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A child of Italian immigrants, born and bred in Australia. At 24 I purchased my first apartment in the city of Melbourne. Then I sailed around the world, on a record breaking, fast ship. I was the unqualified and only cook. I met my true love, though I didn't know it at the time. He didn't even get a kiss, before I continued my travels. In-between being directionless, I worked and educated myself to become a Nurse, Reflexologist, Reiki Master, Colonic hydrotherapist, and a First Aid and Occupational Health and Safety Trainer. Just as I was finding my feet in a self made career of sorts, he (my love) found me on facebook, 11 years after we had last seen each other. This time he knew how to get what he wanted. I call him The Captain on this blog. In May 2010 I moved to Denmark and also gained two more bonus children. It's the best decision I've ever made. I have always followed my heart, even the times it was beating out of tune, magic lies in mistakes too. Amongst other things, this is a love story.

21 April 2014

26 Greatest loves of my life - Reflexology. #atozchallenge



Happy feet. Happy people.

There are points on the feet that relate to the whole body. They are called reflexes. Reflexology is the study of those reflexes

The first time I tried Reflexology I didn't get excited but I was impressed that the Reflexologist could tell I had back trouble and hormonal issues, just from touching my feet.

I never saw her again, but I decided I wanted to know what she knew.

A step in the right direction.

I eventually enrolled at the Australian School of Reflexology and Relaxation. In 2003 I won Student of the year and the Trevor Steele memorial award. Since then I have worked with both longterm and short-term clients, sometimes as little as a few minutes.

I can tell a lot from your feet and hands.

The problem(s) with Reflexology.


MRI scans have shown the optical nerve light up when the eye reflex is worked, but there is no exacting science that proves there is a link between the point on your foot to the organ we say it is.

The other huge problem is there is no definitive map of the feet. They vary as much as the humans that produce them. Though, they are similar in sections. The toes generally represent the head, the balls are the upper torso, the arch - mid torso and the heels map the pelvis.  The left foot is the left side of the body. Right foot, right side. But our brain controls the opposite side of the body so I question this, at least for the brain reflex.



We disagree about firm pressure, gentle pressure or intuiting client needs. Sequences differ, as do the descriptions of how they work and what they are capable of.

There isn't enough research.

There's also the placebo effect to consider.

It doesn't alway fix what you want it to, sometimes it doesn't seem to work at all.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that a lot of people don't love their feet.

What I love about Reflexology is:


It gives me a reason to lay my hands on people, soul to sole.

In the beginning I keep an eye on the time. I treat both feet wholly and equally from top to bottom. I determine the primary reason for the visit and adapt a plan to suit it. We discover areas of tension and points that are sensitive or painful together. I let the feet tell their story. Every pair of feet have a story.

If your curious I explain as much as I can. Most of the time clients fall asleep, so I wait. I want it to be therapeutic and feel good. I compare the before and after of the feet and the way you walk and talk. I ask that you to do the same.

It's a complimentary medicine.  I've seen it reduce swelling, pain, asthma attacks and the heart rates of mothers-to-be and their unborn children. I've seen it improve sleep patterns, blood pressure and bowel movements. I know therapists who have built successful clinics treating allergies, childhood bedwetting and hormonal imbalance/fertility problems. Time and time again I've seen it reduce stress.

Positive research has shown the benefits of it's use in cancer treatment and palliative care.

It is an ancient therapy and both a science and an art.

Even if you don't like your feet, it feels good.  Just like pedicures or foot baths feel good. Only better.

I found it at a time in my life when my head and heart were to messed up to make any sense of the world around me. It grounded me.

My pudgy, curled up, ugly toes lengthened and became beautiful. Seriously I went up a shoe size.

Have you ever tried Reflexology? Are you a foot lover or hater?



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Nurture your soles. Nurture your soul (or at least have a foot bath.)


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 The A to Z challenge.  My theme and links to all 26 Greatest loves of my life.


26 comments :

  1. It's certainly something I haven't tried out as of yet.

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    1. I particularly like reading the 'as of yet'

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  2. I've never tried reflexology, but I'm glad to hear you talk about treating each set of feet differently, because the only time I've talked to someone about feet before was when I was doing Tai Chi, and the instructor talked a lot about keeping your whole foot on the ground in order to work the energies of the body properly. I have talipes in one foot, it means my foot is bean shaped and I cannot put my heel on the group - when I asked the instructor about this and what it meant to the Tai Chi, he just kind of ignored my question and told me I had to put my whole foot on the ground - not really helpful o.O.

    If you don't mind me making an observation, from what you are saying, it sounds to me like you're using the feet as a conduit to the person, but the map is in your head, not on the foot. :)
    Very interesting post,
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

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    1. Hi Sophie, I would go so far as to say that perhaps you attracted that instructor because his attitude may have matched yours. In so much as regardless of the talipes you carried on as normal...When working on people with amputated limbs I work the stump as if it were a whole foot or hand, the energy is still there. Clearly you can't place your heel on the ground but the part that touches the ground bears all your energy, as would a stump.

      You are right in what you say about conduits. As far as the map goes, much to the disdain of the reflexologists around the world that are definitive in their approach, I would have to say your guess is as good as mine. I work with energy. If there is unnecessary tension or disharmony my aim is to ease it. The body is perfectly capable of balancing itself, sometimes we get in our own way and need help to take a step in the right direction. I hope this answers your questions feel free to ask more.

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    2. (totally gate-crashed this convo, but just wanted to say I found it fascinating!)

