The term ‘full-body reflexology’

In Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland mainly terms like soneterapi, zoneterapi, fotsoneterapi is used for reflexology applied on the feet. As in the rest of the world; many of these practitioners also do hand reflexology and ear acupuncture.
When Karl Axel Lind started to investigate the reflex system on the calf, and eventually all over the body, he felt he needed to differentiate it from the traditional foot treatment, fotzoneterapi. He chose the term reflexologi. Even if it was very similar to the British term reflexology, it was mainly accepted among therapists. His teaching spread from Sweden to Norway, and adapted to Norwegian language, the name became refleksologi.

In 2005 I started to participate in RiEN for my organization, NNH. Here I was confronted with the problem of explaining the naming convention and the difference between the two modalities refleksologi and fotsoneterapi. NNH has a separate group for each of the two. This was an uncomfortable and confusing situation. The British name for our colleagues working mainly on the feet was indistinguishable from the Norwegian name attributed to those of us who work all over the body. I felt a need for a good British name for my modality.

‘Body reflexology’ was probably the first attempt. All variants of reflexology is applied on the body, so this felt wrong. Adding the word ‘body’ does not add any useful information.

‘Full body reflexology’ was also considered,  but the mathematician in me refused. In mathematics precedence of operators are essential when evaluating an expression. If the expression is evaluated as ‘full (body reflexology)’, the word ‘body’ becomes excess. What I wanted was more like ‘(full body) reflexology’, reflexology applied all over the body. To express this in a linguistic decent way, I ended up with ‘full-body reflexology’.


Tongue reflexology education.

I hope this make sense to people with English as native language.

To me the term ‘reflexology’ is kind of unspecified, and is spanning ear reflexology, foot reflexology, full-body reflexology and other variants. Specially foot reflexologists are ignorant to this, and use ‘reflexology’ as if there are no other kinds of reflexology than foot reflexology.


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