It will be twenty five years next March since ART was conceived, my instinct told me that perhaps this anniversary should be marked by another ART conference. Many of my founder ART members will no doubt remember the 10th ART anniversary conference in London. What a great event that was (at least I thought so!) It was hugely oversubscribed. There was room for 250 in the conference room, we could have had at least another 295 delegates!
I am still pondering about next year, although March, when conference plans have to be made is too soon. If something does take place it will be later in the year.
My pondering also got me thinking about all the different 'schools' of reflexology there now are in this country. I can remember when there were only about four. In those early days I can remember some of the reflexologists who had really busy practices. One of these people, who I had a few treatments with, had a huge practice with people queuing in the front garden! His treatments lasted a maximum of twenty minutes, sometimes less. Three people an hour he would treat every day of the week. His clients included many celebrities from the world of stage and film.
His way of working was very painful, even quite brutal, using a hard rubber implement with which he would rub very deeply into various parts of the feet. He was mainly self taught. He never took patient details, just getting on with the treatment until an alarm clock sounded where he would then go into another bedroom and treat somebody else. No fancy stuff, just a plain old single bed in a plain room with clutter around. This went on all day every day. Was he successful? Yes, very. He had more good publicity than any other reflexologist has ever had, even from members of the medical profession who came to him for treatment.
I well remember 'enduring my twenty minutes with sweat pouring down my brow! and after, experiencing a huge release through every part of my body possible!
The only other time I can compare this was many years later while in Singapore, when Dwight Byers and I were invited to be treated by two of the leading reflexologists in the city. They also gave short and very intense treatments, using special wooden and stone implements to delve into the tissues of the feet. I felt really shaky and nauseas after, while Dwight had a really powerful release of mucus from his lungs (which, due to childhood asthma have always been his weak point). He was very impressed!
This side of reflexology is not known these days, the therapy has inherited a mantle of just relaxation, where one can drift off to the sound of running water or dolphins calling to each other or the sound of the ocean lapping the shore. All very nice, and I admit serves a purpose in these busy and stressful times. Also I doubt if people would want to endure a painful treatment.
I am not suggesting that our treatments need to be brutal, far from it, but the busiest reflexologists I know and have taught, use very positive and focused treatments which are painful but in a controlled and therapeutic manner.
I know very well the hidden meaning and potential behind reflexology, revealing itself only through incorporating different techniques, in conjunction with a different mental approach by the therapist. Are you prepared to come out of the box?
My Very Best Wishes