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The Reflexology Atlas

A fully illustrated and comprehensive reference guide to the many different kinds of reflexology

• Provides reflexology treatments tailored for a wide variety of common health disorders

• Contains step-by-step instructions illustrated in full color

Of all the ancient practices that have been revived by the growth of alternative healing, reflexology is one of the most popular. It is easy to learn, can be applied anywhere, and is especially well-suited to self-treatment or the treatment of a partner. It is also excellent for the treatment of children. The Reflexology Atlas is the first comprehensive reference guide to provide an overview of and instructions for the many forms of reflexology--foot reflexology, hand reflexology, ear reflexology, head reflexology, and the total massage known as Shiatsu.

Reflexology provides a quick and effective treatment for many of the health disorders experienced by people in today’s world. Among the treatments included by Drs. Kolster and Waskowiak are reflexology techniques for allergies, joint problems, headaches, back pain, sleep disorders, and heart and circulatory problems. The Reflexology Atlas puts these techniques at your fingertips with its step-by-step instructions illustrated in full color.

Foot Reflexology Massage

The Zones
When we look at the foot as a depiction of the whole human body, we see that the zones of the feet correspond exactly to the whole-body zone model introduced by Fitzgerald. The zone model sharpens the eye to similarities between the shape of the foot and those of the body.

The Longitudinal or Vertical Zones
Fitzgerald’s zone model divides the body into ten longitudinal zones. The zones apply not just to the body surface but to the insides as well; thus we can speak of dividing the body into ten slices. Fitzgerald and his students found that the longitudinal zones of the feet offered especially effective reflex zones for organs that are in the same body zone. The spine, for example, is located in the first two longitudinal zones of the body’s middle line. If you follow these zones inside the legs down to the feet, you will see that these zones run along the inside of the feet. The foot reflex zones for the spine thus lie on the inside edges of the feet. The head zones run across the toes. The shoulder zones run across the ball of the foot in the same way in which the shoulders themselves run across the longitudinal zones of the body. In this way the entire body can be pictured on the feet, just like the embryo in the ear.

The Latitudinal or Horizontal Cross-Zones
To improve orientation, three cross-zones can be added to the ten longitudinal zones. The upper cross-zone is in the area of the foot joints and represents the head and throat area. The second cross-zone represents the chest, with the heart and lungs and the upper abdomen. The lower abdomen and organs are found on the bottom third of the foot, or the third cross-zone. These cross-zones can be used to help locate further reflex zones on the feet. The zones for the head and throat area are thus in the toe area, the chest and upper abdomen are in the middle of the foot, and the lower abdomen and organs are on the heel near the ankle.

The Location of the Reflex Zones
The zone model can be used for the general location of the individual zones. But for practical purposes, it has been shown that the zones consist of much smaller areas. The knowledge of these areas is essential for massages. Since some of the zones overlap, these areas are shown in different illustrations to help pinpoint their locations.

Reflex Zones on the Soles of the Feet
The soles of the feet are home to the reflex zones of the internal organs. Take note of the varying sizes of the zones on the right and left feet. For example, the heart zone on the left foot is almost twice the size as that on the right foot.

The zones of the stomach, large intestine, and liver stretch across the soles of both feet. The zone of the large intestine starts on the right sole, corresponding to the location of the rising intestine in the body. The zone proceeds, following the sideways path of the intestine, over to the sole of the left foot. From here, it follows the actual downward path of the descending intestine.

Massaging the Neck, Shoulder, and Chest Region
Massage the zones for the neck, the shoulder girdle, and the chest cavity on the sole of the foot with the thumb walk. Apply pressure point by point with the tip of the thumb.

Start the massage in the middle of the foot’s side and then move upward step by step. Circle the neck zone, which extends past the first joint of the big toe, with several treatment lines. Make sure that the individual treatment lines run closely next to each other.

Afterward you can massage the base joint from left to right or right to left point by point.

Massaging the Neck Zone
The neck zone is in the area of the first joint of the big toe. Pay special attention to this zone by massaging it in several rotations along lines running closely parallel to each other.

Massaging the Shoulder Zones
These zones should be massaged from top to bottom or vice versa in parallel lines. Pay special attention to the gaps around the metatarsal bones. You may want to exert stronger pressure in this area, as there are often calluses here. As always, adjust the pressure of your touch based on the sensitivity of your partner.

Hand Reflexology Massage

The Technique of Steady Pressure--The “Anti-pain” Grip
If you encounter sensitive or painful zones during the course of your massage, try to resolve these deep-seated tensions using the steady-pressure, or “anti-pain,” grip.

Apply steady pressure to the painful zone using the tip of your thumb. The pressure should be only as strong as your partner tolerates. Keep up the pressure for 1 to 2 minutes.

Often this technique will simply dissolve the painful zone. If, however, the sensitivity to pain is not reduced, repeat this massage in a later cycle. Always be sure, though, to adjust the pressure to the pain tolerance of your partner.

The Caterpillar Walk with Your Index Finger
Perform the caterpillar-walk technique with your index finger, rather than your thumb, on those zones that cannot tolerate strong pressure, for example, on the spaces between the metacarpal bones on the back of the hands. Place your finger berry (pad) lightly on the zone to be massaged and roll from it up to your fingertip.

Apply only as much pressure as your partner can tolerate. Keep up the pressure for a few seconds and then gradually release.

Then move your index finger to the next spot in line and repeat the application of pressure with your finger berry.

Bernard C. Kolster, M.D., is a physical therapist and doctor. He has written a number of books on acupressure and reflexology in German and is the author in English of Partner Massage and Look After Your Back. Dr. Kolster is also a coauthor, in English, of The Reflexology Atlas. He lives in Germany

Astrid Waskowiak, M.D., is a doctor and medical scientific editor. She writes about general medicine, natural healing methods, and medical tips for travelers. Dr. Waskowiak is also a coauthor, in English, of The Reflexology Atlas. She lives in Germany.

". . . those seeking to remedy headaches, back pain, insomnia or weak knees might do well with the solutions featured here."

– Publishers Weekly, Oct 17, 2005

"This would be excellent for a classroom teaching guide, or for anyone who wants to learn these methods of healing. I cannot overstress how beautifully illustrated, clear and concise the diagrams and photographs are. You will not be disappointed with this book in any fashion."

– Qetesh, TCM Reviews, Feb 2006

"[The Reflexology Atlas] provides reflexology treatments tailored to a wide variety of common health disorders, and it contains concise and easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions illustrated in full color. The book is an easy way to get started, yet it is quite comprehensive."

–, Feb 2006

"THE REFLEXOLOGY ATLAS provides a fine oversized, beautifully illustrated atlas of reflexology forms covering every part of the body from toes to head, including shiatsu massage. A symptom section applies reflexology treatments to common disorders, while step-by-step instructions for the massage techniques provides clear discussions of bones, massage zones, and much more."

– Diane Donovan, Bookwatch, April 2006

"Although this oversized book is intended for the general public, its large color photos and clear technique descriptions will appeal to any bodyworker interested in reflex points and meridians, and how to manipulate them to help clients."

– Massage Magazine, June 2006

"The Reflexology Atlas may not easily fit in your bookshelf, but you will never notice because it will always be open on your desk."

– Spirit of Change, Fall 2006

"A very easy to comprehend book with simple step-by-step information. Recommended for your health library."

– Making Scents, Creations Magazine, Summer/Fall 2006

"The Reflexology Atlas is an excellent and well-organized reference manual, comprehensive in scope, yet nontechnical in style, for laypersons wishing to learn reflexology for personal use."

– Kathy Heckler, The Mellow Muse, New Age Retailer, Oct 2006

"I highly recommend this book to all reflexologists."

– Virginia Herring, LMT, Massage Today, Nov 2006

“. . . highly informative, clearly written, easy to understand, and well designed. . . .This is an excellent book. If you are interested in Reflexology, this is a book to add to your library.”

– Mike Gleason, Witchgrove, March 2007

"Especially impressive and valuable to the reader or practitioner are the illustrations. Drawings of the bones of the feet as well as the reflex points are superimposed over photographs of the feet and/or hands. The photographs in the book are extraordinarily helpful. These are probably the most helpful reflexology maps that I have seen or used."

– Jessica Teel, reviewer, Nov 2008