I previously shared with you how I started in this reflexology world as sceptical and a little cynical. I took my learning very seriously, but despite the progress I made academically in class, I was still very nervous and questioned to myself ‘Can this really work?’
My first set of case studies took place at an RAF base, definitely a ‘jump in deep’ approach to meeting a very broad range of staff with different ranks, jobs, and varying levels of stress and injuries. The most impacting factor of this fascinating group of staff was their differing approaches to this thing called reflexology…let’s just say some were more accepting of the concepts and possibilities it held than others.
One of these very delightful case studies was a pilot. He had suffered constant back pain for many years, he thought due to the frequent jet flights causing pressure and forces to be exerted through his body. He strode in with his flying suit on, full of brazen confidence and charm. We chatted; he spoke matter-of-factly about the hold over his life that his back pain had, and his constant battle to maintain his health to do a job he lived for.
As we began to work, I was mesmerised by some markings on his feet. I’d like to think these days that I would disguise this distraction slightly better, but back then I was very new to this and learning rapidly. Clearly this client considered I had news to tell and was beginning to panic. He wasn’t the only one panicking! I hadn’t expected feet to ‘talk’ to me like this. I thought I just worked a routine on them, used some techniques and that was it. Wasn’t that right? Well, no!
So what did we do? The client asked me what I had seen. Truthfully, I knew we never diagnose and this wasn’t about diagnosis, it was interpretation of what I was seeing on his feet. Tentatively, I explored with the client whether he had anything he wanted me to work on that wasn’t related to his back. ‘No’ he stated. ‘I don’t want to disclose anything private’. Phew, I was saved.
It got the better of him though a few minutes later. ‘So, what did you see?’ was his question. Hmmm, what could I say that respected his wish not to venture in to anything private? If only he could see inside my poor brain to have an inkling about how fast I was having to pull my answers together.
I won’t give away the secrets of what I actually saw, you’ll have to come and learn with us to find that out, but it was as clear as day that this dear man was carrying big issues surrounding his father. Praying swiftly that I had found the safest words to use, I suggested as lightly in tone as possible ‘Do you have family nearby?’ This question really means nothing of course, but he knew and I knew that we were talking about the same thing and in delicate territory. ‘Go on…’ he said. ‘Tell me what you see’.
And what did I see? I saw a man troubled by his relationship with his father, and that he had never been able to let go of the anguish this had caused him. 100% correct. Neither he nor I could believe what his feet showed.
This isn’t strictly reflexology of course. Every one of the learners who come on my course will interpret the work they do in their own style. I never intended to see these things for this chap, but it turns out they were integral to him leaving his pain behind, and he discovered he needed to hear them. You see, it’s all intertwined. Emotional pain impacts on physical pain, it all hurts.
A session later, I asked him how he had been. ‘Okay thanks’, was the short reply. I was a bit deflated. Determined to assess it more scientifically, I asked him to indicate his back pain levels with a score. He thought for a moment, then replied with shock on his face ‘I have had no back pain, and didn’t even realise’.
So this man had lived with debilitating pain for over 15 years, and when it disappeared life became so ordinary that he didn’t notice. He took it all in his stride though, and didn’t directly credit the work we had done together with helping him. That’s okay, because we don’t really know what helped him. Was it the reflexology? Was it addressing the big issues he had avoided for years that related to his father? Was it just coincidence?
In our course, our focus is on research, clinical practice, anatomy, and working with precision. But working holistically is so much more. We can’t teach you that, but we can help you learn it. If you’d like to explore learning with us, get in touch.
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