A Short History of “Foot” Techniques

Practices resembling foot zone therapy and reflexology (formerly referred to as foot zone therapy) appear to have existed in previous historical periods. Certainly it is not new to our day, or even to the last several centuries.

Reflexology was introduced to the United States, as far as we can tell, by William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. and Dr. Edwin Bowers in 1913. Dr. Fitzgerald was an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Reflexology was modified in the 1930’s and 1940’s by Eunice D. Ingham, a nurse and physiotherapist.

Approximately 25 years ago, Charles Ersdal migrated to the United States and introduced a method of massaging the feet that he called Foot Zone Therapy. This “new” therapy was both similar to and different from standard reflexology practices. I have found that Zone Therapy, as introduced by Ersdal is somewhat more comprehensive and detailed in scope than reflexology.