Everybody loves a good foot rub. But did you know foot massage dates back to ancient Egypt and China? That’s right, over 5,000 years ago our ancestors were rubbing each other’s feet. In the late 1800s, Europeans invented reflexology: applying pressure to a person’s feet (or hands) in order to affect a physical change to the body. Placement of pressure is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that correspond to other parts of the body.
Also called “zone therapy,” this mixture of healing art and science is based on the premise that an energy channel encompassing 12 vital organs exists from our feet to the tops of our heads. Applying pressure with his/her hands, a reflexologist unblocks that channel to restore proper health and organ function.
Because the principles of foot massage are not in alignment with Western science, reflexology did not come to the United States until the 20th century. Since then, it has become an increasingly popular alternative therapy – due in part to the current holistic medicine trend. Today, over 20 countries across the globe support reflexology associations. Reflexology is particularly popular in Denmark and the UK.