Shared Wisdom: Looking to the past to bring healing to the present.
Doyen: This animated word ‘refers to any senior member of a group, particularly one whose knowledge or abilities exceeds that of other members’ (Wikipedia). It conjures images of wise ‘Masters’ and their students across many cultural fields of philosophy and practice.
Actions speak louder than words!
The opportunity to directly receive knowledge from a highly regarded ‘other’ (from any ‘walk of life’) can be enriching. Looking to their maturity and wisdom (achieved from personal experience) in a shared dialogue invites new ‘reflections’ of discovery and discernment; ushering in creativity and growth for the recipient as a consequence.
The Benefit of Hindsight!
Experience can, for some, emanate from on a pioneering attitude, combined with courage and determination, to put ideas into practice where others have been slow or fearful to tread. Such people pave the way, thereby creating further stepping stones for those who follow in the future.
The Founding Mother
Such qualities had to be called upon by a pioneering spirit and internationally respected woman called Eunice Ingham (1889 – 1974). Eunice’s work was expressed through her passion to help people as much as possible via the techniques and processes of reflexology: she laid the foundations upon which the diversity andevolution of reflexology continues.
Eunice is considered the ‘Mother’ of modern-day reflexology: her books Stories the Feet Can Tell Thru Reflexology and Stories the Feet Have Told ThruReflexology are very much part of the curriculum for reflexologists. They also make a good read for non-therapists interested in the power of the body and good health maintenance.
A shared reflexology inheritance:
After her death in 1974 Dwight Byers – Eunice’s nephew who had worked closely with her and who is equally dedicated to setting the bar for reflexology – took up the mantle and established the International Institute of Reflexology through which the ‘Ingham Method’ of reflexology has become a world wide standard today.
Reflexology: a natural “science of health and wellbeing”
(Dwight Byers: Better Health with Foot Reflexology)
Reflexologists consider feet and hands doorways to better health and wellbeing! We also believe the feet record and reflect things about a person (emotional as well as physical). We look for and recognise various ‘reflections’ of health and body mapping principles expressed within the feet and hands during treatment sessions.
The power of touch.
Often taken for granted, hands and feet are amazing structures; wonderfully engineered, strong and flexible yet capable of great sensitivity. Hands are, of course, ‘tools of the trade’ to reflexologists.
Put your finger on it!
Our fingers contain some of the ‘densest areas of nerve endings on the body’ (Wikipedia). As therapists we use our fingers to walk, analogously, ‘all over the body’ and its systems; accessed primarily via the feet!
“Work Smarter not harder”
This was the enticing motto for the Institute of Reflexology Master Class, with Dwight Byers and his nephew James, which I attended – during which our fingers pivoted and pressed, ascended and descended, rocked and rolled around the geometry of foot holding techniques.
This photo shows Dwight working on my feet! (Lucky me!)
For numerous reasons, it is nourishingly helpful for a reflexologist to receive as well as give treatments. From a technique perspective too, it is a good thing, from time to time, to ‘get back to basics’; to revisit and refresh methodology in order to evolve.
Being on the receiving end of Dwight’s vast, accumulated, reflexology knowledge was educational and fun and it was great to think that much emanated from Eunice’s pioneering work and Dwight’s own ‘Continuing Story© ’ of foot reflexology.
“Each one of us sails along a different course, much like a ship upon the sea. Ultimately, it’s not about where you land at the end of the voyage it’s about the interactions among the people involved along the way.”
(Doreen Virtue: DailyGuidance from your Angels) I believe this truism is oh so relevant to the field of reflexology because in this working environment each treatment is a unique therapeutic ‘conversation’ between client and therapist.
Stories the Feet Continue to Tell ©
Reflexology is a therapy which continues to explore, evolve and innovate. My thanks to Dwight and James for a lovely day!
Article: Copyright Louise Exeter May 2014
Photos: Taken at the International Institute of Reflexology Master Class,
London 2014. Hands on Feet Picture: Microsoft Clip Art.