Zone ReflexoCurist William Hope FitzGerald, MD
family photos used by permission: Pamela & Diana FitzGerald
Posted May 12, 2007
Dr. FitzGerald is considered the Founding Father
of Zone Therapy for us here in the USA, and from so sure a foundation
has emerged our national profession of Reflexology. William's
father, Charles, Sr., was born in Ireland and came to America
at age eight with his family residing in Thibadeaux, Louisiana.
After serving three years in the Confederate Service, and at the
close of the war, he came north, settling in Middletown where
he established a coal business in 1867. However, William and his
elder brother Charles, Jr. both chose to pursue a career in medicine.
granddaughters explain their family history to Dwight
Byers. The exhibit by Ignacio Sanchez - Honoring the Pioneers
of Reflexology - focused on FitzGerald, Riley and Ingham.
2008 RAA Conference, Portland, ME
On this Web page you will find family testimony
from three of William FitzGerald's grandchildren (Pamela,
Diana and Willie) regarding their memories and mementos
handed down from their mother Vivienne FitzGerald Demms. "Grandfather
FitzGerald was a very large man and married to a tiny woman, Mary
McCormick called Polly," wrote his granddaughter Pamela
FitzGerald Demms Anderegg in an Email to Dr. Brinkerhoff. (Her
initial correspondence requested that the 'g' in Fitzgerald be
capitalized; thus it has been corrected to FitzGerald.)
percussion reflexology in tradition of her Grandfather
FitzGerald. Treatment by Zachary at 2008 RAA Conference brought
feeling into her five toes that had been numb for 5 years following
spinal surgery. Sister Pamela patiently awaits her turn.
MIR has built on the spirited example of Dr.
FitzGerald's utilization of stainless steel instruments, electricity,
probes, bands, hooks, light energy, and combs in Zone Reflex applications.
MIR Research and Development Clinic has sought to carry on the
great work of FitzGerald, and to improve the technology of both
the percussive equipment and the efficiency of Radiant Energy
devices utilized by FitzGerald's medical group which grew up around
his practice and teaching. The INSTITUTE wants to bring forth
out of its treasury -- techniques both old and new (ancient and
modern); and blend them into an effective package capable of offering
recovery and better health for the individual, the nation and
method of applying hollowed
out spring clothes pins for the relief of
pain and to desensitize the teeth for
dental operations. (Ibid., p. 59.)
The first presentation of the subject, Zone Therapy on any considerable
scale of importance was made by Dr. E. F. Bowers in an article
that appeared in "Everybody's Magazine". In this article,
Dr. Bowers paid high tribute to Dr. William H. FitzGerald whose
methods and results he had been studying for sometime previous
to the publication of the article, stating:
"Dr. FitzGerald's position is one that commands respect.
He is a graduate of the University of Vermont, and spent two and
a half years in the Boston City Hospital. He served two years
in the Central London Nose and Throat Hospital. For a like period
he was in Vienna, where he was assistant to Professor Politzer
and Professor Otto Chiari, who are known wherever medical text
books are read.
FitzGerald earned his MD at University of Vermont.
"For several years Dr. FitzGerald has been
the senior nose and throat surgeon of St. Francis Hospital in
Hartford, Connecticut and is an active member of most of the American
medical societies." (Ibid, Everybody's.)
Nose & Throat Clinic
Founded by WH FitzGerald
"I have known Dr. FitzGerald for many years.
He is able and honest, a skillful and competent surgeon, and a
student. No matter how foolish, how ridiculous his methods may
seem, they are most decidedly not the vaporings of a dreamer or
a charlatan. They are the calmly digested findings of a trained
and scientific mind." (Ibid, Everybody's.)
Clinic was on this side of family home in Hartford, CT.
His Zone Therapy and nose/throat practice was conducted here;
His office & laboratory occupied the whole sunroom.
Note clinic signage on left side of picture.
