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The Occult Origins of Reflexology

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The Occult Origins of Reflexology

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!


Reflexology, also called zone therapy or compression massage, was discovered around 1913 by Dr.William Fitzgerald who introduced it to America. The practice was popularized by Eunice Ingham in her 1960s book, "Stories the Feet Can Tell". While Fitzgerald's method was based on Chinese acupressure techniques, the modern method uses many massage points that do not correspond to the "meridians", or channels, of acupressure, but produces are said to work in a similar way. Reflexology practicioners claim the existence of ten zones running from the hands and feet corresponding to the internal organs. The therapy invloves a massaging of the hand or foot corresponding to the internal organ, with the resultant relaxation or relief of pain of the associated internal organ.

(As an aside, the difference from acupuncture is, there are in acupuncture, 12 main meridians with eight additional meridians, and around 2000 acupuncture points. The ten zones of reflexology do not correspond to the meridian points in acupuncture.)

How does reflexology allegedly work?

As mentioned above, reflexology says there are points on the hands and feet, which, when massaged, provide relief to the various other parts of the body. Supposedly, it works because there are energy channels running from the hands and feet through to the inner organs of the body. The story goes, when pressure is applied to these points, calcified deposits ("crystals") are crushed and removed from the body, resulting in better blood flow.

This part about calcified deposits getting crushed is reasonable enough. A common wrist sprain associated with some sports results in a calcified deposit building up on the wrist. Where reflexology goes wrong, however, is in asseritng the existence of energy channels throughout the body. This is a new age belief, also known as monism, the idea that all is one (or pantheism, the idea that God and the universe are inseparable). This idea has its origins in the Chinese notions of yin and yang, and the five elements theory. Basically, these are saying that the Ch段 (also written Qi) or universal life force can flow properly once these calcified deposits are removed. This idea of a universal life force is the fundamental problem with reflexology (and also with acupuncture). Please do not think that reflexology is only about foot massage. It is not. Nor is it about some as yet unknown anatomical connection between the feet and the internal organs. It is not. It is, rather, about the the pantheistic and pagan notion that there exists a "universal life force" which does the healing. This force is of course antithetical to the One True God, Who says in Holy Scripture:

"God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation."(Exodus 3:14-15)

For Christians, is not acceptable to dabble with a "universal life force" which is not identifiable with the One True God of Christianity.

More on the "universal life force" behind reflexology

The idea of the "universal life force" is based upon the Five Element Theory. These Five Elements are known as water, fire, earth, wood and metal. Each element is associated with an emotion and an internal organ. Where does the "universal life force" come in? Well, each of the five elements interact with each other so that an imbalance in any of them will affect the whole body. So the Ch段 (Qi) is affected, so reflexology is needed to break the crystals in the foot, so the "universal life force" (Ch段) can flow properly again to the affected internal organ.

More than that, according to Chinese traditional medicine, Ch段 is not simply the "universal life force", but the energy behind and inside everything that exists, both living and inanimate (in other words, this is pantheism, the idea that God and the universe are one). In turn, this Ch段 is composed of antithetical parts, called yin and yang. When these become imbalanced, illness allegedly results. Everything is made up of yin and yang, or Ch段, according to this Chinese traditional belief. But this is merely a description of pantheism, as we have already seen.

In refutation of this idea of a "universal life force", as Christians we reply that the One True God is not subject to His own creation, He is not identified with the universe, but is separate from it, and He is not composed of two antitheses, but is perfectly One in His nature.

If the idea of reflexolgy as a form of pantheism is not enough to discourage Christians from taking part in it, we shall next look at the scientific basis for this treatment.

Scientific basis?

As mentioned briefly above, there is no medical support for the view that there exist energy channels from the feet and hands to the internal organs of the body. Similarly, there is no explanation by reflexologists (or from Chinese traditional medicine for that matter) as to how these alleged energy channels were first discovered. The fact of the matter is, there is precisely zero scientific evidence for the existence of these "meridians" or for the "universal life force" or Ch段 which they allegedly channel.

The second problem concerns the existence of many different (and contradictory) reflexology charts. How can all the charts be right? And if one is right, how can someone find out which one that is? In any case, there still remains the problem that these channels which are described by the reflexology charts, have never been found medically or scientifically to exist. Would it not be reasonable to say that, in the absence of such evidence, all of these charts are in error?

But the biggest problem, besides the medical question, is the issue that reflexology is a form of healing which involves the use of channeled energy. This energy does not come from God. As Christians, we have to realize that we should not be involved with this practice.


The Hindus call it "Brahman" the Chinese and the New Agers call it "Ch段" but what ever you call it, the "universal life force" that is common to many if not all new age healing techniques is not from God, and cannot be reconciled with the God of Chrstianity. God is the author of life, and there is no place in Christianity for a "universal life force" outside of God.

Reflexology is not merely foot massage with a quack idea that somehow this massage will heal another part of your body; rather is is a belief that a "universal life force" will flow through your body to restore helath. This belief is opposed to the Christian concept of God Who is the Author of life, and has everything in common with the Chinese idea of Ch段, or the hindu idea of Brahman or the who is the creator, who is in everything and who is one with everything. This pantheistic belief is a denial of the One True God.


The Merriam Webster Dictionary ( defines Pantheism as "a doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe".

See the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Pantheism for more information on this false belief, upon which many New Age practices are based.
See also Cathechism of the Catholic Church: for the true description of the God of Christianity

In theology, monism is used as a synonym for pantheism (though in metaphysics there are distinctions). From the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Monism we read:

In this sense of the term, as a synonym for Pantheism, Monism maintains that there is no real distinction between God and the universe. Either God is indwelling in the universe as a part of it, not distinct from it (pantheistic Immanentism), or the universe does not exist at all as a reality (Acosmism), but only as a manifestation or phenomenon of God.

..Monism leaves no room for faith. The only mysticism that is compatible with it is rationalistic, and very different from that "vision" in which, for the Christian mystic, all the limitations, imperfections, and other shortcomings of our feeble efforts are removed by the light of faith.

Copyright ゥ Sean Hyland 2003

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Further Reading:

Refutation of the New Age Movement

Holy Spirit Watch