History of Reflexology Course

Beginners and experienced reflexologists enjoy The Stone Institute’s reflexology history course. The course opens with a brief overview of reflexology (what is reflexology?) followed by a timeline of the practices from ancient to current times.

A quick tour of India, Egypt, Asia, Tibet, China, and Japan prove the continuous practice and cultural expression of manual reflexive therapies. Western practices in Europe and the U.S. introduce present day practices.

Natural therapies, including reflexology, are experiencing a renaissance. Reflexology “is one of the fastest growing areas of alternative medicine. Its appeal lies in its natural, noninvasive, integrative approach to wellness.” Therapeutic Reflexology, p. 11.

Today, reflexology is recognized as a distinct form of bodywork. While it shares similarities with massage and other forms of bodywork, it is a unique and a separate profession.” (See course, TR-SC5_Reflexology_Massage_and_Allied_Practices.)

Learning Objectives

  1. Know the terms and definitions in the glossary.
  2. Describe the progression of knowledge and the practice of reflexology in the Far East and Asia (India, China, Japan, Tibet), the Mediterranean (Egypt, Greece, Africa, Arabia), Europe, and the United States.
  3. Describe the scientific approach to studying reflexology in the European scientific community from the 1500s to the 1800s.
  4. Identify leaders in the European community that shaped the history of reflexology.
  5. Explain the differences between the Eastern holistic model of body-mind-spirit and the European/American scientific model.
  6. State the contributions of Dr. William Fitzgerald, Dr. Joe Shelby Riley, Eunice Ingham, and Mildred Carter to the advent of reflexology in the United States. 

What Others Say About this Course

I learned how old reflexology is and how it is accepted around the world. The history [of reflexology] is great.” Chunmei N., Utah, USA

“Learned how people discovered the body can heal itself through reflexology, and that our hands can do healing work.” Tammy F. B., Africa

“It is interesting to learn how old [reflexology] practices are and how they evolved into the techniques of today.” Valerie T., MO USA

“I learned how the medical field has worked with reflexology for many years. I believe reflexology will be part of the medical field someday soon.” Shirley R. Iowa, USA

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Next Step

This course sets the stage for TR-SC2: Theories of Reflexology, which explains how reflexology works.

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Paula S. Stone


Paula founded The Stone Institute LLC and its programs to empower individuals to make the best choices for their health and well being.

Paula Stone AA-Ed is an accredited reflexology instructor by the American Commission for Accreditation of Reflexology Education and Training.

(Read Full Biography)