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Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Mar
25

Rock Your World!

stone feetIf you read last week’s post on March 18, you’ll know how much importance I put on relaxation. It’s not just me either. Everywhere you look these days, you will see mountains of anecdotal and data-driven evidence on how “un-relaxed” our society is and how that chronic level of stress is playing havoc on our health.

If you want to “kick-it-up a notch” in the relaxation department, then I suggest considering how to use hot and cold mineral stones within a reflexology session.

Adding stones to a reflexology session invites the recipient into such a deep experience of themselves it almost defies definition. I swear a copywriter did not write the following statements! They are true, authentic experiences of clients, word-for-word, shared after receiving a Reflexology Rocks! session:

“As strange as this may sound, I feel like I entered the earth itself. I didn’t leave my body; I became part of the body of earth.”

“The experience was the most relaxed I have ever felt. It wasn’t like floating; it was more like sinking into the safety and solidity of the earth.”

“The experience is almost primordial. I have no words to describe the peaceful state I was in.”

If you are a certified reflexologist, or have taken at least one weekend of reflexology training (hands or feet) please consider taking the 6-hour Reflexology Rocks! class on Monday, April 20. Your clients will thank you! If you’ve not yet taken a Reflexology workshop, there is one at the same location on the Saturday and Sunday preceding this class.

In this short class you will learn how to:

– safely use hot and cold mineral stones (basalt, marble and soapstone) in either a hand or foot reflexology session;

– utilize Himalayan salt crystal stones to reduce the effects of harmful electro-magnetic frequencies on the body;

– learn how to incorporate aromatherapy with hot stones;

– incorporate quartz crystal stones to balance the seven primary chakras.

More importantly though, you will yourself experience why clients rave about stone reflexology.

Details and registration here.

Reflexology Rocks! Rock your world!

 

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
Mar
18

Who Gets Credit?

I recently got into a conversation on Facebook with a new reflexologist (in another country) on whether or not reflexology “fixes” illnesses in the body. She believed that what she was doing and her skill at delivery of those techniques could “fix” (her word) another’s physical ailments. That was important to her.

Before sharing my thoughts on this subject, let me first just state that in the United States, anyone making claims to be able to “fix” someone’s health imbalances better hold a medical license before they open their mouths. Otherwise, they may find themselves in serious trouble for practicing medicine without a license!

That said, I loved the opportunity to examine this subject. I discovered that, sometimes in my own life, I seek confirmation that I am doing something that matters, something that will make a difference in someone else’s life. That comes from a small part of me that needs always to be “doing” in order to justify my own existence, my own importance, that yearns to be recognized as being really good at what I do, and that wants so much for reflexology to be acknowledged as the powerhouse I believe it is.

I can choose to speak and touch from that mindset or from other places within my inner landscape. I can drop my own personal needs and decide to trust instead; to trust my client’s path, trust her body’s innate wisdom, her body’s desire to return to wholeness, and trust that I can stay out of the way.

If I choose to be relaxed myself, stay present with what is happening and responsive to what I might offer, then everything is possible. Within the space of deep relaxation and acceptance, void of any coercion and judgment, the body can feel safe and supported enough to perhaps take the sometimes difficult path to restoration.

This is what I love about reflexology. It doesn’t “fix” anything – even though in my 32 years of practice I have witnessed many, many amazing responses to the work – it simply provides for the client the internal physical environment that makes change possible.

It is my belief then that it is the body that heals, not any intervention that I might perform. The beauty and strength of reflexology is that it puts the body into a neurological state in which the body can repair and heal itself. Relaxation heals, allowing the body to restore homeostasis.

Communication relayed between reflexes and the brain directs the body to make the changes necessary to return to health. The body, in its infinite wisdom, wants to be healthy. As a reflexologist, I am fortunate to know how to create the environment in which that can happen.

What do you think? How were your beliefs shaped?

 

Saturday, March 7th, 2015
Mar
07

Fun Facts About Feet, Hands and Egyptian Culture

Canadian reflexologist Gina Stewart is visiting Egypt right now. She shared the pictures below and some very interesting information, which I have woven into some details I know, about how the Egyptian culture has honored the feet and hands through the ages.

The Funerary

  • Feet were always depicted in tombs.
  • Early Egyptians would massage the entire body in an anointing ritual before the burial ceremony. The hands and feet were given special attention; they were massaged until very soft and supple in preparation to meet their Gods in the after life.
  • Between 1550 and 1069 BC, finger and toe “stalls” were placed on the digits to protect toes and fingers during the funeral service and in the after life. Stalls were fashioned from gold, considered “the flesh of the Gods.”

