Foot Factors From Around the World

December 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

  1. The first place I looked for a custom that involves the respectful touching of feet was India. Steeped with ritual and ceremony, it has long been practiced that children bow down to touch the feet of their grandparents or of their elders. This practice is followed by either a blessing or a hug by the elder as an acknowledgement of the respect and love they feel.
  2. In the Native American culture, drums were played with the feet. The Aztec and Hopi Indians used hollowed logs with wooden coverings that when danced upon would resonate.
  3. African and Indian cultures, along with others, have a tradition whereby a specialist is called in to paint intricate designs on the hands and feet of the wedding party. This custom is thought to bring good luck to the bride and groom and to ward off evil.
  4. In Asian cultures, depictions of the footprint of Buddha carries great spiritual meaning. As many as 65 symbols for devotion can be found in these carvings and paintings. The central image on the foot is that of a wheel with 8 spokes. Each spoke represents part of the eightfold path to enlightenment.  It’s interesting to me that this symbol is in the same location as our reflexology “Solar Plexus” reflex. I’ve always felt that there is a lot of wisdom and spiritual connections in this potent point.
  5. A ritual that is said to originate as a hospitality practice in ancient times was the custom of foot washing. Even the kings of europe engaged in this practice in the royal courts up until the 20th century. Washing the feet of guests was once a common practice and has endured in religious ceremonies to the present day.
  6. Sumo wrestling is an ancient Japanese practice which dates back many thousands of years. Seeped in ritual that is said to originate with the Shinto religion, the wrestlers perform a foot stomping ceremony (Shiko) to initiate the event and salt is then used to purify the ritual.
  7. My favorite is practiced by mothers around the world. I call them the first reflexologists, naturally. Yes, it’s mothers and sometimes fathers, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins and babysitters who have all found that “one common denominator” when communicating with babies.

I’m talking about the ancient practice of “this little piggy went to market” or whatever else it’s called in as many languages as there are cultures.

Where would we be as a species without the delightful and spontaneous practice of playfully pressing and gently squeezing babies toes? This is something that comes as naturally as rocking them in a cradle. We’ve all done it and all had it done to us.

But, think about it for a minute. What reflexes are being supported and stimulated here? You got it…. the CNS. And what is expanding exponentially as babies grow and learn. Right again! It’s their brain and nervous system (along with all other parts of their bodies).

I think that moms just “get it”, and their preliminary efforts at reflexology can and do have a positive effect. Why else would it be practiced everywhere, ever since time or toes began.

So, there you have it. I invite you to celebrate your (or someone else’s) feet for the next 7 days or seven weeks (or 7 minutes) by foot bowing, dancing, foot painting, solar plexus holding, foot washing, foot stomping and please, don’t forget to wiggling those toes.

Happy New Year from the Reflexology Professor!

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.reflexologyprof.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

How Steve Cured His Foot Pain

December 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

Steve comes to my classes to teach part of the Anatomy and Physiology. As a psycho-pharmacologist (he helps people with emotional disturbances and when appropriate, to use medication wisely), he has a great knowledge of the body and, obviously, the brain. He’ll be the first one to tell you that reflexology affects the parasympathetic nervous system.  And, he “works for reflexology” because every time he teaches, as payment, he’ll get a session from one of the students during our practice sessions. (This is a real hands-on class – we practice our techniques every day.)

So, when he had foot pain, I wanted to pay him back for all the support he’s given me. I gave him a soothing foot reflexology session before he went to bed. (I was also thinking about the late night project I might do with all the great energy I’d be generating for myself.)

Now, as a reflexologist, my first thoughts were not about Steve’s feet! As I worked, I asked him to tell me what areas, if any, were tender. I also noticed the areas where there was a change in the tissue texture.I won’t give away all his secrets, but you can be sure there was a connection between the areas of tenderness and health/diet issues.The feet are such gossips, they will tell you everything.

So, I asked a few questions relating to the spine and the organs in the abdominal cavity. It’s not about being a genius, it’s just about asking useful questions (something else you learn in class).