Picture posted 03/16/08
As an introduction to further articles appearing
in Associated Sunday Magazines and in the magazine, "Everybody's"
a Mr. Bruce Barton, able and critical editor of these magazines,
"For almost a year Dr. Bowers has been urging
me to publish this article on Dr. FitzGerald's remarkable system
of healing known as Zone Therapy. Frankly, I could not believe
what was claimed for Zone Therapy, nor did I think that we could
get magazine readers to believe it. Finally, a few months ago,
I went to Hartford unannounced, and spent a day in Dr. FitzGerald's
offices. I saw patients who had been cured of goiter; I saw throat
and ear troubles immediately relieved by Zone Therapy; I saw nasal
operations performed without any anesthetic whatever; and ---
in a dentist's office --- teeth extracted without any anesthetic
except the analgesic influence of Zone Therapy. Afterward I wrote
to about fifty practicing physicians in various parts of the country
who have heard of Zone Therapy and are using it for the relief
of all kinds of cases, even to allay the pains of childbirth.
Their letters are on file in my office."
Dr. FitzGerald's method of "rubber
banding" the fingers for trouble in
the first, second and third zones.
"This first article will be followed by a number
of others in which Dr. Bowers will explain the application of
Zone Therapy to the various common ailments. I anticipate criticism
regarding these articles from two sources: first, from a small
percentage of physicians; second, from people who will attempt
to use Zone Therapy without success. We have considered this criticism
in advance and are prepared to disregard it. If the articles serve
to reduce the sufferings of people in dentist' chairs even ten
per cent, if they will help in even the slightest way to relieve
the common pains of everyday life, they will be amply justified."
diagram (shown above) of Anterior Zones on one side of the body.
Both right and left sides of body are the same. Each numbered
line represents the center of its respective zone on the anterior
part of the body. Example: 1) Middle ear is Zone 4; 2) Eustachian
tube and middle ear combined are in Zones 3 & 4; 3) The
teeth are in the respective zones as indicated by passing a
line antero-posteriorly thru the respective zones; 4) The viscera
are in the zones as represented by a line passed antero-posteriorly
thru the respective zones; 5) The tongue, hard and soft palate,
and the generative organs are in ten zones, five on each side
of the median line.
(Ibid., p. 13.)
granddaughter Pamela receives DRUMmer percussion
on the fourth toe (Zone 4) of each foot. Pam's Tinnitus (crickets)
in her left ear became silent on the 4th day of treatment
while working on her left finger in Zone 4.
"We do not know the full explanation of
Zone Therapy; but we do know that a great many people have been
helped by it, and that nobody can possibly be harmed."
diagram (shown above) of Posterior Zones on one side of the
body. Both right and left sides of body are the same. Each numbered
line represents the center of its respective zone on the posterior
part of the body. Example: The undersurface of the tongue is
in the posterior zone. It will be observed that what is commonly
called the back of the hand is really the front of that member,
whereas the palm of the hand corresponds to the sole of the
foot. (Ibid., p. 14.)
"As to what the explanation may be for the
very remarkable results that frequently follow the application
of Zone Therapy pressures is extremely difficult to say. Obviously,
from our study of anatomy of the nervous system, we can readily
appreciate the fact that there is no definite and direct connection
between the nerves, for instance, of the big toe on the right
foot and the nerves, for instance, and the nerves of the thumb
on the right hand. And yet, so intimately related do these appendages
seem to be that a pressure on a particular area of the right hand
will excite pain in a corn or bunion or other painful conditions
in the corresponding area of the toe. Strangely enough, pressure
on any other part of the thumb does not do this."
College, Ellicott City, Maryland attended by FitzGerald.
College was destroyed by fire in 1911 with no loss
of life and was quickly rebuilt
with salvaged building materials in Catonsville.
"The same is true of the various areas in
either of the nostrils, in either the left or right ear, in any
finger or toe, or over the boney part of any area in the body
situated in these longitudinal lines shown in the Zone Therapy
"A man can do only what he
But if he does that each day
he can sleep at night
and do it again the next day."
"Drs. FitzGerald and Bowers state that in
attempting the relief of pain by 'working' from the fingers it
should also be emphasized that it makes a difference, too, whether
the upper and lower or the side surfaces of the joint are pressed.
A physician experimenting with the method was ready to condemn
it because he was unable to relieve a patient who complained of
rheumatic pains which centered on the outer side of the anklebone.
The doctor grasped the second joint of the patient's right little
finger and pressed firmly for a minute on the top and bottom of
the joint. The pain persisted, and the doctor jeered at the method."
method of applying
anterior & posterior pressure
to the finger joints.
