Published in the ICR newsletter, June 2017.
Many people refer to reflexology as a science. Mostly, the same people don’t relate to reflexology as a science. The term “science” is difficult to define precisely, but there are still guidelines for how it should be done. One of the essential things in science is to have a common baseline upon where further knowledge can be built. In this context, “common” refers to the community in which the field of interest is examined. Here the axioms have their role. From Wikipedia we find that an axiom … is a statement that is taken to be true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments.
The reflexology community have no common baseline to build science upon. It is even a mistake to say something as “reflexology community”, as splayed as we are in our opinions and practice of reflexology. After meeting reflexologists from around the world, reading books, follow discussions on the net and participate in organisations – for 20 years, I can see that some of us have not very much in common, except from the word “reflexology” and references to history. In addition comes those who practice reflexology, but use another name on their practice, and don’t know about the connection. (For example Sujok, Eciwo, ear-acupuncture, AcuNova.)
Writers, teachers and researchers more or less have their own baseline. They spread their views to their audience. For each new generation the diversion will increase. Everyone sits on their own heap and behaves as next to God. (Yes, I know, this is also valid for me.) This is not a good thing for those of us that wish to have a scientific based practice.
To contribute to the future of reflexology I hereby lay my head on the block and present a set of suggestions to axioms that can serve as a base for discussion.
The Axiom list revision 1.
Here follows a list with some short comments. I have more up my sleeves, but this is a manageable start.
- Projections exists all over the body. Not only on the surfaces, but also on all organs and inner structures. Even if they are not accessible to diagnosis and therapy.
- Projections are multilayered. They are multilayered in the sense that several projections exists on all places on the body, but not in the way that one projection is above or below other projections.
- Projections are bi-lateral. If you stimulate a hand reflex, both right and left hand will be affected.
- Projections are bi-directional. If you stimulate a hand reflex, the hand will be affected. If you do something to a hand, all hand reflexes will be affected.
- Stimulation on a reflex in soft tissue gives less permanent results then stimulation on a reflex in hard tissue.
You can find more information about 1 and 2 in this post.
My hope is that prominent teachers and thinkers in the reflexology community take this list as a challenge. This can be done by supporting it, arguing against it, or contributing to expansions and modifications of it. Maybe in the future even organisations can embrace the list.
If we manage to establish this kind of list in our community, research based upon it will be more valuable and easier to conduct. Specially meta-studies will gain by this.