Reflexology as a Healing Modality
Written By Kristi Gabriel, LMT, CR
Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Reflexologist, Calm Spirit Acupuncture and Massage
Before 1989, even I was unfamiliar with reflexology as a healing modality. Perhaps you have seen the reflexology charts in the health food store motivating you to do self-care or seek a trained reflexologist. At Calm Spirit Acupuncture and Massage, you have now found that trained reflexology practitioner!
After my second near death experience with pneumonia, I sought holistic healing methods. I took my first reflexology seminar in 1989 and now have 1000+ hours of training and 28 years experience in both Eastern and Western approaches to reflexology.
According to the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB), “reflexology is performed only on the reflex maps of the body located on the feet, hands and outer ears. Real reflexology involves the application of alternating pressure techniques that are unique to reflexology and different than massage or acupressure techniques. Massage is the manipulation of soft tissue.” (see ARCB.net for details) Reflexology has been defined as working from the inside out, while massage works from the outside in.
A professional reflexologist has completed a minimum of 200 hours of accredited classroom and hands on experience. There are not many trained reflexologists. Most who claim to offer reflexology may only give a good foot massage. Always ask about credentials.
Why did I choose reflexology as a specialty? I have personally experienced the internal relaxation with reflexology that I do not get from massage. I was seeking a modality that creates a sense of relaxation and balance and could be performed anywhere, any time, any place. I have helped an airplane passenger by assisting with her labor to the end.
My sessions are generally 60 minutes in length and will include a lower leg massage. The lower leg muscles and attached tendons aid in the function of the feet. I also assess the leg and foot imbalances that may contribute to pain.
Although reflexology has been known to treat many conditions, the overall purpose is to improve circulation, decrease stress and bring more balance to mind and body. The client may experience discomfort but it is not designed to be a painful treatment. Generally, the client experiences a deeper sense of relaxation and renewal. Reflexology can bring peace to the soul through the soles.