Reflexology and the Astral Body

By Sven Weum M.D. Ph.D. 

Reflexology, or zone therapy, is widely used by alternative therapists. It is said to be effective and completely safe. Many do not know that reflexology is based on the same philosophy as acupuncture. The theories of reflexology are taken from eastern philosophy and religion.











Foot zone therapy has been used in China for thousands of years, and some say that this technique has been used by both Africans and American Indians (1). Dougans and Ellis write that reflexology was practiced by the Egyptians 4000 years ago (2). Modern reflexology was developed by William Fitzgerald in about 1900. Eunice Ingham has been called the mother of modern foot zone therapy, because she developed a map that shows zones under the feet that represent different parts of the body (2).

View of Human Nature
The theories of reflexology are closely related to the theories of acupuncture. In The Art of Reflexology we can read that the meridians of acupuncture are represented at the feet. The energy circulates through these meridians and keeps the body in harmony with the Universe. Reflexologists work with the same energy as the acupuncturists, but they are only using the acupuncture points of the feet (2). The theory of the physical and spiritual astral body is identical with the corresponding theory of acupuncture. The ethereal body connects the physical and spiritual body, and is permeated by the spiritual energy Qi. Fitzgerald postulated that the ethereal body has ten zones in the longitudinal direction, and each zone ends in a finger and a toe.

Reflexology and Disease
Dougans and Ellis write that the body is a dynamic energy field. The Chinese discovered this power - Qi - which circulates in the twelve meridians of the body (2). According to eastern philosophy and religion, health is a result of spiritual energy balance. Disease is caused by energy blockade, and the goal of therapy is to reestablish circulation of energy. The energy must flow without obstruction, and the energies of Yin and Yang must complement each other. According to Dougans and Ellis, reflexology reopens the channels for energy in such a way that the client gets physical, emotional and mental energy. The specific techniques of pressing the points at the feet create channels for healing energy that circulates to all parts of the body (2).

Significance of the Feet
The feet have a special significance in reflexology. Dougans and Ellis write that the feet represent a micro cosmos of the body, where all organs, glands and body parts are represented as a pattern under the feet. They also make the point that the feet play a vigorous part in maintaining our spiritual wellbeing. The say that the feet keep us in contact with the earth and that they are the connection between our earthly and spiritual life. The feet keep us in contact with the earth both literally and symbolically. They write that the feet are our foundation and our contact with the earth and the energies that flow through it (2).

Interpretation of the Bible
There seems to be no limits when some reflexologists interpret the Bible. When Jesus was washing the feet of his disciples, this is used as an example of the spiritual significance of the feet. Dougans and Ellis write that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples to show them the extremely important link between their feet and their solar plexus. They emphasize that Jesus washed the disciples' feet in order to wake up the constructive energies of their solar plexus (2).

Same Theory as Kundalini Yoga
The Art of Reflexology shows that reflexology has much in common with yoga and other eastern techniques of meditation. The philosophy of Kundalini Yoga tells about a slumbering power or snake with the name Kundalini, that lies at the bottom of the spine. The goal of the meditation is to make the Kundalini power raise and ascend through the spine via seven centers of power called chakras. The highest center of power is over the head and is called the crown chakra. Bert Yoga Janson writes about Kundalini Yoga: "Every kind of paranormal or occult power is determined by activating the Kundalini power, and the higher this power ascends through the different chakras of the ethereal body, the higher abilities will appear in the human being" (3). Reflexologists teach that these power centers are repeated and mirrored along the legs and that the highest center of power can be found at the soles of the feet (2). Stimulation of the feet will consequently mean the same as stimulating the crown chakra. Dougans and Ellis write that Christ washed his disciples feet to wake up the crown chakra and the spiritual energies (2).

No Natural Explanation
It is not possible to give a natural explanation to any possible healing effect of reflexology. There are no nerves or channels in the soles of the feet that can explain any physiological mechanisms of this therapy. In reality reflexology can not work without spiritual power. We have religious liberty, and nobody should be prohibited to practice their religion, but it is not fair to pretend that reflexology is based on scientific principles. A Muslim would probably never consult a Hindu to solve his spiritual problems, and Christians should not blindly trust a therapist who bases his therapy on a foreign religion. There should be no doubt about the nature of reflexology. It is not science, it is religion.



1. Hill, Ann. Alternativ legekunst. En samlet oversikt. Dreyers forlag. Oslo 1981.

2. Dougans, Inge with Ellis, Suzanne. The Art of Reflexology. Element Books Limited, Longmead, Shaftesbury, Dorset 1992.

3. Jonson, Bert Yoga. Yoga. Meditasjon. Reinkarnasjon. Grøndahl og søns forlag, Oslo 1974.