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The attached article by yours truly – ‘A Maestro’s Touch’ appears in Reflexions The Magazine for the Association of Reflexologists Issue No. 112 September 2013.
It’s a feeling!
Wow! I’ve just been on the receiving end of a marvelous treatment! (too good to keep all to myself!) There is a view that we are all connected which motivates me to share with fellow reflexologists this happy, exuberant, feeling. “The more you know that everyone is united, the more you feel and experience this current of caring” (1)
As I write It is September – the beautiful “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. A season reflecting the ripening and fruition of earth’s bounties. In Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy this is a transitional period associated with nourishing SPLEEN (yin) and STOMACH (yang), EARTH energy.
This theme of nature-nurture-nourish, lends itself to looking after our own state of wellness in order to build ourselves up (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually) and to boost our immune system, in preparation for the following season which relates to LUNG Chi and the increasingly yin METAL Phase.
Time to restore!
There is no question that being on the receiving end of a lovely treatment is nourishing. Increasing levels of worry or anxiety are personal clues that our ‘giving’ Earth energy is out of balance – a prompt, therefore, to replenish and restore ourselves. In balance Earth energy equates with caring and empathy – qualities we, as reflexologists, need in bounds!
Putting my feet into good hands.
I was about to embark on a Refresher Day of training with Moss Arnold, Principle and Director of The Australian College of Chi-Reflexology . . .”why not ask Moss for a treatment?” I thought “That would be exciting!” So I took the plunge and asked my ‘friend-in-Chi’ Audrey Scully* to arrange a treatment. Over the years, Moss has been my inspirational teacher and I jump at the chance of attending any training event when he is over here.
*Moss was visiting to teach at The British College of Chi-Reflexology – recently established by his U.K. representative Audrey Scully.
A different perspective – East meets West
Chi-Reflexology combines subtle energy work with the science and art of reflexology
As a treatment regimen it can either augment mainstream reflexology or stand alone as a treatment in its own right.
I find Chi-Reflexology fascinating and motivating because Moss Arnold applies Traditional Chinese Medicine Philosophy (TCM) to the feet – thereby establishing new treatment perspectives to the therapeutic landscape of reflexology.
“All aspects of the human being contribute to the changing landscape of human existence: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual.”(2) As part of this wholistic ‘landscape’, the metaphors of nature – illustrated through the dynamic system of the ‘5 Phases’ and yin-yang theory – help to broaden reflexology’s therapeutic horizons, establishing new treatment reference points (between the feet, legs, hands and more) and increasing the scope and volume of linkage opportunities.
We are a whole, not a sum of parts.
Reflexions within reflections! We are a statement of the micro in the macro and vice versa. The 5 Phases represent the nuances of who we are: encompassing the spectrum of our physicality, the range of our senses, thoughts and emotions. Their other associations for us include colour, seasonal, climatic and directional characteristics; all influenced by the rhythms of life, the universe and our own body clocks.
Feel the rhythm!
Eunice Ingham wisely advised about “the necessity of keeping our whole body in motion, every part in perfect rhythm” (3)
During training, Moss happened to mention that when he is working he sometimes feels like a “conductor of an orchestra”. With rhythm in mind, this simile seems most apt to me, for the following reason:-
The individual instruments (every organ chi can be cross referenced through the feet) have to be fine-tuned (using Acu-pressure techniques) to be able to perform together (via the meridian network). Their idiosyncratic notes have to resonate (yin-yang synergy) for the orchestra to play in harmony (The Five Phases relationships) and the music to flow coherently (energy redistribution) so the audience can enjoy the whole composition (re–balance)!
As a treatment precursor, I decided that when the time came for my appointment I would take my reflexologist’s socks off and resist the temptation of consciously assessing ‘what reflex is he working now…?’ I anticipated, though, following my training, that I would be familiar with some of the holds, techniques and sequences Moss might employ, so I couldn’t curtail my curiosity completely!
Straight away I was aware of gentle but firm containment by the ‘opening’ sequences. As Moss’s fingers moved from one point to the next over the contours of my feet I noticed the continuity of his continuous touch connection. As a consequence, I acknowledged my thoughtful and emotional sense of reassurance and release: I liked this ‘place of safety’.
Striving for harmony, the ‘conductor’ listens to the body’s ‘music’ in order to direct. The body listens to his leadership in order to receive. Who is the leader in this rapport?
Through Moss’s light focused touch I started to let go of the physical manifestations of stress and tension. I didn’t drift off to sleep but enjoyed a floating sense of meditative medication. (At times, I caught myself involuntarily smiling!)
Honed acupressure techniques (sedate/stimulate/treat/balance) used in conjunction with the meridian network system (continuous energy circuit) allow one to ‘pick up’ and redirect chi. This facilitates a rebalance of the body’s subtle energy vibrations and rejuvenation. For my specific ‘orchestration’ this seemed to me to be the emphasis of Moss’s modality – and it felt good!
Although mentally I didn’t ‘interrogate’ his moves, my feet conveyed that a lot of point-to-point-link-to-link work was instrumental in Moss’s re-tuning of my physical reflections, reflexes and energetic wavelengths.
I particularly recall this because I enjoyed the sensations: the tempo of touch, although light, seemed penetrating; the purposeful link-work felt calming and the focused point-work induced ‘tingles’ as Moss held their locations. (In fact my feet tunefully continued to gently tingle through to the next day!).
A final Link
Returning to the METAL Phase introduced at the beginning of my article – I’d like to add a closing metaphorical link I serendipitously discovered. (It seems to resonate well with my musical theme!):- “Music and sound is considered a Metal element activity because of the use of metal to create sound in a wide variety of instruments” (4)
I hope my personal treatment story will function as a reminder about the splendidness of reflexology as a therapy and importantly encourage reflexologists not only to continue to give but also to receive this rewarding treatment themselves.
I’d like to thank Moss Arnold for my ‘absolutely fabulous’ treatment. It was a privilege to be on the receiving end and when he returns I’d like to request an encore, please!
Lastly, I would like to express my belief that Chi-Reflexology lends itself well to the view
expressed below by that pioneering spirit of reflexology, the marvelous Eunice Ingham:-
“It is my sincere wish that this new technique of foot reflexology will stand side by side with other great therapy works in the onward march of science and progress” (5)
Louise gives talks on The 5 Phases and Chi-Reflexology as well as offering ‘Hands In Chi’ Wellness Links Workshops in related matters.
Louise Exeter MAR CNHC
Reflexology Plus Chi-Reflexology & Facial Reflexology Sorensensistem TM
Diploma Reflexology ECRA., Diploma of Chi-Reflexology (Distinction),
Diploma Facial Reflexology Sorensensistem TM
www.reflexologyplus-chilondon.co.uk e: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Doreen Virtue, Daily Guidance from your Angels.
(2) Moss Arnold Chi-Reflexology Guidelines for the Middle Way.
(3) Eunice D. Ingham, Stories the Feet Can Tell Through Reflexology.
(4) Red Tree Wellness Acupuncture, Canada.
(5) As reference (3).