Reflexology origins go back over 5000 years. At that time, chinese civilisations were already practicing pressure therapy.
There are also traces of reflexology in some tribes of Africa, Australia and America.
In 1582, two European doctors published a book dedicated to “zone therapy” and later in Leipzig, Dr. Bell wrote a book about “pressure therapy” practiced at the time in Central Europe.
1913 in Connecticut : Dr. William Fitzgerald, an ear, nose and throat specialist who worked in Paris, London and Vienna, began research on this technique he called “zone therapy “. He discovered, by chance, during minor surgical procedures, exerting pressure points on some areas, that the pain of his patients decreased. He expanded his researches and found that the pressure relieved pain. Once the pain was gone, the condition in cause was often improved. He gradually integrated this zone therapy to his practice and created a map of his experiments, dividing the body into 10 zones (5 on each side of midline); each leading to a toe or a finger.
In the 30s, this theory is refined by Eunice Ingham, an american physiotherapist. Working on thousands of feet, she checked the location of aching points and symptoms, and created a real map of plantar reflex zones. We owe her reflexology as we know it today.
In the 60s, throughout his medical studies at the Faculty of London, Dr Martine Faure-Alderson discovers reflexology with Doreen Bayly, an Ingham’s student. His medical training allows her to practice reflexology in a real scientific way, by giving it the necessary precision in determining points or areas location on the foot and in the diagnosis and “treatment reflex” pathologies afflicting patients.