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Massage types

Reflex zone therapy

Reflex zone therapy works out from the theory that the feet represents the seated human body, with the big toe being the head and the heel being the bottom. Via various pressure points on the feet the functioning of the body can be stimulated and treated.

The body is divided into ten equal vertical zones, which incorporates all the organs of the head and trunk. They might be simplified versions of meridians as known from Eastern philosophies. There are three transverse body zones. One in the upper region of the shoulder girdle. The second at the waistline and the third at the level of the pelvic floor. This grid divides the body into zones and makes navigation easier. The feet reflects the zones of the body, five vertical lines on each foot and three transverse lines.

By massaging and stimulating the pressure points on the feet the organs and muscle-groups corresponding will be stimulated and their function be strengthened. Various problems and issues can be treated and the body and organs be healed.

Reflexology also has a good preventive effect and works well to strengthen the body and catch issues before they become a problem. Often the sore points can indicate where a problem is about to start before the corresponding organ or muscle group shows any indication of it.

Areas that are trouble-areas are usually sore and feels like a small ball. It can feel like a sharp pin-prick when massaged upon or as a sore area. Other irregularities can indicate possible issues in the corresponding zones.

Massaging the feet is a nice way to give yourself a nice treatment while boosting your system and gaining health benefits. Nothing can replace the treatment of a professional certified reflex zone therapist.

Reflexology can also be used on children and elderly people and is often a preferred form of treatment as it is very comfortable and easy assessable.

A chart over reflex zone points is useful for identifying potential issues, and is easily found with a google picture search.

source: Reflex Zone Therapy of the Feet: A Textbook for Therapists by Hanne Marquardt

About Pia Poulsen

Pia Poulsen is educated as a wellness massage therapist at Institut FIGARI in Paris, from where she passed her certification exam in January 2008. Since then she has expanded her skills to become the first Advanced LaStone® practitioner in France as well as a certified LaStone® instructor.


2 Responses to “Reflex zone therapy”

  1. Im intersted in why there is a reference to “Reflex Zone Therapy”. It is my understanding that Zone Therapy and Reflexology are two distinctly different modalities as far as the treatment and the mapping?

    Posted by Amanda | Wednesday 23 September, 2009, 04:57
  2. Hello Amanda,

    My sources indicate the two are the same. Different places use different names, just like Swedish massage (in the US) and Classical massage (in Scandinavia) is the same, depending on which country you're in.

    Zone Therapy was the name first given by Dr. Fitzgerald and a book was published under that title in the early 20th century. The nurse Eunice Ingham studied zone therapy and mapped out further areas on the feet using her own techniques to manipulate them.

    I believe that using the name reflex zone therapy brings it all together. From my understanding there is no one school, nor any complete agreement between the different teachers and studies done – unlike eg. acupuncture.

    Could you give references to where it's said that zone therapy and reflexology are two distinctly different modalities please, I would be very interested in reading and learning.


    Posted by Pia | Wednesday 23 September, 2009, 06:43