"A disciple of Zone Therapy smiled, and
suggested that while the doctor had the right finger, he had the
right finger in the wrong grip The doctor was advised to press
the sides of the finger instead of the top and bottom. This was
done, and the pain disappeared in two minutes."
method of applying
lateral pressure to the finger joint.
"The growth of interest in this work is
most encouraging. Dr. FitzGerald and other physicians using Zone
Therapy in their practice, have had scores of letters from patients
they have never seen, but who have written, expressing their appreciation
for the relief secured through instructions from some of their
patients, or through following out some suggestions from articles
in the magazines.
"I have reason to believe that there are
now upwards of five hundred physicians, osteopaths and dentists,
using these methods every day, with complete satisfaction to themselves
and to their patients."
first book on Zone Therapy was intended to instruct
his patients in self applications between treatments. The
benefits of Zone Reflex and ease of treatment quickly spread
beyond his patients to other members of their families
and friends - as well as the medical community.
"And the number of lay-men, and especially
lay-women, who are preaching the doctrine in their own households,
and among their circle of friends, must be legion. The adoption
of the method is attended with absolutely no danger or disagreeable
results, and may be the means of lengthening short lives and making
good health catching. I, for one, hope that the number of those
who may be inclined to learn and practice these methods upon themselves
and upon members of their families may ever increase and multiply.
For this is a big idea. And a helpful one. Therefore, the more
who make it their own the better for the human race." ( ZONE
THERAPY or Relieving Pain and Sickness by Nerve Pressure,
by Benedict Lust, ND, DO, DC, MD, Benedict Lust Publications,
New York City, 1928.)
granddaughter holds an aluminium
comb hand-me-down which she kept in her
jewelry chest. Diana gave this valued comb
(manufactured by her grandfather) to her
new friend Zachary Brinkerhoff at the
RAA Conference in Portland, ME.
Drs. FitzGerald and Bowers made use of many tools: elastic bands,
clothes pins and aluminum combs on the hands; surgical clamps
for the tongue; nasal probes and a retractor for the pharynx;
and infra red ray lamps which they combined with Zone Therapy.
FitzGerald recommended his medical instruments to be used only
by doctors for treatment, but he and his group recommend the
Percuss-O-Motor and infra red ray lamps for both therapists
and doctors working in a busy clinic where time was of the essence
and salvation of the thumb was desired.
Aluminum Comb Method of
treating lumbago and pains in the back of
the body, affects all the zones.
In 1969 W. D. Chesney, MD, reflected on his
past association with FitzGerald's group:
"In Germany, that great doctor, d'Arsonval
was using PhysioTherapy and getting relief following the use of
reflex knowledge which, in effect was what was later termed Zone
Therapy by Drs. FitzGerald and Bowers. So much did all this affect
me that I determined to invent some new means of PhysioTherapy
on my return to the United States.
"While researching in Crerar Library at Chicago a most
fortunate circumstance that changed the course of my life occurred.
Mr. F. F. Burdick, manufacturer of light therapy equipment,
Milton, Wisconsin, observed my search and introduced himself.
I found that he was an admirer of Drs. White, FitzGerald and
Bowers, and before I realized it, I was signed up to become
Director of Research at his factory. Burdick had a Chicago office
in the Stewart Building and while doing some work there, Dr.
Bowers came in. He showed me sufficient to make me an advocate
for Zone Therapy. He was immensely interested in the possible
combined use of infra red rays and Zone Therapy, and wrote Dr.
White in Los Angeles about my work."
FitzGerald's Group used this lamp with Zone Therapy.
(Zone Therapy, by Benedict Lust, ND, 1928.)
you can make in life
is to be continually fearing
you will make one.
The MIR has
carried forward Dr. FitzGerald's Zone
Therapy applications of infrared light into the 21st
Century. Above: a $25,000 (910nm 1,500mW) high
power infrared laser therapy device hammers the K1
(Solar Plexus) reflex point of Alfred Reinhard Bird
Bear Obes, DR, MD. Obes is helping to establish
treatment protocol through MIR Research Clinic.
