A new decade starts today. Sounds momentous but actually… it’s just another day. And yet, this first day of 2020 is still a stark moment to reflect on the last year (or ten years!) and regroup before the festive season fades and we move onwards.
Yoga practice in the last few days has reminded me to reflect on the good stuff as well as the less good stuff from the last year, to be open to learning from both rather than ignoring one half of life. It’s tempting to focus on either the grim or the highlights but there’s a gentleness in allowing our life to be as it really is, rather than as we want it to be. Only then, perhaps, can we see clearly (2020 vision?) what would serve us best to let go of or to embrace more closely as we move into the future.
As the Reflexation Therapy tag line has it, how are you going to “Be Fit, Be Well, Be You” in the year ahead? Will you be the Same You you’ve always been, for better or for worse, or will you be… some kind of New You? There’s a balance to be found when answering this one: grounding in a sense of self-acceptance and ‘enough-ness’ whilst also honestly admitting to where you could do with a little (or a lot) of self-love, growth and change, breaking through old patterns and moving forwards with your life.
Wherever you are at on your “Be Fit, Be Well, Be You” journey, Reflexation Therapy is here to support you. If you’ve been putting rocks on your own path and you’d like help clearing them away (and avoiding the temptation to put them back as soon as you turn the next corner), then feel free to get in touch! Whether you want to resolve physical or emotional pain or stuckness, reflexology and soft tissue therapy (with a dash of NLP coaching where appropriate) are brilliant ways to help move you towards greater fitness and wellness of mind and body.
To celebrate the new year Reflexation Therapy is offering £5 off 1 hour soft tissue therapy and reflexology treatments until the end of February 2020! Making it even easier to treat yourself to a little added fitness, wellness and you-ness. We have a range of gift vouchers as well, if a loved one would benefit from some Reflexation Therapy time too.
Happy and honoured to be here for you in the year ahead. Can’t wait to see all the unique ways you’ll find to Be Fit, Be Well and Be You!
P.S. Sorry about the ‘clear vision’ 20:20 joke. As contact lens wearer, it was unavoidable.
In honour of World Reflexology Week, here is a bit of back story about what reflexology is and why I love it! You can read about the benefits of reflexology and more by visiting my Reflexology page.
Reflexology is a therapeutic technique of balancing the body so that it is stimulated to heal itself. Reflexology depends on the holistic idea of restoring a balance of nerve energy or flow throughout the body by working on reflexes, areas on the feet or hands that are thought to correspond to, connect with or ‘reflect’ each part of the body. Skilled treatment of reflexes is thought to stimulate natural healing and release blocked nerve pathways or even blocked emotions. This process allows waste to be released and promotes deep relaxation and improved physical and mental well-being, often including targeted pain relief and emotional release.
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with some extraordinary reflexologists and to have experienced the benefits of reflexology myself, as well as giving reflexology to others. It is always a joy to see clients experiencing improvements in physical or mental health and time and again reflex therapy seems to have a key role in this process.
The value of reflexology to mind-and-body health is something I’ve experienced myself. During my PhD years I struggled with some grim post-viral lows and more than 5 years of CFS/ME. Reflexology treatments were one of the first things that really helped lift my mind and body and gave me a sense of momentum and belief in my recovery. Years later reflexology helped once again to re-establish my health and sense of self as I had been struggling to process some relationship grief and a series of crushing bereavements. These days it is my privilege to work with courageous and extraordinary clients who connect with reflexology as a way to help process grief, trauma, depression and chronic stress related conditions.
My earliest convictions about reflexology as a means of achieving pain relief comes from a place close to my heart. My little brother (a force unto himself) had a serious accident on his motorbike in 2010, leaving him with collapsed lungs, spine broken in five places and multiple injuries to his arms and legs. In neuro-intensive care, and in the weeks that followed, I would massage his feet; one of the few parts of his body that could tolerate touch. I worked instinctively as I wasn’t properly trained in reflex therapy back then and it was remarkable to see his pain fade away during these treatments. He would switch off his morphine and be sleepy and restful for hours afterwards. His recovery was extraordinary. Seeing him stand up on his own after only two weeks was a deeply moving moment for me. Since then a number of clients I’ve worked with in clinic have kept me thinking big about reflexology and pain; it seems that a combined reflex therapy – physical therapy approach has the potential to resolve structural and pain issues that have niggled or even tormented for years.
