In Europe, reflexology studies go back to the late 1890s and early 1900s, where several independent studies and experiences created interest in reflexology.
In the US, reflexology is attributed to Dr. William Fitzgerald, who, in 1913, found that when he applied pressure to specific parts of a patient’s hands and feet, there appeared to be a positive effect on other parts of their bodies.
Our penchant for being a “do-it-yourself” society meant that it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a DIY reflexology device. And that someone is Hammacher Schlemmer, who offer the “Hand Reflexology Massager” for $120 (£80).
The device is shaped like a small cave with a soft polyester interior. To get the massage, all you need to do is insert your hand inside the device and turn the device on. A mechanical air pressure system powered by four AA batteries sets to work kneading your hand.
The compression of specific trigger points on the palm of your hand as well as the back of your hand provides you with pain relief and relieves stress.
You can set the massager for cycles of 5, 10 or 15 minutes. You also have a choice of four different levels of pressure that the massager applies. The clever designers have even added infrared capability so that along with the massage, you also get infrared beams to warm the area and thus improve blood circulation, which in turn helps relieve pain.