Author: David F. Vennells
Trade Paperback, 238 pages
Publication date: November 2001
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Reflexology is a complementary therapy based on massaging pressure points on the feet to help relieve stress and help treat illness. It developed out of older practices in the 1890s and early 1900s. While there's no truly scientific evidence that it works, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that reflexology can help as a complement to standard medical treatment. David F. Vennells wrote Reflexology for Beginners to provide a basic course in reflexology to allow almost anyone to learn the basic techniques so that they can help themselves or their friends.
The first two chapters of this book cover the theory: what reflexology is and how various pressure points on the foot (called "reflexes") correspond to various parts of the body. The third, fourth, and fifth chapters describe treatment technique, including warnings about feet with warts or fungal infections that could be transmitted to the reflexologist! These chapters are well-illustrated. The instructions given are clear and generally easy to follow. The sixth chapter is advice on dealing with patients. The seventh and longest chapter of Reflexology for Beginners is entitled "Case Studies." Unfortunately this chapter is more testimonial in nature than "case study" in nature. The next two chapters deal with the nature of disease from a Buddhist perspective and meditation. While these have little to do with reflexology, the author is using them as part of his holistic methods. The final chapter discusses the future of reflexology as the author sees it.
Reflexology for Beginners is a clear and concise introduction to reflexology. Anyone able to follow simple instructions should soon be able to use these methods to help family and friends. However, its Buddhist slant may confuse or even annoy some. The book's major fault is the chapter of case studies. It really would have been helpful if more of the chapter was devoted to actual case studies.
In the final analysis, Reflexology for Beginners is a good, if imperfect, book. Anyone looking for a well-written introduction to reflexology should consider this book, especially given its relatively low price. The author has done a good job of transferring his knowledge to readable instructions.
Reviewed by Randall