"This resulted in a most earnest invitation
from Dr. George Star White to come to his Clinic and see the
combination at work together, the following January. Mr. Burdick
gladly gave me leave of absence and I was right on the spot
January 20. Dr. Bowers was already there and soon followed by
Dr. FitzGerald and many other reputable physicians who were
interested in the welfare of patients --- not in the heft of
their purses. At the opening of the Clinic, Dr. FitzGerald presented
charts that in his opinion proved there were ten zones in the
human body -- zones connected by nerves that carried the electrical
impulses. He said, 'Zone Therapy is not a cure all. Neither
are medicine and surgery. But I have seen hundreds of sick folks
cured by Zone Therapy after all other means have failed. I trust
Dr. White has been able to furnish us with a sufficient variety
of diseased patients so I can offer a demonstration.' "
View of Wesleyan
University campus where
the young WH FitzGerald attended.
"For a whole week, I saw apparent modern
miracles brought about by nothing but Zone Therapy, or if you
care for another definitive word, call it Reflexology. At the
last general session, Dr. White said, 'Dr. FitzGerald is very
right in his proved theory that the human body is divided into
ten zones, connected together by the nerves that carry the impulses.
He deserves the gratitude of every human that wishes to prevent
diseases, and cure a significant percentage without the terrific
costs of modern medicine. It is not a cure all. It definitely
is a great boon to those that use it."
research lab frequented by WH FitzGerald.
"Any person of average intelligence
can use the few inexpensive items. It is like the slogan of my
alma mater, 'If it does not cure you, it will not kill you, or
harm you'. The Charts that you can readily purchase can be safely
used by anybody of average intelligence." (Zone Therapy
is Scientific, Subjectively & Objectively, by W. D. Chesney,
MD, 1969, p. 3-5.)
As quoted above from his 1917 book, Dr. FitzGerald stated emphatically:
"I believe it is 'shock' more often than stimulation
(that produces the therapeutic effect)." The byproduct
of shock (which Fitzgerald believed to have produced
the therapeutic effect) has been proven thru the
the medical research of Robert O. Becker, MD, to be the
direct current of injury. This negative DC of injury is
the signal for the brain to discharge the negative DC of regeneration.
Brinkerhoff postulates that "shock-type"
reflex point work triggers this electrical discharge from the
brain (called the 'healing current' by medical researchers); which
is the first response of the body to initiate healing and regeneration.
Based on FitzGerald's belief that electrical
shock can be virtuous; MIR continues to advocate piezo
and micro amp current in addition to massive stimulus
with Dr. Riley's Massager, High Power Infrared Laser Light or
deep-probe 'shock-type' work on the
foot, hand and/or ear reflexes in order to most effectively activate
the DC of regeneration.
Maybe now we can better understand some of the
reasons why therapeutic infrared ray lamps were combined with
Zone Reflex Therapy by the founding Fathers. Did they add radiant
light energy in order that electrochemical balance or equilibrium
could be assured following the disequilibrium of "shock-type"
MIR Student Jackie Maples (Texas) was impressed with the
dynamic of the new 240mW, 960 nm Laser 'Reflexocure'
Instrument during her recent visit to MIR Clinic.
Light ... Medicine of the Future.
Dr. Brinkerhoff's light energy research has confirmed
a consistent reflexology (ReflexoCure) treatment outcome that
produces the ideal equilibrium state. He has designed a Full Spectrum
Reflexology Program which has restored the full bandwidth of infrared
energy as part of a reflexology (ReflexoCure) treatment. "By
following these techniques practiced by the founding Fathers I
can guarantee to a new student that he can give a treatment equal
to my own. This is accomplished by using the DRUMmer (applied to the K-1), combined
with the Reflex Beamer III-3b or equivalent devices," stated
Dr. FitzGerald's Zone Reflex Electrical Probe
Below is the birth certificate of William Hope FitzGerald
which testifies to the day he came into this world with a calling
to bless and bring healing to those who suffer bodily dysfunction.
As part of his internship and early medical practice (as we have
heard & read) he had worked at hospital clinics in London, Vienna and
Paris. It was in the latter where he met and later married Mary
'Polly' McCormick, a fiery dame from Missoula, Montana who at
that time was the Paris Correspondent for the NY Herald Tribune.
The three FitzGerald
children: Paul, Kathleen and Vivienne shown
playing at their winter home in Los Angeles, California - 1918.
