Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Listening Skills That Help the Reflexologist

© YuriS. Image from

Developing listening skills helps the reflexologist. It pays to listen. What you’re hearing are verbal stress cues, what’s making the client’s life stressful now or, at times, a recounting of stresses continuing from the past. Such conversation can help you develop a session plan and determine which reflex areas to target. And, talk about the people and places important to the client help establish and maintain a relationship with a client.

It’s always been noted that people seem to open up and talk when they’re sitting in the reflexology  chair. There are many theories and thoughts about this. For one, people just don’t have a chance to sit down and talk as they hurry through their busy days. Sitting opposite a reflexologist gives them that opportunity. Or, the touch of reflexology brings about a closeness that brings out the talk. 

There again, many believe that the body’s tissue holds memories that creates a physical impetus to share as reflexology is applied. (I was working with a client who normally saw Kevin when I came across an unusual stress cue, a hard pea-sized area of the foot. I made a mental note to ask Kevin’s opinion later. At that moment, the client chose to tell the story of one of the four times he had almost died. Feeling ill while traveling through Washington, he flew home to Albuquerque to see his doctor. The doctor told him he was about 10 minutes away from dying. An aneurysm of the aorta was causing internal bledding with the real possibility of bleeding to death. Hmmm, there under my thumb was a possibilty location for an aorta reflex area and site for this aneurysm.)

For whatever reason, clients will talk. There are many benefits for the reflexoloigst to actively listen. Remember you’re listening to the client’s personal story. It could be health history. It might be about their job—likes and dislikes. It could be the major events in their life (operations, car accidents, post traumatic stress). Any of this information could and will have a direct bearing on your work and where you will be applying technique. Tense day at the office? It’s time to work the solar plexus reflex area for stress reduction. Flare up of an old lower back  pain? Time to target the appropriate reflex area. Mention of a major car accident? It could explain why it’s taking time to make progress on the client’s on-going neck pain.

The client’s conversation could be about their family members or hobbies. Big tip: remember Fido’s name. All kidding aside, such information is important to maintaining your relationship. The family pet could be of major importance in this individual’s life. Remember the names of children, grand children, family members or co-workers. They’ll be mentioned again. Then there’s holiday or vacation trips. Take notes after the session to jog your memory in the future.

Another easy way to show interest is to tilt your head slightly and focus on what they say. The tilt is a way to visual cue them that you are interested in what they have to say. Use your body language as a simple way to let them know you are listening. 

Barbara and Kevin Kunz

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