myosesh Others Chapmans reflex (Neurolymphatic reflex)

Chapmans reflex (Neurolymphatic reflex)

This may not sound familiar to you. I did not know what it was until I happened to find on Facebook and actually took this course.

History of Chapman’s reflex

This is discovered by Frank Chapman who was osteopath. In 1920, Chapman discovered neurolymphatic points that connect to lymphatics, organs and endocrine system, and published a chart in his text; Lymphatic reflexes, a specific method of Diagnosis and Treatment. His brother-in-law Charles Owens wrote second edition and started introducing Chapman’s reflexes in the seminar and discovering new theory which is that pelvis provokes somatic dysfunction (pelvic-thyroid-adrenal syndrome).

Soreness or tenderness at the site means that there is some congestions that affect endocrine glands and organs.

 1990, more researches had been done and confirmed that Chapmans reflexes corelate with sympathetic nervous system with a lymphatic response.

Somatic dysfunction

 Dysfunction or impairment in somatic system such as musculoskeletal, fascia, bone, connective tissue and nervous system can impact on organs and endocrine glands.


There are some definitions regarding Chapmans reflex.

  • The original description of “Ganglion-formed” became “Ganglia formed contracted lymphoid tissue nodules”- Frank Chapman, D.O. 1928
  • “A Champan lesion is the result of a lymph stasis in the organs. This lymph stasis is responsible for the dysfunction of the organs”. Charles Owens, D.O. 1944
  • “I believe that it is an autonomic nerve reflex, and that the lesion or nodule is a granulation tissue reaction” H. L. Samblanet, D.O. 1944

What is a Chapman’s Reflex?

  • Chapman’s reflex points are small, discrete tissue changes located deep to the skin.
  • Tissue changes indicate visceral dysfunction or pathology.
  • Reflex points are all over the body.
  • The points are located at free nerve endings.
  • There are some overlap between meridian, trigger point and Chapmans reflex points.
  • Anterior and posterior points are used to diagnose pathologies lately
  • Usually painful and localised pain

Touch for health?

I heard this seems similar to chapman’s reflex which brings me research this. Touch for health was invented by John F. Thie, he published the first manual in 1973.

This is a form of kinesiology to restore the human body into the natural state of health.

Kinesiology seems to facilitate a shortened muscle to release the muscle contraction. Touch for health of kinesiology was invented by a chiropractor who found chiropractic approach was not enough to restore physical malfunction and musculoskeletal issue. He created touch for health based on his findings that some weak muscles got stronger by stimulating some points, which is chapman’s reflex and meridian (Chinese medicine).

Benefits of Touch for health

  • Decreasing pain level
  • Improving breathing technique
  • Increasing energy and vitality
  • Acceleration of recovery from illness and injury
  • Balance of energy flow

There are quite a few techniques and theories existing in allied health and often they are overlapping each other.

 TargetSensation of the structureLocation of the pointReflex pointHow patients may feelRadiation
Chapmans relfexOrgansRopy and spongyDeep fascia or periosteal tissueFixedPainful and sharpNo referral or radiation
Touch for healthMuscles and organsTender or tautDeep to the skinFixedComfortableNo referral or radiation
Trigger pointMusclesTaut band in muscleIn muscle fibreMovableSore or painfulYes

As I continue researching the distinction between them, I realized what I have learnt was touch for health. Only limited research paper is available. Therefore, effectiveness is unknown. What we can say based on evidence-based practice is that the touch on skin can produce a neurophysiological effect, which is known as gate control theory.


  1. William H. Devine Chapman’s reflexes and modern clinical applications
  2. Touch for health about
  3. Natural therapy pages Touch for health

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