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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Flip-Flops and Your Feet

Flip-flops-lotsThe warm weather has arrived in Florida (fortunately without the high humidity yet). If that’s not your experience where you live, can you imagine? Pretend that you’re trading in your wool socks and closed-in boots for “spring/summer attire”? Where I live, that means flip-flops and slides – the topic of my post today.

So, what’s wrong with these free-wheeling shoes? Plenty. Especially if you’re someone who is on their feet a lot and doesn’t take preventative measures to keep them healthy and strong.

As an experiment, don your fave flip-flops, walk slowly and pay attention to what your toes must do to keep those fun shoes on your feet.

When you wear shoes that don’t stay connected to your foot when moving, the “grip” needed to keep that footwear on causes a chain reaction in your lower body.

The heads of the metatarsals and the distal phalanx of all digits are driven into the groundflip-flop foot creating higher-than-normal pressure (think calluses, metatarsalgia, risk of fracture)

The ends of the individual phalanxes at the proximal interphalangeal joints are driven up into the top of that cute slide (think corns, calluses).

Unnecessary muscle tension is created down the front of the leg (Try this: while seated, place your hands on the front of your leg to the outside of the tibia, and grip your toes hard. Feel the muscle contraction in your leg?)

When interviewing people who have consulted me about their chronic foot pain, I often find footwear to be involved with the problem. Wearing the same pair all day, every day – lack of support – improper fit – unsuitable shoe for the purpose – inflexibility. And in sunny climates, the ubiquitous wearing of flip-flops. (In the UK, plantar fasciitis is often referred to as flip-flop disease.)

Attendees at the How to Relieve Chronic Foot Pain look at ways to help people suffering from foot pain, in ways that don’t always mean stepping away from fashion forever. We look at nearly 20 conditions that can cause people problems in their feet and outline ways that we can help those folks with hands-on protocols, awareness, coaching and homework assignments. North American reflexologists with these skills are really appreciated in a culture boasting over 40,000 adults suffering from chronic foot pain!

Please join us and learn how you can help those in your community who are living in pain.

May 2 and 3 in Gainesville, Florida.

Later in the year: British Columbia, Washington, Ontario, Quebec and North Dakota!


Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Reflexology After End-Stage Liver Disease and Transplant

LiverThe liver is the body’s chief chemical factory with more than 600 functions; obviously an important organ in human functioning. In Chinese Medicine, the liver is key to healthy “qi” (life force). The health of the muscles, tendons and ligaments are, in particular, associated with the health of the liver. The emotion controlled by the liver is anger. The attributes associated with a healthy liver are flexibility, vision, assertiveness and self control; those of an unhealthy liver, anger, rage, a feeling of inadequacy, irritability and fear of responsibility.

How might living with a diseased liver and then a donated replacement affect someone, both physically and metaphysically? When Cristina Posse, a 2014 Academy grad met such an individual, she set out to discover if foot reflexology, offered nearly four years post diagnosis and transplant, might offer relief to this man’s myriad difficulties and daily symptoms. Read the methods Cristina employed and the results attained.


Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The Starbucks Rule

A friend of mine works part-time as a coffee barista for Starbucks. On one of his many busy mornings, he looked up to once again see what seemed like a never-ending snake of caffeine-deprived eyes eagerly scrutinizing his every move. A familiar feeling of panic consumed him. And then, a fortunate moment of grace occurred, as he remembered to focus on his breath.

With full awareness he realized that he did not have 22 cappuccinos to make – he had only to make one. At that moment, the Starbucks Rule – as I later named it – was born.

How many times in my life have I watched my crazy mind jump from one item to another on my never-ending list of things to do? I well know that time management people always say to prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Well, sometimes I feel that I don’t even have time to prioritize the list! My monkey mind is having a wild time swinging from one thing to another – all the time preventing me from doing anything!

There are a few trusty things I can turn to when I’m feeling like that; close my eyes and breath, get up from my desk and go for a walk outside, drink a cup of tea while doing absolutely nothing. Sometimes I can just “talk myself down from the ledge” by enlisting the Starbucks Rule.

However, I find that I am less likely to even get so wound up if I include a variety of practices in my life on a daily basis. What works for me is morning meditation, plenty of sleep, a hearty breakfast, outdoors daily exercise and regular bodywork (including self-reflexology before bed).

With reflexology, I like to massage in some rich shea butter and work the bottom of my feet, with lots of focus on the central nervous system (brain and spine), diaphragm and adrenal reflexes to restore homeostasis. That always guarantees a deep and restorative sleep.

What sort of strategies work to keep you sane and balanced in your crazy life?


Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Crisis and Choice

You never know what you will find when you start cleaning out old files! I came across an editorial I wrote in 1997 for the then print-version of the Florida School of Massage’s Connective Issue magazine. I share it now along with a couple of questions for you to contemplate! I am happy to say that this still sums up my beliefs.

“I love the synchronicity of life. I love how, when I’m paying attention, I become so aware of the bountiful support life constantly offers me.

Last week, I came across a greeting card with a quotation credited to Anaïs Nin, the French novelist. The card read: We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are. Ah…I liked that! Nin’s belief seemed to echo one of mine: Events are neither good nor bad, right or wrong; they just are. We interpret them to mean something based on our beliefs, on who we are.

Little did I know that the message in that greeting card would soon serve to guide me through a challenging time.

Two days ago, I found myself enmeshed in a complicated situation that involved a number of people for whom I care a lot. Many people felt incredibly angry towards certain individuals. Certain people asked for my forgiveness, while other expressed disappointment and surprise regarding my part in the play. Others’ fears were so strong that they felt directed to advise me to seek legal counsel. One thing was certain – there were obviously many ways to see the situation!

As I witnessed all this around me, as well as my own fluctuating emotions, I decided that I wanted to consciously choose my response, rather than react. And that involved a “heart-to-heart” with myself.

Anger? Found no anger, or hate, or resentment towards anyone involved in the drama we had created. Mostly, I felt compassion and curiosity.

Forgiveness? I held no judgment whatsoever towards any of the individuals involved in this story, including myself. Therefore, there was nothing or no one to forgive. Acceptance seemed a better word to describe my position.

And so I was left with the suggestion of fear. I noticed that if I allowed thoughts of worse case scenarios to occupy my head, I was easily overcome with disastrous thoughts. Since I really had no idea of the ultimate resolution of this situation I asked myself, what did I want to see happen? And why would I choose to entertain any image in my head other than what I desired?

I decided therefore to hold a particular vision for myself and the others involved – a positive one.

Immediately, a realization came to me: CRISIS DOESN’T CHANGE WHO I AM – IT SIMPLY SHOWS ME WHO I AM. Yes! If I am a loving, trusting human being, then that is how I will see/relate to myself, the events and people in my life – no matter what the circumstances. The choice is always mine, and all mine.

As I looked back on the tumultuous days just past, I had to smile. I learned a lot – about loyalty and lies and love; how ethical situations demand scrupulous introspection and a thorough examination of the “big-picture” consequences.

Even as I stumble towards perfection, I like who I am. I like who I am becoming. More and more, self-acceptance comes naturally and easily, and within that loving acceptance comes painless change and growth. I am so grateful for the many opportunities I am given from which I can create and express my emerging self.”

What about you? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you greet each day looking only for what you want to see, or wake up expecting to see what you don’t want in your life?


Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Rock Your World!

If 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. . . . → Read More: Rock Your World!

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