The Foot Zone Technique is Brought to America
Foot Zone Class Material
Courtesy of Martha Libster
After moving to America in 1989, Katri discovered that people were interested in learning Ersdal’s method of Foot Zoning so she invited Ersdal to America to teach a group of people from the community. Ersdal’s first class in America was in June 1989 in Montana. Over the course of the next three years, Ersdal traveled to America two to three times a year teaching his methods. He would hold classes over a period of about five days discussing physiology in depth before demonstrating his Foot Zone Technique. Classes were held in Montana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Wyoming, Nevada, and Idaho at the invitation of Katri Nordblom and Christine Horvath. Christine was a student of Ersdal’s who lived in Minnesota.
When Ersdal first began coming to America to teach, although he was able to speak conversational English, he taught much of the anatomy portion of the class in Latin and would lecture in Norwegian with Katri’s husband, Hans, translating into English. As Ersdal became more proficient in English medical terms, he began teaching classes without the assistance of a translator. The first maps of the feet made available to his students were labeled in Norwegian but later maps were in labeled in English.
1st Graduating Class in America - March 1991
Back row: Marita Zachrisson, Charles Ersdal, Tonya Gomman-Swan, Bob Personnette, Jan Johanson, Sherry (last name unknown), Unknown
Middle Row: Hans Nordblom, Katri Nordblom, Robin Foline, Joshua Goman (Tonya’s son) Mary Jo Morgan, Julie Holdregger
Front row: Inbrit Stein, Bernadette Jagiello
During this time, word of Ersdal’s methods began to spread and many people did not want to wait for him to visit America so they would travel to his clinic in Norway to learn from Ersdal, two of those students included Julie Holderegger of Idaho and Martha Libster of Chicago, Illinois. Between Ersdal’s visits to American, previous students would work with current students to ensure proper placement of the hands on a client’s foot. Those teachers included Katri Nordblom, Christine Horvath, Julie Holderegger, and a gentleman by the name of Bob Personette. Although Ersdal’s map of the feet was very detailed, he realized that the treatment was incomplete and continued to study the body and its placement on the feet. Charles continued to develop treatments for the various Foot Zone signals throughout his life.
Others Begin to Teach
Katri Nordbloom recognized what she felt were limitations to Ersdal’s map of the zone and began teaching her own method of the Foot Zone Technique which she called FootZonology®. Martha Libster began teaching her own method of the Foot Zone Technique, combining her knowledge and practice of Ersdal zone therapy with that of foot reflexology and nurse-herbalism. Robert Personnette began teaching his own classes too, calling his method BEZT. Other students of Dr. Ersdal began teaching what they called European Reflexology. All of them were building upon the Foot Zone Technique that they had learned from Dr. Ersdal by adding their own touch and their own treatments to his technique.
Ersdal continued coming to America and teaching in Minnesota at the request of Christine Horvath. After Charles Ersdal’s death on March 23, 1995, Christine Horvath received permission from Ersdal’s family to continue teaching Ersdal’s method of Foot Zoning using Charles’ very detailed maps of the feet. She is the only person in America authorized to teach from his maps. Ersdal’s son, Robert, continues to run the clinic that Charles started in Norway.
The Legacy Continues
Like a cook who is given a recipe and adjusts to suit their tastes, students of Ersdal’s took what they learned from him and began adjusting and adding to his method, creating maps of the feet and zone techniques that reflected their understanding and education. Some opened schools, like Katri Nordblom and Martha Libster, others taught workshops independently to friends and neighbors who wanted to learn.
At this time, there are classes, seminars, and workshops held throughout America teaching the Foot Zone Technique. In addition to Katri’s school in Montana, the Nordblom American Institute of FootZonology, you can learn the foot zone technique from schools such as We Do Feet with locations throughout Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, or the Academy of Foot Zone Therapy which holds classes in Utah, Arizona, Washington, and Nevada. Christine Horvath continues to teach the foot zone technique, using Ersdal’s maps of the feet, in Minnesota. Martha Libster includes information on the foot zone technique in her Integrative Nursing program at Golden Apple Healing Arts in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, Illinois.
