Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Much Excitement about Feets
I really love feets. I love feets, not in a kinky way, but I love feets all the same. Feets are wonderful. Feets support us. Feets are our connection to the earth. Feets are just lovely. Feets, like beer, are my friend. I particularly love clean feets that don't smell that much that aren't all crusty. Soft feets are the best.
Because I am a reflexologist in my spare time. I get to play with lots of feets. If you don't love feet, you'll never make a good reflexologist. Reflexologists tend to call them feets - rather than feet. One feet, two feets. None of this popular, one foot, two feet. It's feets - it makes them sound a lot more fun than they really are.
Reflexologists have a language of their own. We do feet swaps (Where one reflexologist treats another and then vice versa - also known as a contra), we talk about meridians and crunchies and hot spots and cracklings and caterpillars. Not that we can talk to the outside world like that. If we did, we'd be locked up.
Also, reflexology isn't something that's widely practiced in Australia. In Europe, it has a wide and well known following. In Asia it is commonplace. In Australia, tell somebody you're a reflexologist and they run a mile thinking you're going to poke something up their rectal cavity with a sharp stick.
Reflexology is my preferred modality. When I practice, I tend to mix it in with a bit of reiki and reference point therapy for good measure - and with very good results. I've been working on friends for years with this combined method with some wonderful results. Reflexology is guaranteed to relax and rejuvenate - I've never had an unhappy client.
And after eleven years, I have found a decent reflexologist - in Melbourne! And there is much rejoicing around the place. A hell of a lot of rejoicing.
It all started at work last week, another word nerd on the project and I were talking whilst making a cup of tea. I asked Jonella what she did the evening before and it turned out she did a feet swap. My eyes lit up.
"You're a reflexologist?!"
"You know what a feet swap is?!"
"Of course - I'm a reflexologist too!"
And we jumped and danced around the kitchen like a midget on the Spinal Tap set. I said that there was much rejoicing.
It's like finding the Promised Land after forty years in the wilderness.
Jonella is my work buddy. We're quite similar in may ways - both in our early forties, word nerds, having worked all around the city and travelled over the world. We've both got eclectic tastes and have a rather pragmatic view of the world - and we're both reflexologists. Yippee!
Another thing that alternative therapists won't tell you. Most of us will only get a treatment as a contra - gaining a treatment by working on another practitioner - we're all a bit tight like that. Over the years I've searched high and low for a reflexologist to do contras with. I rather begrudgingly pay for a monthly massage off an excellent massage therapist - it keeps me sane and balanced, but reflexology - finding a reflexologist to contra with was like finding Tony Abbott's human side or Julia Gillard's charm - next to impossible. I've never payed for feets treatments. I don't know of a sane reflexologist who would. When I left London, I left all my foot friends behind - and it's a bit hard to travel so far for a foot session.
I've contra'd out my reflexology skills for all sorts of things over the years - dinner, having my tax done, reiki sessions, having the odd piece of clothing taken in, you know - the odd jobs that people do on the side. My favorite contra buddy is my personal trainer - I swap massages and feet sessions for personal training on a regular basis. The barter system is alive and well.
Anyway, Jonella and I made an appointment for last night for the contra.
We found out that we work very differently - but this is not a bad thing. Jonella's a by-the-book reflexologist with an excellent way about her. Me - I work with energetics - picking up all sorts of things about her, much to Jonella's amazement. "How do you know that?" she'd yelp?
"Inverted little toenail....pouching on the arch....crunchy bit here..... hot spot there." After fifteen years of practice I've seen a lot of feet - and I'm very intuitive. I can normally tell what your bowel motions and menstrual cycle are doing. I know if you have your wisdom teeth, tonsils and appendix. I know about old broken bone, propensitiy for chest and bladder infections. I know when you need an eye test or if you had grommits in your ears as a kid. There is no hiding. All of this can be a bit confronting if you've never experienced this - but I mean no harm - and the information goes no further than the treatment room.
After the treatment, we swapped. I got my feets done. Pandora was in BLISS!
We related war stories. When I learned reflexology, I was taught by a mad Liverpudlian in London. The first test we had was to kiss our client's big toe. You have to remember that you ask your client to wash their feet before you start, after which you go over them with antibacterial wipes. They're just a bit of skin. Jonella blanched at this - then I asked her to think about all the places her mouth had been. She blushed, then agreed that there was a good point to that. My Liverpudlian teacher's thought behind this was if you couldn't kiss, or indeed bite a big toe of a clean foot, you had no business being a reflexologist.
And when you think about it - washed and wiped, what is the difference between kissing a foot or kissing a mouth?
After the treatment, both of us were all smooshie - reflexologist term for very relaxed.
I slept like a baby last night - almost a perfect night sleep. This morning I woke with a slight headache - common after a treatment - it normally means that there's a bit of a healing crisis going on. Speaking to Jonella later in the day she said the same thing - great sleep, a little whooshy (another reflexology term)
Most of all, we're both greatful we've found a very rare commodity in Melbourne.
Another Feets person.
There will be more rejoicing same time, next month.