Archive for the 'history' Category

Oct 07 2011

Massage: Hands Down, a Treatment for Addiction part 2

The history of massage
Massage has played into healing since early on in human history — some sort of healing through touch, or laying on of hands, has been part of all ancient cultures and continues into modern times. The ancient Greek and Roman physicians used massage as a principle means of removing pain. In the fifth century BC, Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and Father of Modern Medicine, wrote: “The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing” (Lidell, Thomas, & Beresford Cooke, 2001, p.10). Most modern cultures include massage within their health care delivery system, most notably in China, where separate massage wards are found in the hospital setting. Many countries, including Germany, allow massage or other forms of touch therapy to be covered by medical insurance (Collinge & Duhl, 1997). In the immediate post-WWII era in the United States, as the practice of modern medicine became more focused on technologic and pharmaceutical interventions, massage as a medical modality was passed on from physicians’ hands to those of others — most notably physical therapists. Massage gradually lost its place as a primary medical intervention, with a few exceptions, such as in the osteopathic and chiropractic medical community. The 60s and 70s inspired a new paradigm of health and healing: revived interest in holistic measures, increased self-awareness and self-improvement, as well as optimal health, wellness, and prevention practices. As a result, massage and other forms of bodywork have received renewed attention.

Joni Kosakoski, BSN, RN, CARN ( ) has practiced nursing for more than 25 years, the last 10 specializing in addictions. She is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association and The International Nurses Society on Addictions.

Collinge,W. and Duhl, L.(1997). American Holistic Health Association Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine. New York: Warner Books.
Dossey, B., Keegan, L. & Guzzetta, C. (2000) Holistic Nursing: A handbook for practice, Third edition. New York: Aspen Publishers, Inc., p.618.
Field, T. (2002). Massage therapy. Medical Clinics of North America, 86, 163-171.
Lidell, L., Thomas, S., & Beresford-Cooke, C. (2001). The Book of Massage: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Eastern and Western Techniques. New York: Fireside.
Montagu, A. & Matson, F. (1979). The Human Connection. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., pp. 89-90.
Touch Research Institute. (2003). Massage therapy database. Available:
Various authors. (December/January 2003). Massage and Bodywork, 17, 6. Selected articles on addiction and reprints available:

Comments Off

Sep 02 2011

lymphatic system

Published by under history

Hippocrates was one of the first persons to mention the lymphatic system in fifth century BC. In his work “On Joints,” he briefly mentioned the lymph nodes in one sentence. Rufus of Ephesus, a Roman physician, identified the axillary, inguinal and mesenteric lymph nodes as well as the thymus during the first to second century AD. The first mention of lymphatic vessels was in 3rd century BC by Herophilus, a Greek anatomist living in Alexandria, who incorrectly concluded that the “absorptive veins of the lymphatics”, by which he meant the lacteals (lymph vessels of the intestines), drained into the hepatic portal veins, and thus into the liver. Findings of Ruphus and Herophilus findings were further propagated by the Greek physician Galen, who described the lacteals and mesenteric lymph nodes which he observed in his dissection of apes and pigs in the second century A.D.

Until the seventeenth century, ideas of Galen were most prevalent. Accordingly, it was believed that the blood was produced by the liver from chyle contaminated with ailments by the intestine and stomach, to which various spirits were added by other organs, and that this blood was consumed by all the organs of the body. This theory required that the blood be consumed and produced many times over. His ideas had remained unchallenged until the seventeenth century, and even then were defended by some physicians.

Olaus Rudbeck in 1696In the mid 16th century Gabriel Fallopius (discoverer of the Fallopian Tubes) described what are now known as the lacteals as “coursing over the intestines full of yellow matter.” In about 1563 Bartolomeo Eustachi, a professor of anatomy, described the thoracic duct in horses as vena alba thoracis. The next breakthrough came when in 1622 a physician, Gasparo Aselli, identifed lymphatic vessels of the intestines in dogs and termed them venae alba et lacteae, which is now known as simply the lacteals. The lacteals were termed the fourth kind of vessels (the other three being the artery, vein and nerve, which was then believed to be a type of vessel), and disproved Galen’s one idea wrong: that chyle was carried by the veins. But, he still believed that the lacteals carried the chyle to the liver (as taught by Galen). He also identified the thoracic duct but failed to notice its connection with the lacteals. This connection was established by Jean Pecquet in the 1651, who found a white fluid mixing with blood in a dog’s heart. He suspected that fluid to be chyle as its flow increased when abdominal pressure was applied. He traced this fluid to the thoracic duct, which he then followed to a chyle-filled sac he called the chyli receptaculum, which is now known as the cisternae chyli; further investigations led him to find that lacteals’ contents enter the venous system via the thoracic duct. Thus, it was proven convincingly that the lacteals did not terminate in the liver, thus disproving Galen’s second idea that the chyle flowed to the liver.Johann Veslingius drew the earliest sketches of the lacteals in humans in 1647.

Thomas BartholinThe idea that blood recirculates through the body rather than being produced anew by the liver and the heart was first accepted as a result of works of William Harvey—a work he published in 1628. In 1652, Olaus Rudbeck (1630–1702), a Swede, discovered certain transparent vessels in the liver that contained clear fluid (and not white), and thus named them hepatico-aqueous vessels. He also learned that they emptied into the thoracic duct, and that they had valves. He announced his findings in the court of Queen Christina of Sweden, but did not publish his findings for a year, and in the interim similar findings were published by Thomas Bartholin, who additionally published that such vessels are present everywhere in the body, and not just the liver. He is also the one to have named them “lymphatic vessels”. This had resulted in a bitter dispute between one of Bartholin’s pupils, Martin Bogdan, and Rudbeck, whom he accused of plagiarism.

Comments Off

Aug 29 2011

The History of Polarity Therapy

Published by under history,Polarity therapy

Dr. Randolph Stone published his first work in 1947, and by 1954 had completed the seven books which contain his published findings. In his holistic medicine practice in Chicago, he applied the energy approach in a wide range of conditions and experienced remarkable success with patients. He began to teach in the 1960’s and finally retired in 1974, at the age of 84.

Following his retirement, many of Stone’s students continued to research and apply his teachings. By 1984, a core group of advanced practitioners gathered to launch a national organization, the American Polarity Therapy Association, to support the continuation and expansion of the work. The annual conference of the new association immediately became a key forum for the exchange and dissemination of new understanding, a role which continues today greater than ever.

About Dr. Randolph Stone
Born Randolph Bautsch in Austria in 1890, the founder of Polarity Therapy immigrated to America as a youngster around 1898. His family settled in the upper Midwest, with relatives living in Wisconsin and Minnesota. He learned English by reading the Bible, and as a teenager he traveled widely throughout the U.S.

After studying to become a Lutheran minister, he decided to pursue a path in the health profession. He completed his primary medical certifications in the early 1920s, including DO, DC and ND. He was a lifelong student, eventually adding certifications in a wide range of topics including massage and midwifery. Simultaneously he was fascinated by spiritual studies, including mysticism in many forms. He was an avid reader and book collector, and held the position of librarian for the Theosophical Society for many years.

In the late 1920s, he married and changed his name to Randolph Stone. His esoteric interests created separation with his wife and they divorced without children. He loved to travel, and after his divorce he roamed widely in search of medical insights from other cultures under his motto, “Whatever works, works!”

He maintained a medical practice for over 50 years in Chicago, developing a reputation for his willingness to work with “hopeless cases.” These patients often responded to his increasingly unconventional approaches, which incorporated techniques from around the world.

In the 1940s, he deepened his knowledge of and commitment to esoteric understanding by accepting initiation into a meditation system based in India. His dedication to this yogic path continued uninterruptedly for almost 40 years, and he made frequent visits to India to study and develop his inner knowledge.

By the late 1940s, he had created a synthesis of his collected information. He published his first book, Energy, in 1947, advancing his concept that the polarized field of attraction and repulsion, as found in the atomic structure or in magnetic relationships, was the underlying reality which determined all physical phenomena including health. A series of seven books and pamphlets followed, all expounding on the basic Energy theme and providing numerous specific applications.

In the mid-1950s he tried to attract interest in his ideas from the medical community. He offered free lectures, wrote articles for magazines, and repeatedly attempted to engage his colleagues in dialogue. These efforts were largely unsuccessful, as the drugs and surgery era was ascending rapidly throughout his profession.

In the 1960s, already in his mid-70s, he found popularity for the first time—not with his colleagues, but with a new generation of health seekers for whom his blend of science and spirituality was not so unpalatable. In seminars in California, he vigorously preached his message of holistic health and the seed of Polarity Therapy finally found soil fertile enough to survive. Dr. Stone retired in 1974 at the age of 84. He moved to India where he lived in a meditation community and offered free services in a public clinic. He gradually withdrew from public life, eventually passing on peacefully in December 1981 at age 91 of natural causes.

Comments Off

Aug 29 2011

History Of Reflexology – Corrections

Published by under history,reflexology

By Master Helen Whysong
Chapter One – From ‘One Step Beyond, author Master Helen Whysong’
History of Reflexology

Many civilizations have practiced reflexology. Evidence of this has been documented on four continents: Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. The most common theory is that the earliest form of reflexology originated in China, as mcuh as 5000 years ago. The early Taoists are credited with originating many Chinese health practices.

The Cherokee tribes of North America to this day practice a form of reflexology that they continue to pass from generation to generation.

Reflexology traveled across India, Japan, Asia, and China. Traditional East Asian foot reflexology is called Zoku Shin Do. This is the foot portion of the Japanese massage technique. The roots of Zoku Shin Do go back to ancient China and are over 5000 years old.

Many changes took place in zone therapy, or reflexology, as new knowledge was added. In China, reflexology reached a new level. The practice of acupressure using the fingers turned into the practice of acupuncture using needles. The study of the reflex points still existed, but the knowledge was linked or added to and taken in a new direction—the direction of meridians. The Chinese concept of meridian therapy is an important part of the foundation of reflexology.

There are many peoples and individuals who deserve credit for the development of reflexology. This timeline charts some of the salient contributions.

2500 BC Ancient Egypt. Evidence of the practice of reflexology has been found in anceint Egypt, dating as far back as 2500 BC. Alternative medicine procedures were commonly practiced. The Tomb of the Physician, Ankhmahor, is located in the necropolis (city of the dead) of Saqqara. Saqqara was a burial ground of Egyptian pharaohs for over a thousand years, from the time of the First dynasty, the earliest organization of the civilizations of the Upper and Lower Nile Valley, dating back to 2750 BC.

Physiotherapy was depicted in a relief tomb in Saqqara, showing the massaging of a shoulder and a knee. Heliotherapy (exposure to ultraviolet sun rays) for pain relief was mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus. To relieve pain in any part of the body, the procedure was to anoint the body and expose it to the sun. Mud and clay therapy was described in this way: “Thou shalt do for it: rub her feet and legs with a mat [mud and clay] until she is well.” Hydrotherapy (treatment by water) was practiced in a sanatorium near Dendara temple, in chambers that were equipped with basins. Water was poured down over a statue, then flowed down a canal into the basins. In the tomb of Nenkh-Sekhmet, Chief of Physicians in the 5th dynasty, it was written: “Never did I do anything evil towards any person.”

A pictograph dating between 2500 – 2330 BC in the tomb of Ankmahor displays the operation of circumcisions. Some illustrate the care given to the hands and feet, and it has been suggested that they represent the manicure and pedicure. The translation in *** most reflexology books of the hieroglyphs states: “Don’t hurt them; and make it enjoyable for you, my dear.” Most reflexologists say that this is a reference to an early practice of reflexology, though this is questioned.

(*This is it! the picture in our reflexology books have a different translation than in the history books. The history book translation states; Make these give strength. Reply: I will do thy pleasure. and Do not cause pain to these. In the history books the practitioners have tools in their hands performing work on the feet. Dr. Fitzgerald used tools!!!)

(Because of copyright I was not permitted to include the picture so here is the information; The books is; The Tomb of Ankhm’hor at Saqqara by Alexander Badawy.)

(The history book translation doesn’t sound like a manicure but a physical help for the body??)

One of the temples built by Ramses II contains a carving of the victory at the battle of Kadesh. The carving includes a depiction of soldiers on the campaign having their feet tended to. Even today ancient footwork practice can be found in some remote Egyptian villages.

The Egyptian people were a giving civilization. The water from the Nile river would flood the gardens and produce rich black soil. As a result they had an abundance of crops of wheat, corn, figs, and other vegetables. The crops and fish from the streams were shared among all the people, even the laymen. The weather in Egypt was rainy, making the climate sticky and humid. The Egyptian people were clean-shaven, with little or no body hair; the ladies used to shave their heads and wear wigs that were worn up on the top of the head like a beehive. In these beehive hairstyles, they would put essential oils embedded in wax. As the wax warmed, it would melt and the fragrant essential oils would be released into the air. Jewelry was strung around the neck like a large collar, and bracelets were worn both on the forearm and the upper arm. Often Egyptian people wore no tops; they only wore their gold jewelry and a silk sheet that wrapped around certain parts of the body.

The Egyptians educated within their community, and they were a gifted community; they had the first dentist, wonderful architects, doctors and so on. If the head of the household was a dentist, you were trained to be a dentist; if a builder, the offspring became a builder. Egyptians were the first to use gold in tooth fillings. Most of our holistic arts come from Egypt: Cranial Sacral, Aromatherapy, Massage, and Reflexology.

Egyptian families all lived together: grandma, sisters, brothers, father, mother, and all their children. They were very family minded and took care of each other, marrying as teenagers. They married their servants, and mixed marriages with their own relations was common practice. Because of this early motherhood and inbreeding, bloodlines became weak. The death rate among children was high and lives were short by today’s standards.

