Ken Aldridge applies pressure points while working on the foot of Mary Cagle Friday afternoon at His Touch Massage Therapy.

In a quiet office on North York Street, Ken Aldridge practices reflexology. The word may not be familiar to some, but practitioners say reflexology has been around for thousands of years.

Mary Cagle, 63, a retired secretary, said she found Aldridge in the phone book only because she was looking for massage.

“The circulation is not good in my legs,” she said. “Since I started coming to him two months ago, I stopped taking my pain pills. Yesterday, I got on the treadmill and walked two miles.”

Cagle says that even daily aches and pains have responded to reflexology.

“This morning I had a spot on the ball of my feet but now he’s mashed on it, and it doesn’t hurt anymore,” she said.

Cagle said her family has noticed an overall difference in her energy.

“I used to not keep up with my husband, but now he can’t keep up with me,” she said.

Once a week is all she needs, Cagle said.

“I look forward to the sessions with him because I leave here relaxed and with no pain.”

Aldridge, 72, provided the textbook definition of what he does.

“Reflexology is a science that deals with the principle areas of the feet and hands that correspond to parts of the body,” he said. “It stimulates the blood flow, improves nerve function, and is very relaxing.”

The appropriate areas of the feet or hands are manually massaged to achieve the desired result. Years of doing this kind of work show in Aldridge’s strong handshake.

The business is called “His Touch Massage Therapy.” Aldridge does the reflexology and his wife, Beth, does massage.

A spiritual man, Aldridge said there’s a reason his business card features a drawing of praying hands.

“It is religious symbolism that represents His touch through us,” he said. “My wife, Beth, came up with that name. It was a way to kind of put us in the background.”

The origins of Aldridge’s interest started after his wife was injured in an automobile accident. Thousands of dollars spent on conventional medicine did not relieve the pain in her left shoulder.

At a continuing education class on massage, he tried reflexology and says within five minutes his wife’s pain in the shoulder and arm was gone. He’s been practicing it now for five years.

“There is an emphasis on the feet,” he said. “When the client is here, I normally work on their feet and normally give them instructions on how to work on their own hands and feet at home.”

The idea that massaging areas of the foot can reduce pain in other parts of the body sometimes gets a skeptical reaction. Aldridge smiled as he remembered one incident.

“I had a man come in who had some problems with pain in his shoulder and back,” he said. “When I was working on his feet, I had the thought just come into my mind; ‘This guy thinks I’m crazy.’ He left here pain free, but he told me later that at the time he had thought I was crazy.”

Aldridge said there are 10 zones in the body that start in the feet and go up. The zone of the foot corresponds to organs or body parts in the same zone. Also, there is a difference between the left and right foot.

“Normally, they will come in with a complaint of pain,” he said. “They have hurt their neck or back and want relief. They may have tight muscles in the shoulder or shoulder blade. A lot of times they have lower back pain, that, or tension in the upper back.”

Overall, Aldridge said he has been able to help most of his clients.

“The majority of people who come in here are hurting and when they leave the majority are not hurting when they are through,” he said.

“To hear them say they didn’t believe it was possible is very energizing for me.”

Reach Keith Purtell at 684-2925 or

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