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?
Loved your words of wisdom. As a student of reflexology soon to become certified in Canada..this is a confirmation of what I have been trying to explain to people. You had such a lovely way of explaining it. Thank you for sharing!
Karen Ball says
Thanks Pattie. And congratulations on soon completing your training. I hope that your path with reflexology is as rewarding as mine has been. mts? Are you in Manitoba? I was born and raised there.
Sandra Nelson says
Karen, Thank you for writing on this topic. You have made some very important distinctions that I wish were taught in all reflexology schools. Reflexology works beautifully on many levels, i.e. physical, mental,emotional, spiritual. As a reflexologist, it is not ours to judge the client to “fix” anything. Our role is to create safe space where healing can take place. I use the word “healing” not as a “healer” as I don’t claim such. I believe healing is between the client and his/her higher power. We as reflexologists act as a helper, so-to-speak. That said, I would like to add that people, no matter what profession need to quit judging illness as a weakness or a bad thing that needs to be “fixed.” We don’t know, nor do we understand the purpose of illness within one’s path. I have always been moved by this topic which needs more than a few paragraphs to express. I do hope what is written in your blog starts people talking…but most of all, I hope it stretches our reflexology community to give this some heart-filled, critical thinking. We owe that to our clients, our students our teachers and ourselves as practitioners.
Karen Ball says
Thank you Sandra for your additional comments. I so agree with you regarding the meaning of illness in one’s life. We know so little. Blessings to you and the fine state of Texas!
David Burch says
My thoughts and beliefs are pretty much identical to yours.
Karen Ball says
That doesn’t surprise me David.(-: