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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Relieving Chronic Foot Pain

Gaga shoesI just finished teaching the How to Relieve Chronic Foot Pain workshop this last weekend in Gainesville, Florida and am excited to be able to offer it one more time this year in Ottawa, Ontario.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t learn a lot about what causes debilitating foot pain when I first studied reflexology. I was forced to learn though as more and more people came to me – often as a last ditch effort – with their painful conditions. Over time I became known in my community for being able to help people, with plantar fasciitis and peripheral neuropathy specifically. Initially, my approach was simply reflexology. Sometimes that worked beautifully, but sometimes it didn’t; and that left me a little frustrated. I dug around, studied more myself and eventually added in other protocols and techniques, learned how to really target my reflexology work and most importantly, how to identify better choices my clients could make pertaining to their own foot health.

What I do now with clients suffering from chronic foot pain is very different than what I once offered – and that is what I will share with you in the How to Relieve Chronic Foot Pain workshop. I hope you will join us next month, and save yourself years of research, trial and error. Please register soon; registration will end October 28 and there are thousands of people out there crying out for your help!


Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Late-Breaking News for Canadians and Northern Americans!

Last week, I published a post on the How to Relieve Chronic Foot Pain workshop, and stated that there were only two trainings available still this year, one in Memphis, Tennessee and one in Gainesville, Florida. It turns out I spoke too soon. (If you missed that post, you can read it here.)

I will be speaking at the Reflexology Association of Canada’s conference in Ottawa, Ontario the first weekend of November on the topic of foot pain. I have just learned that I will be able to offer the How to Relieve Chronic Foot Pain workshop following the conference on November 3 and 4! I am also very excited to be able to do so at a ridiculously low price to conference attendees. Register by September 29 and pay only $285. A link to a description of the training is on the registration listing.

The hands-on segment of the class requires a massage table; no reflexology chairs, so those of you who are driving to the conference/workshop are requested to please bring one.

The location is the lovely yoga studio at Planet Botanix in the heart of downtown Ottawa. From the RAC conference headquarters, it’s less than 30 minutes if you’re walking; less than 10 minutes by car. Great opportunity for anyone living just south of the 49th as well!

Contact me with any questions and please spread the word! karen@academyofancientreflexology.com


Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

When Feet Take a Beating

Foot painSome people claim that of all our body parts, our feet tend to suffer the most. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that there’s nothing worse than sore feet; and sore feet are a guarantee if neglected. Our feet are our trusty servants, providing a foundation upon which we “take a stand” and allowing us to move forward in life.

As a reflexologist, I often hear the statement “My feet are killing me!” Perhaps that painful complaint would be more accurately stated with, “I’m killing my feet”. We stuff them into poorly designed, ill-fitted shoes and then proceed to stand on them hour after hour without rest. We pay little attention to the fact that the feet carry our whole body weight and who we are every day of our lengthy existence here on earth. When you treat your feet well, they tend to return the favor. For that reason I have dedicated my private practice to putting “feet first”.

Because I am a board-certified reflexologist, people often mistake my qualifications for that of a “foot doctor”. With so many queries coming my way, I realized years ago that I needed to know something about the pathologies and irregularities that can cause debilitating foot pain. I saw that I needed to understand the foot as much as I understood how reflexology affects the body’s physiology.

I have to admit that what really spurred me to learn more about what causes foot pain and how to remedy it though was my own unpleasant experience with plantar fasciitis. My initial research indicated that it usually takes a year to recover from this degenerative condition; not willing to accept that, I set out to find a way to shorten that healing time. (I was able to fully recover in three months.)

For a number of years afterwards I shared what I had learned and successfully put into practice in a 2-day training on how to address plantar fasciitis. But once again, I was pushed further. Invariably, in those classes there were always people asking for guidance in helping their clients with other conditions that caused chronic foot pain. I realized that I needed to expand what I was offering to include other maladies.

