I often teach reflexology to massage therapists, who invariably ask about the benefits of combining reflexology with massage and how best to do that. With 27 years of experience offering reflexology and 21 with therapeutic massage, it’s not hard for me to come up with personal examples from my busy years of practice. I wonder though if a report from a brand new student of reflexology might have bigger import?
Recently I received the following in an e-mail from a woman enrolled in this summer’s Therapeutic Hand & Foot Reflexology Professional Certification. She sent this after having completed the first module of the program, in which the only system reflexes she learned to work were the musculoskeletal. Her exuberant communication is a testimony to the powerful contribution reflexology offers people with musculoskeletal pain and discomfort.
Here it is, straight from her mouth:
“I LOVE what we are learning. I absolutely LOVE it. I have used the relaxation techniques and the musculoskeletal protocol on about 20 people since last week (every client I’ve seen since I left class), and the results are just completely inarguable! The majority of my clients are regulars, so I am very familiar with their tissue in various stages and during various parts of a massage, and when I worked their hands and feet first, WOW, the rest of the tissue became butter, cotton candy, just as inviting and easy to work with as ever.
I can’t tell you how tickled I am to be learning something that so obviously works, and right away, too! I was prepared to be patient for long term benefits (of which, I am sure, there are many), but to see the effects so immediately is really exciting, too!
Can’t wait to learn more. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this class.”
Her experience mirrors mine. Over the years I have experimented with doing a reflexology session, with emphasis on areas of complaint, and then doing some spot massage on the problematic tissue, or doing the two modalities in reverse. Without a doubt, I have seen the best results when I do reflexology first. As the student above so aptly stated, reflexology turns tissue to butter. The relaxation response is in full swing, fresh blood has pushed out noxious chemicals and pain receptors have quieted down. Therapeutic massage then becomes much more effective.
What’s your experience offering massage with reflexology? Any cases that stand out in your memory?