Reflexology was practiced as early as 2330 B.C. by the Egyptian culture. Depictions of reflexology have been found on the walls within Egyptian pyramids, with the translation of a wall painting found in the physicians tomb reads: “Don’t hurt me”. The practitioners reply: “I shall act so you praise me”.
Reflexology as we know it today was first researched and developed by Eunice Ingham, the pioneer in this field. Her book on the subject was published in 1938.
- 1902: Dr. William H. Fitzgerald discovers zone therapy; a therapy of working on the hands and fingers with various devices. The book Zone Therapy, or Relieving Pain at Home was published in 1917.
- Dr. Shelby Riley, M.D. worked closely with Dr. Fitzgerald and developed the Zone Theory further.
- 1930’s: Eunice Ingham, intrigued with zone therapy because of her work as a physical therapist starts to develop her foot reflex theory with the encouragement of Dr. Riley. Through working on hundreds of feet, Eunice was able to determine that the reflexes on the feet were an exact mirror image of the organs of the Healthy Body and carefully mapped the zones of the feet in relation to the organs of the Healthy Body.
- 1938: Eunice Ingham’s first book Stories the Feet Can Tell is published. Followed up with her second published book Stories the Feet Have Told.
- 1950’s: Dwight Byers, Eunice’s nephew starts to teach with her at seminars and full time in 1961. Eunice taught and shared her message until the age of 80.
- 1974: Eunice Ingham passes at the age of 85 after a life dedicated to helping others and sharing her teachings. To protect her teachings and original writings the National Institute of Reflexology was formed and later the International Institute of Reflexology (I.I.R) dedicated to the continued teaching of the Ingham method.
Eunice’s work and methods have been copied by some, but the dedication to her original method lives on in the work of the I.I.R.
Today there are seminars and courses in many parts of the world. Her books are read in seven languages in the world.