Zone Therapy Riley

Cure Arthritis Naturally

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Reflex Zone Therapy or simply Reflexology is a non-medicinal form of treatment in which specific spots on the surface of the body, usually the soles or the palms, are methodically pressed with a view to suitably influencing the internal organs of the body. Alternatively, Reflexology can be defined as a science of stimulating points (usually on the soles or the palms) which have a correspondence or a link with internal organs of the body.

Like Acupuncture or Acupressure, even Reflexology has its roots in antiquity. A form of treatment by means of pressure points was prevalent in India and China almost 5000 years ago. A similar form of therapy was practised in ancient Egypt too. A picture (reproduced below) found on the tomb of Ankhmahar (king's physician) at Saqquara in Egypt clearly shows 'Reflexology' being 'practised'. Studies have shown this tomb to be about 4500 years old.

It can be presumed that Acupuncture and Reflexology originated from a common root. There are a number of things common to Acupuncture and Reflexology. Both recognize a flow, in the body, of energy (bio-electricity). In Reflexology,

Fig. 1.1 : Reflexology in ancient Egypt

this flow is thought to take place through zones whereas in Acupuncture the flow is thought to occur through 'meridians'. In both these therapies, one aim of treatment is to render this flow of energy smooth and harmonious.

this flow is thought to take place through zones whereas in Acupuncture the flow is thought to occur through 'meridians'. In both these therapies, one aim of treatment is to render this flow of energy smooth and harmonious.

Zone Therapy

Due to reasons unknown, the shoot of Acupuncture flourished whereas that of Reflexology withered. However, it

Due to reasons unknown, the shoot of Acupuncture flourished whereas that of Reflexology withered. However, it did not perish completely because it had become ingrained in some cultures. Indian, Chinese and North American tribals continued to employ it.

The great Florentine sculptor, Cellini (1500-1571 A.D.) exerted strong pressure on his toes and fingers to relieve pain anywhere in the body with remarkable success.

In central European countries similar methods were described by Dr. Adamus and Dr. A'Tatis in 1582 A.D. At about the same time, Dr. Ball of Leipzig (Germany) published a booklet describing treatment of organs through pressure points. The twentieth American president W. Garfield (1831 -1881 A.D.) was able to alleviate the pains he had, following an assassination attempt on his life, by applying pressure to various points in his feet. Pain-killing medicines could give him no relief.

Another exponent of pressure therapy was Dr. H. Bressler. Dr. Bressler's work and success generated a lot of interest'in Dr. William Fitzgerald (1872-1942 A.D.). Dr. Fitzgerald graduated in medicine from the University of Vermount in 1895. For two years he was on the staff of Central London Ears, Nose and Throat Hospital. Later, he started practising as a physician at the Boston City Hospital and as a laryngologist at St. Francis ENT Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. It was in 1902 A.D., while he was the head of ENT department that he was drawn to pressure therapy. He started working on toes and fingers of his patients to quickly realize that this produced considerable analgesia and relieved headaches, earaches, tummy-aches, etc.

While other doctors like H. Bressler had employed pressure therapy infrequently on a few patients, Dr. Fitzgerald started to employ it methodically on most of the patients who came to him. He achieved great success in his endeavours. He took great pains to make this therapy kriown to doctors. Therefore, Dr. Fitzgerald can be considered the rediscoverer of Reflexology. He gave it a fresh lease of life.

Dr. Fitzgerald evolved a theory that divided the human body longitudinally into five zones on the left and five zones on the right. He had realized that any problem of an organ lying in one particular zone could be treated by applying pressure somewhere else within the same zone.

Zone therapy was further popularized by Dr. Edwin Bowers M.D., an early associate of Dr. Fitzgerald. He developed a unique and startling method for convincing his colleagues about the validity of zone theory. He would apply pressure to a colleague's hand and then stick a pin in the corresponding area (zone) of his face anaesthesized by the pressure. Such dramatic proof made believers out of those who witnessed it. Along with Dr. Fitzgerald, Dr. Bowers brought out the first book on pressure therapy entitled 'Zone Therapy'. It contained therapeutic recommendations and guidelines for doctors, dentists, gynaecologists, ENT specialists and others.

Reflex Zone Therapy was given Fig. 1.4: Fitzgerald's further impetus by Dr. George White ten vertical zones ancj Dr Joseph Riley.

Working in Dr. Riley's office was a therapist, Eunice Ingham. She had seen Dr. Riley working on patients' hands. If pressing on hands can influence internal organs, pressing on soles should also produce similar effects, she thought. Driven with this idea, she began probing the feet of all persons she came across, finding a tender spot and corelating it with the diseased internal organ. Such careful study enabled her to map the entire human body on the soles of the two feet. Dr, Fitzgerald divided each foot into five longitudinal zones; Eunice Ingham further subdivided it (with help of three lines) into four transverse zones.

