Response to treatment

Imagine a beautiful waterfall. The water is clean and clear running down off the mountain. It is full of energy and vibrancy. As it comes down through the waterfall it flows over many rocks and forms smaller pools, before it continues down through to the river below.

Now imagine that one of the rock pools becomes blocked. Perhaps some debris has lodged itself across the opening and the pool starts to get slower as the water backs up. As the blockage becomes settled, the water diverts away and finds a new path. There is now a stagnant pool of water. The flow is blocked. No energy is running through it. It starts to build up residue; nothing is moving, nothing fresh is moving in and nothing is moving out. Gross things start to grow in the stagnant water. Parasites start to breed. It starts to become murky and smell. The water thickens.

Now imagine that the pool of water is a reflection of the human body, and what is happening to it is a representation of symptoms; pain, immobility, feeling stuck, poor circulation, thickened body fluids, poor diet, germs, parasites, bad bacteria, virus, poor oxygen intake, lack of energy, lethargy, no life force flowing to cleanse and provide vibrancy, excess heat, brain fog, dampness and phlegm.

To improve the symptoms, the environment must be improved. But the water is so thick and murky, we can’t see where the blockage is. So we take a stick, and gently disturb the water, stirring it up as we look for the blockage. Now imagine the dirt, the debris, the residue at the bottom of the pool being disturbed. Imagine it swirling up into the upper water and imagine the colour of the water now; even dirtier and murkier, with particles swirling and floating around as we try to navigate to the blockage.

We are disturbing lots of things which have settled and gradually built up over time. We are starting to move things which haven’t been moved in a long time. Imagine this is a representation of addressing a chronic illness, or chronic pain, or chronic immobility. Starting a course of reflexology could well create a disturbance like this, and could create symptoms of feeling worse before you start to feel better.

How long will it take to clear and cleanse the pool? We don’t know. It could take a few sessions, or it could take longer. But the real question is, are you willing to do the work? Are you willing to start cleaning the water? Are you willing to work through the debris and the murkiness? Are you willing to change habits, beliefs, patterns?

What does your pool look like?

[Perspectives in Foot Reading #1] looking at the groin

Here we have a Fire marker – the popped anterior tibial tendon. This dorsal area of the foot is the general reflex for the pelvic region, including reproductive system, inguinal region and lymphatics, and the muscles and bones of the lower core.

The popped tendon indicates potential pain, inflammation, overuse and increase in muscular tension somewhere in this area.

The excess tension here has created a little cave just below the popped tendon, indicating strain, fatigue and weakness. The little cave would be regarded as an Air marker, and this would make sense that the Fire from the inflammation is leaving deficiency (burnt out).

In addition we can also see an inflamed and over-protruding lateral malleolus (ankle bone) showing that the hip is also affected.

This male client suffers with groin pain on the left side, stemming from a childhood injury (a tear), and continues to have problems while playing sports.

To balance Fire we want to reduce the forest fire to a gentle hearth-side glow, so activities like restorative yoga and gentle swimming would be recommended. Other activities such as Tai Chi might also benefit. In addition, ensuring hydration and diet are optimal.

From a mental/emotional perspective, this would indicate fiery and inflamed relationships with family and those whom we are close; sparks could well be flying and as a practitioner I tread very carefully. Venting and letting off steam about these issues would help, either with a neutral party or by journaling. Routine and boundary setting within the relationship is also needed, as a raging fire can easily get out of control.

Once the Fire has gotten under control, it is then time to gently nourish and strengthen the remaining deficient terrain.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist, clinical acupuncturist, and foot reading practitioner, working from Elder Cottage Clinic, Warton, nr. Preston.

Foot readings are offered in clinic and remotely. 

 

Opportunity for reflexologists to enhance your business

Ultimately, selling gets a bad name when the person doing the selling is selling for selling’s sake: they are not passionate about the product and they don’t believe what it stands for, they just want to make money.

As reflexologists we are passionate about our therapy and believe in its powerful yet gentle and subtle effectiveness. Our beliefs and enthusiasm drive us forward in promoting reflexology to everybody we meet.

When you believe wholeheartedly in what you do and why, selling becomes something else, it becomes the promotion of a good thing, it becomes “spreading the word”, it becomes “people helping people”.

So, as therapists we are selling our therapies, so why not also sell products too? Especially when the brand sets the bar in its ethical ethos, organic standards and care for the environment.

So if you want to be about people helping people, where the product ingredients are natural and organic, where the people in the supply chain are treated fairly, and when you look behind you there is no carbon footprint, then adding NYROrganic to your therapy business is a good choice.

By adding NYROrganic to your reflexology business you will open up more doors to an additional income stream, you will discover new ways of marketing your business, casting your promotional net further and wider, you will meet new people and learn new business skills, and become part of a wider community of like minded people, many of whom are also therapists.