The Egyptians were a rich people. Other peoples found out about this and wanted to trade services with them. Trade began spreading across the large expanses of water that protected the Egyptians and surrounded their homes. People were jealous of the riches in Egypt and started wars with them. The Egyptian warriors were very organized and they usually won their battles. They would fight with a great deal of forward planning. They would line their warriors up both in a line and several rows deep. The attackers could not get through them, and they would have their victory. Despite the wealth in the land, the Egyptian people remained very humble in their workmanship. They would use the old ways of gardening, without modern equipment. Even today they live very humbly.

Everyone has seen movies of the great tombs of Egypt. They would cover these tombs with pictures to honor their dead. One of these tombs is particularly important for our discovery of reflexology—the physician’s tomb, the tomb of Ankhmahor in Saqqara. There is a really nice book called The Tomb of Ankhmahor at Saqqara by Alexander Badawy that shows you the tomb’s pictographs, which include circumcision, childbirth, pharmacology, embalming, dentistry, and reflexology. Scenes like these were carved into the tomb wall not only to honor the physician but also for religious purposes. On the reflexology pictograph you will notice that it looks as though the therapist is holding a tool in his hand for working on the feet. Underneath the picture it is written, “Make these give strength, reply, ‘I will do thy pleasure,’ reply, ‘Do not cause pain to these.’ ”

475-221 BC In China, the Yellow Emperors of Internal Medicine identified 14 channels (meridians) within the human body, six of which travel to the foot. Meridians are energy pathways all over the body that link our internal organs with the other parts of our body. These energy channels are the pathways for the circulation of the vital life force, which the Chinese call chi and the Japanese ki. Chi is also referred to as “life force,” “vital force,” and “vital energy.” Although chi is necessary for the existence of life, it is not visible to the naked eye; it is more akin to the electrical energy in our body. Reflexology is very effective in stimulating and revitalizing this energy flow. As we practice our reflexology techniques, we stimulate the autonomic nervous system, which is linked to every organ, gland, and all parts of the anatomy. The Chinese theory is that there must be an open flow of chi to maintain good health.

60 BC Mark Anthony is noted in historical works to have worked on Cleopatra’s feet at dinner parties.

300-700 Age of the Mayans and the Incas. These high cultures developed reflexology to diagnose and treat many illnesses. The Mayans documented their findings by carving them into stone plaques. The altar at Copan has engravings with symbols encoded that only medicine men could understand.

790 Buddhas footprints are found in the Medicine Teacher Temple in Nara, Japan.

1292 Marco Polo, upon his return to Italy, may have introduced Chinese massage techniques to the West. Another possibility is that the Dominican and Franciscan missionaries brought this knowledge home sometime during the Middle or Dark ages of Europe, between 400-1400 AD.

1582 In Europe at this time, zone therapy was practiced in several countries. The first book found published on the subject was by Dr. Adamus and Dr. Atatis in 1582. In Leipzig, Dr. Ball writes a a book on the same subject.

1771 Johann August Unzer, a German physiologist, in his published work is the first to use the word “reflex” with reference to the body’s motor reactions.

1830 Neuro-vascular holding points are discovered in 1830 by Dr. Terrance Bennet, a chiropractor. He found these points mainly on the head, and deduced that they seemed to influence the flow of blood to specific organs and structures in the body.

1833 Marshall Hall, an English physiologist, in a study on the reflex function of the medulla oblongata and the spinal cord, uses the term “reflex action” and demonstrates the difference between unconscious reflexes and volitional acts.

1834 The Swedish doctor Pehr Henrik Ling notices that pains emanating from certain organs are reflected in certain areas of the skin, but with no direct relation to these organs. Other students followed this line of thought, including the English neurologist Sir Henry Head. The treatment zones that he discovered came to be known as “Heads zones”. Therapeutic anesthesia was born.

1870 Russian psychologists begin researching zone therapy. These include Ivan Pavlov and Vladimir Bektev, founder of the Russian Brain Institute.

1890 Sir Henry Head publishes his discoveries that the sensitive areas of the skin are connected through nerves to a diseased organ. “The bladder,” he wrote, “can be excited into action by stimulating the soles of the feet.”

1900 Dr. Alfons Cornelius in Germany improves his own health by reflex massage.

The year 1913 witnessed the rebirth of reflexology.

“Reflexology is Nature’s push-button secret for vibrant health, more dynamic living, abundant personal energy, and better living without pain. A scientific technique of massage that has a definite effect on the normal functioning of all parts of the body.” – Dr. William Fitzgerald, 1913

Dr. William Fitzgerald (b.1872 – d.1942) is known as the “Father of Zone Therapy.” He was the most forward thinking of medical men, who became a natural healer through the art of using pressure therapy to benefit and heal the human body. A graduate of the University of Vermont, he was for many years senior Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at St. Francis Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut. While working at his specialty, he observed that by applying pressure to certain parts of the body the patient would feel no pain, and he was able to do minor operations without using cocaine or any other local analgesic.

Dr. Fitzgerald is responsible for what we call zone therapy today. He devised the system of mapping the body into five zones on each side of a median line. These zones run the length of the body from the head to the feet.

It is by using this map of the body on the feet that we are now able to find the reflex points that mirror our entire body. Dr. Fitzgerald called these lines the “ten invisible currents of energy” through the body, and he demonstrated the correlation between the reflex points on the feet and areas in distant parts of the body. He showed how a pressure of between 2 and 10 pounds on a given finger or toe could alleviate pain anywhere in a corresponding zone in the body.

Dr. Fitzgerald showed that the upper and lower surfaces of the joints and side areas could all be pressed with good results. He also showed that each zone could be worked on a client’s hand or foot, because the zones run to both extremities. The zones pass through the body from front to back. Each zone represents or includes all the organs, muscles, and bones through which the respective zone line passes.

The distance between the area treated and the corresponding organ was of no importance, since the entire zone was being treated. When pain was relieved, the condition that produced the pain was generally relieved as well, and this led to the mapping out of these various areas and associated connections, and also to the conditions influenced through them. Dr. Fitzgerald would use rubber erasers for therapy bites, metal combs, elastic bands, pegs and percussion motors, and surgical clamps on reflex areas. He applied pressure over any bony eminences or upon the zones corresponding to the location of the injury. In the book Zone Therapy (1928), Dr. Benedict Lust M.D. wrote, “I have reason to believe that there are now upwards of five hundred physicians, osteopaths, and dentists using these methods every day, with complete satisfaction to themselves and their patients.”

Dr. Fitzgerald was responsible for the studies and practices of zone therapy. Zone therapy (as it was called) has been practiced and taught by some of the most noted doctors in America. Zone therapy was taught by Dr. Fitzgerald to many doctors and chiropractors. The chiropractors, impressed with what they saw and learned, taught it to others in their chiropractic schools. Dr. Joe Selby-Riley (M.D., M.S., D.O., N.D.) said, “The scope of the science of Zone Reflex [Reflexology] is almost unlimited. Great physicians who have investigated it fully made the claim that it is the greatest ally yet found to this work. Side by side with other great therapies, zone therapy will stand in the march of science and progress.”