I would never tell anyone that there’s something wrong. They would have to see a medical practitioner for that. (Reflexologists never diagnose, treat or prescribe!)

We can be intelligent though and once issues are confirmed, our conversation centered around which diet/lifestyle, etc., changes could best help.

As a reflexologist, my main interest is in the body, the organs and organ systems. But, I know there’s still a foot (or two) involved.
I wanted to help there too.

So I asked Steve what he already knew to do… “tell me something that’s helped you in the past” (commonly, this isn’t the first time a problem appears in the area).
Since we’d covered this territory before, Steve knew that soaking his feet in alternating warm/hot and cool/cold water helps a lot. He also knew that specific, light exercise (the ones we learned in class) and working some very tight muscles on his leg helped too. Asking the question reminded him of that.
Although he was told by a podiatrist that he had a heel spur and it would need cortizone shots,  he opted for my reflexology and his own hot and cold hydro-therapy techniques.

After a short while, his pain was almost completely gone. That was several years ago now and it has never come back.
My work with my favorite client may never be done (and, I hope not). But, there’s nothing more satisfying to a reflexologist (and a wife) than knowing that I can help.
And, he’s taking responsibility for his own body – he knows where to go for help, and… how to help himself.
I wish the same for all.
Happy Holidays.

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.reflexologyprof.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

The 4 Most Powerful Relaxation Reminders…I Create for my Clients and Myself.

December 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

As Reflexologists we have powerful reflexology “tools” at our disposal that offer our clients deep relaxation and relief from stress. And what happens to our bodies when we’re relaxed and DE-stressed. We feel better. Our bodies can return to balance faster. Our healing processes are supported.

Is that enough? It’s a lot already. But what if you had an opportunity to offer even more relaxation, with minimum effort. That’s right – almost nothing more for you to do.
Here are “the 4 most powerful relaxation reminders I create for my clients…and for myself.”

  1. Consider THE VISUAL – You want the surroundings for your clients and for you to be relaxing, calm and peaceful. In my office I have lots of fabrics, calming images, sculpture and curtains (which hide some of my storage, for me a necessity for reducing the distractions and for my clients it eliminates any visual clutter).  You can work in an office, your home or a rented space but keep the area of your work visually calm and soothing.  How can you do this at home or if you share a rental space? An inexpensive solution is to use screens and/or curtains to separate living and working areas in your home.  In a rental space, bring some fabrics and pin or drape them to set the tone and offset that office feeling. A silk fabric or a beautiful floral banner can fit nice and lightly into any Reflexology travel kit.  This creates a memory or reminder for relaxation.
  2. Consider THE AUDITORY – Have a pleasant sounding environment. This too can create a memory or reminder for relaxation.  Try a cascading fountain or a sound machine that produces gentle nature sounds. Music-only tapes and CD’s that have soothing melodies are great. Remember it’s best if there are no words to the music.  Why no words? People naturally go into their heads when they hear words. Some songs might have sad memories attached, which is another reason why “neutral” works best.  And…REMEMBER that for people who work in the music business, any music might put them in work mode. Often they’ll request silence.  Sound can be powerfully relaxing or a stress trigger. Bottom line – offer the option and let the client choose.
  3. Consider THE TACTILE – This is what we do. We create a relaxing touch experience for our clients. It’s touch that’s safe, compassionate and therapeutic.  The tactile can also be represented in color and the textures of our table linens: sheets and coverings.  Again, this creates a memory or reminder for relaxation.
  4. Consider THE AROMATIC – First, choose whether to work with aromas or not. If your space has any kind of odd or musty smell then the choice has already been made for you! If you can’t move, AROMA INVIGORATE!  Did you know that several common essential oils are anti-viral, anti-septic, anti-fungal AND anti-biotic. Remember that around cold season!  Did you know there’s no standard to the essential oil industry? All essential oil products differ. Some of the “best” blends can have other oils added (still pure and natural, but you’re paying a lot for common vegetable and nut oil extenders). You need to research and trust your distributor.  For those who choose Aromatherapy, your session space should have a pleasant supportive aroma. You can change the mood of the session, i.e. uplifting, calming, healing, etc. … with your choice of pure essential oils.  The mere whiff of the pure and natural essential oils that I use, “evokes a little bit of Wendy Heaven”, as one of my clients described it.  Several clients, whenever they enter my office, say they immediately feel relaxed. That’s before I’ve done anything!  Remember my reference to Pavlov? Well, my clients senses are reminding them of the previous sessions and how relaxing and good they felt.  I choose to work with these powerful healing tools because of their versatility in my sessions.  My clients draw real benefits from this. They can also be reminded and brought back into relaxation at any point afterward, just by carrying an essential oil previously used in the reflexology session.  It’s true that some clients will request “no aroma” at all. In this case, it’s easy to keep your space neutral since aromas diffuse quickly. Only a very, very few clients won’t be able to tolerate any aroma. And in fact, I don’t have any such clients.  I LOVE working with AROMATHERAPY.  I carry 2-3 essential oils with me at all times. They’re in small bottles and they’re life savers.  Where have they saved me most often? On airplanes, on the streets of New York City and in taxis and subways. I know it’s so pedestrian (no pun) but more than once, I’ve reached for an oil and saved my nose and sanity!

