My first introduction to the concept of micro-systems was at the age of 13 as I listened to my science teacher speak about how the basic particles of matter – electrons spinning around a nucleus appeared to be so much like a microcosm of our universe.
My young mind conjured up pictures of the planets and stars forming the building blocks of some enormous being and that we were all part of that enormous one, and I was fascinated.
It was not until many years later that a way for further exploration of this theme was presented to me. When I first saw a foot chart, my medically trained mind could not explain it, but my early fascination with the holographic principle drew me in and I was hooked.
Reflexology became my passion – so many micro-systems – there must be something amazing here, something far more interesting than just seeing the body as 11 different inter-functional systems, as wonderful as that is in itself!
I soon discovered that there were other micro-systems. In the 1920s Washington based physician, Dr. Joe Shelby Riley published maps of the head, face, ears, feet and hands that he had researched extensively and used in his surgery. In case you are interested to see them, Riley’s original charts can be found in ‘Reflexology: Art, Science and History’ by Christine Issel.
I wondered how one could utilize the different reflex areas of the body as in the early 90s most of us were applying reflexology only to the feet.
In 1994 American reflexologist, Bill Flocco arrived in Australia on a lecture tour. He demonstrated how combining ear, hand and foot reflexology in a reflexology session could bring better results than just using one micro-system.
Subsequently this combination was included as standard practice in our practitioner training program and it has proven to be an extremely effective way to work with a client’s health issues.
Other micro-systems are becoming better known now, such as those in the lower leg, the face, the scalp, and the the nails.
At a reflexology conference held in Vancouver, Canada in 1995, a pediatrician from Russia presented a paper on a micro-system of the whole body in one single finger which is used to treat children in hospitals over there.
In Korea, Koryo Hand Therapy is used extensively as is a form of Facial Reflexology in Vietnam.
According to Bill Flocco, each micro-system has its own strengths. For example, working the stomach reflex on the hand is particularly effective.
To prove this to yourself, the next time you eat too much and your stomach feels over-full and uncomfortable, spend 3 to 4 minutes working on the stomach reflex on your hand. You will be amazed at how quickly the discomfort subsides. – however this is absolutely not an invitation to overindulge, I hasten to add!!!
I have also found that a migraine can be halted in its tracks by working the appropriate ear points, whereas I have never had the same results through the feet. A migraine preceded by an aura can be stopped if the eye reflexes on the hand are worked at the first sign of visual disturbance.
In Australia we are indeed fortunate to have the opportunity to train in many of these micro-system therapies. I encourage you to explore ways of combining them for even better results in your practice.