The work was wonderful, and very effective for the client. The level of discomfort was at times unbearable, but the results were fantastic. The practitioner, however, found a flaw in these techniques. Not only was a treatment sometimes beyond a client’s comfort zone, but the client could watch the practitioner, then go home and copy the action the practitioner applied to them. Reflexology is easy to learn, so as the doctors and chiropractors worked on the clients, the clients worked on themselves, and thus would not have to come back as often, yet still get fantastic results. Over the years, however, zone therapy became less popular because of the pain level induced by the techniques used.

Here is a list of contemporaries of Dr. Fitzgerald who used zone therapy. This list gives some idea of the wide range of therapies that included zone therapy techniques.

• Dr. J. S. Selby-Riley, Washington D.C. (chiropractor)
• Dr. Edwin F. Bowers, M.D., Los Angeles CA, author of Zone Therapy, or Relieving Pain in the Home
• Dr. George Starr White, M.D.
• Dr. Benedict Lust, N.D., D.O., D.C., M.D. He was called the “Father of Naturopathy.” Dr. Lust was the founder and dean of the American School of Naturopathic, the American School of Chiropractic, and the New York School of Massage. He was also owner and director of the Youngborn Health Resort, which had locations in Butler, NJ and Tangerine, FL. Author of Universal Naturopathic Encyclopedia, he wrote an article on zone therapy entitled, “Relieving Pain and Sickness by Nerve Pressure.”
• Dr. R. T. H. Nesbitt, Waukegen, IL. Dr. Nesbitt was one of the physicians who used zone therapy for childbirth. He had very gratifying experiences with pressure analgesia.
• Dr. G. Murray Edwards, Denver, CO, also used zone therapy for childbirth. He replaced the use of chloroform with elastic bands, each an eighth of an inch wide, that he wrapped around each foot, one around the large toe at the first joint and one around the remaining toes.

1913 Dr. William Fitzgerald

1916 Dr. Joe Shelby-Riley, who ran a school of chiropractic in Washington D.C, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Riley, were students of Dr. Fitzgerald. Dr. Shelby-Riley wrote twelve books on the subject of zone therapy. He also introduced the technique called “hookwork,” by which the fingers are hooked under the bones to work certain areas of the body in connection with zone therapy.

1917 Dr. Edwin F. Bowers, M.D., a well-known medical critic and writer in New York, heard of Dr. Fitzgerald and his work, and, after making his acquaintance, helped Dr. Fitzgerald to write down his findings. Together they published the book, Zone Therapy, Relieving Pain at Home. It was Dr. Bowers who coined the term “zone therapy.”

1917 V.M. Bechterev of Russia coined the term “reflexology.” He was a colleague of Pavlov.

1920 Harry Bond Bressler was a writer and graduate of the Shelby-Riley Chiropractic School. In his writings he altered the zones from five lines to four. It is important to be aware of his alteration, because early books on the subject of reflexology can provide conflicting information with regard to zone location.

1925 Eunice D. Ingham Stopfel (b.1889 – d.1974) was a massage therapist (*error in the reflexology books) and lecturer, and author of Stories the Feet Have Told Through Reflexology. She learned the technique of reflexology while working for many years under Dr. Shelby-Riley. Eunice Ingham became known as the “Mother of Reflexology.” She blazed the trail for further developments in reflexology, and the technique we use today, The Original Ingham Method, is named after her. Eunice Ingham’s nephew, Dwight C. Byer, now continues her work.

(*Reflexology books state that Eunice was a mere massage therapist, while in fact she was a Chiropractic. I interviewed her nephew Dwight C. Byers about 1997 and he stated that he had been going through his aunts belongings and ran across a diploma for her as a Chiropractor.)

1938 Dr. Fitzgerald discovers Mayan stone plaques that seem to pertain to foot reflexology. He and Eunice Ingham decode these plaques; other stone plaques detailing hand reflexology were too eroded to be deciphered (which may help explain the prominence of foot reflexology).

1966 Doreen E. Bayly was trained by Eunice Ingham in America. She is responsible for bring reflexology therapies to Great Britain (in 1966). Ms. Bayly is also the author of a book on reflexology.

1974 Publication of Zone Therapy by Anika Bergson and Vladimir Tuchack.

From the book: “Zone therapy systems are a boost to conventional curative methods as practiced by the medical profession, not something opposed to or at variance with its practice. The stark simplicity of these wonderful methods stands in direct and dramatic contrast to the very nature of disease and those stubborn and depressing psychological conditions which disease brings in its wake. Zone therapy systems cannot possibly be detrimental if followed correctly. They can be amazingly, miraculously effective.”

The authors go on to say that zone therapy has been practiced for some fifty years before the publication of this book.

1975 Mildred Carter, a student of Eunice Ingham, was author of the book Hand Reflexology: Key to Perfect Health. She calls reflexology “a form of western-type acupuncture. The body’s vital life force circulates along pathways, and we can tap into an estimated 800 points on the body. But we can work these reflex buttons that go to all the organs with the feet and hands.” Ms. Carter has passed on, but her family has a website with her tools and books for resale.

1976 Stephan Thomas Chang published the theory that the discovery of pressure points took place when wounded soldiers baffled the ancient Chinese physicians by claiming that symptoms of disease vanished after they had been hit by arrows or stones. The relationship of pressure to the various organs was developed by trial and error by other Asian peoples as well. The various schools of martial arts began using pressure points to disable opponents.

1979 Ed and Ellen Case of Los Angeles, CA, on a tour of Egypt with Dr. Gwendolyn Raines, brought back an ancient Egyptian papyrus scene depicting the treatment of hands and feet in 2500 B.C.

1981 Anna Kaye, noted for her seminars and workshops, was co-author with Don C. Matchan of the book Mirror of the Body. Anna Kaye was a student of Eunice Ingham, and a student of polarity of Randolph Stone, Ph.D. She was 74 years of age when this book was published.

1983 Jurgen Kaiser was author of the book Masseur and Medical Balneologist. After training in foot reflexology, Mr. Kaiser researched hand reflexology intensively and put the zones into a topographical order. He concluded that hand reflexology could achieve even better results than foot reflexology, and that since it was easier to use, it had greater potential for the lay person.

1983 Dwight C. Byers holds special training and seminars on the subject of reflexology, and is author of Better Health with Foot Reflexology.

1984 Hanne Marquardt is the author of Reflex Zone Therapy of the Feet. This was the first British publication on reflexology since Eunice Ingham’s books. Hanna has twenty-five years experience as nurse, midwife, ward sister, and tutor in England and South Africa. Mrs. Marquardt offers courses in the United Kingdom at: British School of Reflex Zone Therapy of the Feet, 87 Oakington Avenue, Wembley Park, London HA9 8HY England, UK.

1985 National Inquirer reports that Prince Charles is hooked on reflexology therapy, which involves clearing the body’s 10 vertical energy channels by massaging different areas of the feet.

1990 Helen Whysong studied with Carole Poore, a Nature Sunshine provider, in Phoenix AZ. Carole held classes on herbs, iridology, and reflexology in her home. At this time Helen had persistent ear aches in her right ear (it had been punctured when she was eleven years old), and the doctor had recommended surgery. Since she had no insurance she was administered reflexology treatments, and these treatments eliminated the pain and kept infection out of the ear. Since then Helen has had two surgeries—she still has the hole in her left ear—and reflexology is still working its magic. Helen’s first experiences with reflexology left a deep impression on her, but she did not know that their was proper training in this area until 1991.