In the midst of FitzGerald's research into Zone
Therapy he made an objective observation that all health care
practitioners need to consider: "Zone Therapy is not a cure
all. Neither are medicine and surgery." Even though the good
doctor had seen hundreds of sick folks cured by Zone Therapy after
all other means had failed - he was not able to treat his own
son Paul - who died of a Rheumatic heart condition at the tender
age of 16. Why? The ethical standards of the medical societies
to which he belonged prohibited doctors from providing medical
treatment for their own family. He was bound to obey the medical
This agonizing loss not only rent his heart, but
likewise took its toll on young Paul's mother - Mary (Polly).
Paul's death in 1924, combined with the already growing ridicule
by the medical societies against her husband's practice and teaching
of Zone Therapy, was crushing in upon her with unbearable emotional
pressure. Polly, a devotee to the Holy Mother, had been earnestly
praying for young Paul's recovery. This strong woman, known later
in life for her mordantly frank wit, was deeply troubled by the
loss of her only and most beloved son.
'Polly' McCormick FitzGerald
And where was Polly's husband at the moment when
their son's weakened Rheumatic heart failed? Why wasn't the good
doctor by Paul's bedside to support his praying wife? Remember
- in those days long past - the medical doctors served the sick
and afflicted not only by day, but even made house calls late
into the night. He was selflessly answering the call of his Hippocratic
Oath to serve the infirm in his community at any cost.
Finally, through many tears and after much prayerful
deliberation, Polly decided it best for herself and their two
daughters to return to the McCormick Family's roots in Missoula,
Montana. Polly packed up all her things of value and lefty both
her stately Hartford home and husband - taking Kathleen and Vivienne
- never to return.
at age eight.
"Aunt Polly", as she was known in Missoula,
returned to familiar territory so she could properly mourn her
great loss. She put her two daughters in a Washington Boarding
School so that she could grieve without distraction. "My
mother told me that every time grandmother picked up Kathleen
and herself (Vivienne) at the train station (on their return from
school) she was wearing the black clothes of one in mourning,"
said Diana. It was two years before she could leave off her black
attire and truly fill her former societal niche there in Missoula.
In time her two daughters married. Kathleen to James
Black, a former CBee, choosing to live in Seattle, Washington
(they never had children). And Vivienne to Robert Demms whom she
met in Stamford, Connecticut. After a 2 week courtship (it was
love at first sight) they eloped. It was an additional 2 weeks
before they got the blessing of the Catholic Church in a small
rectory ceremony. There in Stamford the Demms started their family
- later moving to Darien.
But it was in Missoula where Mary 'Polly' McCormick
FitzGerald remained - finishing her eighty years in a flurry of
societal activity - while wintering in her Los Angeles, California
Mary McCormick FitzGerald
McCormick FitzGerald was born in Missoula 80 years ago. Her
death breaks one of the last links that binds this city's present
to its past. And her life shows how close, in a relative way
(for 80 years is not much in history) we still stand to our
beginnings. Mrs. FitzGerald witnessed virtually all of the growth
of this community, saw it change from a small collection of
rude buildings along the river bank to what it is today, saw
it spread to all points of the compass from the little nucleus
that was Missoula Mills.
was the last surviving child of Major and Mrs. Washington Jay
McCormick; pioneers who figured largely in early-day Missoula.
Her mother was a sister of Captain Christopher P. Higgins, co-founder
of this city and long a dominate factor in it. She was really
a pioneer by birth and ancestry.
she was also a real person in her own right. She had a keen
objectivity as to her fellow beings, could recognize and remember
their strengths and their weaknesses, knew so much of what happened
here in the last eight decades - and always how and through
whom - that it is to be regretted that she did not write her
memoirs in a formal way. Much of the detailed history of Missoula
perished with her. And such memoirs would have been illuminated
by the mordantly frank wit that was so characteristic of "Aunt
What images are in a man's deliberations following
the death of his only son? And what are his thoughts in the wake
of his wife's reactive departure with their two daughters? How
is he affected by an empty house that was once bustling with activity
and filled with laughter? How does the experience of finding himself
alone affect: His business? His energy levels? His motivation?
How does a man handle nagging thoughts about what he might have
done differently on his part to prevent the tragic trend of events?
