When I first started practicing the art of reflexology, I encountered a woman, who when finding out what I did exclaimed: “Oh my God….I tried that once…..and it killed me!” At first I thought that it was just an isolated case. But as time went on I kept hearing it more and more. I began to realize that a major contributor to the challenge of introducing this modality to the public- was this underlining fear of pain. Not to mention the fact, that many people thought what I did was just plain gross (I’ll save that for another topic).The whole point of reflexology- is to induce a state of deep relaxation so that the body will return to it’s natural functioning rhythm. If someone is grimacing in pain….how is that possible? That’s not to say, that a reflex point will never be sensitive or tender. The reason for this sensitivity is due to the fact that there is a blockage in the energetic pathway, stemming from that point. Once this blockage is removed (through gentle pressure on the point) the energy will flow freely and sensitivity is then dissipated. I have read of several reflexology techniques (that have evidence that they do work)- involving the use of wooden sticks and/or plastic probing devises that claim to get deeper into a reflex point- providing a more thorough job. They say that this kind of technique (even though painful) works faster to restore balance within the body. Maybe so….but I’m not convinced that a sign of pain…..means that it’s working. “No pain, no gain”….I guess.
One of the biggest contributors to energetic blockage within the body is stress. My whole philosophy on stress, is to approach it from a gentle perspective. It may very well take a little longer to achieve results, but why not enjoy the process? I ask you this simple question: “If a body is experiencing stress (pain)……how does more pain help?”
In the seven years that I have been practicing reflexology, I have never once had a client complain of pain. Honest! My clients range from very seriously ill fragile persons- to- type “A” stress persons. Everyone of them has either fallen asleep or has gone very deeply into “ozone-land.”
The art of reflexology involves not only learning the practical aspect (finger techniques and the foot map) but also an intuitive aspect. After awhile the practitioner develops a sense by just touching the feet. As a session progresses, the feet will give subtle clues (movements) as to which reflex point is in need of some extra time. These points can be gently worked again towards the end of the session. Remember something very important: Reflexology is not a foot massage. It’s not about working out sore muscles in the feet. It’s about using pressure to stimulate reflexes (or “buttons” as I like to call them) to affect the “whole” of the body.
If you have tried reflexology and have had a similar experience such as the woman mentioned above– I ask that you give it another try. Before scheduling an appointment, don’t be afraid to ask the practitioner what his or her approach is on touch. And for those of you who do prefer a deeper more aggressive pressure that’s fine…..but please don’t feel that it needs to hurt to work.
My motto? “No Gain…… with Pain.”