1997 Newsweek reports that Princess Diana has foot reflexology three times a week.

1998 Ladies Home Journal reports that the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is a client of Joseph Corvo, practitioner of the “so-called discipline of zone therapy”. The treatment involves massaging fifteen specific nerve endings on the face, which are said to revitalize eleven areas of the body.

Other Sources on the History of Reflexology
International Federation of Reflexologists, from Reflexology – An International History www://

Reflexology: Art, Science and History by Christine Issel
New Frontier Publishing P.O. Box 246654, Sacramento, CA 95824

Hand Reflexology by Jurgen Kaiser, Alexander Scharmann, MD, Beate Poyck-Scharmann, MD, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. New York

Master Helen Whysong has been teaching Reflexology since 1995, director of Arizona Institute of Reflexology & Clinic in Mesa Arizona since 2000, Author of S.O.A.P. notes for clinical reflexology book since 2003, now releasing books; One Step Beyond and Zonery and Reflexology. Practitioners since 1992. DVD long distance classes available this summer. Helen believes that Reflexology is the gift of love, in the art of healing mind, body and spirit one foot at a time. Blessings.

This article was posted by Helen Jeanne Whysong

Comments Off

Jun 10 2010

Chinese Reflexology

Published by under Chinese Reflexology,history


Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM) has accumulated rich experiences through a history of thousands of years. It has its own philosophy, a series of theories, as well as various branches. Reflexology, or as Chinese ordinary people call it, foot massage, is a sub-division of CTM.

According to a famous historical book “Historical Records” written by Sima Qian during 2nd Centruy BC, in ancient times, there was a well known doctor names Yu Fu (in Chinese, Yu means healing, Fu means foot dorsum, hence Yu Fu implies foot healing). This Dr Foot Healing treated patients with no medicine (herbs) nor acupuncture, but only massage, and “the illness responded to every stroke of his”.

This vivid depiction gives us a clear image of a foot-massage therapist in ancient days. More systematic theory was expounded in the oldest classic of Chinese Traditional Medicine “Huangdi Nei Jing” or, The Internal Classic of the Yellow Emperor”. The author of the book was reputed to be Huang-di (Yellow Emperor, 2698 – 2589 BC), but actually it was the product of unknown authors in the Warring States period (475-221BC).

In this book, 14 important channels within the human body were defined, 6 among which travel to or from the foot. All these channels link internal organs with sensitive points spreading over the skin. out of over 600 points in the whole body, 66 (about 10% ) are located in both feet. While this book mainly deals with acupuncture, there are also several paragraphs referring to massage (but not foot-massage specifically).

There was another interesting book entitled “Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold” written by Sun Simiao (581-682, during the Sui and Tang Dynasty). This book introduced Lao-zi massage and Brahman massage from India. Lao-zi who was a famous philosopher in Spring-Autumn Period (770-476 BC) is regarded as the originator of Daoism. According to the book written by Sun Si-Miao, Lao-zi massage techniques include 49 items, 10 out of which may count as a kind of foot massage; while Brahman massage techniques include 18 items, among them 4 relating to the foot.

In China, there is a well known story of the Monk of Tang Dynasty going to the West (i.e. India) to bring back Buddhist Classics. near Xian, then capital of the Tang Dynasty, a stone carving of the Buddha’s foot print was preserved in a Buddhist temple. It is interesting to note that this foot print is identical to a stone carving in India and another in Japan.

From the above historical materials, we may conclude that while China has its own traditional foot massage techniques (such as the Lao-zi techniques), the Indian foot massage techniques were also introduced to China along with Buddhism. Later Buddhism and foot massage further spread to Japan through China.

According to the book “Reflexology Art, Science and History” written by Christine Issel, the earliest evidence of the practice of reflexology was found in Egypt.

There is an ancient Egyptian Papyrus scene depicting medical practitioners treating the hands and feet of their patients in 2500 BC..

It is possible that over the centuries the practice of reflexology migrated slowly from Egypt to Greece, Arabia and then on to Europe through the Roman Empire.

In Europe, a form of reflexology called zone therapy was practiced. Pressure therapy was well known in the middle countries of Europe during the Middle Age or Dark Ages (400-1400 AD).

German physiologist Johann August Unzer was the first to use the term “reflex” with reference to motor reactions in 1771. In 1833 the concept and term “reflex action” were introduced by Marshall Hall, an English physiologist.

The scientific basis of reflexology has its roots in early neurological studies conducted in the 1890’s by Sir Henry Head of England. He established “Head zones” and conclusively proved the neurological relationship existing between the skin and the internal organs.

American doctor William Fitzgerald is credited with being the founder of modern reflexology. In his book “Zone Therapy” published in 1910’s the human body was divided into ten zones.

Later another American doctor Joe Shelby Riley was the first one who illustrated a chart for foot reflex zones as well as ear reflexes.

In September 1990, the International Council of Reflexologists (ICR) was inaugurated at a conference held in Toronto. The ICR charter was drawn up using the United Nations charter as a guideline.

The purpose of ICR is to meet the needs of the profession by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information, promoting and convening international conferences and supporting the development of local, regional and national associations. The principles of ICR include:

Set an example of inclusiveness, respectful consideration, and tolerance for any reflexology theory, technique and practitioner.

All members shall have equal rights. The organisation will not discriminate on the basis of nationality, language, religion, sex, colour, ethnic origin, or age.

The organisation will not interfere with the actions of members, associations or educational institutions within its membership so long as their actions do not harm individual members, other associations or the public.

Even though foot massage was practiced in China long ago, later on under the dominance of feudalistic ideas, women’s feet were bound and became untouchable. To touch another man’s feet was also regarded as somewhat impolite. Thus on the whole, foot-massage wasn’t well developed in the past. In the early 1980’s when China adopted the policy of opening to the outside world, reflexology was introduced to China as “foot reflex zone massage”.

In 1990, a Preparatory Committee was founded to pave the ground for a national organisation. Training courses are organised on a regular (monthly) basis. A lecturing group is formed to provide speakers to teach reflexology in Beijing and the provinces. The influence of reflexology expanded rapidly.

In January 1991, the Chinese Ministry of Health issued a document in approval of the setting up of the China Reflexology Association confirming the role of reflexology in “preventing and curing diseases, and preserving health”. On 2 July 1991, the China Reflexology Association registered at the Ministry of Civil Affairs as a national organisation. Now the CRA has 2800 members and dozens of branches in the provinces and big cities.

The CRA held a national symposium in July 1993. There are over 600 participants representing 26 provinces, 72 theses were presented. In October 1993, the Chairman of the CRA, Prof Hang Xiongwen attended the International Council of Reflexologists Conference held in Melbourne, Australia. A Special Recognition Award was presented by the ICR in recognition of the continuing efforts made by the CRA in promoting reflexology in China.