What William Hope FitzGerald suffered - only another man suffering
the same fate could possibly begin to understand. Such a man -
though he may mask his sense of loss - is plunged into the depths
of loneliness. This is a man engulfed in an angst that will either
break him or be a means for him to step afresh into a new direction.
Bill FitzGerald, the man, had to regroup in 1925
when he realized Polly's separation was not temporary. His life
had suddenly taken a new tone - a different tempo - requiring
a major adjustment. We can only now begin to understand the family
tragedy that caused his evangelistic efforts on behalf of Zone
Therapy - to cease. This doctor, who was the senior nose and throat
surgeon at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, and who had also
founded the same specialty clinic in that hospital (as well as
being an active member of most of the American medical societies)
was beginning to look in another direction.
Eventually he sold the old home and bid his colleague,
Dr. Thomas Norval Hepburn (the father of movie legend Katherine
Hepburn) and his many other good friends, adieu - before moving
to Stamford where he tool up residency in the Roger Smith Hotel.
The hotel suite afforded him a base of operation which allowed
him to engage himself as an itinerate doctor - seeing patients
as he traveled to and from New York City. His daughter Vivienne
had been making occasional visits to her Father's new abode and
eventually decided to stay. Her Father had a friend, named Virgina
Drew, who owned the Merrill Business School which was housed in
her home. Vivienne enrolled and stayed in her home/school. In
January of 1936 FitzGerald returned from one of his NY trips to
find that his daughter had eloped during his absence.
Church Around the Corner' in Manhattan
where Robert Demms & Vivienne were able
to obtain a quick and romantic wedding.
Vivienne had made the big leap into the adult world
after falling in love with one of the instructors. Although Robert
was not one of her instructors (he taught accounting) they became
aquainted when he had to retrieve his coat which was hanging in
the room where she was studying. It was only a month later that
they made their life changing decision. Upon their return to Stamford,
they decided together that since she would be responsible for
most of the training of the children - it would be best if they
were raised Catholic. So on February 9, 1936 another marriage
ceremony was performed in the rectory of St. Johns Church - the
Catholic Church in Stamford, CT.
"My parents were married for 32 years.
It was the Hong Kong Flu that took mother away first on December
20, 1968. Father died later of a broken heart on October 25, 1972,"
relayed Vivienne's daughter Diana.
FitzGerald decided to make yet another move following
the marriage of his beloved daughter - this time to New York.
It was there that he had made many professional connections over
the years. His friendship with Dr. Benedict Lust and numerous
other associates were offering him yet another opportunity to
begin anew what was to be the last professional segment of his
eventful and challenging life as a father, nose and throat surgeon,
and Zone Therapist.
As the shadows began to lengthen during this last
5-year segment of his life - Dr. FitzGerald finally decided it
best to return to his familiar turf in Stamford, so that he could
spend his last days in the company of his daughter Vivienne FitzGerald
Demms and her growing family. Last days? Yes, his health had been
deteriorating during that last year due to a condition of arteriosclerotic
heart disease, and the good doctor needed to return to the embrace
of his family. "I remember grandfather being in our home,
but at my age I didn't realize he was not feeling well. Neither
do I remember him dying," said Vivienne's daughter Diana.
During his extended stay the good doctor became
increasingly frail, so Vivienne, pregnant with another child,
had to commit him to the Fairfield State Hospital in Newtown,
Connecticut. Here he lingered for 67 days before joining those
of his family who had gone before - now resting in the familial
burial plot at St. John's Cemetery behind the Church in Middletown.
Charles FitzGerald, Sr and his wife Catherine were
joined by their second son William Hope FitzGerald October 21,
"... May they rest from their toils,
for their works do follow with them."
St. John's Church - Middletown, CT
Thank you, William Hope FitzGerald, for your selfless
dedication to a medical practice which continually called you
into service for the sick - and therefore away from your natural
family circle. And again - thanks - to you, your wife and your
children for enduring the humiliation that resulted from the denigration
of your Zone Therapy research which stubbornly flowed out of your
own medical societies; and this despite your undisputable validation
through clinical research, practice and teaching of what you confidently
termed - Zone Therapy ... that body of knowledge which became
your reflexological gift to a suffering world.