Now, in the training that I offer, we look at 19 common conditions of foot pain, how the allopathic community treats those conditions, the natural approaches that a practitioner can offer, “homework” clients can take home with them, and of course, reflexology techniques to bring relief.

The manual also includes examination and interview forms that are essential to assessing soft tissue injuries, and an illustrated protocol for treating plantar fasciitis, peripheral neuropathy, bone spurs and tarsal tunnel syndrome.

People don’t have to live with chronic foot pain! Witness what happens when you bring knowledge and hands-on skills to those people in your life living in pain. Join me at one of two locations this year for the How to Relieve Chronic Foot Pain workshop: Memphis, Tennessee on September 20 and 21; Gainesville, Florida on October 18 and 19.


Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Plan NOW to Honor “The Protector”

September is National Prostate Month, a good time to invite your male clients to receive a reflexology session geared specifically to their health. Suggest a weekly session during the month of September, followed up by monthly maintenance sessions. Send them home with an informational handout on how to keep this walnut-shaped gland functioning optimally, and test how targeted treatments might support the health of their prostate.

prostateThe prostate is the structure that secretes fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. During ejaculation, the prostate squeezes this fluid into the urethra, and it’s expelled with sperm as semen. It makes sense that the Greeks named the prostate the “protector”, since the alkalinity of semen protects sperm from the acidic environment of the vagina.

There are three primary conditions that can afflict the prostate:


Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland that can result in swelling, pain, problems with urination, sexual dysfunction, fatigue and depression.

Many urologic disease experts believe that as many as 10% of males will experience prostatitis at some point in their lives, so taking proactive steps early on to support the health of this gland just makes sense.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) generally occurs in men over 50, when the prostate enlarges to the point where urination becomes difficult. Symptoms include increased frequency and hesitancy in getting started. If the prostate grows too large, it can constrict the urethra (which passes through it) and impede the flow of urine, making urination difficult and painful and, in extreme cases, completely impossible.

BPH is treated medically with pharmaceuticals, a minimally invasive procedure or, in extreme cases, surgery that removes the prostate.


Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in industrialized countries (besides skin cancer). It’s estimated that by age 50, about 25% of the male population has cancerous cells in their prostate glands. This percentage jumps to 50% by age 80, at which time the condition can become a significant cause of death.

Surgery, radiation, hormone therapy and chemotherapy are often used to treat prostate cancer.

Care of the Prostate

Here are some commonly recognized methods by which to take care of the prostate:

1. Make mindful choices when it comes to food & beverages

  • Maintain a healthy weight, especially around the middle;
  • Eat a plant based diet high in anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids;
  • Reduce protein-dense animal foods;
  • Drink fluids throughout the day in small amounts, not all at once;
  • Reduce the consumption of fluids, especially caffeine and alcohol, in the evening.

2. Increase blood circulation to the pelvis

3. Reduce stress

4. Avoid over-the-counter medications with decongestants and/or anti-histamines if possible. They are known to increase symptoms of BPH.


Reflexology’s role in supporting prostate health is focused on increasing blood circulation to the pelvis, reducing overall stress and helping to regulate the production of testosterone, a hormone that plays a vital role in the health of the prostate.

Reflexes to target in a prostate session are:

  • prostate
  • testes
  • vas deferens
  • central nervous system
  • solar plexus
  • adrenals
  • groin lymph nodes

Act Now

Commit to making September the month to focus on men’s health. Send a newsletter or email to your clients now inviting them to schedule weekly sessions next month to learn about and support prostate health. Prepare an educational handout with information such as I shared above. (Use what you wish from this post.)

And, as always, feel free to share your experiences and that of your clients below!




Sunday, July 27th, 2014

PTSD and the 5 Elements

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of inquiries on various reflexology Facebook group pages about working with people suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), so I’d like to speak about it again here. Bottom line – reflexology is very beneficial to someone suffering from PTSD. At the same time, it would be prudent for the therapist wishing to work with this population to . . . → Read More: PTSD and the 5 Elements

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