Monday, December 19, 2011

What is my legacy?

I guess when you get older people ask you this question. I had a friend ask that last night. I don't tend to think in those terms. But what the heck?

I surprised her in saying I didn't think it was would be reflexology exactly. Rather I felt it would be helping shift the medical paradigm from a strictly allopathic model to a model that focused on the reflex.

The one thing that fields like reflexology have that medicine doesn't is a basic unit of behavior or change. That is why medical texts are usually quite large. The medical field combines many different technologies hence the large texts.

I am very fond on the quote," All acts of life both conscious and subconscious are reflexes." It was Pavlov's teacher who said this.

The term, "reflexology" is actually Russian in origin. It was Pavlov's rival, Bechterev, who coined this term in 1917.

If you look out "reflexology" in the older dictionaries you might find the original definition which is "behavior of the reflexes". The Russians saw health as a behavior. And they felt that illnesses were the reflexes behaving badly.

At this point in history medicine isn't meeting our needs. It is costly, not very effective for chronic degenerative diseases and it can inadvertently kill you.

My legacy (I hope) will be to point healthcare in a direction that will view illness as reflexes gone bad that can be coaxed back into functioning better rather than a battlefield where the cure is frequently more harmful than the disorder.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Secret to developing new reflexology techniques

Here's the secret of how I develop new techniques. When I come up with a new technique I use a sequence to try it out. First I test the foot by rotating it. Then I apply the new technique. Next I test it by again by rotating the ankle. Finally I analyze it, often with the client's input. So it is test-operate-test-evaluate. I use it with regular technique as well. It is called the "tote" formula.

If the technique is successful the muscles relax. There are 4 major muscle groups coming down from the leg. These muscles effect the tension level in the foot. Rotation gives you a pretty good idea of how much effect the technique has had. As far as feedback it comes in second to what your client says.

The "killer" combination is to do the TOTE formula and then get them up and walking after one foot. If the techniques are effective they are amazed at the difference.

Oh and this works to test your current techniques as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How can a reflexologist up their game?

We have been having an interesting discussion on the economic times and the resulting hard economic times for reflexologists. People are taking their lumps even though they are doing a good service.

So how do you survive in a harsh climate like this. You need to up your game. Pull out all the stops in becoming a better reflexologist. Here are some ideas. What are yours?

Stress cues- learning to read feet and hands will be critical in the next few years.
Instructional self help- with the need for speed in getting your client to their goals self help will be critical to the mission.
Fast foot loosening techniques- the reflexologist needs to demonstrate a change to their clients and quickly. Fast loosening techniques demonstrate that to them.
New techniques aimed at faster results- Tradition can stand in the way of new techniques. Reflexology needs to be a constantly evolving field. Also it needs discipline to prevent chaos.

Research- we need to demonstrate that there are real things happening in reflexology session. This is where research comes in. Being able to at least cite research is very important in building credibility.

Vocabulary aimed at professionalism- words matter and they set the stage for professionalism. Use them wisely.

Self help reflexology experiences you can call on- reflexologists need to practice what they preach. In instructing clients in self help it becomes more practical and less theoretical when you are practicing reflexology on yourself.

Strategies both for technique applications and for self help instruction- to me I am constantly working on strategies to reach the client's goal. My mistake in the past has been trying to reach my goals and not their goals.

I am going to break down and discuss these points in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Save your feet during the holidays

All the stress and rush of the holidays can really cause your feet and your body to ache for January. There are some simple tricks that can sooth your soles and your weary body.
1. Never stand still. Standing for long periods of time is very stressful. So rock gently side to side. If you are waiting in line sway gently side to side. Most other shoppers won't notice. One of my clients has her whole kitchen rocking side to side.
2. Interrupt stress and do it frequently. Stress won't kill you. What will kill you is uninterrupted stress. So take a break or several breaks throughout the day.
3. Roll your feet during those breaks with a simple foot roller. Rollers are a cheap way to break up the pattern of stress that forms during the holiday rush.
4. Wear good shoes. Think of shoes as tools for your feet. Good tools result in good results. High heels are asking for trouble. But you know that!!!
5. See a reflexologist. Hey give your feet a treat for the holidays. You are worth it, aren't you?
What are your tips for a happy and pain free holiday?

Are you focused with your reflexology work?

That brings up the idea of focus. Are you focused on your client? Is your first priority their feet or hands or do you find yourself caught up in the conversation you are having? Are you figuring out the best combination of techniques for that individual? Are you a problem solver thinking through a problem instead of delivering the same session each time for everybody?

These economic times and the reflexologist

I have been thinking a lot about reflexology's future in these tough economic times. I recently worked on an 84 year old with painful feet. In one session I was able lessen her pain quite a bit. But the astonishing part was she was able to walk as her husband put it "everywhere". She was able to shower on her own and even make it up and down short flights of stairs.
The point is instead of expecting to do a series of reflexology sessions are we going to have to produce results immediately to hold a client. With these economic times people seem less willing to wait for results. Every session now needs to be the best session you have ever produced.