Traditional Asian healing arts have included techniques for massaging the feet, hands and body to assist the healing of tissues and organs. Early records in China indicate a form of reflexology was practiced 5,000 years ago. In Egypt a pictograph in the tomb of the physician Imhotep, who was practicing medicine about the same time, 2300 BC, clearly shows one person massaging another's feet.
The treatment environment is set up similarly to massage; subdued lighting, soothing music, perhaps a healing fragrance wafts the air. The patient lies down or is stretched out on a reclining chair; the objective is that the patient is relaxed and the legs are extended. Hot towels soothe and relax the feet, and suitable oils make this a treatment that engages all the senses. A treatment may last 30 minutes or up to an hour. Reflexology is useful in maintaining health, diagnosing problem areas and helping both acute and chronic ailments.
Although relief may occur after just one treatment, depending upon the nature of the illness or condition being treated, improvement may require regular (2-3x/week) treatments over a few weeks or months.
Treatment by a trained practitioner is exquisite but they are not always easy to find. With a partner and a guidebook you can give this therapy to each other; children will benefit from reflexology too. Massaging the reflex points on the hands is easily done by yourself; foot treatment is possible on oneself, although the legs cannot be extended which is necessary for any diagnosis.