I’m looking forward to training with Carol Samuels of Reflex Master in October, learning more about applying nerve reflex therapy to complex pain. I love to offer a combined approach, fusing reflexology with soft tissue therapy, but I know that even on its own reflexology is an extraordinary therapy that my clients enjoy and benefit from. If you’d like to learn more about reflexology with Reflexation Therapy do have a look at my Reflexology page or get in touch!
Wishing us all a happy World Reflexology Week. Celebrate with £5 off all Reflexology treatments booked this week!
This August saw the third Hellys International Guitar Festival take place at the Old Cattle Market in Helston. Once again Hellys managed to combine a dazzling array of guitar performances with a warm and fun atmosphere and a stash of creative talks and workshops. Reflexation Therapy was there for the second year running to work with performers battling aches, pains and nerves and to offer treatments to festival goers and team members who wanted a rejuvenating break.
Highlights for me this year included work with some extraordinary musicians such as the Hungarian guitarist Sándor Papp, luthier Graham Emes and lutenist and festival organiser Ben Salfield. I also met a few other therapists and ex-therapists; always a joy to learn from others and to offer treatments to those who usually give them!
Hellys is a wonderful festival to be a part of as it gets going and growing. It was great to meet up with last years team again, from the volunteers to the technical staff like photographer Alice Nightingale and videographer Dan Philbrooks. It was fun to see the excitement of the new Hellys H-factor competition building through the week as brave and brilliant local musicians competed for one of Kif Wood’s guitars. The winner Innes Rankin held the room spellbound in the final with his dark and dramatic style of playing as well as his diffident charm. Quirky poetry and music were back in the form of the relentlessly extraordinary Jonathan Coudrille, at one point accompanied by his new ballet dancing wife.
Whose music did I enjoy the most? My most memorable moments music-wise came not from the main concerts (although these were extraordinary: viva Andrea Dieci) but from elsewhere. Robert Franklin’s performance in the H-factor final was strikingly beautiful, perhaps more so as he fought to overcome nerves in round one before his sound could come through fully; and Alex Roche, returning to Hellys after his Masters in London played a stunningly moving piece by Mozart at the very end of his performance.
Of the non-guitar events I enjoyed hearing Daniela Norris, a former diplomat and writer, speak about her explorations in political and inspirational writing. She spoke compellingly of her dialogue with Shireen Anabtawi and their co-publication of the book Crossing Qualandiya: Exchanges Across the Israeli Palestinian Divide. Daniella shared some inspiring quotations from some of her favourite books, such as The Tao of Pooh (Benjamin Hoff), The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Pirsig). These are the ones Iiked best:
You’d be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are. – Benjamin Hoff
When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. – Paulo Coelho
We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world. – Robert Pirsig
Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse that the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with […] eternity. – Paulo Coelho
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. – Paulo Coelho
Hellys 2019 brought a greater diversity of guitar styles and events than its previous incarnations. The festival is clearly establishing its identity and place as a fun and inspiring music and culture event for Cornwall. Reflexation Therapy looks forward to Hellys International Guitar Festival 2020 and I’m definitely inspired to get back to my classical guitar, which I’ve shockingly abandoned of late…
If you’d like to read my blog about Reflaxation Therapy at Hellys 2018 click here.
This year’s London Marathon was met with perfect weather conditions for runners and a great deal of excited anticipation throughout the City. Londoners, beset by Brexit blues in recent months, needed a reason to cheer and they certainly found it on Marathon day. Thousands of spectators and hundreds of charities, from Save the Children to Save the Bees were lining the route, cheering on courageous runners raising money for extraordinary and life-changing causes. As ever, people from around the world were there, participating and supporting loved ones on their epic feat of running 26.2 miles in one go (wow).
Reflexation Therapy was there this year as part of the LSSM (London School of Sports Massage) effort to provide soft tissue therapists for 14 charities and their hundreds of runners. I was privileged to offer post-event therapy treatments for Team Tommy’s runners. Tommy’s is a baby charity funding research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Tommy’s’ brave and brilliant runners were treated to a festive reception at Mabel’s cocktail bar in Covent Garden, only a short walk from the finish line (easier to say if you haven’t run 26 miles, perhaps). We set up therapy couches in a bar area adjacent to the main hubbub of Tommy’s staff and families celebrating with their runners, and worked our way through a cheerful but weary queue of very tired legs in need of rest and recovery! It was touching to hear the runners’ stories and in many cases to see and hear their precious little ones nearby; families proud that they’re raising money for a cause that means the world to them.