Comments Off

Jun 10 2010

the history of Ayurvedic

Published by under history

Ayurveda , the science of life, prevention and longevity is the oldest and most holistic medical system available on the planet today. It was placed in written form over 5,000 years ago in India, it was said to be a world medicine dealing with both body and the spirit. Before the advent of writing, the ancient wisdom of this healing system was a part of the spiritual tradition of the Sanatana Dharma (Universal Religion), or Vedic Religion. VedaVyasa, the famous sage, shaktavesha avatar of Vishnu, put into writing the complete knowledge of Ayurveda, along with the more directly spiritual insights of self realization into a body of scriptural literature called the Vedas and the Vedic literatures.

There were originally four main books of spirituality, which included among other topics, health, astrology, spiritual business, government, army, poetry and spiritual living and behavior. These books are known as the four Vedas; Rik, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. The Rik Veda, a compilation of verse on the nature of existence, is the oldest surviving book of any Indo-European language (3000 B.C.). The Rik Veda (also known as Rig Veda) refers to the cosmology known as Sankhya which lies at the base of both Ayurveda and Yoga, contains verses on the nature of health and disease, pathogenesis and principles of treatment. Among the Rik Veda are found discussions of the three dosas, Vayu. Pitta and Kapha, and the use of herbs to heal the diseases of the mind and body and to foster longevity. The Atharva Veda lists the eight divisions of Ayurveda: Internal Medicine, Surgery of Head and Neck, Opthamology and Otorinolaryngology, Surgery, Toxicology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Gerontology or Science of Rejuvenation, and the Science of Fertility. The Vedic Sages took the passages from the Vedic Scriptures relating to Ayurveda and compiled separate books dealing only with Ayurveda. One of these books, called the Atreya Samhita is the oldest medical book in the world! The Vedic Brahmanas were not only priests performing religious rites and ceremonies, they also became Vaidyas (physicians of Ayurveda). The sage-physician-surgeons of the time were the same sages or seers, deeply devoted holy people, who saw health as an integral part of spiritual life. It is said that they received their training of Ayurveda through direct cognition during meditation. In other words, the knowledge of the use of various methods of healing, prevention, longevity and surgery came through Divine revelation; there was no guessing or testing and harming animals. These revelations were transcribed from the oral tradition into book form, interspersed with the other aspects of life and spirituality. What is fascinating is Ayurveda’s use of herbs, foods, aromas, gems, colors, yoga, mantras, lifestyle and surgery. Consequently Ayurveda grew into a respected and widely used system of healing in India. Around 1500 B.C., Ayurveda was delineated into eight specific branches of medicine. There were two main schools of Ayurveda at that time. Atreya- the school of physicians, and Dhanvantari – the school of surgeons. These two schools made Ayurveda a more scientifically verifiable and classifiable medical system

People from numerous countries came to Indian Ayurvedic schools to learn about this world medicine and the religious scriptures it sprang from. Learned men from China, Tibet, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Afghanistanis, Persians, and more traveled to learn the complete wisdom and bring it back to their own countries. Ayurvedic texts were translated in Arabic and under physicians such as Avicenna and Razi Sempion, both of whom quoted Indian Ayurvedic texts, established Islamic medicine. This style became popular in Europe, and helped to form the foundation of the European tradition in medicine.

In 16th Century Europe, Paracelsus, who is known as the father of modem Western medicine, practiced and propagated a system of medicine which borrowed heavily from Ayurveda.

There are two main re-organizers of Ayurveda whose works are still existing in tact today – Charak and Sushrut. The third major treatise is called the Ashtanga Hridaya, which is a concise version of the works of Charak and Sushrut. Thus the three main Ayurvedic texts that are still used today are the Charak Samhita (compilation of the oldest book Atreya Samhita), Sushrut Samhita and the Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita. These books are believed to be over 1,200 years old. It is because these texts still contain the original and complete knowledge of this Ayurvedic world medicine, that Ayurveda is known today as the only complete medical system still in existence. Other forms of medicine from various cultures, although parallel are missing parts of the original information.

Comments Off

Nov 26 2009

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Published by under history


Manual Lymphatic Drainage was introduced in the 1930s by the German doctor Emil Vodder for the treatment of immune disorders such as chronic sinusitis. While treating chronic colds they noticed that many of their patients had swollen lymph nodes. Although at the time the lymphatic system was poorly understood by the medical profession at the time, the Vodders developed careful hand movements to cause lymph movement and introduced Manual Lymphatic Drainage in Paris in 1936.

Comments Off

Aug 11 2009


Published by under Cranial Sacral Therapy,history

“Worms will not eat living wood where the vital sap is flowing; rust will not hinder the opening of a gate when the hinges are used each day.
Movement gives health and life. Stagnation brings disease and death.”
– proverb in traditional Chinese Medicine.


“My belief is in the blood and flesh as being wiser than the intellect. The body-unconscious is where life bubbles up in us. It is how we know that we are alive, alive to the depths of our souls and in touch somewhere with the vivid reaches of the cosmos.”
D. H. Lawrence.

Around the start of the 20th century, a final-year student of osteopathy, William Garner Sutherland, was examining a set of disarticulated bones of a human skull in his college laboratory. Like other students of his time, Sutherland had been taught that adult cranial bones do not move because their sutures (joints) become fused. However, he noted that he was holding in his hands adult bones which had become easily separated from each other.

Like the gills of a fish.

While examining the bevel-shaped sutures of a sphenoid and temporal bone, Sutherland had an insight which changed the course of his life. He described how a remarkable thought had struck him like a blinding flash of light. He realized that the sutures of the bones he was holding resembled the gills of a fish and were designed for a respiratory motion. He didn’t understand where this idea came from, nor its true significance, but it echoed through his mind.

William Sutherland set out to try prove to himself that cranial bones do not move, just as he had been taught. As a true experimental scientist, he reasoned that if cranial bones did move and that if this movement could be prevented, it should be possible to experience the effect. So he designed a kind of helmet made of linen bandages and leather straps which could be tightened in various positions, thus preventing any potential cranial motion from occurring.

Cranial movement.

Experimenting on his own head, he tightened the straps, first in one direction and then in another. Within a short period of time he started to experience headaches and digestive upsets. This response was not what he was expecting, so he decided to continue his research to find out more. Some of his experiments with the “helmet” led to quite severe symptoms of cranial tightness, headaches, sickness and disorientation. Of particular interest was that when the helmet straps were tightened in certain other positions, it produced a sense of great relief and an improvement in cranial circulation.

After many months of pulling and restricting his cranial bones in different positions with these varying results, Dr Sutherland eventually stopped this research, having convinced himself that adult cranial bones do, in fact, move. Furthermore, the surprising responses that he felt in his own body had shown him that cranial movement must have some important physiological function. Sutherland spent the remaining 50 years of his life exploring the significance of this motion.

Historical acceptance.

Although most Western countries did not recognize cranial motion, this possibility was not new to other cultures. There are various Oriental systems of medicine such as acupuncture and Ayurveda which have long appreciated the subtle movements which occur throughout the body, caused by the flow of vital force or life-energy. This has also been traditionally taught in Russian physiology. Interestingly, anatomists in Italy in the early 1900s were already teaching that adult cranial sutures do not fully fuse, but continue to permit small degrees of motion throughout life.

