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Joseph Riley

From 1913 to about 1920, when Dr. Fitzgerald came to Washington, DC to lecture students at The Riley School of Chiropractic, most of the work on Zone Therapy was being developed by three Medical Physicians: Drs. William H. Fitzgerald, Edwin F. Bowers and George Starr White. There were many others who tried to take control of the activity, but those three physicians made great strides in bringing this method to the attention of the people who exhibited the most interested in this great work of Zone Therapy.

FitzGerald, Riley and Ingham were the honored pioneers at a special
exhibit compiled by Ignacio Sanchez and displayed at the
2008 Reflexology Association of America
national conference in Portland, ME

1912 cable driven percussor is identical to MIR's device
known as Dr. Riley's Ultra Massager. This heavy duty
unit used by doctors was suspended over work area with
a chain or could be mounted on a pedestal with castors.
(Courtesy: Meridian Institute)

Most of those who did become active in the practice of Zone Therapy were among the drugless practitioners, but after Dr. Riley became interested in the subject; he at once tried out the therapy on his vast number of patients and was able to add much to the activity which surrounded this natural healing art. During his lifetime he wrote twelve books on Zone Therapy: the first copyrighted in 1917; the last several of which he titled "Zone Reflex", and the twelfth edition was copyrighted in 1942. This last edition has been considered by the Institute as one of the most comprehensive treatise yet written on the subject.

Dr. Riley had a pedestal mounted percussor which
he used for spinal concussion in association
with a Zone Reflex treatment.

Harry Bond Bressler, DC, ND, wrote: "In early 1920 I started to practice in Joe Shelby Riley's clinic as one of his assistants, and it was my privilege to be assigned to treat Dr. Riley's private patients whenever he went away on his lecture tours. Naturally it was necessary for him to explain his methods of treatment of the various patients, so that I could continue the good work which he had started. I had no compunctions about asking his patients if I was doing the work just as Dr. Riley had done it. In this manner, I became well aware of his way of treating.

"I have always thought of Dr. Joe Shelby Riley as the greatest Healer of his time, that is, in the use of the usual healing methods, but the healing ability of his lovely wife, Elizabeth Ann Riley far surpassed him in his healing skill with the use of Zone Therapy and Hook Work, for Elizabeth Ann had remarkable results with her patients in the use of this healing activity.

"Be kinder than necessary,
for everyone you meet
is fighting some kind of battle."

"Elizabeth Ann Riley --- she was entitled to use the title Doctor but never did use it, preferring just her name --- was a remarkable teacher, especially of Zone Therapy and Hook Work. She seemed to be able to IMPEL into the consciousness of her students the knowledge which she was imparting to them, and her class instructions were so very clear and concise.

"Many books and treatises have been written in the last two or three decades on Zone Therapy, by whatever name it has been called, but from the fact that Dr. Riley has lectured in most of the large cities of the United States, with Elisabeth Ann assisting, in the art of relieving pain and disease by the use of this modality, much of the knowledge given in these later books must have been culled from the instructions given by these two remarkable teachers. We must remember, however, that the instructions given by Drs. Fitzgerald and Bowers in their books, and in the Great Book written by that great physician Dr. George Starr White, have also been used, and have had a healthful influence on all of the books on the subject which have been placed on the market in the last twenty or twenty five years ... since 1930.

FitzGerald's granddaughter loves Dr. Riley's Ultra Massager
(DRUMmer) for reflexologic applications.
Pamela wants to be a 'Student in Training'
with the Modern Institute of Reflexology.

"While Dr. Riley states that he had been investigating Zone Therapy from the time Drs. Fitzgerald and Bowers wrote for the several magazines, still it really was not until 1916 to 1920 that he gave the matter very deep thought. Then this prodigious thinker and prolific writer surely gave much attention to his work --- edition on the subject following edition, each adding to the knowledge given in the previous works, until his twelfth and last edition is really a masterpiece. Most of the teachers of the present time must truthfully acknowledge Dr. Riley's influence in their work. All glory and praise to those great instructors, Dr. Joe Shelby Riley and Elizabeth Ann Riley.

We are not permitted to choose
the frame of our destiny.
But what we put into it is ours.
He who wills adventure will experience it--
according to the measure of his courage.
He who wills sacrifice will be sacrificed--
according to the measure of his purity of heart.

1950--Dag Hammarskjold

"I do feel happy that there are so many brave persons who have the temerity and courage to teach this wonderful adjunctive method, especially when they know the crucifixion the early practitioners had to endure, and which they may be subjecting themselves to. All that I have written has been given in a spirit of helpfulness, without any thought of animosity or criticism, but with the desire that we render unto Caesar those honors which are his due --- and hers too.

"I have only kindliness in my heart for all of these teachers, and a feeling of kindly fellowship which I hope may bring us all together that we may work for the preservation of this most marvelous method of healing the sick and ailing." (ZONE THERAPY, Pressure Reflex and Hook Work, by Harry Bond Bressler, DC, ND, The Williams Printing Company, Richmond, VA, 1955.)

Note in the body Zone Reflex Chart (to the right) there is a Zone related to each in-line finger and toe on both sides of the body. Riley confirmed Fitzgerald's postulate: that a problem in one part of the Zone can be affected by pressure stimulation on specific reflex points related to the toes or fingers or ears or face or anywhere along the alignment of that same Zone.

Riley's Body Zone Chart (taken from FitzGerald) shows the 10 reflex zones passing through and dividing the head area into ten zones. Many of the head-points he identified are in Dr. Mildred Carter's book 'Body Reflexology'. The numbered areas shown on the face (below) are all identified on Dr. Riley's 11x17 Wall Chart available from MIR.

Dr. Riley's Facial Reflex Points which are interrelated to the
Ten Zone Division taught by FitzGerald when he taught
at Riley's Chriopractic College in Washington, DC.

Drs. Ingham, Wittman and Brinkerhoff have been under girded by the teaching of the Riley's. You too can become firmly established in these ancient techniques through this Home Study Program. You too can build on the Rock of true Reflexology History. Study this Website. Sink your roots down deep into this rich soil. And then?

Let the JOURNEY begin!!!

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If you do what you've always done;
You'll get what you've always got.

--------- David Steele


This Page Updated:

In this photo Dr. Riley hammers the spine of a patient in preparation for Zone Therapy and/or chiropractic. Look closely at the machine in picture; it is cable powered percussor built in 1922. It's descendent the DRUMmer (the new and improved Dr. Riley's Ultra Massager) was named in his honor.
Riley's Hand Drawing: Here the palmar of the hand shows many reflex areas which reveal the value Riley placed on hand reflex work.
Riley's Ear Drawing:
Ear points were part of Zone Reflex and still are at MIR Clinic.
MIR Ear Chart
Riley's Face Drawing: Reflex points on face reveal power wielded by an aesthetician's facial.
Riley's Chart
Was used by the Riley's for stimulation of specific Zone Reflex points
on the body.
Originally recommended by Dr. Fitzgerald's group in 1917.
Heavily utilized by
Dr. Wittman in his early practice of reflexology.
1952 to 1981.

Here we see Fitzgerald's Zone Therapy Chart of the 10 zones. These are assigned in line with both the fingers and the toes.



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