Reflexology: The Inside Job

During my 4 years of practicing reflexology I have had many inquires about what reflexologists actually do, how many years I studied and what I studied. My understanding of reflexology before I started studying it (and sometimes even during my studies) was very vague, so I have decided to write this article to give people a better idea of reflexology.

Simply put, a reflexologist stimulates certain parts of the feet that correspond to specific organs and energy pathways (or meridians). In South Africa, therapeutic reflexologists study a 2 year diploma and are required to register with AHPCSA.

But what do reflexologists really do? What is in the detail of what reflexologists actually do?  And what do they do behind the scene?

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Being Presently Aware

Do you ever feel like you are not taking in life in fully?
Is taking the time to breathe properly a challenge?
Do you feel conscious of your life’s decisions, or are many of your decisions habit?
Do you sometimes feel like a robot, or a disorganised robot in training?

While you may not be able to get out of the rut of life, you may be able to learn to cope with it. Taking a time out doesn’t always seem like an option – but prioritising time to just ‘be’ is just as important as prioritizing time to get a work project done.

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Causes, Triggers & Root Causes

Causes, triggers & root causes; these are all words we hear when speaking of health and wellness. But can you distinguish the three? Although there are fine lines between them, they have distinct differences and are often are confused with one another.

Causes are not the definition of the disease and nor are they to be confused with the triggers of diseases.  Cause of disease is also known as the etiology, or origin, of disease. The cause of disease is the disorder of a structure or function in the body, or living organism, that is not due to any external injury[1]. Causes of disease include external factors such as pathogens; and internal factors such as immunodeficiency, hypersensitivity and autoimmunity.

Doctors and scientists are more likely to be able to give the cause of acute (and more simple) illnesses, such as the common cold and flu, than more chronic and complex conditions that tend to have more triggers and subjective causes. I think that it is important to note that many causes of disease are idiopathic, or unknown.

To make it easier to comprehend the different subheadings of disease, here is an example (of Asthma) broken down into different subheadings:

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Holistic Health Concept: P1

The field of holistic therapies is very vast. It ranges from Homeopathic, Naturopathic and Ayurvedic doctors to Reiki and Body Talk practitioners. Different therapies work for different people and sometimes it may feel like trial and error until you find the therapy or practitioner that helps you.

So how do you go about choosing the ‘right’ therapy? To find the right therapy, therapist or practitioner, you need to ask yourself and the therapist / practitioner the right questions:

1.) Why are you seeking this therapy? Is it for a specific condition; is it of physical or psychological manifestation; do you have a diagnosis; what helps ease the condition and what exacerbates the condition?

2.) Talk to the therapist or practitioner before the consultation – this helps them ‘plan’ your session and if they cannot help you, they would be able to tell you beforehand

3.) Open yourself up to the healing modality and all that it has to offer. Being able to communicate openly with the therapist / practitioner is also very important.

4.) Be aware of your body / mind and any changes that have occurred. If the therapist / practitioner refer you to a different practitioner, it is a good idea to investigate.

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Human Being vs Human Doing

“Doing nothing is better than doing busy doing nothing” – Lao Tzu.

 The majority of the people in the world we live in are always busy doing something. It is pretty much the lifestyle of the city. When I was in high school, one of my English teachers commented that it appears to be a trend to be constantly busy. She herself appeared content to not be so busy. She also never missed much, she was the teacher that would always catch you out or notice something and also one of the least stressed teachers.

Let’s think about this. If we are always busy, even ‘fake busy’, we have less time for real people. We become less approachable and perhaps miss a couple opportunities.

Too much doing can be a distraction from what is really important in life.

And technology is one of the things that keeps us occupied, and it can keep people occupied constantly.

Human being vs human doing, what is the difference?

“Human doings fill up their lives with things that they should do, ought to do, have to do,  got to do, better do, expected to do, are expected to do, trying to do. Human beings do what they need to and want to.” – Anonymous

More specifically a ‘human doing’ has lost the art of being present. Interaction with others should be a present interaction, but the interference of work, cell phones or other devices, or whatever the distraction, makes this contact somehow ‘distant’ and perhaps we lose the sense of distinguishing people we talk to in the physical body and the people we communicate with via technological devices.

