As I embarked on my Reflexology training in sunny Pretoria, South Africa in 1998, I truly had no idea what an impact it would have on my life. And the lives of my family, friends and clients.
I was so excited to learn to heal the “Natural Way” after working as a Nurses Aid for several years where I quickly found out that this was not the methods I would like to implement and promote.
My training was varied and intense. Classroom sessions were always fun, as we all struggled to learn the new techniques and reflex pressure points and how to apply them. There was never a time where we did not go home with achy, tired and cramped up hands and arms. I swear that I developed muscles I did not even know I had.
We learned many interesting subjects. The Theory and History of Reflexology, Nutrition, Business Ethics, Anatomy and Physiology and much, much more.
But before we could take our practical exam we had to do 100 hours of practical application! Yes you guessed it family members and friends became our guinea pigs and whoever else we could find. And we had to do it for FREE. Yes we were not allowed to charge anything.
So the sooner we did our 100 hours, the sooner we could start earning money.
I was lucky I wrote a letter to a Senior Citizen Security Home in Pretoria and was accepted. So twice a week I would go and practice on my elderly clients.
So this little story is my very first case study. I was nervous because this was something I had not really done before. The only thing I did well at first was to take his personal details. And I do believe I got his illness correct as well. What kind of medication and diet his was on went right over my head. And I remember that I was very shaky as to pinpoint his tenderness in the different reflex areas on his feet.
There was one client in particular that made a great impression on me. Mr. Van Der Merwe was at that time 74 years of age and had Alzheimer’s disease. He showed symptoms, like hand tremor, unstable walking, slurred speech, stiffness and he was often filled with worry and anxiety. He was on heavy medication, but to no avail. But because of the great result we had later on I have always called it my sunshine story.
So for the next 10 weeks I saw Mr. Van Der Merwe 2 times a week. Mrs. Van Der Merwe was sitting just beside me to make sure I did not hurt her husband to whom she had been married for 32 years.
As the weeks progressed improvements started to show. Mr. Van Der Merwe started to speak more clearly. He could focus and concentrate better.
We were all so happy and impressed with these results and I remember I always looked forward to coming back to see what other improvements had come about.
In order for my client to respond better to the treatment I thought him how he could use pressure points on his own hands to aid this healing. I always asked him to work his hands on the thumb side. this is were the spine is located. The neck being in the base of the thumb, the thoracic just below and the lumbar all the way to the wrist bend.
I find it is extremely important that clients take control of their own healing. And by working on their hands they also feel that they are helping them self.
Slowly the unstable walk became sure long strides, the worry and anxiety disappeared. But my client still had his tremors. It was only towards the 17th visit that we saw a reduction of the tremors. These tremors really bother him a lot, as he had to have help with eating and drinking and dressing himself.
So we worked on!
By the 19th treatment the tremors had gone. I was awed that in such a short time doing reflexology treatment Mr. Van Der Merwe symptoms had disappeared. He had healed the natural way, by waking up the bodies own healing capabilities.
I still recall his smile. This bright sun filled smile that lit up his whole face. He came striding towards me, took my hand and shook it firmly. There was no trace of tremors.
Mr. Van Der Merwe continued to see me once a month for preventative measures once a month, and until I left Pretoria.
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