Eunice InghamTransverse Zones Reflexology

Eunice Ingham brought out two books 'Stories the feet can tell' and 'Stories the feet have told' describing her experiments and experiences with Foot Reflexology. She worked tirelessly to popularize Reflexology throughout the length and breadth of the U.S.A. It would not be an exaggeration to say that she put Foot Reflexology 'on its feet'.

From America, Reflexology soon spread to other countries including India. Thanks to dedicated efforts by members of such charitable institutions like Jai Bhagwan Acupressure Service, Bombay, All India Centre for Acupressure Research, Bombay, Indian Academy of Acupressure Science, Indore, etc., Reflexology has become extremely popular in India. These institutions have taken up the work of Reflexology with a missionary zeal.

In India, both Foot Reflexology and Hand Reflexology are equally popular. Foot Reflexology, however, enjoys certain advantages over Hand Reflexology. It is much easier to locate the trigger points for various organs on the feet than on the hands. This is because of the fact that a foot has a much bigger surface area than a hand and, therefore, gives a greater (bigger) representation to each organ. On the other hand, the trigger areas for various organs are compressed on the hand, rendering their location relatively difficult. Moreover, the trigger spots are situated somewhat deep on the hands. Therefore, a greater force (deeper pressure) is required to reach them. This entails much hard work and, therefore, may prove tiresome.

In Reflex Zone Therapy, the whole of each foot is methodically worked upon. However, areas or spots found tender (painful on pressure) are stimulated for longer periods than non-painful spots.

A Reflexology treatment results into a restoration of homoeostasis i.e., to say an internal equilibrium results. Organs and glands start working optimally and harmoniously. Reflex Zone Therapy also relieves mental and physical stress. This is an important gain considering the fact that in modern times most disorders are the direct or indirect results of stress. Reflexology stimulates the body's immune system i.e., it strengthens the body's natural resistance. Its resistance thus strengthened, the body can prevent or drive away any disease. Therefore, the scope of this therapy is virtually unlimited. It can be employed in the treatment of any disease that has not been rendered incurable by gross and irreversible pathological changes.

Reflexology is especially suitable for the treatment of the following disorders (the list is by no means exhaustive) :

Anorexia (loss of appetite), arthritis, backache, bedwet-ting in children, colds, constipation, cough, diarrhoea (loose motions), dizziness, ear disorders, eye disorders, flatulence (gas), giddiness, goitre, headache, hyperacidity, indigestion, insomnia, loss of voice, menstrual disorders, mental tension, migraine, nose disorders, painful disorders, painful joints, sinusitis, sore throat, thyroid disorders, tonsillitis, toothache.

Reflexology should also be tried (and frequently gives good results) in disorders with vague symptoms like 'a feeling of malaise', general lassitude, chronic fatigue, pain in bones, trembling of the body, etc. Here, due to difficulty in arriving at a diagnosis, rational medicinal treatment is impossible to administer.

Moreover, Reflexology should form an essential part of treatment of all such diseases which have no satisfactory medical solution or which are considered incurable and, therefore, require to be treated throughout life. Such diseases include high blood pressure, diabetes mallitus, asthma, rheu-

matoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis, atherosclerosis, disseminated sclerosis, emphysema, jaundice, systemic lupus erythematosus, etc.

However, among all therapeutic sciences, there is not one form of therapy which does not have its limitations. Indeed, not even medical science can claim to cure each and every case that comes to its attention. And Reflexology is no exception. In the following diseases, Reflexology should not be employed as the sole form of treatment; it can only be employed in conjunction with medicines :

All fulminating infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, leprosy, serious disorders of the heart, kidney failure, meningitis, tumours, cancer etc.

Finally, Reflexology has no role to play in such purely mechanical disorders like congenital anomalies (viz. cleft palate, heart valvular defects), mature cataract, varicosed veins, hernia, big stones in gall bladder/urinary tract, prolapsed uterus, prolapsed rectum, a foreign body in eye/ear/nose, fracture, big abscesses, etc.

Similarly, Reflexology cannot help disorders arising from deficiencies of essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins and minerals.

In conclusion, it can be said that Reflex Zone Therapy is a non-medicinal, natural form of treatment that is extremely popular in all nooks and corners of the world. It is a boon to mankind because-

(a) It is extremely simple; even a small child can learn it. Therefore, it can be used as self-treatment.

(b) It is amazingly effective, sometimes producing almost miraculous results.

(c) It is absolutely safe unlike medicines (which produce untoward side effects).

(d) It is inexpensive since no medicines are required and you need not rush to a doctor for trivial ailments.

(e) It can be used alone or in conjunction with conventional medicines.

(f) It can be used to preserve peak health, prevent diseases and slow down ageing process.

However, the reader should understand that Reflexology is no panacea. It is not a'cure all'and should not be considered an alternative to competent medical care. It is, in fact, a means of enabling the body to attain a perfect balance in all its functions. It arouses and activates the natural healing forces that have been suppressed and, therefore, rendered ineffective by disease-forces.

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