After performing thousands of reflexology sessions in the past five years, I feel fortunate to be certified in Ingham Method® reflexology. I’m profoundly grateful I attended the International Institute of Reflexology. Of course, I admit to being prejudiced but, the longer I practice and personally experience other reflexology methods, the more reasons I discover to view Ingham Method® as the best.
First a bit of background: Despite what you’ve heard about reflexology being an ancient therapy from Asia, the research I’ve seen reports earliest indications of therapy on the hands and feet as originating in Egypt. We know such “ancient therapies” existed, but we don’t really know exactly how they were practiced. The majority of reflexology techniques and charts used today were developed by Eunice Ingham, a physical therapist, who published her first book about it in 1938. She had great success with her new therapy. Her books and seminars launched modern reflexology around the world. The original techniques and methods she developed are still taught by the International Institute of Reflexology today.
As with all good things, everyone wants to jump on board. Some people wanted to have their own schools and so began to teach different methods and developed their own teaching aids. Today, there are lots of schools, techniques and reflexology charts. I certainly believe that some of these techniques are useful but, for me, Ingham Method® is still what I personally prefer when receiving reflexology. Here’s why:
• I believe Ingham Method® charts are the most accurate representation of the reflexes for the various organs and glands of the body on the feet and hands.
Other reflexology charts have changed the shape, size or location of some of the reflexes (possibly to avoid copyright infringement).
• Ingham Method® practitioners learn protocols to focus on specific issues, but we are also taught to do a general session over all of the reflexes. In this manner, the body as a whole is being addressed. By performing a general session, I often find issues in areas the client has not reported. Shouldn’t the entire body and all its systems be addressed in order to achieve homeostasis and peak wellness?
• With Ingham Method® we focus primarily on the feet. We can also work on the hands, but we prefer to work on the feet where the reflexes are larger and less layered, and therefore easier to reach and address. Practitioners of other methods sometimes insist that working on the ears/face, then hands and feet can deliver superior results because they address a problem from multiple reflex points in the body. I find it isn’t that easy to find a problem area accurately anywhere except the feet and, by making multiple passes over that problem area, I can be fairly certain when that reflex is relaxing and responding. I know for certain that I’ve addressed the client’s concern.
• Ingham Method® uses finger and thumb-walking techniques. I’ve had “reflexology” performed using long stroking techniques as in massage or pinpoint pressure techniques similar to acupressure. In my experience, the massage-type technique falls short in providing the benefits that true reflexology techniques can deliver. The pinpoint pressure techniques may clear the reflex but I personally often find them to be excruciatingly painful. The alternating pressure delivered by using the finger and thumb-walking technique is easier for most people to tolerate, so they can relax deeply and move into a healing brainwave state while still allowing me to address troubled reflex areas. With Ingham Method® many of my clients fall asleep during the session. It’s that relaxing! I also personally feel an immediate sensation of improved circulation which I don’t feel from other reflexology methods.
So while there are many methods available, and many reflexologists who will argue their method is the best, I’m proud to be offering Ingham Method® as I think it’s still the best. My clients who drive several hours just to receive an Ingham Method® session will probably agree!This is the disclaimer to remind you that I am not a licensed physician and cannot give medical advice or treatment. These are my personal opinions and my summary of research as well as verbal and written reports of some of my clients. As always, consult your doctor if you need medical advice or treatment.