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    3. I love a good gate crasher :)

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  3. I LOVE reflexology. Lovely post Ida, extremely informative. It is a complementary treatment but it sure does work. I love my feet. I think I'll book one - soon. It's such a treat.
    Garden of Eden Blog

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    1. Oh Susan, I won't over my own elf imposed 400 word limit and still I feel as if I didn't provide enough information so thank you... it is a treat but I would love more people to have access to reflexology... every family or at least as common as hairdressers. I know you live in Sth africa, so if your able find Chris Stormer-Fryer or anyone that has trained with her I am sure you will enjoy your session

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    2. I met her! Some years back at a friend's lunch party. I'll be seeing that friend this weekend (we're climbing mountains) and I'll ask her about Chris Stormer's contact details. Thanks Ida - will report back!

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  4. You've inspired me to try reflexology Ida - actually I think the hubs could benefit from it too based on what you've said. I'm curious - your feet changed shape? I have really bony feet and I'm sort of shy about them because a couple of people have actually asked me if I have bunions! EW! I've always had bony feet and didn't really know what bunions were until that happened... but do you think it could change the shape of my feet too? Or like, how does that work?
    Thanks Ida! :)

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    1. Hi Lena, during my studies I had my feet worked on once a week if not more. Bunions are very common, and can be painful if you are at all concerned about them you should see a doctor at least a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis... I know one of my clients had a developing bunion, it was just before I moved overseas so I don't know the final outcome, but reflexology did ease some of the pain and pressure she felt in the area.... Bunions can be genetic but can also be caused by the types of shoes you were, having a bony foot doesn't mean you have bunions but early treatment and care is a lot less invasive then if it is fully developed.

      As far as how changing shape is concerned... It's a bit like people who are stressed and don't exercise very much that start living a better lifestyle and getting fit... your posture changes - the constant massaging of my feet (and toes) relaxed and loosened the muscles...

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    2. Thanks Ida! Nope definitely not bunions then - no pain or anything, just really bony feet. I appreciate you taking the time to answer :)

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    3. Hi Lena, "can be painful..." doesn't mean their is always pain. The position of the toes also needs to be considered, without a proper diagnosis from a doc or podiatrist I wouldn't say definitely... next time you need to see a doctor for whatever reason you could get them looked at.

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  5. PS: 'sole to soul?' beautiful!

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  6. Hi human, Ida,

    Happy paws. Happy puppy. My human has a friend who does reflexology and often performs such a therapy treatment as meetings for those with mental health concerns. Most certainly an excellent resource, my human friend. And now I must go. *Heel, Gary, heel!*

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the friendly host of the Alphabark Challenge! :)

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    1. Thanks Gary, I have been so busy this last week haven't had much chance to read or comment on other blogs, struggling just to get my posts out on time... I need some work on my heels :) I love the idea of group sessions of reflexology and have found the relaxation that comes from it very beneficial with mental health issues...

      Penny, did you know that reflexology is also good for dogs... I've met a few dogs that love having their paws pampered... thanks for visiting it's always an honour to hear from you both

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  7. A friend has gotten reflexology treatments. She talked to me about it and I thought I would give it a try. Then she went on about how militant the reflexologist was and how I would be sore for a few days afterwards. NO thank you. I think I should try another person though. I don't think YOU would hurt a fly, but I don't think your fingers could reach my toes.

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    1. I have been known to make people say ouch occasionally, but mostly it is reported as a good pain. Some Asian forms of reflexology are particularly geared to the no pain- no gain mentality, but even one of the Masters himself - Father Josef of Taiwan (Catholic priest that has introduced reflexology back into most parts of Asia over the last 30 years) told me that he thinks gentle reflexology can be just as effective... this is a big deal as he has literally treated thousands of people. As with any situation where you allow people to touch your body it is important to let them know what you are comfortable with - I would definitely try to find a reflexologist that knows how to work with a gentle touch or at least tell them it's too firm if it gets uncomfortable. Really you should feel as if you are floating on air when you walk away from session, but having said that as with any sort of hands of therapy, sometimes the muscles can be a bit sensitive after they have been worked... like after the gym for example. My hands can't reach your feet from here -this is true but I am sure you can find the right person - try anyone that has either been taught the Ingham method or Integrative reflexology in the States... A good resource for you to find a local therapist would be the International Institute of Reflexology.

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    2. Thanks for the resources, Ida! I knew you'd have some! :)

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  8. I really loved the tone of this post; it really makes me want to try a reflexology treatment. I'm going to have to check in my area, although I have to admit, I'm not crazy about my feet either. :/ Lol. Enjoy the rest of the challenge. Lily-Eva

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    1. Thanks Lilica. I think the easiest way to learn to love your feet is to imagine life without them...they are able to sense the environment around them, no other part of the body has as many bones and muscles or nerve endings... the more you pamper them the more you love them :)

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  9. Ida im so behind....perhaps some reflexology for stamina? ?? I have to say in PT was not fond of feet butrealezed they were key to soooooo many issues.

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    1. I know the feeling - one of the best antidotes to fatigue is rest and relaxation, right? No other therapy I have tried relaxes me quite as much as reflexology. Sometimes I feel so light on my feet I feel like I could run a marathon after a session, other times I just want to run a bath and then hop into bed. As far as PT is concerned if gait or feet aren't considered then there's a large part of the picture not being acknowledged...

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  10. I've heard flexology might help my headaches- been meaning to give it a try!

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    1. Headaches fall under my very broad example of 'reduce pain.' In fact if you google (youtube) reflexology techniques to reduce headaches you will find several different techniques you can use on yourself too

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