by David F. Vennells
Llewellyn, 2001 $9.95 US
Review by Daven
Please understand something, this book has NOTHING to do with Wicca, Witchcraft, Magick or any esoteric practices that have been part of the occult in the past. This is a book on health, like a book on aromatherapy, massage, or a book of herbs. You must keep this in mind as you read this book.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Reflexology, it is a preventative application of direct stimulus to the nerve endings in the feet and hands. Still confused? The theory of Reflexology states that by massaging nerve endings in the feet and hands a healthier body can be achieved and maintained, since all nerve terminate in the feet and hands. It is anecdotally proven over the years that it can aid the healing process.
Reflexology has migrated to America along with Acupuncture, Acupressure, Chiropractic treatment, bowel health, warmed stones, Shiatsu massage and other forms of good Eastern pathways to good health. Herbal supplements have nothing on some of these disciplines.
This is a book for beginners of this discipline. It has a lot more information than just “how to”, but those critical instructions are there.
I have been practicing this for a while as an amateur on my wife and myself. I had one little card in my wallet that showed me the regions of the foot that related to the different parts of the body. It’s one reason I was interested in this book.
I can find little to criticize about this book. From what I observed as I went through this book, it is complete and whole in and of itself. This is exactly the book I would write and there is little information that I would remove if I could. The ONLY criticism I have is that the information after the “how to” is geared toward someone setting up a practice in this field, which apparently is much easier than it was several years ago.
Going through the chapters: The first chapter discusses theory and history. It is always a good idea to give a person a basis to start from in this field. The second chapter is dedicated to how and what the regions of the foot relate to and where to rub to affect regions of the body. The third chapter is “how to” rub the feet, what kind of massages to use, which order to rub the feet in, and techniques that will affect a specific cure.
Chapter four is how to more in depth, how to be a clinician with regards to the treatments you need to practice, and special cases you have to pay attention to like pediatric treatments. Chapter five is more in depth exposition in the treatment of patients, and this is where it implies that you could set up a medical practice in this field. Chapter six is practical advice and more theory. Seven is case studies from other practitioners of Reflexology and how they did what they did. Chapters 8, 9 and 10 are dedicated to further study in preparing yourself for practical practice on others, like where disease comes from, how to meditate to clear your mind, and where reflexology is going now.
The appendixes take some of the information that was mentioned but not explored in depth, like core concepts of Buddhism and how that affects reflexology and the history of reflexology and gives more information on those topics only. I assume that the student can take these sections more slowly and delve into them as their interest is piqued.
The author does state multiple times that the person who reads this book does not have to create a medical practice if they choose not to do so. He makes sure that this concept is clear for the reader. Then throughout the text he speaks as though the reader was indeed going to begin a practice. I don’t understand why, but I can assume that it may be because practice on anyone but oneself is technically a practice. I could wish that one of the appendixes contained more detail on how to go about finding a suitable building, acquiring medical insurance as well as a certificate to practice legally, and some of the downfalls of doing so.
There should probably be a comprehensive chart of the feet and what areas correspond with which region of the body. It is covered in chapter 2, but it’s piecemeal. One page deals with just the reproductive areas, one page is just the digestive tract, and another page covers the heart/lungs. It would help to have all those merged into one page, clearly labeled and broken out. Even an advertisement in the back for a wall chart soon to come from Llewellyn would be helpful.
I have to give this book 4 1/2 stars out of 5. The parts I object to are minor, and this is one of those books that are a must have for anyone who is interested in this kind of medicine. I believe that this is a good book for a new person to start with, and I highly recommend it to all.