New Reflexology Techniques

By Izabel Carter

Palliative Refexology

Last week, I trekked (well that’s what it felt like) to the other side of London where I attended a course entitled “Palliative Reflexology”, run by David Wayte at Jubilee College ( Had I twigged where the course was, and how tricky it would be for me to get there, I might have thought twice, but it was well worth the early (0330 wake up) start.

Whilst I was especially interested in learning about reflexology as part of a programme of palliative care, I knew that the techniques I would learn could be used with other clients too, particularly those that present with sore feet, but would still like a treatment.

What I love about CPD (Continuing Professional Development) courses is that they involve lots of practical, and the chance to meet and talk with other reflexologists. And this course did just that! The course opened with some talk about how to work as part of a team in a hospital or hospice, practicalities and the associated expectations of us; and there was more information provided through the day too – in between the practical – but most of the time was either giving a treatment or receiving a treatment (which was heavenly).

As well as learning how to take the client through a guided meditation whilst doing palliative reflexology (we used the same relaxation techniques and worked the reflexes in the same way but with a much lighter touch), we also learnt how to link reflexes, which, even with the lightest of touches, may create sensations in the body for the client (and the therapist).

We moved on to experience Energy Field Reflexology, where the therapist works off the skin in the energy field, but still working with a reflexology foot map. The scientist in me struggled with the concept of this initially, but with my eyes shut, my body reacted to what the therapist was doing.

Often in a hospital/hospice setting, and for the benefit of the client, treatments need to be shorter; we practised a technique called Four Hands Holding (sometimes known as Synergistic Reflexology), where two therapists work on the client, one on the hands and one on the feet. The therapists work in sync ie working on the same reflexes at the same time; the therapist working on the hand leads, with the therapist working on the foot follows. Again, the movements are slow and gentle.

Finally, we learnt an adapted manual lymph drainage technique to enhance the lymphatic drainage of the ankles; again slow and gentle.

The key elements of the course for me as the reflexologist:

A light touch (or no touch in the case of Energy Field Reflexology) can work just as effectively
I can still feel the imbalances using a light touch
I need to do more linking; I already know this technique, but don’t always use it
And as a client:

A light touch, through relaxation techniques and reflexes being worked, is very relaxing
Linking creates sensations in the body that can take some time to dissipate
Energy Field Reflexology does create sensations in the body; not as intense, but they are still there
So what next?

I’m looking forward to building these techniques into my treatments. I’m hoping to be accepted as a volunteer at the local hospice, for patients and their carers, who, I know, also need some tlc.

And, if you’re a reflexologist reading this, I would highly recommend this course, and David Wayte as a trainer. I learnt loads, received some wonderful reflexology and had fun at the same time.

If you would like more information, or to make an appointment, please call me on 07912 951763, or email me on [email protected].