Development of Modern Reflexology techniques
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Development of Modern Reflexology techniques

Although the Original Ingham Method¬ģ and chart is world-wide used other prominent reflexology trainers in various countries contributed to the development of a number of new reflexology techniques.

The nurse and physiotherapist, Eunice Ingham worked for Dr. Riley in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Zone Therapy/Foot Reflexology
In 1925, Ingham developed zone therapy into foot reflexology.

In the early 1930’s she started developing her foot reflex theory and applied pressure to particular points across the soles of the feet. She discovered that this technique stimulated and helped the body to heal, rather than to provide only pain relief.

After extensive research she found that the feet and hands were especially sensitive to pressure. After extensive research Ingham made a distinct separation between working on reflex points and zone therapy.

Map of the feet
She developed a map of the feet with all the corresponding organs and glands of the body and called it compression therapy before naming it reflexology.

Pressure Technique
She developed the alternating pressure technique used by most reflexologists today and became known as the mother of modern reflexology and a trainer of reflexology. She travelled around the USA, gave lectures and seminars in Foot Reflexology first to medical staff, and then to non-medical practitioners. Published books: Stories The Feet Can Tell Through Reflexology [1938]; Stories the Feet Have Told Through Reflexology [1951]

Dwight Byers a nephew of ¬†Eunice Ingham, started in the 50’s to help ¬†her with the workshops. ¬†In 1961 Dwight Byers and his sister Eusebia Messenger, Registered Nurse ¬†joined their Aunt Eunice teaching at workshops ¬†and became responsible for the teaching of Reflexology under the banner of The National Institute of Reflexology.

He and his wife Nancy promoted Reflexology and the Ingham techniques in all the states of the USA and in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Europe, Israel and South Africa.

Dwight wrote¬† the book, “Better Health with Foot Reflexology The Original Ingham Method¬ģ.

Reflexotherapy, known as RTF.

Hanne Marquardt grew up in Germany and trained as nurse in England. Back in Germany she  qualified in medical massage, hydro- and breathing therapy and naturopathy.

She became interested in the therapy Reflexology and decided to train with Eunice Ingham in 1958 and took the Ingham method and Zone therapy back to Europe.

Due to her own medical training, she understood the connection between the client and his/her reflecting areas on the feet, and created a new technique, Reflexotherapy known as RTF.  She treated a wide range of ailments and several disorders and proved the effectiveness of the therapy RTF.

She founded 15 schools in Germany and abroad and trained Reflexotherapy of the Feet (RTF) to thousands of practitioners with a medical- therapeutic background. Her first book appeared in 1975 and was titled ‚ÄėReflexzone Work On the Feet‚Äô and in 1993 she published her book, ‚ÄėReflexotherapy of the Feet‚Äô,

Reflexology and Meridian Therapy

Inge Dougans born in Denmark qualified in 1981 as a Reflexologist in Copenhagen and  emigrated to South Africa in October 1981 where she opened a private reflexology clinic.

In 1983 she started the training institution,  the International School of Reflexology and Meridian Therapy (now known as the International Academy of Reflexology and Meridian Therapy), in Johannesburg and  incorporating the Chinese Meridian Theory. She lectures all over the world, including Denmark, Germany, Italy and Poland.

Mrs Dougans developed the meridian therapy and moved away from the zone theory.  This technique implies the massaging of  the reflexes in the feet with the focus on  the six meridians that run through each foot.  Read more about meridian therapy 

Dougans also developed the Vacuflex System, [consisting of two boots & 14 suction cups]. This system applies pressure to the whole foot and stimulates all the reflex areas at the same time in five minutes. The suction cups are used to stimulate the acupuncture points on the meridians. The system is in fact a modern technology equipment that can be combined with the normal reflexology treatment.

Mrs Dougans¬† is the author of 11 reflexology books including the following:¬† 1991 “Reflexology ‚Äď foot massage for total health‚ÄĚ; 1992 “The Art of Reflexology – a totally new approach using the Chinese Meridian Theory”, 1996 “The Complete Illustrated Guide to Reflexology” and various others

Mrs Dougans is a founder member of the South African Reflexology Society established in 1985. She was awarded a trophy in appreciation of her dedication and long service (1985 – 2002) as the Founder Member of the South African Reflexology Society, and received an honorary lifetime membership.


Historical & Scientific Development of Reflexology

Origin of Reflexology

Reflexology was discovered In the 20th Century by three Medical Doctors. DOCUMENTED HISTORY OF FOOT, HAND AND EAR REFLEXOLOGY:

Modern Institute of Reflexology, History, Dr William H.Fitzgerald:

What Is the History of Reflexology? University of Minnesota Taking Charge of your Health &   Wellbeing

The Original Ingham Method of Reflexology: International Institute of Reflexology:

Reflexology: Christine Issel, Reflexology: Art, Science & History 1990 page 45.    ISBN: 0-9625448-1-7

Foot Reflexology: A Brief History

The Scientific evolution of Reflexology

Vladimir Mikhailovich:

The term ‚Äėreflexology‚Äô¬† Foot Reflexology: A Brief History; ¬†General Principles of Human Reflexology: A History of Modern Psychologypage page 158:¬†

Foot Reflexology: A Brief History


Sir Charles Sherrington:

Christine Issel, Reflexology: Art, Science & History 1990, Chapter 2 Modern history of reflexology 1850 ‚Äď 1962, page 32;

Holistic & Complementary Therapies:

The Scientific Influence on Reflexology

Dr William H. Fitzgerald/ Dr Joe Shelby-Riley:

Foot Reflexology: A Brief History

Christine Issel, Reflexology: Art, Science & History 1990,page 25. ISBN: 0-9625448-1-7

Christine Issel. Reflexology: art, Sience & History. Page 51; Documented History of Foot and Hand and Ear Reflexolgy:

Arthritis Research ¬Ľ Zone Therapy:

Foot Reflexology: A Brief History‚ÄĚ ¬†|¬†

History: Dr Riley, Modern Institute of Reflexology: 

Development of the Modern Form of Reflexology

Eunice Ingham and Dwight Byers:

History Of Reflexology 

Natural Therapy Pages:

Christine Issel, Reflexology: Art, Science & History 1990 page 39

Hanne Marquardt:

ICR Speaker 2011.


Inge Dougans:

REFLEXOLOGY foot massage for total health: Inge Dougans with Suzanne EllisISBN 1-85230-218-6