People used to go for walks, sit on the porch, have family dinners and even play board games together – this was fun quality time. This is being replaced by giant TV sets, take out and social media.

Somehow people also use busyness to avoid awkwardness, to fill silent pauses in conversion and to seem productive. But being busy does not always mean being productive (as mentioned in opening line).Human-Being-Vs-Doing

“I am a human being, not a human doing!

Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t.”  – Dr. Wayne Dyer-

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Grounding & Reflexology

The grounding effects of reflexology.

I have mentioned earthing and grounding a couple of times before. It only recently occurred to me that therapeutic reflexology is also a form of grounding!

Grounding or Earthing is being in direct contact with ‘the earth’ – the soil, sand or grass[1]. A conductive surface or instrument can also be used to directly connect the body with the earth (i.e. grounding mats). The science behind it is that the earth gives off a negative charge to balance out the positive charge that we build up over time due to things like electromagnetic radiation. The energy from the earth has a number of positive effects on our health.[2] [3] The earth resonance frequency is also similar to the frequency of our brain waves[4].

grounding manearth heart brain

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Living in Harmony with Autumn

In essence Autumn is the season of letting go of the ‘rubbish’ and taking in the pure.

Slide1In TCM Autumn is associated with the Metal element which controls the Lung and the Colon.

Autumn is the season of slowing down and becoming more contemplative.

As you enter this stage it is no use dwelling on the negative aspects of the past and hanging on to negative energy. Now is the time to let go and make peace with the past.

It is time to take in the pureness and positive energy.

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A Disconnected Connected Society?

We are living in an age where technology is the basis of comfortable living; where connection and communication from one country to the other happens in an instant. The convenience of the internet, cellphones, PC’s, etc make distance meetings, distant learning (or e-learning), online dating and long distance relationships possible – people are communicating from behind screens.

Internet-comic-our-connected-world-1024x787

But how great are these conveniences if they are slowly removing us from physical contact and socializing with people physically around us?

According to Matthew Hertenstein, PhD and director of the Touch and Emotion Lab at DePauw University Hertenstein we lack physical contact: Most of us, whatever our relationship status, need more human contact than we’re getting.

Nothing is for nothing, with this convenience comes the sacrifice of our physical / social lives. The speed of technology also pressurize us to get more done, because the means to ‘do’ are always available, thus work doesn’t have to stop. Unless we can create a balance for ourselves, technology can contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.

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The Aging Process in Relation to the Elements

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the 5 elements are the basic principle of all life. Each element is related to a season, climate, time, sound emotion, colour, flavour, smell, body fluid, physical manifestation, organ and even an age cycle. Therefore, in essence, the elements affect our entire lives. Although every living thing contains all the elements, there is always one element more dominant than the rest. This deals with our personality and the period of our lives that we are in.

We can determine this by observing the person’s behaviour, stature and susceptibility to disease or weakness in certain body parts.

5-elements-small sonjadelez

The 5 elements are wood , fire, earth, metal and water. More information about the elements are covered in my article “How the 5 elements & meridians relate to reflexology” It is also important to note that in Chinese medicine the organs have metaphysical functions as well which link with emotions.

We start off with ‘Wood’ the element associated with spring. It is the foundation of life and can be known as the ‘birth’ and ‘growth cycle’. The quality and nutrition of food intake is vital in this period. The foundation of education is also very important. Generally we would say that this period is from birth to adolescence in a person’s life.

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Body Constitutions

Understanding body constitutions of homeopathy, Chinese medicine and Ayurveda

As holistic health practitioners, we often mention that no treatment is the same because no person is the same. This goes beyond genetics and lifestyle, however, the latter may affect your constitution or your constitution may affect your lifestyle and other things that make you you, particularly your health and the way that you respond to the environment and other stimuli.

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