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Foot Zone Therapy

Foot Zone Therapy is an advanced form of Reflexology developed by Dr. Charles Ersdal, MD of Norway which treats the body as an interrelated whole rather than as separate symptomatic parts.

The stimulation of signals on the feet and ankles of a client establishes balance, elevates energy, renews cells, and aids the body in the process of self-healing.

W ork on the feet to bring about healing has been practiced as a healing method for thousands of years. Hieroglyphics and ancient paintings depicting Physicians working on the feet of their patient 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 Foot 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 pathways that run up and down the body extending from the top of the head to the ends of the toes and fingers.   He called these pathways “Zones”.

Dr. Fitzgerald recognized that by applying 2-10 pounds of direct pressure to certain areas along a specific energy pathway, he could stop pain or create an anesthetic reaction in the corresponding part of the body within the same pathway. 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. Joseph Riley, M.D., N.D.

Dr. Joe Riley, M.D., N.D., was the owner of Riley School of Chiropractic.  He invited Dr. Fitzgerald to teach Zone Therapy at the school.  Dr. Riley 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

Eunice D. Ingham, a therapist in Dr. Riley’s office, worked with Dr. Riley to map the points on the bottom of the feet and their correlating body part.  They called these points “reflexes”.  Eunice Ingham  named the modality Reflexology, wrote books on the modality, and traveled around the country teaching Reflexology.

Ingham’s book, Stories the Feet Can Tell, became popular in Switzerland and from there entered German speaking countries.  Reflexology became known internationally through the efforts and writings of Hanne Marquardt (Germany) and Doreen Bayly (England) two students of Eunice Inghams who traveled to America to study with her and then took her teachings back to their respective countries.  In Germany, the modality was known as Reflex Zone Therapy.

Dr. Charles Ersdal, M.D., M.A.

In the 1960`s a Norwegian named Dr. Charles Ersdal, M.D., M.A., was cured of paralysis after receiving Reflexology treatments from Einar Svendsen 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 energy pathways 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 Foot Zone Practitioner. 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 Practitioner 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 Foot Zone.


Learn More About Reflexology & Foot Zone Therapy

A foot zone session is a relaxing time where I can calm my mind, body, soul, and soles. I leave with a peaceful energy that allows me to be the very best person I can be and a calmness that I need on my life journey.

Lisa VBountiful, Utah
baby feet

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