Foot Zone Therapy, in some form, has been practiced as a healing method for thousands of years. Hieroglyphics and ancient paintings depicting this therapy have been found in Egypt and India. Paintings from China also show similar treatments being done on the feet. Native Americans also have a tradition of healing through the feet.
The modern history of Zone Therapy begins with Dr. William Fitzgerald, (1872-1946) an American nose and throat surgeon. He developed a theory describing the electrical circuits or meridians in the body. In the early 1900’s he mapped the 10 invisible energy zones that run up and down the body extending from the ends of the toes and fingers to the corresponding zones in the body. These Zones are made up purely of ENERGY. Dr. Fitzgerald recognized that by applying direct pressure to certain areas of the Zones of the body, he could stop pain or create an anesthetic reaction in the corresponding part of the body within the same zone. Dr. Edwin Bowers documented his work and he and Dr. George Starr, a colleague of Dr. Fitzgerald, popularized this modality further by teaching others their method which they called Zone Therapy.
Dr. Joe Riley, M.D., N.D., practiced this method extensively, building upon the foundations and theories of Zone Therapy. He discovered that the zones mapped by Dr. Fitzgerald extended to the bottoms of the feet. He also developed a hooking technique.
Eunice D. Ingham, a therapist in Dr. Riley’s office worked with Dr. Riley to map the reflexes on the feet. She named the modality Reflexology, wrote books on the modality, and traveled around the country teaching Reflexology .
In the 1950`s a Norwegian named Dr. Charles Ersdal, M.D., M.A., was cured of paralysis after receiving Reflexology treatments for two years. This experience led to 26 years of intense research. He determined that the body contains its own innate healing intelligence which is stimulated or triggered through specific and intricate Foot Zone Therapy. This method utilizes the feet’s natural “signal” system to establish balance, elevate your life energy, and renew cells in the body.
Importantly, he discovered that the body would consistently respond as an interrelated whole rather than as separate symptomatic parts. During this time of research, Dr. Ersdal was able to chart the human anatomy as it relates to these “points” on the foot. He charted the entire physiology including the brain, blood and lymph circulation, and musculature.
Zone Therapy has been found to be a “signal”, or electro-magnetic system, rather than a reflex system and treats the body holistically rather than symptomatically. By squeezing, pressing, rubbing and manipulating the surface and deep tissue fascia of the foot in specific areas, the trapped energy is released and the meridians flow freely again. Painless, unobstructed flowing energy represents a healthy body.
It is extremely important that your Foot Zone Therapy treatment be administered by a Certified Zone Therapist. Much more occurs during a session than meets the eye, and practitioner experience is essential to achieving the full physical, mental and emotional benefit. A session typically lasts for 60-90 minutes. Multiple and consistent sessions over a two month period are recommended to detoxify and establish the body’s restorative process. After this period, you and your therapist will determine a schedule based on your individual needs and condition. You will find that your body will tell you when it’s time for a Zone.