Reflexology and color therapy have their roots in the distant past. As individual therapies, they have tremendous therapeutic value. When used in conjunction with each other, they have shown their ability to both complement each other and accentuate the healing process.
Color wheel depicting color, with its complementary color
The origin of reflexology, or zone therapy as it was called, still remains a mystery. One theory, mentioned by Dr. Fitzgerald, in his book Zone Therapy, is that it originated from China some 5,000 years ago as a form of pressure point treatment. Dr. Fitzgerald was an ear, nose and throat specialist, and must be credited for his part in reviving reflexology.
Another conjecture is that it began in Egypt. Evidence for this stems from an Egyptian tomb drawing dating back to 230BC. This drawing depicts four people. One person is being treated with foot massage and a second person with hand massage. Others credit its birth to the Incas. These were people of very ancient Peruvian civilisation, possibly reaching back to 1200BC. It is speculated that they passed their knowledge of zone therapy down to the North American Indians who, up to this present time, are still using this form of treatment.
It was believed that the method formulated by Dr. Fitzgerald was based on acupuncture. Of the twelve meridians used in acupuncture, six terminate or originate on the feet and six terminate or originate on the hands. If one follows the path of these meridians, from their point of origin or termination over the feet and hands, they form the ten longitudinal zones formulated by Fitzgerald.
It was Eunice Ingham, a student of Fitzgerald’s, who instigated what we today know as reflexology. Through her dedicated research, she was able to correlate the anatomical structure of the body to the energy zones found on the feet and on the hands. This made both the feet and the hands a mirror image of the entire body; the microcosm of the macrocosm.
The principal teaching behind reflexology states that the body is divided into ten vertical energy zones, inside which are encompassed the organs, muscles and skeletal structure of the physical body, all of which are reflected on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. The occurrence of energy blocks in a human person, and the reasons for these are many, are likewise reflected on the hands and the feet in one or more of the zones located there. Through the use of specific pressure techniques, these energy blocks can be detected through the presence of pain or crystalline formation under the skin.
color as a therapy also reaches far back into history, but unlike reflexology, it is still in its infancy of rediscovery. It is speculated that color therapy was used by the Atlanteans. It is believed that they built temples with ceilings that were domed and constructed from interlocking crystals that dissipated light into the color spectrum. Around the circumference of these temples were healing rooms, each reflecting one of the colors dissipated from these crystals.
Archaeologists have discovered that the Egyptians, like the Atlanteans, also incorporated color healing rooms into their temples and used these not for physical illness alone, but for childbirth, counselling and to aid the transition of the soul at death.
India used and still uses color in gem therapy. Indian gem therapists believe that gem stones are the storehouse of cosmic color and that everything manifest is composed of the seven rays which are primeval, formative forces of nature. There, therapeutic techniques incorporate several methods of releasing this color force.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, with the discovery of new drugs and advances in surgical procedure, color therapy started to be replaced by allopathic medicine. What is interesting is that some of the early pioneers of allopathic medicine, continued to use color in their treatments. One such pioneer was Paracelsus (1493-1541). Paracelsus developed considerable interest in alchemy, astrology and occult sciences. His love of alchemy and his application of this in his treatments earned him the title ‘father of pharmacology’. Another pioneer was Hippocrates (460-370BC), also well versed in alchemy and known as ‘father of medicine’. He was famous for his ‘Hippocratic Oath’.
With the growing awareness of the detrimental effects of allopathic drugs, the percentage of people returning to complementary therapies has started to increase. Unlike allopathic treatment, complementary therapies aim to deal with the cause and not the manifested symptom. This is frequently an alien concept which some people find difficult to work with. But, unless the cause is found and eradicated, it will continue to manifest as a physical symptom. One way of helping the person to locate the cause is through counselling and color.
We, as human beings, are beings of light, surrounded and interpenetrated by the colors which constitute visible light. This establishes the electromagnetic field or aura surrounding us. The aura contains six sheaths or layers, all of which interpenetrate with each other and the physical body. It is filled with constantly changing colors, determined by our state of health, physically, emotionally and mentally. How true the sayings: ‘green with envy’, ‘red with rage‘.
The layer closest to the physical body is known as the etheric sheath and is the blueprint for the physical body. It contains the very fine energy channels or nadis through which pranic energy flows. This network of infinitely intricate nadis establish the counterpart of the entire nervous system.