Cranial manipulation has been practised in India for centuries, and was also developed by the ancient Egyptians and members of the Paracus culture in Peru (2000 BC to 200 AD). Furthermore, in the 18th century, the philosopher and scientist Emmanuel Swedenborg described a rhythmic motion of the brain, stating that it moves with regular cycles of expansion and contraction.

Tissue breathing.

From an early stage, Dr Sutherland understood that he was exploring an involuntary system of “breathing” in tissues, important for the maintenance of their health. At a fundamental level, it is this property to express motion that distinguishes living tissues from those which are dead. Dr Sutherland perceived that all cells of the body need to express a rhythmic “breathing” in order for them to function to their optimal ability. Much of his research was carried out by combining a profound knowledge of anatomy along with an acute tactile sense. He started to realize that these subtle respiratory movements can be palpated by sensitive hands. He also discovered that this motion provided a wealth of clinical information.

An interconnected system.

Dr Sutherland recognized that the motion of cranial bones is connected to other tissues with which they are closely associated. The membrane system, which is continuous with cranial bones along their inner surfaces, is an integral part of this phenomenon. Significantly, Dr Sutherland also found that the central nervous system, and the cerebrospinal fluid which bathes it, have a rhythmic motion. The sacrum, too, is part of this interdependent system. Thus, there is an important infrastructure of fluids and tissues at the core of the body which express an interrelated subtle rhythmic motion.

As Dr Sutherland dug deeper into the origins of these rhythms, he realized that there are no external muscular agencies which could be responsible. He concluded that this motion is produced by the body’s inherent life-force itself, which he called the Breath of Life.


“Think of yourself as an electric battery. Electricity seems to have the power to explode or distribute oxygen, from which we receive the vitalizing benefits. When it plays freely all through your system, you feel well. Shut it off in one place and congestion results.”
– Dr A. T. Still.

The inherent life-force of the body, the Breath of Life, was seen by Dr Sutherland to be the animator or spark behind these involuntary rhythms. Alluding to the source of this phenomenon, other practitioners have referred to it as “the soul’s breath in the body”. The Breath of Life is considered to carry a subtle yet powerful “potency” or force, which produces subtle rhythms as it is transmitted around the body. Dr Sutherland realized that the cerebrospinal fluid has a significant role in the expressing and distributing the potency of the Breath of Life. As potency is taken up by the cerebrospinal fluid, it generates a tide-like motion which is described as its longitudinal fluctuation. This motion has great importance in carrying the Breath of Life throughout the body and, as long as it is expressed, health will follow.

Expressions of health.

The potency of the Breath of Life has remarkable properties for maintaining health and balance. An essential blueprint for health is carried in this potency, which acts as a basic ordering principle at a cellular level. This integrates the physiological functioning of all the body systems.

Dr Sutherland believed that the potency of the Breath of Life carries a basic Intelligence (which he spelled with a capital “I”), and realized that this intrinsic force could be employed by the practitioner for promoting health. A similar concept is found in many traditional systems of medicine, where the main focus for healing is also placed on encouraging a balanced distribution of the body’s vital force.

The presence of full and balanced rhythms produced by the Breath of Life signifies a healthy system. As long as these rhythms are expressed naturally, the body’s essential ordering principle is harmoniously distributed. Therefore, this rhythmic motion is primarily an expression of health. Its existence ensures the distribution of the ordering principle of the Breath of Life, and its restriction can have far-reaching consequences.

This brings us to two basic tenets of craniosacral work:

1) Life expresses itself as motion.

2) There is a clear relationship between motion and health.

Primary respiratory motion.

Dr. Sutherland named the system of tissues and fluids at the core of the body which express a subtle rhythmic motion, the primary respiratory mechanism . As these tissues are not under voluntary muscular control, they are also sometimes referred to as the involuntary mechanism (or I.V.M.). Dr. Sutherland used the term “primary” because this motion underlies all others. It is the manifestation of the life-stream itself. Every cell expresses this primary respiratory motion throughout its life. Significantly, many different symptoms and pathologies which involve both body and mind are related to disturbances of primary respiratory motion.

There are, of course, other vital rhythmic motions in the body such as the heartbeat and lung respiratory breathing. Although necessary for the maintenance of life, these are considered “secondary” motions because they are not the root cause of the body”s expression of life. Without the Breath of Life there would be no other motion. Lung respiration or the breathing of air is therefore sometimes called secondary respiration.

This fact was proved to Dr Sutherland early on in his development of this work. During the days of prohibition in America during the 1920s, he was staying at a cottage on the shores of Lake Erie. One day he heard a commotion outside, when a man who had been drinking far too much illegal liquor was being dragged out from the water. By the time Dr Sutherland reached the shore, the man was lying on the ground. His normal life signs (lung function and cardiovascular pulse) had ceased, and all attempts to resuscitate him had failed.

With some quick thinking, Dr Sutherland took hold of the sides of the man’s head and encouraged a rocking motion of his temporal bones, in an attempt to stimulate primary respiratory motion. This worked; within a few seconds the man’s breathing and heartbeat started up again and he regained consciousness. This experience helped to affirm to Dr Sutherland the tremendous power of working directly with the Breath of Life.

Sustained by the Breath of Life.

The expression of the Breath of Life at a cellular level is a fundamental necessity for good health. If the rhythmic expressions of the Breath of Life become congested or restricted, then the body’s basic ordering principle is impeded and health is compromised. The main intention of craniosacral work is to encourage these rhythmic expressions of health. This is done by gently facilitating a restoration of primary respiratory motion in places where inertia has developed.


“Nature heals, the doctor nurses.”
– Paracelcus.

Dr Sutherland developed various therapeutic approaches to harness the intrinsic power of the Breath of Life and help resolve any restrictions to primary respiratory motion. He began to teach this work to other osteopaths from about the 1930s, and tirelessly continued to do so until his death in 1954. Challenging, as it did, some of the closely held beliefs among practitioners of the time, his work was at first largely rejected by the mainstream osteopathic profession. However, his clinical results in a wide range of cases were impressive and he began to attract a small band of osteopathic colleagues who wished to study with him.

In the 1940s the first osteopathic school in America started a post-graduate course called “Osteopathy in the Cranial Field” under the tutelage of Dr Sutherland. Soon after, others followed. This new branch of practice became known as cranial osteopathy. As the reputation of cranial osteopathy began to spread, Dr Sutherland trained more teachers to meet the demand. The most notable of these early teachers were Drs Viola Frymann, Edna Lay, Howard Lippincott, Anne Wales, Chester Handy and Rollin Becker.

However, even today, many osteopathic colleges still do not teach this work on their basic courses and so it is often studied as an option at post-graduate level. Consequently there are many practising osteopaths who do not use this approach. Nevertheless, in the last few years post-graduate training courses for practising osteopaths have become widely available.

Dr John Upledger.

