Reflexology and mom

May 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

Until quite recently, I’d forgotten that I’d been around reflexology at a very young age.

You see my great uncle Alvin was a reflexologist which he combined with his pedorthy practice.

In those days, pedorthy – shoe sizing, measuring and fitting footwear – was a more common professional career. People knew how important the feet are and took better care of them back then.

Uncle Alvin was practicing reflexology as early as the 1940’s.

When my brother was young he had asthma and hay-fever. It almost killed him once – so my mom took him to my uncle for reflexology.

She said it helped a lot.

Mom was always one to try things she thought were important. One day while I was visiting, a few years before she went into the nursing home, she reached into the back of her closet and pulled out a small packet of papers.

“Here” she said, “I saved these for you, dear. I thought you’d like to have them one day”.

I looked at the neatly folded papers, one with an old stamp of a young Queen and another a green brochure in a protective plastic bag.

It took me a moment to realize what these papers were.

As early as 1948, my mother had written a letter to Eunice Ingham requesting information on a “reflexologist in our area… for a friend”.

Eunice wrote back on the same typed page mom had sent her and reported she didn’t know specifically of anyone, but that buying one of her books could certainly help.

A reflexologist AND a business woman!

The other papers were flyers for reflexology workshops and forms to order books. All kept safe for so many years.

But, in my hands was the reflexologists equivalent of an ingot of pure gold.

Nothing could have made me happier.

I talk about my mother, Irene, often because she’s been an inspiration to me my whole life. And, she still is.

Towards the end of her life, she had Alzheimer’s disease, was blind, and no longer able to communicate very well.

Irene was well into her nineties, still an amazing person and luckily, she was in an amazing eldercare facility. Even though her recollection of me had grown dim at best, we spend lots of wonderful time together.

Sometimes we talk about the very distant past. At various times she considers me her mother, father, daughter, sister or… a stranger.

One thing we could always do together was reflexology. And since her hands were so easy to reach, I’d often give her a soothing Hand Reflexology session.

Although the disease had decreased her responsiveness, as soon as I’d take her hand she’d turns towards me and smile.

Because of her cataracts, she could no longer see me but she could feel the warmth of my hands and the love in my touch.

It was such a gift to be able to communicate with her in this way because so many avenues, that I once took for granted, had since been cut off.

We’d sit together, her hand in mine and I’d slowly and gently do some relaxation techniques. I’d use a little extra lotion and was careful not to pull the dorsal skin. With age her skin became extremely thin and the vessels were very prominent. On the palm side, I’d scoop my fingertips in just a little bit.

Her hands were often cold so I’d wrap my hand around each finger and give a gentle squeeze (instead of the usual “coin rubbing” technique).

Sometimes she’d squeeze my hand back as if to say she’s happy I was there.

Holding each finger, just as I described, offers soothing balance to all the chakra elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether.

And, I’d remember that half the meridians in the body: lung, large intestine, triple energizer, pericardium, heart and small intestine, begin or end on each finger tip! (You’ll learn this, and a whole lot more, in the Professor’s Hand Reflexology program.)

Irene would usually be sitting in a chair that’s part-chair and part-bed. She could no longer walk at this point. There were not a lot of movements she could do.

It was incredible that she had no specific health issues. Still, all her systems were wearing down. She had none of the actions, movements – bending and straightening – that keeps us mobile with everything moving.

Although she wasn’t able to use the normal mechanics for system support and balance, I deeply trusted that these gentle Hand Reflexology sessions helped her organ systems as well as all the fluid tides.

So, I’d focus on the general session sequence. And use just a fraction of the pressure and one quarter of the usual session time.

There we sit, together for those precious moments, in deep connection and communication without needing to say any words.

And, I’ll treasure these moments forever.

The elderly and particularly nursing home patients are often stressed, disoriented and deprived of safe and meaningful touch.

To just take their hand in a compassionate way can have a tremendous impact.

You can just imagine what a soothing and relaxing touch – combined with the benefits of Reflexology – can do.

Remember to check with the medical staff before embarking on any technique with the elderly population.

I’m forever grateful for my sweet reflexology skills. They have given me a world where the possibilities are profound and endless.

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 and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training