I run reflexology parties with NYROrganic.  This works well because you are combining/showcasing both sides of your business.

I use the following products in my reflexology treatments, but this is in no way limited and there are many products that would work with reflexology from the NYROrganic range:

Mother’s Balm This is a lovely medium to work with without fragrance so great for new clients who you haven’t gotten to know very well yet, and for clients who might be hypersensitive to strong fragrances.

Geranium and Orange Body Balm This is another lovely medium to work with, and the smell is quite strong but beautiful. Definitely a great conversation starter.

Arnica salve  This is a great medium to work with for client’s feet as it improves circulation, encourages lymphatic drainage, eases tired and aching muscles, and is great for the feet and also YOUR hands! See more about Arnica here.

Organic Defence Hand Spray I use this to sanitize my hands before starting. It smells lovely and can generate conversations. It is also much nicer for my hands than the yukky stuff you can buy on the shelves of the supermarket.

Facial Wipes  I use the cotton facial wipes to cleanse the foot. Like all NYROrganic products, these are  certified by the Soil Association. The cotton is biodegradable so is kinder to this beautiful planet. You can also use one of the two spray deodorants as a foot spritzer.

If you would like to know more about this wonderful opportunity please get in touch with me on 07799144606 or JMReflex1@gmail.com, or take a look at the information here.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Group Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

unnamed2

Growyourbusinessindependent-consultant-long-logo

Reflexology for Sports

Sports people of any level or ability are highly motivated to perform at their best and to achieve optimum results; often they look to holistic therapies to complement treatment received for injuries.

Reflexology for optimal performance

The psychology of sport encourages individual athletes and team players to look for ways to achieve that extra one or two percent that can give them the edge on their opponents. Consequently, many now use reflexology as part of their overall regime.

What can reflexology offer?

Reflexology may help to provide increased mobility, reduced pain and support or accelerate the recovery period after an injury.  Many athletes use reflexology in a preventative capacity to encourage balance in the body and improved health in general, such as improved sleep quality, reduced anxiety and improved mood.

How does it work?

Reflexology helps to increase blood flow and encourage lymphatic drainage. Research studies show that it can remove lactic acid from the legs four times faster than massage, helping post event recovery. Increased blood circulation helps remove toxins and increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, helping to support the body’s natural healing process and promote recovery from injuries. It may also assist in preventing common complaints and niggles from extended muscle exertion such as aches, pains, cramps and spasms.

What else?

The effect of stress has a very detrimental effect on the body, reducing blood flow and oxygen, causing energy to be depleted and thus functioning at a sub-optimal level. Reflexology helps to manage this by promoting deep relaxation, easing tension, giving the body time to rest and heal and it often improves sleep. It may also help with pain relief or reducing pain associated with injury.

Contact me for more information or to book an appointment.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist, acupuncturist, promoter of healthy living and independent consultant (Group Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Fascinating Psoas

The psoas muscles (major and minor) are the only muscles to join the upper body with the lower. The left and right psoas join the lumbar spine to the femur, thus joining the upper body with the lower body. This is quite a special function: think spiritually for a moment and the concept of linking the higher self with the earthy presence.

The psoas is at the core of our functioning  bodies, creating flexibility but also providing a deep stabilizer, “supporting the human body much like an arch does in building structures”. [1]

The psoas supports many of our internal organs or viscera. Think of it as a shelf for the intestines, kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas and bladder. Any contraction of the psoas muscle will massage these organs, and due to the close proximity to them can “play a role as a reactor to these stimuli, thus affecting what is commonly termed as ‘gut feelings’.” [1]

The psoas meeting point is at the diaphragm at T12 or L1 (it can vary) and this junction in the body is known as the solar plexus. This area, a nerve network, is related to those ‘butterfly’ feelings we can get when we are nervous or excited. It is remarkable that the psoas muscle is also linked to the diaphragm and thus our breath, and those feelings which can effect the frequency of our breath such as nervousness, anxiety, excitement.

The psoas is one of the main muscles affecting the lower back, so with any lower back pain its condition warrants attention. Because of its deep central position, its closeness to our ‘gut feelings’ and our internal viscera, emotional tension can manifest in the psoas creating debilitating back pain and stiffness. If you suffer with lower back pain, ask yourself: do I feel supported in life? Am I worried/anxious/frightened? Is there a change forthcoming? Working through emotions is a key factor in dealing with back pain caused by the deep psoas, as well as finding the right balance of quality of motion and flow without restriction.

It is interesting to map the psoas muscles on the foot from a reflexology viewpoint. You can see that the psoas covers the medial arch of the foot, which is hugely important in supporting and maintaining posture and gait. It covers a very large area of the foot which only highlights (in my opinion) of its huge importance in our lives, providing support in a physical, mental and spiritual perspective. If you suffer with lower back pain, why not try reflexology or self-treat by massaging the area in red shown on the foot map?

