The Coordinative Reflexology Method

by Shmuel Zaidel

This article was written with the aim of both defining the method of Coordinative Reflexology and presenting its autonomous status. I started developing the method of Coordinative Reflexology as a therapeutic and educational method in Israel in 1982.

Its sources and inspirations came from my experiences as an active dancer, musician, investigator of animal movement, collector and documenter of folk dances in Israel, and from my experiences as the developer of the approach used in Israel in teaching physical education to the blind.

I danced as a Chamber dancer under the tutelage of Prof. Noa Eshkol. This type of dance is related to the Eshkol-Wachman movement notation system. The dance required physical coordination, a physical attentiveness and a mental and spiritual study. The method of Coordinative Reflexology is the product of the processes I’ve been going through throughout a lengthy period of my life. It combines mental coordination with physical coordination.

In order to use Coordinative Reflexology and in order to use it as therapy the therapist needs to concentrate both on his own thoughts and on the aims of the treatment. Without this kind of concentration a successful therapy will not be possible.

Teaching the Method to Therapists

The pedagogical approach used in teaching Coordinative Reflexology puts a strong emphasis on the student’s own wisdom; it explores the various ways that make it possible to produce and benefit from the unique wisdom, interpretative functions and creativity of each and every student. When all is said and done the relation created in therapy is highly personal.

The course and the lessons are supplemented with texts that were written in order to present and explain the aims and methods of the Coordinative Reflexology, The following books are used:
The Book of Observance – First steps in Coordinative Reflexology
The Book of Observance – Further steps in Coordinative Reflexology
Atlas of Coordinative Reflexology: containing maps of various aspects and relations in the body.
A map of the feet
A map of the palms

Teaching the Method to Instructors

Courses for Coordinative Reflexology Instructors give the trainees the necessary qualifications, both in the methodological and pedagogical aspects and in the practical aspects.
Upon a successful completion of the “Instructor Courses” the trainee gets one of the following certifications:
A Coordinative Reflexology Instructor, Certified.
A Coordinative Reflexology Instructor, Senior.

The Unique Attributes of Coordinative Reflexology

The Method of Free Thought

For humans the natural way for thinking is coordinative and combinatorial. The human mind infers one thing from another – it establishes connections, and meditates simply on these combinations. The simultaneous use of both hands is the result of the existing connections between the hands and the brain and of the thought combinations that arise during the therapy.

The Method of Free Observance

Free observance stems from mental flexibility and from the ability to see a single thing from different viewpoints. In order to view things in such a way a person is required to develop the ability to step out of the comfortable world of the familiar perceptions of things and to position himself in a different place each and every time anew. Things will always look the same when such measures are not taken.

The Method of Dynamic Therapy

Dynamic therapy takes place when the therapist does not confine himself to sitting in front of the patient’s feet but rather moves around the patient, turning the patient onto his back side, onto one of his sides, onto his frontal side – all according to the specific needs. Thus, dynamic therapy stands for the ability to move in various directions. The method of dynamic therapy requires of therapist to use his body in a free and energetic way. The method of dynamic therapy makes room for enhanced creativity and intuitiveness during treatment.

Identification of Personality Traits by Observing the Feet

The process of identification of personality traits by observing the feet uses the same principles presented as the basis of Coordinative Reflexology – that is dynamicism and freedom. These guidelines are most prominent in the method of “Intuitive Simulatory Reading of the Feet”.

This method aims at cultivating personal development and empowering personal interpretation, as every therapist personally relates, using his own truth, to the patient. This sort of way is very important. In the course of such training, the way that is performed alongside the more general training, the student must delve into his own thought processes reflexively without neglecting to be attentive to the thought processes produced by the combined group of training students. Self observance is similar to a viewing of a personal inner landscape performed without criticism.

Imaginative observance is metaphorical to the encounter with many persons’ feet. One needs to assume that every imaginative intuitive thought is in fact a certain reality.
This approach differs from approaches where a teacher presents the student with his or hers own interpretations, interpretations that he or she themselves have heard from their teacher in turn.
This approach is developed in order to stimulate the students’ thought processes. In this way every discovery or new understanding grants great satisfaction and enhances personal development, as if a true new discovery was made, even “there’s nothing new under the sun”.

Treating the Lower Legs

One of the things that single out the Coordinative Reflexology is the treatment of the lower legs. The lower legs are positioned between the feet and the body forming a connection. The circulation level in the lower legs is low and phenomena of protruding veins, edemas and long healing times for cuts and bruises abound. Thus, the lower legs are a sort of “blocking members”.
Nevertheless, the lower legs can be used to intensify the treatment given to the feet. When a treatment starts by attending to the lower legs the reflexological treatment is intensified. The proportional length of the lower legs in relation to the feet makes it possible to use them and the long blood vessels that pass through them in order to direct and intensify the directions of the therapy. Furthermore, the lower legs are related to various aspects of the longitudinal and latitudinal segments of the body.

“Inside-Out” and “Outside-In”

The “Inside-Out” direction is related to the arterial blood flow. This direction relates to the work done with the lower legs and the feet moving from the knees towards the tips of the toes. In addition, attention is given to sequential treatment starting with the heels and moving to the toes.
The “Outside-In” direction is related to the venous blood flow and to the lymphic flow. This direction relates to the work done with the feet and the lower legs moving from the toes towards the knees. In addition, attention is given to sequential treatment starting from the toes and moving to the heels.
Sometimes we can sequence the treatment according to the physiological maps of the bodily systems as they are reflected in the feet; at other times we can sequence it according to the logic of the “Inside-Out” or “Outside-In” blood flows.

