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Metta Musings: Our Faithful Servants

Time for a pop quiz:  What part of your body has over 7,000 nerve endings, 26 bones, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles?  Here’s a hint: They represent less than 2% of your body’s weight, yet support, balance and mobilize your structure’s remaining 98%!  In fact, these amazing appendages endure typically lifetimes of pinching, squeezing, pounding and all other manner of abuse, neglect and ridicule… 

If you guessed your feet, you deserve a gold star!  

Since I recently reopened my studio to receive clients face-to-face, I thought this might be a great time to acknowledge, not only those faithful servants (the feet), but also the touch therapy that helps keep them and, in fact, the entire body, healthier and more balanced.  I’m referring to that “cousin” of Chinese acupressure called “Reflexology.”

Healing systems of the Far East have known for centuries what a crucial role the feet play in optimizing our overall health.  In addition, as early as 2400 B.C., Egyptian pictographs depicted people treating the feet.  The modern version of touch therapy for feet—Reflexology—is now respected and utilized worldwide; it’s endorsed by the World Health Organization as an effective complementary therapy for addressing a wide variety of health issues: stress/anxiety, depression, diabetes, hormone imbalance, IBS, mental fog, migraines, sinusitis, insomnia, constipation, plus many other conditions.  It also provides calming, palliative care for those with chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and other long-term illness. 

How can gentle, natural touch therapy on the feet alone be so effective?  As a former licensed massage practitioner trained in both Medical and Geriatric massage, I continued to ask that question as I researched alternative therapies after an injury forced me to close my massage practice.  The claims attributed to reflexology just seemed too good to be true.  After all, I reasoned, at least with massage, most of the client’s typically unclothed body is touched and tissue manipulated.  How could work on the feet alone compete with that?  

It initially took a leap of faith, then rigorous training and 23 10-week case studies pre-graduation for me to experience the truth Dr. Wang Wei shared in AD 1017: The feet are “THE most sensitive part of the body [and they contain] great energizing areas.”  Massage is a wonderful therapy that positively effects circulation, lymph flow, endorphins, musculo/skeletal and even emotional issues.  AND… remember all those nerves (over 7K!) in each foot? When dozens of “reflexes” (areas that involuntarily respond to stimulation) are properly activated on the feet, through reflexology, those thousands of nerves send messages up the spinal column to the brain and ultimately energize and balance the corresponding organs, glands and other related parts.  So, in addition to the benefits of massage, reflexology provides very targeted stimulation to specific areas throughout the body that correspond with those reflex points. These positive outcomes continue to be verified by numerous research studies worldwide.

When I treat clients for the first few times, I ask them to keep track of five key areas post treatment: 

ELIMINATION ~ because reflexology can be a tremendous detoxifier.

ENERGY ~ Depending on a person’s state of being at the time, a treatment (TX) can provide exceptional bursts of energy or motivate them to sleep for 12 hours!

MOOD ~ Clients often report a notable sense of calm and well-being for 2-3 days post TX.

PAIN ~ Reflexology can be a definite analgesic, helping remove or decrease pain in sometimes unpredictable parts of the body.

SLEEP ~ I’ve never slept better in my life than when I was receiving weekly reflexology—and my dreams, which I could suddenly routinely remember, were much more vivid and plentiful!  (Though I wasn’t taught this in school, I’ve come to believe that, since reflexology increases mental clarity on a conscious level, it seems plausible it would replicate that benefit on an unconscious level as well.)

For over 15 years as a reflexologist, I’ve had the honor of working with clients dealing with all kinds of issues, including diabetes, plantar fasciitis, IBS, neuropathy, PMS, kidney issues, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, chronic stress/anxiety, depression and even grief.  I also had the privilege of being hired as one of the first three alternative practitioners at PIMC’s Cancer Center as patients receiving chemotherapy experienced numerous positive outcomes from reflexology.  All those clients continue to prove that reflexology is one of the greatest gifts we can give our feet and our entire body.  (For reflexology testimonials, please go to: https://journeystohealing.com/kudos/ .)

If you’d like to learn more about this powerful touch therapy, consider yourself invited to schedule a complimentary consultation in my therapeutic space.  As a wellness educator and wholistic life coach as well as reflexologist, I’m always eager to educate people about this amazing form of bodywork and specifically detail how I provide treatments on the feet as well as the ears, face and hands. 

Our precious feet deserve our respect and regular attention! Like the life-sustaining roots of a tree, they ground us to the earth and keep us balanced and upright.  When this foundation is solid, all feels well with the world; when it’s not, nothing else feels right.  As we age and continue to weather the trials of life, the well-being of our feet becomes especially important for keeping us ambulatory.  Whether it’s sustaining our balance, reducing pain and stress and any number of other health challenges, reflexology is a trustworthy tool in any well-rounded collection of resources for maintaining greater health on all levels—body, mind, heart and spirit.  

…..

May I, we & all beings honor the miracle of our body… & especially our feet. 

My best,

 Deb~


 

Deb Langhans has worked in the wellness field as a coach/counselor, writer & speaker for over 25 years. She currently owns & operates Journeys to Healing on San Juan Island where she offers "wholistic" life coaching, mindfulness & grief recovery coaching, reflexology, Inner Journey Collage© & a developing line of products designed to encourage healthy habits.

Most services are available in Deb's studio or via phone or Zoom. For more information or scheduling, please go to www.journeystohealing.com (website). bethechange5@rockisland.com (email), or 360.317.4526 (texts preferred).

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