Non projection oriented reflexology

This is an old text that has not been available on the net for several years.

I know a medical doctor, who complains about his patients, and wish he had chosen to be a veterinary. He claims that most patients lie to him when telling about their problems. Some wish to be more sick then they are, other wish to be less sick. Some nd it hard to talk about their impotency, their dementia, or other touchy issues. So they adjust their descriptions of their symptoms according to this. In contrast, a horse never tells a lye, or a truth. The help the horse can receive is completely dependent of the veterinaries ability to interpret the objective ndings, primarily the visual impression.

In homeopathy a very structured interview is used to reveal the best way to help the client. In many cases there is no obvious connection between the question asked and the constitution of the client (from the clients point of view). Even if the client adjusts some of the answers there are enough of other that points in the right direction for the remedy.

Reflexology has no real distinction between diagnosing and treating. If the reflexologist search for a kidney and nd an active reflex where expected, then the reflex has already got some treatment.

But stop for a moment. Why search for a kidney in the rst place? For a lots of problems it can be quite obvious if the client have it. A ue can be revealed by red nose, cough and coryza. In opposite chest pain is not that easy to conrm for the therapists, and there can be a lots of dierent reasons for chest pain. The reflexologist can try to treat the whole chest and all its content in all known systems, and in worst case fail if the one active reflex is unfound. Working this way is tremendous time consuming.

I’m glad that my clients are more trustworthy then the patients of the medical doctor.

Let the clients strip! The reason I trust my clients is that I don’t only listen to what they say with their mouth. Their whole body speaks to me. But to make the body able to speak it must be as nude as possible.
When the body is nude it talks to me by visually showing me lines, wrinkles, acne, areas with dierent colors, dierent textures. Then I can palpate the body to be told even more. Soft or hard tissue, slight asymmetry. Cloths can also make it dicult to apply the right amount of pressure, and thereby there is a risk of missing sore spots.

When you are not used to it, it can be dicult to start asking your clients to undress. A good way is to start doing it only with new clients. They don’t know what to expect. Be relaxed and act as this is the usual way of doing it.

Where did the projection go? So, what do we do with all the new information the body on the bench gives us? Here the nice and unique property of reflexology is getting to its right. By stimulate all those signals from the body, the body is being treated. And by prioritize the bodies most pronounced requests for help, we can be sure what we do is the right things. Even if Peg Nunneley use a dierent modality than reflexology I totally agree with her: Whatever is presented as a symptom causing most pain is that symptom
to which maximum attention has to be paid.1 But what do I treat? Hmm, do I really need to know that? What I’m saying is that there are no absolute need for knowing what the body is trying to tell us by showing for example a straight horizontal line between Th 2 and Th 3. If I manage to remove the line, I can be pretty sure that the underlying problem also is removed. That’s the way reflexology works.

Sure, it is possible to analyze all the information the body is giving us, to nd out that the clients problem is related to that he was adopted as a child, but there are really no need for that. When the problem is healed the client will be happy anyway.

1 Peg Nunneley, The Biodynamic Philosophy and Treatment of Psychosomatic Conditions, Volume 1, 2000, ISBN 3-906763-
16-1, page 113.

A new iteration in the process of defining reflexology

What is “mathematics”? From the well renomed dictionary Merriam-Webster we find it defined as

the science of numbers and their operations, interrelations, combinations, generalizations, and abstractions and of space configurations and their structure, measurement, transformations, and generalizations

What I want you to notice here is that the description does not explain or even mention any mathematical operations. Neither are numbers mentioned, as most of us relates to mathematics. The definition is short, abstract and probably incomprehensible to the general public. But in a scientific context I’m sure it is a valid and good definition. How things are done in mathematics are to be found other places.

How would you explain mathematics to a child? Probably by examples including counting, and maybe simple examples of addition and subtraction. It is very unlikely that your explanation will be as complementary as the definition. It is just as likely that no other adults will use the exact same explanation as you. But still, all of the explanations can be good for the child that receives it.

Would it be right to say that your explanation is a definition of mathmatics? No, obviously. In a scholar or a scientific context it will fall through. Can you see that such explanation and the formal definition both can be useful, in different situations, for different audience?

So how is this when it comes to reflexology?