In the mid-1970s Dr John Upledger was the first practitioner to teach some of these therapeutic skills to people who were not osteopathically trained. Dr Upledger had become drawn to exploring primary respiratory motion after an incident that occurred while he was assisting during a spinal surgical operation. He was asked to hold aside a part of the dural membrane system which enfolds the spine, while the surgeon attempted to remove a calcium growth. To his embarrassment, Dr Upledger was unable to keep a firm hold on the membrane, as it kept rhythmically moving under his fingers. He took a post-graduate course in cranial osteopathy and then set out on his own path of clinical research. Over the years, Dr Upledger has done a great deal to popularize craniosacral work around the world.

When Dr Upledger began to teach non-osteopaths, he encountered great opposition from many in the profession who believed that the foundation of a full osteopathic training is necessary to practise the craniosacral approach. Many osteopaths are still of this opinion, and it continues to be a cause of much debate and argument. However, many also believe that this work can provide an integrated approach to health care in its own right and need not remain within the sole domain of osteopathic practice. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure: a good foundation in anatomy, physiology and medical diagnosis is necessary in order to apply craniosacral work with safety and competency. It also takes time and proper training to develop the necessary skills. It is an unfortunate fact that in recent years there are many people who have set up in practice with only minimal training.

Cranial osteopathy and craniosacral therapy.

It was Dr Upledger who coined the term “craniosacral therapy” when he started to teach to a wider group of students. Dr Upledger wanted to differentiate the therapeutic approaches he had developed and, furthermore, the title “cranial osteopath” could not be used by those new practitioners who were not osteopathically trained.

One question frequently asked is, “What is the difference between cranial osteopathy and craniosacral therapy?” Although Dr Upledger states that these two modalities are different, the differences are not always so obvious. They both emerge from the same roots and have much common ground, yet different branches have developed. A variety of therapeutic skills are now commonly used by both osteopaths and non-osteopathic practitioners of this work, so neither cranial osteopathy nor craniosacral therapy can be accurately defined by just one approach. However, in practice, craniosacral therapists often work more directly with the emotional and psychological aspects of disease.

Craniosacral biodynamics.

In the biodynamic view of craniosacral work an emphasis is placed on the inherent healing potency of the Breath of Life. In this approach, the functioning of the body is considered to be arranged in relationship to this essential organizing force. This has practical ramifications for the way in which diagnosis and treatment are carried out. This way of working also has a direct link to the pioneering insights of Dr Sutherland. It’s interesting to note that during the latter years of his life, Dr Sutherland focused his attention more and more on working directly with the potency of the Breath of Life as a therapeutic medium. He saw that if the expression of this vital force can be facilitated, then health is consequently restored. Dr Rollin Becker, Dr James Jealous and Franklyn Sills have each added valuable insights into the operation of these natural laws which govern our health.

In the last 15 years there has been a huge increase of interest in craniosacral work. It is now taught and practised in many countries around the world. As this work is largely unregulated by law, professional associations have now been set up in many of these countries.

Comments Off

Feb 12 2009

The Historical Benefits of Massage Stones in Modern Times

Published by under history,Massage Therapy

Discover the benefits of the massage stones in this stressful world!

Did Xerxes, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, or Charlemagne ever get a massage? And if they never had one, would they have been “friendlier” if they had periodically enjoyed a relaxing hot rocks massage? Though we will probably never know for certain whether particular leaders in the past enjoyed massages, historical records provide us with some details about the usage of massages and massage stones, throughout history. Learning about how massages began and their trends throughout history, will not necessarily make our massages more relaxing. However, it will definitely help us to better appreciate the physical and mental benefits of massages, as we enjoy them today.

A healthy stone
Historians believe that massage is the oldest type of medical therapy used on humans. Various forms of accounts reveal that massage was used in ancient China, India, Egypt, Rome, and Greece. Besides positioning the stones directly on the body, people would carry stones for health and safeguarding purposes. Stones were also used to diagnosis and treat various diseases.

Even as early as 2,700 B.C., ancient Chinese used massage as a type of treatment for various illnesses, such as paralysis. And more than 2,000 years in the past, the Chinese were already using warmed stones, to improve the internal organs’ performance. Besides in China, people were using massage and healing stones in other regions of the ancient world, including India, Egypt, Europe, Africa, and North and South America. In India, the traditional medical system included therapeutic massage with aromatherapy oils and spices. And pictures of people being massaged have been found in various tombs of ancient Egypt.

Getting on Caesar’s nerves
Meanwhile, in the western world, several Greek and Roman heroes had massages performed on them every day, as a form of treatment for nerve pain. In fact, historical records reveal that Julius Caesar himself had such daily massages. One of the Romans’ practices combined hot immersion baths, with cold pools and marble stone.

The mother of invention
Where did the most conventional variety of massage used in Western society, Swedish massage, originate from? It was created sometime in the 1800s. Experts believe that masseuses in Sweden used several of the massaging techniques used in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and China. Besides Swedish massage, various methods have been used to help create other massage methods, such as aromatherapy and reflexology.

Furthermore, several of today’s mainstream massage methods were originally used to relieve people of particular health problems. For example, medical staff would use a certain massage for wounded soldiers during the 1930s’ World War I, to treat nerve damage and to ease “shell shock.”

Today, massage and massage stones are still used to treat a wide range of conditions, from lumbar back pain to paralysis, and from strokes and heart attacks, to different varieties of cancer. The secret to these “magical” stones is in the use of heat and cold during massage, to create useful therapeutic results. This stone becomes a handy, natural tool for the massage therapist, making his or her work more efficient.

Ninety eight point six
How does applying heat and cold impact the body? Back in ancient history, we learned in elementary school that the average temperature of a human’s body is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, the body is constantly battling to sustain that precise temperature. When the massage therapist applies stones to our bodies in a variety of ways (i.e. hot, cold, local, general, short, long), the natural and beneficial therapeutic results are outstanding.

Throughout human history, therapists have used massage as a means to treat a variety of medical conditions that have plagued people since the beginning of time. Though in modern times we are more aware of the medical befits of massage than Julius Caesar was, we can equally appreciate the historical benefits of massage stones.

To make history by using the finest massage stones for a relaxing massage, visit us today at .

Comments Off

Nov 21 2008

History of Massage: Ancient and medieval times

Published by under history,Massage Therapy

Writings on massage have been found in many ancient civilizations such as Rome, Greece, Japan, China, Egypt, Mesopotamia and India. A biblical reference from c.493 BC documents daily massage with olive oil and myrrh as a part of the beauty regimen of the wives of Xerxes. (Esther, 2:9-12) Hippocrates wrote in 460 BC that “The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing.” The ancient Chinese book called Huangdi Neijing by the Yellow Emperor recommended “massage of skin and flesh.” The technique of massage abortion, involving the application of pressure to the pregnant abdomen, has been practiced in Southeast Asia for centuries. One of the bas reliefs decorating the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, dated circa 1150, depicts a demon performing such an abortion upon a woman who has been sent to the underworld. This is believed to be the oldest known visual representation of abortion. In Romania some illnesses were treated by a massage in which the patient was trodden on by a tame bear.

Comments Off

Next »