Want to learn more? Everything you need to know is in my Aromatherapy Training Program, and it starts this spring 2012!


Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.ReflexologyProf.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

10 Interesting Things About the Feet

December 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

FYI – my 2012 Reflexology Tele-seminar Series is almost ready to announce. You’ll see it here soon.

  1. On average, in a lifetime, a person will walk between 125,000 and 250,000 miles. The first one adds up to more than four times the distance around the world and the later is the distance from the earth to the moon. No wonder we need to take good care of our feet… so they can take care of us and last a lifetime.
  2. The skin on your soles is up to 20 times thicker than the skin on any other part of your body.
  3. When you run, the pressure that is applied to your feet is four times greater than your normal body weight.
  4. Ever notice the shoes you just bought that felt right in the store feel tighter when you get them home? It may be because the shoe stores put a plush carpet down to make everything feel more comfortable. But also, our feet will swell slightly during the day and by afternoon they are up to one size larger than they were in the morning (that’s a 5% increase in volume). So, if you bought your shoes in the morning they may not feel as comfortable by the end of the day.
  5. And, between our two feet, one foot will be a half to a full size larger than the other (at any time of the day).
  6. Our feet contain approximately 250,000 seat glands. These glands can excrete a cup of moisture in a day. (That’s why it’s so good to wear cotton socks and breathable footwear.)
  7. Our feet stop growing when we hit our teen years and the last bone in the foot to mature fully is the 1st metatarsal.
  8. Shoe sizes were first “standardized” in the 14th century by King Edward II who declared that the diameter of a grain of barleycorn would be the measure for one full shoe size. We still use this system!
  9. In about 20 % of the population the second toe is longer than all the others.
  10.  The 52 bones in a pair of feet represent a quarter of all the bones in the body.  That’s a lot to articulate about.

Now, I’ll leave you with a sign that was spotted outside of a Podiatry office window:

“Time wounds all heels”.

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.ReflexologyProf.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

Reflexology 3 Easy-Pay Solutions

December 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

When I first started my practice I took payment for reflexology sessions in cash or checks. It was easy and people always had one or the other.

That was a while ago.

Then, as soon as I found I could get one – I applied for a credit card machine. I went through the long application process and set up a credit card merchant account.

And, I was happy with the ease and convenience but it did cost me monthly to maintain it – even if I didn’t use it all the time.

The best part about taking credit cards is that it makes it easier for clients to pay. This is true whether it’s a lot – many hundreds of dollars for a 5 or 10 session “Wellness Package” or just a little, like adding an extra half hour onto their existing session. (It also eliminates the need for clients, who have no checks and too little cash, to go to the corner ATM and run back with their payment.)