As well as containing the nadis, the etheric sheath contains seven major and twenty one minor chakras or energy centres. It also contains numerous acupuncture points. A major chakra is defined by the crossing of 21 nadis; a minor chakra by 14 nadis and an acupuncture point by seven nadis. These force centres can be found in each of the layers constituting the aura, but their primary importance is at the etheric level. They are both the transformers and the transmitters of energy for each of the layers and work with the physical endocrine system. Disease starts in the aura as accumulated energy. If this is not dispersed, it will eventually manifest as a physical disease.
A chakra which is not acknowledged as one of the major centres, but is of prime importance, is the splenic chakra. It is this chakra which absorbs prana, chi or life force and disintegrates it into its seven varieties. Each of these seven varieties of prana vibrates to the frequency of one of the colors on the color spectrum and establishes the dominant color of the chakra to which it is distributed. From these chakras, the colors radiate into the rest of the auric field. Because the feet and the hands present a mirror image of the physical body, they reflect the auric field around themselves. The chakras can also be located along the spinal reflex on both feet and hands. I have found these to be important points for treatment, especially for hormonal imbalances.
Position of the Chakras on the spinal reflex of the feet…
and the hands
Although the chakras work mainly with the endocrine glands, they also have an effect on organs, muscles and bones which lie in their pathway. Each color contains within itself its own spectrum of color. Therefore the parts of the body related to a specific chakra will vibrate to a frequency contained within the spectrum of color of that chakra. This I always refer to as the general color.
When working with the vibrational frequencies of color in therapy, it has been deemed important to administer the treatment color followed by its complementary color. This I have found through experience to be trite. One of my students treated her husband with reflexology and color for diabetes. Unfortunately, she forgot to administer the complementary color after the treatment color. This resulted in his blood sugar, after stabilizing, suddenly rising. By treating with color complementary color, we work with polarity. Polarity teaches that complementary energies have to be in balance to create harmony.
When combining color with reflexology, color is used for three conditions. The first is to work with the cause, the second to help keep the body in balance and the third to work with the manifested disease. Sometimes all three conditions are treated with color during a therapy session. At other times only one or maybe two of the conditions are worked with.
When treating a person with the combination of these two therapies, a complete reflexology treatment is initially carried out. A reflexology treatment is diagnostic, thereby enabling a practitioner to locate where problems or potential problems lie. Having completed this, the general colors with their complementary colors are applied to the areas where an abnormality has been diagnosed but which has produced no noticeable symptoms in the physical body. The reason for this can be twofold. It could be related to an accumulation of energy in the etheric layer of the aura, or it could indicate that a particular part of the body is under strain through trying to keep the whole in balance.
If, through disease, the vibrational frequencies of the etheric body changes, the change will affect the cellular structure of the physical body. This then affects the force field of the related organ or organs. If the force field of one or more organs is altered, then the body will try to bring itself back into homeostasis. This process can put strain on healthy organs within the physical structure which shows itself as pain on the related reflexes on the feet or hands. Administering the general color, with its complementary color, to the related reflex, will help to re-balance its altered function.
The treatment colors, with their complementary colors are then applied to the zones on the feet which relate to the part of the body which has manifested problems. When selecting colors for specific diseases, several factors have to be taken into consideration. These are, the nature of the disease, the part of the body affected and the overall condition of the patient.
Having treated the reflexes related to the physical symptoms, the chakras situated along the spinal reflex on the feet or hands, are balanced with their dominant color before the overall color, relating to the cause is administered through both feet.
Color can be applied to the zones of the feet in two ways. Firstly, if the practitioner is sensitive to color, they can visualise it being channelled through their hands. I personally believe that the physical body can be the most beautiful instrument for the projection of color, but some reflexologists find sensitizing and using the physical body as a channel too demanding. For these people the reflexology crystal torch has been devised.
This instrument shines light through stained glass discs and projects the color of the stained glass into a quartz crystal. The crystal is then applied to the relevant zones of the feet. The length of time that a color is projected would depend upon the nature of the illness and the stature of the person being treated. The time factor would be less on a frail, elderly lady than on a robust young male. Apart from being a very powerful instrument, I have discovered that patients love to look at the color. Depending upon their degree of sensitivity, some patients are able to feel the color pulsating through their body.
Combining illuminatory color with reflexology is still in its infancy, and I know that what we are experiencing is just the tip of the iceberg. I also know that during the years that I have been treating with and teaching these two therapies, some wonderful results have been achieved. If we are beings of light, and of this I have no doubt, surely treating with the vibrational energies of light must be therapeutic. I personally believe that vibrational medicine will be the medicine of the future and this will consist of both color and sound.
Further reading: The Reflexology Manual by Pauline Wills published by Headline
The Reflexology and color Therapy Workbook by Pauline Wills published by Element
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Originally posted 2006-04-12 21:14:22.
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