Given that the boundaries of reflexology are so ill-defined, reflexologists like to think themselves holistic health providers, since the feet represent the entire body, according to their very subjective view.
There is no denying that a foot massage is very enjoyable, especially after a hard day’s work. However, that pleasure may be derived from the fact that the part of the brain that connects to the foot is adjacent to the part that connects to the genitals, which would explain the considerable mood enhancing properties of a nice foot massage. What’s more, you don’t even need to be a reflexologist to give yourself a relaxing massage. You can achieve that with a Hygenic Corp Theraband foot roller, or a Dr. Archy foot massager, both available at Discount Medical Supplies.