Bill Hope FitzGerald
Obituary: Dr. FitzGerald
Dies At 70
Middletown, Oct. 21.--- (Special) ---Dr. William Hope FitzGerald,
70, founder of the first nose and throat clinic at St. Francis
Hospital, and for which he gave considerable equipment, died
at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Robert S. Demms, in Stamford
After studying in clinics in Vienna, Paris and London, Dr.
FitzGerald established his practice in Hartford and after 20
years in that city he moved to New York. He was a member of
several medical and scientific societies.
He was born in Middletown, a son of the Late Charles and Catherine
Dr. FitzGerald attended Wesleyan University and St. Charles
College, Maryland, and received his M.D. degree from the University
of Vermont in 1895.
Besides his daughter in Stamford he leaves his wife, Mrs Margaret
(McCormack) FitzGerald, and a daughter, Mrs. Catherine Black,
both in Montana: and several grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at the W J Coughlin Sons’
Funeral Home, 491 High Street, Middletown, Saturday, at 8:15
a.m., followed by a requiem mass in St. John’s Church
here at 9 o’clock. Burial will be in St. John’s
Hartford Courier, October 22, 1942 - END
Coat of Arms.
Thursday News Brief
November 5, 1942
item that attracted us concerned the death in Stamford at 70 of
Dr. Willliam H. FitzGerald, who practiced 20 years in Hartford
and then went to New York. He is remembered as the founder of
the first nose and throat clinic at St. Francis Hospital and its
is remembered for a procedure he discovered which he considered
of great importance. He called it "Pressure Anaethesia."
By applying pressure upon nerves at particular points, feeling
could be deadened so that operations could be performed without
pain. For instance, the nerve which controlled certain teeth came
near to the surface in the thumb. Pressure applied there would
relieve an ache or permit a tooth to be pulled without pain. And
he perhaps overestimated the possibilities of this procedure,
Dr. FitzGerald was not mistaken about its effectiveness in some
instances. Other doctors and dentists became interested and they
joined him in experiments and also exploited the discovery. Dr.
FitzGerald sometimes demonstrated the process by using the bare
back of a volunteer as a pincushion. He wrote a book about the
method, devised wire rings for pressure purposes which were put
Medial Society frowned upon the idea, and particularly the publicity.
It did not give the discovery the same importance Dr. FitzGerald
did. He had a fine personality and many friends, besides a high
rating in his profession, but he finally went elsewhere to practice.
the Medical Society there were those who swore by Dr. FitzGerald
and his treatments. The late J. Henry Roraback, long Republican
leader of the state, was one. A member of his family suffered
greatly from neuritis or a similar complaint. Pressure treatment
by Dr. FitzGerald gave relief where other treatments failed. Probably
there were others. END
203 Edison Rd.
Long Hill, CT 06611
am Pamela and Diana's brother G. William Demms. I was named after
my Grandfather, William H. FitzGerald, and work as a portrait
photographer in lower Fairfield County, CT.
has informed me of the extensive research and the amount of information
you have collected on my Grandfather. She has directed me to your
web site and has asked me to contact you.
memory of him comes only through stories, since he died 2 years
before I was born. I am the 4th of 5 children.
remember finding those strange looking metal "combs"
in the attic as a child and thus began the stories of Mothers
Father told me of how the Doctor would travel from Hartford to
New York City, seeing patients along the way. He would stay at
the Roger Smith Hotel in Stamford as a "central base"
while he was on the road. While my Mother was staying there with
him in the 30's, she attended the local Merrill Business School
where she met my Father who was teaching there. You know the rest
of that story.
evening my parents were leavlng a restaurant with friends when
the other man flipped a cigarette and accidentally hit my Father
in the eye. The next day while visiting my Grandfather Bill my
Father complained of the pain still in his eye. Grandfather manipulated
the palm of Father's hand in such a way that the pain literally
disappeared. That story was my introduction to Zone Therapy.
going to dig through my archives and see if there is anything
I can add to your collection of information. Unfortunately I have
shoots scheduled at the time of your conference and will not be
able to attend. I sincerely appreciate your work and the attention
you have given to a man who's greatest quest was to alleviate
human aches and pains.
I can be of any further help, please feel free to contact me.
April 10th, 2008
and her husband Jim attended the
RAA Conference May 3 & 4, 2008.
Many shared in reflexological joy.
Hallelujah & Alleluia
If you do what you've
You'll get what you've always got!!!
---- David Steele