The Body’s Reflection in the Feet

There are no body organs in the feet: no liver, no heart and no lungs. And yet reflection points of the body and spirit exist there. Every point, named after a certain organ, represents the physical essence of that organ, its spiritual essence and its relation to other body organs. The reflection of the body and the spirit in the feet is wondrous, and it is even more wondrous that we can affect the body by using these points.

To make a long story short – we are able to do something without fully knowing how it works. The reflection of the body in the feet forms a connection between the organs and the ground. In fact, we are treating situations were the links to the ground are severed, the ground representing the reality, the base, the nourishing habits, the modes of thinking, the life style, the personal hygiene etc.

Attention and Concentration

Every therapy forms a lesson for the patient: the therapist is both an instructor and a teacher. This is what we should train the therapists for. The need to develop the patient’s body’s ability to benefit from the treatment requires a tactile attentiveness, aimed at the process of the feet treatment and to its echoes in the body and the spirit. The more the patient will learn to observe his sensations the more his body will benefit from the treatment.

Also enhanced would be the effectiveness of the therapist connection and aims. It is always easier to converse with someone who listens and to feel that the words you are saying are being heard and appreciated.
Note: It is possible to treat the patient while he or she is asleep when the patient own abilities to receive the therapy are developed. When that happens such a treatment becomes more and more effective.

Contra Indications

There are no Contra Indications in Coordinative Reflexology. The only guideline that could be called negative is that one should not do what one does not know – he or she should explore the unknown territory by studying and then go on to use that knowledge.
Positioning negative guidelines during the reflexological training period can block free and imaginative thought. The student thus stays within his fixed conceptions, bound to conventions and prohibitions.
The words “No” and “Don’t” narrow the line of thought and fix it. Positioning prohibitions actually gives Reflexology a destructive force.
It is a common notion that anything that can assist can also harm. According to the method of Coordinative Reflexology itself can not do harm – in order to harm there needs to exist an intention of harm on behalf of the therapist.

Connecting to the Health Dimensions

As long as a person lives he has natural forces of healing. The reflexological therapy is taped into these forces. The patient himself is in charge of his illness, and he or she are the determining factor in the process of healing.
That is why it is necessary to attend every person, assisting him both with keeping his health, with his problems, and with his illnesses. Of course it is also necessary to have the know-how and the ability to judge the timing of the therapy. These are matters in which we can continuously learn.


We should not imagine the patient as having bad intentions or bad energies. A patient that comes to us gives us the opportunity to form a part of his healing and he himself plays a part in this process even if he is ill. The therapist should present himself or herself to the patient as a person that shares his own abilities and time. The Therapist is protected when he is in a state of giving.

Techniques and Thought Processes

The therapeutic techniques stem from the specific problems of the patient. They represent the patient’s own physical and spiritual needs. Using these techniques the Reflexologist thinks and performs the treatment. The human body was made to be touched in various ways. That is why the more knowledge we have with regard to the therapeutic techniques the greater the range of tools through which the therapist can commune his intentions to the patient. The following list presents various therapeutic techniques that can be used:
Creating an equilibrium between two points

Therapeutic techniques relating to relations between locations in the feet and the locations in the lower legs

Sequential therapeutic techniques

Focal therapeutic techniques

Antagonistic therapeutic techniques

Soft tissues manipulation techniques: “bringing the patient”, “delegating responsibility”, “the active treatment”

Skeletal manipulation techniques

The soft treatment technique – “caressing-approximation touch”

The jolting technique

The symmetrical treatment technique

Integrating the use of magnets in therapy

Anything that is done and everything that is experienced sediments in the therapist’s cumulative knowledge. That is where the therapist gets his sustenance from. The therapist thinks about the patient by using the techniques that he knows and that he has experienced. A thing that was never done will not occur to ones mind and will not become a part of ones system of reference. That is why one should always do. Doing extends the ability to think and thinking extends the ability to do.

Holistic Practices

In Coordinative Reflexology holistic practice means a combination of various elements:
A body of theoretical and scientific knowledge

The ability to think in the abstract

A spiritual understanding of the body and its parts

A metaphoric use of words, idioms and concepts intended to enrich the therapists verbal capacities and his or hers ability to communicate with the patient and to intelligently interview him or her

The ability to perform treatment techniques in a free way

A creative freedom and cultivation of intuitive thought

All these ways are intended to develop the therapist’s emotional intelligence.

The Vision of Integrated Medicine

One of the aims of the natural medicine and of Coordinative Reflexology is to integrate with conventional medicine. The method of Coordinative Reflexology enables us to think about this integration in many different ways. Such an integration and experiences are already a part of the uses and practices of Coordinative Reflexology – both in the past and at present.

The methods of free thought, free observance and dynamic treatment enable therapists to achieve insights that help them to create such integrations, whether they are part of treatment of groups with homogenic problems and diseases or in research or in individual therapies. Most reflexologists are in a quest after the right locations to press; they are looking for “magical” pressing points.

In Coordinative Reflexology the attention is given to the way in which the things are done, in the way these insights are applied – integration of various levels of pressure, rhythm, treatment directions and combinations. All these factors are considered as a whole, forming the process which is itself the treatment.

The integration of natural medicine and conventional medicine would benefit both patients and therapists alike. We know that the public wishes such integration. Integrated medicine is the path of the future. It is important to pay attention to this issue and to address it with both means and contemplation.

Coordinative Reflexology is completely different from all other approaches and methods of Reflexology. It looks different visually when watched and it feels different tactily when being treated by it. Coordinative Reflexology enables its practitioners to develop their mental intelligence and their emotional intelligence. For the therapist using it, it is an efficient pathway into himself and for giving from within himself.

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