I have been on a personal journey with this muscle. Emotional tension building up this year put me in a debilitating situation with such terrible back pain and restricted motion. It was only when discovering the psoas muscle and its functions and representations did I manage to heal myself and come through the dark and into the light.

Liz Koch says “the psoas is no ordinary muscle but a profound segue into the rich, inner and outer world of awareness and consciousness.”

[1] The Vital Psoas Muscle: Connecting Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Wellbeing by Jo-Ann Staugaard-Jones

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist, promoter of healthy living and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

Growyourbusiness

[Yoga Series #1] Yoga for Foot Health

Our feet are our foundation. We often use language like “take a stand” or “stand on your own two feet”; phrases that represent our feet as an action of autonomy, and one of independence. Our feet create a stable base for us to live our lives.

Much of this is covered during yoga. I love my regular yoga practise and it really is something that unfolds over time, and is always a journey of self-discovery. It helps me listen to my body and thus get to know it. But I have recently found that my focussing more attention to my feet during my practise can really make such a huge difference to the poses and what I get out of my practise. If my feet are positioned correctly and active, then everything else follows.

So let’s look at the feet in yoga and see this in action. Being a reflexologist I’m always interested in feet! So below are a few poses I’ve selected especially for the feet.

Tadasana (Mountain Pose) This pose is all about grounding through the feet, feeling the earth energy pulling us down but at the same time our cosmic energy pulling us up through the crown. Working with this pose will over time give you a great sense of stability, just like a mountain, and this largely comes through focussing on the feet. Spreading the toes and lifting up the arches while simultaneously grounding the foot down into your mat.

Thai Goddess Squat Pose. This pose is an intense stretch of the foot flexor muscles on the plantar of the foot. Start on your hands and knees with your toes curled under. Gradually over time decrease the weight bared by the hands and shift over to the feet until you are in an upright position. The intense stretch can be painful and intense for the toes so don’t attempt this if you have any contraindication in your toes or feet. This stretch also works into the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon. It is a great foot strengthener. Start of with holding for just a few seconds and progress over time.

ID-100258273

Tree pose. This is a balance, and no matter where you have your other leg or foot lifted, the grounding foot and leg is always going to get a good workout. Concentrating on the foot here is crucial – the positioning of the foot must be good to maintain balance and prevent toppling over!

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). This is a great overall stretch for the body, both a resting and active pose, however if you concentrate on your feet during this pose it will open out a new level of discovery. Once I’m warmed up and my heels start to touch the mat, this is where focussing on grounding through the feet and toes, but lifting up through the arches can really help with alignment of the hips and engage the root lock (pelvic floor area).

Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana. This pose is great for helping to correct dropped arches and flat feet, stretching into the foot flexors. It’s also a great stretch for the ankle. In a seated position bend one leg so that the foot is beside the outside of the hip. This can be intense for the knee so don’t attempt if your knee is contraindicated in anyway. Either sit tall for 5 breaths or bend forward at the hip holding onto the foot of the straight leg.

Please note that I a not a yoga instructor.

Read the second in this series [Yoga Series #2]: Feet are our Foundation.

Image courtesy of pat138241 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

Growyourbusiness

Charity Fundraiser for Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Last week was Eating Disorders Awareness Week. During this week I co-ran a fundraising event with a local Preston-based charity Support and Education for Eating Disorders (S.E.E.D). S.E.E.D is dedicated to raising awareness about eating disorders in Lancashire by providing information, resources, education, training and support for everyone affected by eating disorders and/or working with eating disorders. S.E.E.D acknowledges that the symptoms of eating disorders are an expression of deeper emotional need; they believe that people suffering can get better; that there is help available and this help should be freely accessible.

The event was a shopping evening held at Howick House in Penwortham. We started off with drinks and nibbles, and then got started.

I donated a reflexology voucher worth £35 as one of the raffle prizes, so began with a short talk on what reflexology is, how it works and some of the benefits it can have on general wellbeing.

I then moved onto Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic, showcasing the natural and organic approach, and the ethical credentials of the company. We had a bit of fun with a “smell test”, guessing the scents of different essential oils, and learning about their health benefits.

S.E.E.D’s very own Shelley Perry enjoyed a mini facial, a demonstration of the key facial products and their benefits for the skin. Shelley was very relaxed afterwards! We then tried various different products, many of which are my favourites such as the Wild Rose Body Elixir, Firming Body Cream and the Melissa Hand Polish.

Afterwards everyone relaxed with the brochures and placed enough orders for me to donate £65 of my profits to the charity, and along with the other monies raised through the raffle and refreshments, a total of £165 was raised on the night. What a great result and everyone had such an enjoyable evening!

If you are a local charity and would like to hold a similar event with me please get in touch. Watch out for another shopping evening with S.E.E.D this summer.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

Growyourbusiness