Monday, October 11, 2010

Reflexology at the Mall!

I was at the mall yesterday and saw a new massage parlor across from Barnes and Noble and just north of the cell phone store. What struck me immediately was a great big sign saying Reflexology with the foot picture in different colors and the body in different colors and Chinese characters at each node on the pictures. The woo has really hit Minot! It turns out if you believe in acupuncture and other woo the body is packed with all kinds miraculous stuff in our feet and any where else you care to imagine. And that is the point, it is imagine, nothing real at all. Dr. William Fitzgerald discovered that the human body is divided into 10 longitudinal energy zones at the turn of the last century. The Ends of the energy zones end in the feet and hands and are reminiscent of the meridians of acupuncture. Fitzgerald named his form of magic Zone Therapy and it was known as such until the 1960s when Eunice Ingham decided that it was the feet that is the most important. Reflexologist think that manipulating the feet, hands and or ears they can induce changes in body parts that correspond to those areas on our extremities. What can these wondrous manipulators treat, besides making your wallet lighter? The answer is as so often in woo is anything. Is there any evidence that it can? And like the others they use vague and nebulous terms like energy, reflex balance the neural electrical system of the body. And presto chango they can treat MS, asthma, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome low back pain, multiple sclerosis etc. It is a hodgepodge of diseases and the old rule still holds "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is." There have been studies and like chiropractic, acupuncture, rikki and just about any other brand or flavor of woo you can imagine it is no better than placebo. So if you want to pay some money for someone to massage you feet, that is one thing, but to cure what ails you by massaging your feet is a scam.
Skeptical DoDo

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