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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 18 Apr 2003

reflexology QUESTION from Marilyn March 14, 2000 Dear Brother:
Can you tell me anything about reflexology and it's origin. Many of my acquaintances are practicing reflexology and I am a little uncomfortable about this. Does it have occultic roots? Please advise and thank you so much for this information site. God Bless.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 20, 2000 Dear Mrs. Marilyn:
Ref;exology is an ancient form of Chinese medicine going back some 5000 years. There is a painting depicting reflexology in an Egyptoan tomb dating to 2330 B.C. There are also similar practices in India long ago and also more recently among American Indians.
Reflexology was introduced in the West in 1913 by William Fitzgerald who was an Ear, Nose, and Throat spcialist in Connecticut. He observed that patients he operated on had less pain when pressure was applied to their hands, soles, or palms before surgery.
After reproducing this effect in experiements he concluded that there was bioelectrical energy flows in the hands and feet that coresponded to specific zones in the body. For example, the bog toe is said to connect directly to the brain; the heel and back of the foot connect to the anus and rectum; the arches lead to ghe solar plexus.
It was not Fitzgerald, however, who is considered the founder of modern reflexology, it is Eunice Ingham. Ingham expanded on Fitsgerald's work and eventually claimed that reflexology not only reduced pain but had other health effects. Ingham claimed 100 conditions could be helped by reflexology including: diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive orders; stress-related disorders such as migraine and asthma; chronic pain (from arthritis or sciatica); allergic reactions; skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema; tension; and neurological symptoms such as those associated with miltiple sclerosis.
Reflexologists claim that crystals collect in the foot that impede the flow and equilibrium of the life-energy (ch'i, or energy flowing in meridians throughout the body). This relates back to a Chinese cosmos of pantheism.
There is ZERO scientific evidence that any such meridians exists or that cyrstals form in the foot that need massaged to break up and restore the flow of energy to the various parts of the body.
Source: Dr. Rosenfeld's Guide to Alternative Medicine
In addition, as opposed to some other alternative medical techniques, reflexologists may have no medical training whatsoever. They may be the homeless vagabond down the street, the housewife, the local new age mystic.
Reflexology has no scientific medical use at all. But, having one's feet massaged is a wonderful and relaxing experience.
In that regard, reflexology may be useful is helping people to relax. This stress-reducing effect may have some residue effects upon things like headaches, PMS, or other aches and pains, but this is because of the relaxation.
The problem is that many if not all reflexologist are really New agers and are practicing reflexology within the Chinese cosmological worldview which is utterly inconsistent with Catholicism and Christianity.
And without you knowing it, the reflexilogist may be invoking spirit guides (which we know as demons) to help with the treatment.
How do I know this? Because I use to do it!
Instead of going to a reflexologist just have a friend massage your feet. The effect is the same. Or go to a licensed Massage Therapist who's practice is Swedish Massage or medical massage, rather than New Age oriented.
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