What influenced you to become a Reflexologist?
Well, it was probably by accident and may be part of a grand design. I remember that my Mum had health issues when I was younger, and a family friend offered to give her a reflexology treatment. My Dad had to persuade Mum to have the treatment, but it really made a difference to her health. My Dad also had a couple of treatments for a neck injury caused by a sinking accident, and following the treatment, he could move his neck much more easily. I remember being surprised that both of them experienced physical and emotional benefits, but the experience was quite different for each of them. This was when I first started to notice reflexology.
When & where did you study?
Reflexology was not very well known back when I started my training. I had my first reflexology treatment with Margaret Bruce in Nottingham, she also introduced me to traditional healing. I wasn’t quite sure that I “got it” and so she introduced me to the details and fascination of reflexology. This was a much more traditional form of reflexology and was a firmer pressure than I use myself today. For me, it was like working on a jigsaw but with a couple of key pieces missing. I carried on for a little while like this and then studied Morel Reflexology in Chepstow in 1991. I am always learning and training. I have come to realise that the more I learn, the less I know! I met Harry Oldfield who shared his knowledge about the energetic side of life. The interaction between energy healing and reflexology is just absolutely fascinating. I was involved in the first clinical trials of reflexology at The Prince of Wales Hospital in Cardiff. This was working with hip and knee replacements. I am passionate about that – helping people to make people understand reflexology, what is and is not possible with research.
How has your reflexology methodology changed since you qualified?
Since I qualified my techniques have become lighter and lighter. I have the greatest respect and fascination for all the increasingly energetic links between our body, our emotions and the energetics of us all. The more I realise this, the more fascinated and awed I become. It is like being a detective. When I first started working initially with just adults, then children and their friends. Now I work with even more adults and children including pre-term babies (neonates), with elderly and those in terminal care.
What have been your higher & lows during your reflexology career?
There have been many highs. When the magic happens and something incredible happens, I see results or someone who has chosen to experience or learn Gentle Touch Reflexology, and find that it changes their life. Helping someone to understand what is really going on and going forward with ways in which to resolve the underlying issue. Seeing their “light-bulb” moment and the impact of the “A-Ha!” Being involved to work on helping babies who are withdrawing from cocaine or heroine in hospitals in Cincinnati, Ohio. I have been working in Ohio since 2009, in the neonatal NICU (critical care units) to research and collate data. The evidence is starting to show there may be significant potential improvements for these babies when treated with Gentle Touch Reflexology. It is really important that we achieve good, qualitative data. The lows happen when I overwork myself, mainly with the admin side of my business. I get exhausted and lose my way and my energy!
What are your aspirations for the next few years?
To go with the flow. To keep learning and sharing my knowledge with anyone who wants to learn more. To love more and more. Releasing and accepting. Helping anyone to be the best they can be, including me.
How do you spend your time outside of reflexology?
I have increasingly more spare time and I am protective of it. I spend it quietly with my partner, children and grandchildren. I love gardening, walking, entertaining and cooking for people. I do lots of photography. I follow my “Three Steps to Enjoying Life” book and I love photos, nature and reading. I like going out to beautiful places and spending time in France with my partner rebalancing. I teach in America too and made some great friends, so I make sure that I spend time with those friends whenever I am over there. I try to get to know the people wherever I am teaching or treating. The world is such a great place with great beauty. I love connecting with the land and nature, my garden is full of birds and we love to watch them.
What advice would you give to reflexologists who are in the early years of their career, to develop their techniques and enhance their practice?
Play to your strengths. For me, this is in treating and teaching. I am dyslexic so my strengths are not admin. Reflexology feels like my home.
Love what you do. Feel the fun, love and passion in what you do. Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t! Remember that energy follows thought, so notice what you are thinking about. Whatever you are thinking about will be what you get mote of. It helps to notice this and choose the good stuff! Fill your life with good and positive people. People who can help you stay on track and remind you if you are losing your way. Get some mentoring or professional support. I am lucky to know Wayne Dyer, Hanne Marquardt and Laura Norman. Go out of your way to meet other reflexologists who you respect and admire. Believe in what you do to your bootstraps! And find your beliefs.
Enjoy, laugh, have fun, smile, be happy, choose good thoughts, allow acceptance and pass on random acts of kindness