Benefits from a Foot Zone Session vary from person-to-person, but reported benefits include:
- Release of tension
- Cleansing of the body of toxins
- Improvement in circulation
- Increase of the body's energy system
- Creates a state of homeostasis and balance
- Helps build a strong immune system
- A quicker response time for health after injury or illness
- Relationships can be improved
- Harmony and peace in your home and life
Similarly, each body will respond differently as it begins to reach homeostasis. However, reported reactions after a foot zone include:
- Colon becomes more active
- Change in sleep patterns
- Deep state of relaxation
- Increased energy
- Joints become more mobile
- A feeling of hormonal balance
- Your body becomes fertile - watch out!
- Life becomes easier
- Emotionally more stable
- Your spouse is not the bad guy anymore!
Commonly Asked Questions About the Foot Zone Technique
Are you new to Foot Zone Therapy? If so, it’s natural to have questions about this modality that uses pressure points on the feet to access and bring balance to the body.
Below are some commonly asked questions about the Foot Zone Technique.
If your question isn’t answered below, you’re welcome to contact me and I’d be happy to answer any other questions you might have. Or better yet – schedule a session and find out for yourself what Foot Zone Therapy is all about!
What results can I expect?
After a session most people will feel very relaxed. They may also feel refreshed and revived or extremely tired. Either response is fine. Remember that the body heals when it sleeps so if you feel tired after a zone, allow your body time to relax and rebuild.
The purpose of the zone is to help bring the body into balance. The body knows what it needs to work on, in the order it needs to be worked on. Because it can take up to four days after a zone for the body to accomplish what the zone has set in motion, there have been times when a client felt relaxed and fine after the zone and three days later face-planted on the bed and slept for 12 hours. It’s all part of the body’s energy systems balancing themselves.
The foot zone technique treats the body as a whole and doesn’t treat specific diseases or problems but rather balances the body to bring it to a state of homeostasis. Although I cannot claim direct healing effects and cures, I have seen remarkable results during and after a session. There have been many people that have experienced relief from headaches, back pain, digestive and sleep disorders, depression, auto immune failure, the common cold/flu, relief of stress, difficulty in conception, and many other health problems.
Does it hurt?
When the signals on the feet are blocked, it’s my job to try to open them back up. Most people will feel pressure or a slight burning in the area that is being worked if the signal is off. Of course, not every signal will be blocked, but for those that are, the discomfort only lasts as long as I’m on the signal. Because I trust the body to bring itself into balance, I don’t force a signal to open but rather I stimulate it which allows the body to do what it needs to do to open the signal. That means that a signal may be blocked for only one session or for a few.
Either way, I work directly with you and communicate with you throughout the session to determine the level of pressure that is right for you. My purpose is not to kill you with pain to but to assist the body so it can heal itself.
How long does a foot zone session last?
The foot zone itself will typically take about 45 minutes. The size of the feet will play a part and feet that have a lot of blocked signals will take slightly longer than those whose signals are open.
However, a session with me typically will take about 60-90 minutes. Why the additional time?
We will spend a few minutes discussing any concerns and reviewing any Self-Help questions you might have.
I’ll muscle test for the essential oils that will be the most beneficial during and after your foot zone.
Following the foot zone technique, we will review any blocked signals with you, and go over Self-Help recommendations.
All of this adds up to a little longer session time, but I find that including additional energy work and wellness consulting in a session result in increased and longer-lasting benefits for the client.
Could I have any side effects?
Side effects evoke bad images, so while I don’t think you’ll have side effects, there are possible effects. Remember that the body is bringing itself into balance so there are several responses that may occur.
- Some clients feel energized with more vitality.
