Some of my friends give me with the strangest look when they learn that I’m also a reflexologist. People are so funny about feet, sometimes.
‘And you don’t mind touching people’s feet’? I get asked a lot as they sort of recoil in a kind of foot-induced horror. It really makes me laugh. I didn’t think it was *that* weird but there you go… I like feet, I like people and I like reflexology. There are worse triumvirates out there!
I also often get asked how I got into reflexology and the answer is easy – my mum. Growing up in Co. Cork in the 80s, my mum was a big fan of reflexology. Maybe that was a bit hippy-ish. I can’t say that it was the most popular activity at the time but it seemed a very normal part of our lives. We still went to the doctor for the big stuff but for little things and sometimes for no reason at all, I’d find myself at a lovely little building outside town with the smell of joss sticks tickling my nose.
I can vividly remember sitting in the waiting room of that local complimentary therapy centre while she had a treatment. In retrospect, I now realise it was probably a brief moment of peace for mum whilst raising two feral children with my dad often away working in the UK – plus, reflexology was probably cheaper than developing a fondness for gin in the mornings. I can remember looking at the foot charts on the wall with all their multi-coloured bit and arrows pointing to corresponding parts of the body and being fascinated that there seemed to be a connection between the soles of the feet and parts of the body. To be fair, what I actually also remember is picking the wood chip out of their extremely classy wood chip wallpaper bored where I was sitting while what felt like the longest hour ticked along, but I’m not sure that’s entirely relevant here…
Sometimes, mum would book a treatment for me and my brother to share – we’d get half an hour each and even back then, wood chip wallpaper and all, I loved it. I’m not sure if that’s odd or not but I do remember sinking back into the big reclining chair and feeling very toasty as Peter would work his way through the reflexology sequence, and massaging the reflexes I’d seen on the chart in the waiting room. I’d clearly been given a taste of something that would later go on to become part of my holistic backbone.
As a teenager, I suffered from pretty bad panic attacks and had a nasty reaction to antibiotics which, for a long time affected my digestive system. So off for reflexology I went. Again and again I turned to it. In the run-up to my Leaving Cert off I went again and through a particularly Dawson’s Creek-esque breakup *blushes as I type*, off I went again. I even had it done the day before I got married.
Now, any good and law-abiding reflexologist knows that we cannot say that reflexology cures anything but what reflexology does and can do is help the body to restore its balance naturally and help it to fight for itself. In my case, it was there as a restorative and relaxing time, away from everything when the big things were getting to me or exciting things were around the corner and I as a little off kilter.
And after studying it for a year back when I did my diploma and the many people I’ve treated since through all kinds of scenarios and problems, I remain as convinced now (if not even more!) as a practitioner as I did all those times I lay back in the comfy chair and experienced it as a client. You don’t have to like your feet to have reflexology. I’ve enough foot love (but not in a weird way, honest) for all of us. My fingers are itching to finish this post off with a cheesy ‘reflexology is good for the soul/sole’ pun but I. must. resist!