Egyptian finger stalls Egyptian toe stalls

 

 

 

 

 

Living

  • Ancient Egyptians wore golden sandals so as to connect with the earth’s energy.
  • The Pharaoh and his wife wore a gold sandal on the opposite foot from their partner to represent the unification of man and woman in marriage.
  • When seated on his throne, the Pharaoh positioned his feet on the footstool so that his enemies would be under his feet.

I find all of that fascinating – do you?

 

Saturday, February 28th, 2015
Feb
28

Healing the Knee Without Surgery

An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear, one of the most common knee injuries to occur, regularly lands people in the surgical theatre. I recently read the abstract on a five-month study substituting manual therapy for surgical treatment. The study resulted in complete restitution of the ACL. Very exciting and promising to people who prefer to avoid the knife.

But first, let me explain what we are referring to when we say ACL.

Anatomy of the Knee

Knee ligamentsThe knee joint is the result of three bones meeting: the femur (your thigh bone), the “shinbone” (the tibia-the larger of the two bones in your lower leg) and the kneecap (patella).

Ligaments are fibrous rope-like connective tissue bands that connect bone to bone. Their job is to stabilize the bones in place, so there is not much give-and-take with ligaments.

There are four primary ligaments in your knee:

  • Collateral Ligaments. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is on the inside side of your knee; the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is on the outside. Their job is to control and protect the sideways motion of your knees.
  • Cruciate Ligaments – live inside the knee joint, crossing one another to form an “X”. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is in front, connecting the patella to the tibia; the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), in the back. They control the back and forth motion of your knee. The ACL also prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur and provides rotational stability to the knee.

Ligament Damage

Injuries to ligaments are called sprains and are graded according to severity.

  • Grade 1 Sprain. Mild damage to the ligament. It’s been stretched, but is still able to stabilize the knee joint.
  • Grade 2 Sprain. The ligament has been stretched to the point where it is now loose. This is sometimes referred to as a partial tear.
  • Grade 3 Sprain. The ligament has been torn in two. The joint is unstable. This is known as a complete tear.

ACL Injuries

High demand sports like soccer, football, running or basketball are more likely to incur sprains or tears in the ACL. Unfortunately for women, our incidence of ACL injuries is higher than that of men. Sorry.

Damage to these important ligaments can happen in many ways:

  • Changing direction rapidly
  • Stopping suddenly
  • Slowing down when running
  • Landing from a jump incorrectly
  • Direct collision

Symptoms

People often report hearing a “popping” noise from the knee and a sense of the knee giving out from under them. Other symptoms include pain with swelling, loss of full range of motion and/or discomfort when walking.

The medical profession treats ACL damage in a number of ways: anti-inflammatory medications, knee brace, physical therapy and surgery.

Until reading the study I referenced in the opening paragraph of this post, I was unaware of manual therapy being able to cure a grade 3 (total tear) in the ACL.

After reading it though, I was reminded of the numerous times I have given Thai Foot Reflexology to people with knee pain; how they felt so much better afterwards and could move around with less or no accompanying pain or restrictions in the knees.

I remember specifically one woman in particular. She had put off her inevitable knee replacement surgery for as long as she could and called me when she found herself restricted to her bed, unable to walk at all. She was still weeks away from her appointment and asked whether I might be able to help her. I replied honestly and said I did not know, but was willing to give Thai Foot Reflexology a try, if she was.

I explained that in the session I would work on her feet, lower legs and knees, with the intent to move stagnant energy trapped within the sen lines (energy pathways) of her body. I hoped that perhaps that might bring her some relief while she was waiting.

We set up the appointment. Since she could not travel, I went to her home. Since she wasn’t mobile, I did the session on her bed.

Following the session, she reported feeling very relaxed and in less pain. The big surprise came the next day though, when she called to say that she was able to get out of bed and walk (with the aid of a walker), something she had not been able to do for days.

Needless to say, we were both elated. I continued to give her Thai Foot Reflexology sessions twice/week until her surgery, and was thrilled that I had something to offer that brought some relief and hope to a fellow human being. I LOVE WHAT I DO!

Upcoming Thai Foot Reflexology trainings.  

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
Feb
24

Happy Birthday Eunice!

Eunice D. Ingham, affectionately known as the grandmother of foot reflexology in North America would be celebrating her 126th birthday today, were she still alive. Want to win an autographed copy of her biography? . . . → Read More: Happy Birthday Eunice!

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