- There may be a change in sleep patterns. Your sleep may become deeper and calmer, or dreams may be more active.
- Fatigue. Your body may respond by needing more sleep so it can rest and repair.
- Emotional or psychological releases may result in crying or laughing.
- Your digestive system may be more active.
- There may be increased skin activity or perspiration.
- You could have greater clarity of thought.
- There may be a release of stress and a feeling of being more in balance.
- Frequent urination and detoxification may occur.
How each person responds to a foot zone session is unique to them and their situation. While there will most likely be some effects from a zone, they’re all part of your body coming into balance. Most people find it helpful to flush their system by drinking three glasses of water after a session and being sure to drink at least half their weight in ounces of water a day, especially for the next 3-4 days as the body completes is cycle after the zone. Adding juice from a lemon also helps support the body as it releases toxins.
Can this help with my emotions?
During a foot zone session, I am balancing all four parts of the body. It is believed that the signal system is a connecting link between the physical, emotional, mental, and etheric/spiritual bodies. It is also understood that the foot zone stimulates and helps balance the endocrine system of the body.
Because all four parts of the body are connected, by stimulating all four bodies, imbalances can be addressed holistically and, in the order necessary to bring about balance more effectively. This may result in some emotional releases, but only for the good of the client.
That said, how much is released and how quickly it is released, is up to you. If you do not want emotions released, they will not be. The emotional, mental, and etheric/spiritual bodies are controlled by the subconscious mind of the client. Many times, the client isn’t ready to address more emotional issues until after they’ve had a few sessions and have developed a certain level of trust in the process. That’s ok. Things will release, and the body will balance, in the order that it needs to and when it’s ready to.
Everybody has issues that need to be dealt with. If we brought all of them to the surface in the first zone, the body wouldn’t be able to deal with them and would more than likely go into a healing crisis.
How often should I be zoned?
That really depends on you.
If you’re working on a “project” something that has a “label” then I recommend that my clients really “hit it hard” and for the first 3 sessions, come every week; for the next three sessions, come every other week; for the next three sessions, come third week; and then for the next session come four weeks later and let’s re-evaluate. By then you’ve had 10 sessions, and you can get a good feeling for how your body is responding and any benefits.
For clients who don’t have a “project” and are coming in for a Foot Zone Session to help bring balance and homeostasis, it really is up to you and how you feel. Listen to your heart and your body. You will know when it’s time for another session.
Do you use a tool?
I don’t use a tool. Some people will use specially designed rocks (gems) or sticks to help access and balance the signals, but I find that my thumbs and knuckles allow me to feel and balance the signals on the feet quite well.
Who cannot be zoned?
There isn’t anyone who wouldn’t benefit from a Foot Zone Session! It used to be believed that those with organ or tissue transplants, pacemakers, shunts, and stints should avoid foot zone sessions. It’s since been discovered that this is not the case and many clients with “foreign objects” in the body have reported that complications have disappeared after experiencing Foot Zone Sessions with an experienced, Certified Practitioner.
Can I learn the Foot Zone technique?
Absolutely! There are instructors for We Do Feet in Grand Junction, CO and we believe that every family should have a way to access the body in times of stress and sickness and to bring balance in the home. The training for the Foot Zone Technique takes place over a nine-month period. Classes are held two days, once a month, allowing the student to take the rest of the month to practice and study. Each class is broken down to give you thorough and complete instruction, concept-by-concept, before moving on to teach the next module. During the first 4 classes you’ll learn the foot zone map and technique. During the next 5 classes you’ll learn ways to support and perfect the zone technique and they will help progress from following a “map” to “feeling the signals.” Along the way, you’ll also learn the principles of success. This training is designed to help you be the best foot zone practitioner you can be.
If you would like more information on classes, the curriculum, or what it takes to learn the Foot Zone Technique, please feel free to call Vanessa Young (970) 260-9669 for more information.