Philosophy & History

A brief history of Reflexology:

The therapeutic benefits of reflexology have been utilized for over 4,000 years. A hieroglyph was taken out of a physician's tomb in Egypt during an archaeological investigation. On this hieroglyph there depicts two reflexology treatments in session. One treatment is for the hands, one for the feet. The translated inscription reads, "Please don't hurt me (said by the recipient)", and the reply reads, "I will act so you praise me (a reply from the practitioner)". The historical lineage from the days of the Ancient Egyptians is unknown, but the efficacy is very well documented by reflexologists around the world.

The Chinese form of therapy known as Zone Therapy is the basis of reflexology today. A doctor by the name of William Fitzgerald discovered this form of therapy and wrote a book on his findings. The book was titled "Relieving Pain at Home." The book described mainly how putting pressure on certain areas in the feet and hands could act as a pain killer or anaesthetic. An American woman by the name of Eunice Ingham received this book from her colleague, Dr. Shelby Riley. Together they developed zone therapy even further. Eunice eventually started to realize that the zones could be broken down into specific reflexes which could communicate with the glands, organs and rest of the body. She decided that not only could one relieve pain, but by applying a specific technique, one could activate the area of the body which corresponded to the reflexes. Eunice Ingham published her first book in 1938 where her discoveries and techniques of reflexology were well documented. In her books, Eunice describes many miraculous recoveries from "untreatable" conditions. She was able to help many people through these techniques, and she taught many more people on the subject of reflexology. Eunice died in 1974 at the age of 85 leaving an incredible legacy behind for all to utilize. Eunice Ingham's nephew, Dwight Byers continues her legacy through the International Institute of Reflexology.

Much has been discovered about reflexology through other practitioners, but if it weren't for Eunice Igham we would not have the standard of reflexology that is present today. I have had the great privilege of learning from instructors taught by Eunice Ingham, and feel that the techniques and application of reflexology taught and utilized by the International Institute of Reflexology are by far the best and most respected throughout the world.

If you are interested in learning more about Eunice Ingham and the Ingham method of Reflexology please visit the International Institute of Reflexology's website at

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