reflexology

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reflexology

1. a form of therapy practised as a treatment in alternative medicine in which the soles of the feet are massaged: designed to stimulate the blood supply and nerves and thus relieve tension
2. Psychol the belief that behaviour can be understood in terms of combinations of reflexes

Reflexology

 

a natural science trend in psychology that developed from 1900 to 1930 mainly in Russia and was associated with the work of V. M. Bekhterev. Following I. M. Sechenov, the representatives of reflexology assumed that all thought processes are manifested objectively. Accordingly, they studied all the reflexes in which the brain is involved (“correlative activity”). Reflexologists endeavored to use strictly objective methods as a “firm prop” for scientific conclusions. They studied mental activity in relation to neural processes, using data on the physiology of higher nervous activity for purposes of elucidation.

Reflexology originated in psychology and subsequently extended into the fields of pedagogy, psychiatry, sociology, and art studies. Despite some achievements, the trend was unable to overcome its mechanistic interpretation of mental processes as epiphenomena of behavioral acts. Marxist criticism of reflexology intensified by the late 1920’s. Many reflexologists became aware of the trend’s limitations and reconsidered their former views.

A. V. PETROVSKII