Before post-event therapy work started I watched the first runners going past Cleopatra’s Needle, just past mile 25. It was exciting to soak up the London Marathon atmosphere and see extraordinary elite athletes, seemingly taking it in their stride, followed later by many more fighting with all their heart, body and soul against wrecked hamstrings and pure exhaustion in the last mile. To one side of me the St John’s Ambulance crew were busy at the side-lines offering immediate help to those with rebellious hamstrings, getting stuck runners to relax and release painful muscles with simple exercises so that they could stay in the race. On the other side of me Dementia Revolution supporters were having a great time, certainly making for the noisiest charity on the Embankment and one of the most well-represented in terms of runners.
I was fortunate to spot a Team Tommy’s frontrunner go past around the 3 hour mark (good job!) and several other Tommy’s runners cut a great pace. Perhaps the best fancy dress costumes I saw among the front runners were a man dressed in a wedding dress (Cancer Research) and another dressed head to foot as a bee, flying along to raise money for our precious bees in danger. Among the Cornish runners, I spotted mighty members of Carn Runners and Hayle Runners powering along and I know that my home town club of Falmouth Road Runners, and of course the epic Cornwall AC were represented too. Although it’s not easy to spot everyone hurtling by in the last mile, one runner for Pancreatic Cancer UK caught my eye as he ran by, the back of his top aptly reading, “Pancreatic Cancer is tough. So am I.”
The toughness and determination of all the charity runners that we worked with at the London Marathon was both moving and humbling and we hope that after their post-event soft tissue treatments, a few shattered legs swiftly started to feel a lot better. It was touching to hear one runners say she felt she had “a new pair of legs” after her treatment! As a therapist I certainly learned a lot from the experience myself and even after giving treatments for nearly 5 hours solid I can imagine coming back for more another year! I wasn’t quite inspired to run a marathon myself, but I was inspired to move forwards more courageously with the things I do best, that make me “me”, and the sports that I love to do. I’m thinking of committing to some short running races and overcoming my fears for what (if I do indeed overcome said fears) will be my second performance of aerial acrobatics at my circus gala in Penzance this autumn. Watch this space…
Update: I ran my first 5K a month after the 2019 London Marathon and did my second aerial silks performance at the Acorn Theatre in Penzance in November 2019. Thanks all those London Marathon runners for a dose of fear-busting inspiration.
A Feature Article version of this blog was published in the ISRM Newsletter Issue 36 October 2019. You can view it here: ISRM_Newsletter_Feature.
Reflexation Therapy is delighted to be offering therapeutic treatments at the Penryn Campus Sports Centre, with appointments available 5 days a week (daytimes and some evenings). I’m enjoying being up at the University campus, present there now as a scientist turned therapist, delivering specialised techniques for pain relief, injury recovery and improved mind-body wellness. At the excellent Sports Centre clinic space I offer reflexology and soft tissue therapy (a blend of clinical massage, manual physical therapy and advanced sports & remedial massage) as well as Swedish massage and aromatherapy massage.
Discounts are available for FXPlus Staff and Students (10% off all treatments) and some Reflexation Therapy treatments can be claimed via the Simply Health benefit scheme. Keep an eye on this website for details of seasonal offers and get £5 off with the refer-a-friend discount scheme.
Explore further following these links if you’d like to learn more about Reflexation Therapy treatments and Chloë’s approach to mental and physical health and well-being. She has special interests in nerve reflex therapy and connections between mind and body systems. Chloë likes to combine nerve reflexology with manual therapy and massage, applying these powerful techniques both compassionately and clinically to help relieve pain, enhance injury recovery and promote emotional restoration for those affected by stress, anxiety, grief or depression.
Whether you’ve got a sports injury or are simply burnt out from work-life stress, Reflexation Therapy is here for you. Appointments are available 5 days a week, daytimes and some evenings. Contact Chloë on 07780 665 404 or at email@example.com.