About 1985 a German engineer, living in Somerset West South Africa, lost his wife after many months of searching for a cure. Their search included many modalities and he was most impressed with the relief she experienced through Reflexology and Acupressure techniques.

Later, while taking photos on a beach he noticed a tingling in his calves after walking barefoot over the rocks. He immediately recognized the effect as increased circulation due to the stimulation on his soles. He replicated this at home by hand-carving a wooden board, matching the rock surface as closely as possible – and EUREKA! – the first Reflex-o-Board was born.

Experiencing the convenience and cost saving of his DIY home treatments, he decided to open the opportunity to the public and designed a mould for commercial production. He patented his idea in 1986 under the name of “Reflexology Healthboard”. Ten years (and many thousands of Boards later) he decided to retire and that was when I came into the picture through a set of very unusual circumstances! (Some folk might call them “co-incidences”; to me they are “God-incidences”!).

At the time I was a Provincial Manager in a large banking institution. They decided to ‘downsize’ and took out that level of management. And there I was, a 57 year-old, white and a male in the “New South Africa’ where folk who had been previously disadvantaged by the apartheid regime flooded to, and were given preference, in the employment market. I obviously did not qualify. I was also suffering from advanced arthritis in my left knee after surgery some years previously as a result of sports injuries. I was in a bad way; I reacted badly and wallowed in my self-pity!

Below is my personal story as it appeared in Pathways to Health magazine – Nov 1997:

I was devastated! “Redundant? What does that mean?””You are out of a job. All five Provincial Managers’ positions have been scrapped. We are reorganizing the company.”This was Friday the 13th 1996 and after 13 years of service I was out of a job at the awkward age of 57.The next few months are not something on which I dwell. How can a normal well-balanced individual feel so worthless, lose confidence and need psychological counseling? Days blurred into weeks and weeks into months. Christmas arrived. What was there to celebrate? This year the lights had gone out.Among my presents was a Reflexology Healthboard. My eldest daughter had enthused about how her frozen shoulder and PMS had been cured by regularly stomping around on her Board. Cynically, I regarded this strange polypropylene “pizza with a bad case of acne” as a prime candidate for my “gizmos for the gullible” prize. However, the family audit system would be checking on me, so I used it faithfully according to the instructions. When it failed, I reasoned, I would be able to dump the pesky thing!Two weeks later my wife pointed out in that lovely patronizing tone that only a wife of 35 years can use with impunity: ” Dear, do you realize that you are no longer getting out of bed like a 75 year-old? (At 57, arthritic knees from sports injuries and consequent operations had limited me to cycling and swimming the past six years – impact sports were ‘verboten’.) As usual, she was right! Then it dawned on me that my stress-levels had also reduced, my indigestion had almost disappeared, my sleep patterns had improved and I was no longer nervously ‘jerking’ myself awake as I tried to drop off to sleep. Coincidence?The next ‘coincidence’ was when I happened to meet the inventor of the Board in Somerset West. When thanking him for my newfound well-being, he showed me many testimonials from grateful clients. I was amazed. He explained that the Board merely helped the body to heal itself by harnessing age-old reflexology principles to improve body metabolism by opening energy channels, improving circulation etc.When he mentioned he was soon to retire, we ‘put our money where our feet were’ and bought the business, lock, stock and patent. I am now back on the tennis court once again, and, filled with positive energy and optimism, look forward to life with zest. How much of this is in the mind and how much in the feet, I do not know, nor do I care. Testimonials from grateful clients say it all: “Your Board is wonderful, it has changed my life.”Who says #13 is unlucky?


Yes, that’s how it all came about! Since then I have personally qualified as a Reflexologist and bought out my daughter’s share (She is now in the States) and re-named the device “Reflex-o-Board” to avoid confusion with the many government “Boards of Health’ around the world. And we’re still going strong, providing natural health fans with DIY reflexology treatments in the safety and convenience of their own homes – all at a huge cost saving!

Many municipalities and universities in the East have now built ‘reflexology paths’ (some of which bear a striking resemblance to the surface of the Board!) where the public simply shuck their shoes and ‘tune their bodies up’ with a daily barefoot walk. And in the USA, research by the Oregon Research Institute has confirmed many of the anecdotal claims of “cobblestone walking” on similar devices.

Life is Good! Enjoy it on a REFLEX-O-BOARD!