is one thing stronger
than all the armies in the world,
and that is an idea
whose time has come.
Wittman, founder of the Modern Institute of Reflexology, experienced
ReflexoCure (reflexology) from the moment of birth by the hands
of his Mother Beth Wittman. He had a wonderful example in the
"woman with the steel fingers" as she was described
by her patients. In 1952 he earned certification with Eunice Ingham
Stopfel and continued his fledgling
practice while attending the National College of Naprapathy in
Illinois. Following graduation he opened a clinical practice in
Oak Park, Illinois where he blended foot reflexology with naprapathy
in order to effectively treat the infirm who sought him out.
Wittman started using the Percuss-O-Motor early
in his career through the example of his parents who both used
this machine that was recommended by adherents of Dr. Fitzgerald.
Like Zachary Brinkerhoff, he
saw a need to supplement finger pressure and thumb walking in
order to save the thumb joints. The solenoid powered percussion
machine filled that bill. "Between Dad, Mom and myself we
had 80+ years of experience utilizing the old Percuss-O-Motor
Machine. When the original POM machines we had wore out, I had
to design a new model (using solid state circuitry instead of
radio tubes) since the McShirley company had gone out of business,"
The new and improved Percuss-O-Flex gave a smooth
drummer-like action just like the old POM. It was finally perfected
and presented to the public through the American Institute of
Reflexology. Wittman changed the name to Modern Institute of Reflexology
when he registered the school with the US Government in 1981.
He had been conducting one-day seminars across the USA in order
to train those who aspired to become professionals (such as Kim
Kling) by utilizing his new POF drummer type percussive machine.
Dr. Wittman's intensive 1-Day (12 hour) seminar was designed to
enable the aspiring professional to:
1. Understand what foot reflexology is, how it
works, and how it compares and contrasts with other therapeutic
2. Review basic physiology and anatomy, learning
the foot reflex points for 41 main body parts;.
3. Recognize the most common pathologies that respond
to treatment by reflexology;
4. Establish a professional and credible relationship
5. Assess clients' problems and needs, select appropriate
course of treatment, and make referrals as appropriate/necessary.
6. Establish and maintain a successful reflexology
practice through proper use of advertising, knowledge of legal
issues related to reflexology, and efficient office set up and
7. Practice the technique of massaging the reflex
points both manually and by machine.
"I have been using reflexology, a kindred natural
healing art to acupuncture, a good deal longer than most Americans
experimenting with this oriental therapy which burst upon the
scene after President Nixon's trip to China in 1972. I have given
successful treatments for low back pain, osteo and rheumatoid
arthritis, and a whole cross section of spinal problems. Often
these cases were the desperate variety when everything else had
failed. In many cases, prescriptions for narcotics, painkillers,
and other drugs were eliminated entirely," claimed Wittman
in his New Reflexology Hand Book.
Wittman's teaching emphasized that the advantage
of reflexology over chiropractic, osteopathy, shiatsu and acupressure
(among others) was its ease of administration ... if done by machine.
He further demonstrated how the numbing action upon a sensitive
reflex by the Percuss-O-Flex machine greatly decreased the high
level of pain many times produced by thumb and finger pressure.
And in a busy clinic operation he showed how important the percussion
machine was in both reducing treatment time and saving the thumbs
from the stress of overwork.
Zachary, for your note and relating your
interactions with my father Clem Wittman just
prior to his death," wrote Tom
In 1989, after a year of suffering abdominal discomfort,
he went in for a medical check up. Emergency surgery revealed
that he was full of inoperable colon cancer. However, before his
untimely death, Dr. Wittman determined that his clinic, school
and Percuss-O-Flex should not die with him. He sold his clinic
to a chiropractor, but the Modern Institute of Reflexology (along
with his beloved Percussion machine) was passed to his primary
colleague whose work paralleled his own in research and development
of reflex stimulus devices...Zachary
Zachary, for your response to my Email. I am sure
that my Grandma Bess is smiling down from heaven knowing
that you are carrying on her and my father's work, for it is
an endeavor that she fully and totally believed in,"
Tom Wittman (shown above with Bess).
Wittman followed in the steps of his Mom, Dad and Eunice
Ingham (Ingham photo on left: reflexing SOURCE point of
Liver Meridian). His use of percussion machines was in the
mode of Eunice Ingham's employer Joe
Shelby Riley, DC. Thus Wittman simplified application of reflex
stimulus which equipped the common man to treat himself, other
family members and also laid the groundwork for his students to
become a professional ReflexoCurist (reflexologist). Many professionals
such as Kim Kling are practicing today because of their original
inspiration to become a professional practitioner through the
advantage of percussion machine techniques demonstrated by Dr.Clement
T. Wittman, DN.
Students come to Wheat Ridge Campus
for Specialty Tutoring
Between 1989 and 1992 the MIR curriculum was converted
from a 1-Day seminar previously conducted by Dr. Wittman in major
cities across the USA, into a Home Study Format designed by Zachary.
By 1993 the Modern Institute of Reflexology had become the first
state approved and regulated occupational reflexology school in
the USA. MIR's new and improved reflexology home study course
for training professionals continues to carry the endorsement
of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private
Occupational Schools Board.
Wheeler is learning reflexology through MIR's
Home Study Program from his home in Judea Hills, Israel.
be nice to people
on the way up;
because you'll meet the same people
on the way down.
A Tribute to Dr. Clement T. Wittman
Wittman was a man I greatly admired. He took Reflexology to
an ever higher level than his predecessors with his development
of the Percuss-O-Flex machine. We, Professional Reflexologists,
know how well Reflexology treatments work but the one drawback
was that they could be rather painful at times, especially if
the patient had a congested Pituitary. With the Percuss-O-Flex
machine, that problem for the most part was solved.
usually begin treatment by finding the "sore spots"
with the Mildred Carter probe and then concentrate on those
areas with the Percuss-O-Flex. It worked very well every time
and Dr. Wittman's idea of two machines worked even better. One
machine was always ready to use instead of having to wait for
the machine you were using to cool down.
Wittman's philosophy of life and his devotion to healing people
through this art will long be remembered by his patients, his
graduates of his seminars and all who hold dear the profession
the words of the Orthodox Christians, may his memory be eternal!
Rev. Dr. Howard D. Van Orden,
D. Min., D.P.C., Ph.D., D.R.
Holistic Health Services
6630 North 47th Avenue, #8
Glendale, AZ 85301
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