Reflexology, Acupressure, Acupuncture, and Massage have a common origin and modality. They all use the concept of stimulating pressure points in various locations of the body to relieve stress and/or to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. These points can be the actual locations of discomfort, may be associated with “meridians” (energy lines) through the body, or may be the projections of the other anatomical parts of the body on the ear, hand, or foot. This concept of using pressure on various parts of the body dates back to as early as those that practiced acupressure in China over 2000 years ago. Those in western medicine followed much later. One, often mentioned, is Dr. Paul Nogier of Lyon, France who, in the 1950’s mapped the pressure points of the ears. As time followed others elaborated on these early works and a wide variety of “maps” are presently available. In many ways the mappings are similar but there are some differences.
The Reflexology maps are based on the concept that the ear, foot, or hand are connected to all the other parts of the body through the nervous system or “energy” system and thus become a reflection or snapshot of the entire body. Interestingly, Dr. Nogier put forth the concept that the ear can be mapped by comparing to a baby curled into the fetal position. Others suggest that you have to make some exceptions with this comparison but we have include both images for your own study.
The techniques for stimulating these pressure points vary widely. Acupuncture, of course, uses a needle inserted and manipulated to stimulate the pressure point. Magnets are used by some. Acupressure, Massage, and Reflexology all use manual pressure on various points to promote stimulation.
The charts available through the tabs at the top of this page (feet, hands, and ears) were developed by comparing a number of sources and looking for the commonality among them. They can generally be regarded as a merging of Chinese mappings with additions from the more recent French studies. The graphics were developed to make it easy for the reader to quickly find the pressure points of interest. By clicking on the charts themselves you will have access to a high resolution chart that can be printed for handy personal use or to pass on to others.
It has been the experience of those using essential oils that applying oils to these same pressure points, identified by these other disciplines, can provide another “gateway” to various parts of the body. Examples of this can be found in the AromaTouch technique developed by Dr. David Hill and a number of experiences that folks have submitted and are included in the “Procedures” tabs on various health concerns. We hope this helps you in your use of oils. As you have experiences be sure and share them by using the Submit form.