Reflexology and Spinal Cord Injuries

Lot's of people keep asking me to publish my university disseration from when I originally studied reflexology back in 2001 so here it is! I will publish my aromatherapy and massage dissertation too in the near future.


In all forms of physical therapy, the sense of therapeutic touch is always emphasized. We are reminded that touch is instinctive in reaction (Davis 1988 p.217) and is essential in feeling cared for and nurtured. In describing holistic therapies, there are literally hundreds of books reporting on how re-establishing the balance of our mental, physical and emotional aspects, brings about restoration of health and well-being. Most of these are achieved through touch therapies and manipulation of vital energies.

The aim of this dissertation is to explore whether reflexology, a physical therapy, can be effective when the patient has no sense of the therapeutic touch. The case study followed through this piece of work is a paraplegic as a result of accident trauma in 1995. Since damaging the spinal cord at the junction of T4/T5, there is no feeling from that level of the body and below. It was felt that this would be a true test of working with the concepts of zone therapy, which will be explored throughout. The patient was curious about the therapy and hoped it would assist with correct functioning of internal organs, as well as assisting with the ongoing therapy of non-manipulative skeletal re-alignment therapy, which has helped to regain some sensat