I will use the “definition” by RAA as an example.

Reflexology, an integrative health practice, maps a reflection of the body predominately on the feet, hands and outer ears. It uses unique manual techniques to deliver pressure to neural pathways assisting the body to function optimally.

Is this a definition or a discription? I will not do an analysis of it here, but will comment some parts of it. If reflexology is an integrative health practices it is not a medical scientific fact, but the way it is categorised in a given country. If we use mathematics as an analogous example, there is no need to mention any theories about its mechanisms of action. Mentioning neural pathways are unnecessary. As has been argued before: A statement does not become a definition just because someone claims it to be one. I’m sure the statement works well for RAA, but it would actually be more precise if the beginning becomes reformulated. “We describe reflexology as …” or “For us reflexology is …” could work.

What if we go to the extreme and try to define it the way mathematics has been defined in the above example? I give it a try.

Reflexology is the practice of using the body’s reflexological properties to improve the state of the body.

No law, no policy, no bragging, no speculations in mechanisms of action, no specific technique.

Of course it then would remain to describe all the properties and mechanisms of reflexology. And I put my head on the block.

The reflexological properties of a body is what is in action when by stimulating one place of the body it will change the state other places on the body. The places wich reacts are organised as topographic maps of the whole or parts of the body. The stimuli can be healing or harming. The reactions will be according to this.

You might find it strange what is said about harming. If you injury your elbow somehow, then elbow reflexes will become active. This also happens by the reflexological properties of the body. It works both ways. But the therapy reflexology utilizes this mechanism only to heal.

A point or not a point

To the point

I’m probably more that average conserned about language. I see it as fundamental tool to gain knowledge. It is obvious that if the teacher and the studen don’t have a common language, the teaching process can be very hard. But even if the language is common, there might be different interpretations of central words. This problem can also occure in discussions between peers. When I as professional am going to briefly explain something to a person with no background knowledge, I might be less accurate in my selection of words than if I discuss advanced topics with colleagues. The pitfall here is that we become less concious on our language when it is needed to be accurate and precise.

I recently found an article named Ease stress, headaches and anxiety with these at-home reflexology pressure points.

My immediate response to reading that heading is: Do we have points in reflexology? Just as immediate, I conclude that we don’t. To explain this we first have to look at the definition of a point. In this context a point is about a location, that is to say geomety. In short, the following is what Wikipedia has to say about point.

Point (geometry), an entity that has a location in space or on a plane, but has no extent; more generally, an element of some abstract topological space.

The ting to notice here is “has no extent”. It does not cover a single square milimeter, or fraction of it.

In reflexology we work on projections of the body on the body. For most reflexologists these projections will be smaller that the body that is treated. If I wish to treat my klients knee on the projection used by Ingham, the relativly big knee will project as a small spot. But it is bigger than a point. If I wish to treat the clients relativly smaller finger nail on the same projection, the area to treat is even smaller. But it still has an extent. It is an area and not a point, indipendent of how small that area is.

In my opinion the correct terminology is reflex, or area reflecting something.

Well, there is an exception. Kind of. This is probably of more theoretical interest. We have some fenomens that can be considered as points on our body. When these points are projected, also the projections will be points. The points I’m refering to here are the TCM acupuncture points and the center of chakras. Even if they are points they will be affected by influence on the nearby tissue.

A bad tradition

Usually the TCM acupuncture points are manipulated by needles. Hence the name, acus  is needle in Latin, and punctura is to puncture. That misleaded someone to believe that every time you use a needle it is related to a point. Thuse we got points in ear acupuncture. Pity. This has lead to much misunderstanding, and it continues to do so.
Even WHO is infected by this belief. They created the
Report of the working group of auricular acupuncture nomenclature. The famous Dr. Paul Nogier and other celebrities contributed to this work.

Screenshot_2019-10-12 Auriculotherapy Manual

Auriculotherapy Manual. Fourth edition. Page 245.

The most usual projection used on the eare is the reversed fetus. In books you can find referencers to French and Chinese ear reflexology points, and other. Here is the pitfall. Lots of authors don’t understand that the ears are a surface with a somatotopic projection. Our bodies are continuous. Even the famous Terry Oleson. From his book Auriculotherapy Manual I will give an examples that is common in the world of ear reflexology and ear acupuncture.