Now people are using their debit and credit cards even more.

Here are the 3 things that every Reflexologist will want to consider as options for payments:

  1.  Accept “Paypal” payments. You probably have a Paypal account, especially if you shop online. It’s free, not difficult to set up, and most people already use it for internet purchases. All you need to do is set up your account to accept payments and have your clients pay the funds for the sessions.You can direct clients to use it for larger payments like multi-session packages. This works best for payments in advance (rather than after the reflexology service has been provided).
  2. Set up a merchant account. In the past I’ve had various types of these accounts – one from a financial institution and the other from an internet provider. These take time to navigate, require a business bank account and charge you monthly for services plus a percentage of the amount charged (usually between 2 & 3 percent). I’m happy I’ve had mine all these years, but their costs have deterred some Reflexologists.
  3. Now we come to what I think is a great solution. It’s the newest in e-commerce and if you have a “smart phone” and want to take credit card payments you need to check it out. There are services like “Square” that are catering to businesses large and small with a transaction speed that’s all of 30 seconds.

The credit card “swipe” attachment to your phone is the size of a postage stamp and it opens in a program that is so simple to use and it takes no time at all. I bought mine at Apple but you can find them at Radio Shack and even Target.

The purchase cost is minimal, no need for a business bank account, plus there are no monthly charges. Payments go into your bank account in a few days and the fee that is taken from each transaction is about the same as other methods. It’s been more than worthwhile having it for my business.

It’s up to you to decide how you’ll take payment for your reflexology sessions, but remember, the easier you make it for your clients, the better.

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.ReflexologyProf.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

“Cranial” Reflexology

December 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

One of the first things I learn when I studied Cranio-sacral Balancing is that the body has a symphony of rhythms, each in concert with the other.

There’s a very special rhythm created by the movement of the cerebral-spinal fluid, which baths our brain and spine like a tide that washes up and down it’s length.

And, there’s a pulse that is palpable which follows the flow of this tide. The rate of this rhythm is approximately seven beats per minute.

So, in addition to our heart rhythm and the rhythm of our breathing, our whole skeletal system gently pulses – inverts and everts – to the flow of the cranial-spinal fluid.

It took me some time to learn how to palpate the cranial rhythm since it’s so deep within our body. It’s with the utmost respect and the deepest “listening“ through my fingertips that I finally sensed the magic of it’s movement.

As if that weren’t awesome enough, I learned that with the gentlest of techniques this primal motion could be safely paused, as if to set it to rest for a few seconds and up to several minutes.

It’s known as inducing the “still point.”

Once the cranial rhythm is put into a pause the body can rest in a natural way, freed momentarily from one more task, albeit a natural one.

This is where the deepest relaxation effect is to be had – like a mega alpha state where consciousness is well beneath the surface, but not to the point yet of unconsciousness.

We’ve all experienced it when we receive reflexology and our clients have too – that’s why we love our work so much, the relaxation effect of this state is profound.

An experienced crainio-sacral practitioner is very familiar with the still point and how to induce it. Once set into place, the practitioner need do nothing more than wait for the body to reset itself.

And the body will naturally resume its cranial rhythms, so slight and gentle that they are almost imperceptible even to the trained.

Along with this reset is the potential for irregularities in the natural movement to be corrected and be brought back into greater alignment.

So what does this have to do with reflexology and our solar plexus points?

When we hold these simple reflex points, we can naturally induce this state of deep relaxation – the “still point”.

By changing nothing that you already do, just be aware that your thumbs placed in the solar plexus center of both feet, with a hold that is both gentle and firm, will likely do what Cranio-sacral Balancing practitioners strive to do to help their clients.

It’s a good thing for body and soul.

Ever wonder why, at the end of your session when you hold these points, there’s yet another wave of relaxation that comes over your client?

Well, now you know and by doing nothing else, you’ve supplied a magical addition to your session.

And, that’s another reason why I begin and end every session with the solar plexus reflex.

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.ReflexologyProf.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”