Manipulation of specific areas of the hands, feet (and ears – See Auricular Therapy) to bring the body into balance (homeostatis). Distinct regions of the hands and feet correspond to particular organs or body systems and the stimulation of the appropriate region is intended to eliminate energy blockages thought to produce pain or disease in the associated structures. Animals have points just as humans do, which relate to the particular organs or body system.
Form of zone therapy or reflexology. In the 1930’s Eunice Ingham, a psychotherapist working for a physician, used zone therapy on patients. She mapped the entire body as represented on the feet. At first used to reduce pain, Ingham developed the work into the Ingham Reflex Method of Compression Massage. later known as Reflexology. Only the hands are used to apply the pressure to the reflex points on the feet.
Due to the noninvasive nature of the therapy, reflexology is often used in situations where other types of body work are contraindicated.
Certification is available in the United States through the national association. Reflexology techniques are also commonly taught at most massage schools.