On my body the wrist is tightly connected to the forearm, which again is connected to the elbow. And so on.Øre1

As I see it, there is an area between the wrist and the elbow that projects the forearm. With this kind of map the readers are mislead. The forearm is not a point on my body, neither on the projection of the body on my ear. The same goes for both the wrist and the elbow. They are not points, they have an extent.

To avoid this kind of misunderstandings I use my own charts that express the projections as a continuum. I also prefer to teach ear reflexology without needles. Needles can come after some experience.

Please, be careful when using reflexology and point in the same sentence.

scapula – shoulder blad
artculatio humeri – shoulder joint
clavicle – collarbone
brachium – upper arm
ancon – elbow
antebrachium – forearm
carpus – wrist
manus – hand
pollex – thumb


This text assumes that you have watched the video that can be found on the following link: It was written on request from Liza Thomas, and published in the ICR Newsletter September 2019.

The videoshowsyou more than 80 projections of the heart. I can identify more than 400 on one hand orfoot if you are interested, but they are just of theoretical value. These hearts are not stand-alone. They are surrounded by a body, exactly the same way as the projection you already know. In other words – there are just as many noses, genitalia, throats, etc.
I have a confession. In my daily work, I have found my favorite projections and mostly limit myself to less than 10 projections. Every projection has its strengths and weaknesses. The secret to a good treatment is to use the best projection for the problem the client has and don’t waste time on the others. However, there are sometimes special cases where more rarely used projections are needed.
People who only know one projection expect it to be difficult to remember so many projections. But no, it is quite easy when you understand how the body organizes them. It is very logical. Going from one to 25 projections can be done in less than an hour. Not necessarily the most convenient projections, but a nice introduction.
I hope the video helps you to understand the absurdity in discussions about which chart is the best. If you refer to a knee reflex in a discussion, it does not really tell me anything. The knee reflex in which chart? The best would be if the reference was given to a very precise anatomical location. Then it would be possible to discuss findings in a more convenient way.
I’m not know as a very polite and gentle person. So, if you are a touchy person, I will recommend that youskip the rest of the text.
It is my opinion that you don’t really know reflexology until you know lots of overlapping projections. Just to be clear, I did not say that you do a bad job or get bad results, but the deep understanding of reflexology is impossible to get from only one projection.
I hope you receive this message as a challenge. Increase your knowledge about more projections and you will be amazed! Good luck on your journey. I also hope that in the future you can contribute to the knowledge about the individual projections.
There is so much to discover.

The hearts of reflexology

This is the transcription from the movie.

For this presentation the reflexes on the hands will be used. The hands are more convenient to use when visualizing the reflexes, but everything will be similar on the feet.
Most reflexologists are familiar with the “standard” heart reflex. Here located according to the book by Heinrike Bergmans, Sarafijn Hand reflexology.
The most used heart reflex from Su-jok, by Park Jae Woo, is also commonly known.
Less known is that Su-jok have many more heart reflexes. Here are a few of them.
In the system promoted as Acunova, by John Boel, there are a full projection of the body in each joint. Thus there is also a heart reflex in each joint. The less accessible reflexes are not marked here.
ECIWO biology, by Yingqing Zhang, is not so well known, and even less understood. You might have heard about it related to acupuncture on the second metacarpal. But every bone on the body have the same projections on it. Thus a heart reflex is related to each bone.
Karl Axel Lind, the father of Full-body reflexology, put the bones together to form bigger projections. All of these have heart reflexes.
He also discovered that many projections also exists “upside down”. The feet reflexes are where the head reflex usually is considered to be, and vice versa. This is also valid for those from ECIWO biology.
All of the mentioned heart projections are smaller than the physical heart. There exist at least one projection that is bigger than the physical heart. In this projection a half heart reflex exists on each hand, forming a complete heart when combined.
This gives the total of x heart reflexes only on the hands. And there are more. More or less where ever you work, there will be a heart reflex. For each heart condition only a few of the reflexes will give a healing effect. There does not exist one heart reflex that is good for all conditions.
So where ever you treat a hand, there is at least one heart reflex. But only a few of them might be active at a time.

Will you join the journey to explore them?