Although it is the feet that receive direct contact in Reflex Zone Therapy (RZT), RZT is not a simple foot massage since in addition to producing intense local stimulation, it also has the capacity to generate a healing stimulus for all the functions and tissues of the patient.
The different parts of the body have a corresponding reflex area in the feet. These areas reflect the state of well being in which the organism of a person finds itself at a specific moment. The therapist works on these areas with manual pressure techniques. The aim of RZT is to order and harmonise those areas in which the vital energy flow has been altered.
RZT is a form of treatment based on ancient folk knowledge that has been developed over the years and up to the present when it has become a specific detailed form of therapy. At the beginning of the 19th century, the American medic William Fitzgerald (1872-1942) systematised all the traditional knowledge. He knew that in Central and North America particular tribes had always treated the sick through the feet. For many years Fitzgerald checked and systematized the points on the feet and their equivalences and taught this form of treatment to doctors, dentists, therapists, chiropractors and gynaecologists.
At the beginning of the 1930’s, the American masseuse Eunice Ingham (1899-1974) came into contact with Fitzgerald’s studies and dedicated her own therapeutic work to the study and practice of its principles.
She conveyed the basic knowledge to non-professional health workers, while readership of her books spread across the United States and reached Europe. The well-known professional practitioner of RZT named Hanna Marquardt made her first contact with this technique in 1958 direct from Eunice Ingham, and after years practising it, she began teaching it to medics and health workers in 1967. At our centre we use the Hanne Marquardt method.
RZT is particularly suitable for patients with strained or painful muscles – postural disorders, cervical and lumbar syndromes, muscular contraction, joint stiffness; digestive disorders, dysmenorrhoea or other functional disorders of the menstrual cycle, colds or sinusitis, lymphatic overload, headaches, insomnia, stress, anxiety, asthma, neurological disorders and pregnancy etc.
It should be noted that when receiving reflexology:
- coffee or other stimulating substances should not be taken for some hours before the session.
- at the time of the session the stomach should not be too full or empty
- after the session plentiful water should be taken, and for the following 24 hours a rest should be taken after the session if at all possible
A patient may feel tired after a session because the system is absorbing the stimuli provided. The frequency of toilet visits may increase after a session and the colour and odour of deposits may change due to the possible elimination of toxic substances and/or the regulation process of the system.