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Reflexology and A New Era

Article by Linda Chollar
Originally Published in ‘Reflexology Across America, RAA News Magazine’, Winter Edition 2008

As I reflect on my personal path and career in reflexology, it’s been 17 years ago that I fell in love with the healing touch of reflexology. As I have heard so many say, ‘it changed my life!’ The feet led me into study of the whole body/mind anatomy.  I learned from many teachers and mentors in the reflexology field and they inspired me to research and pioneer reflexology education into new areas with a passion to touch and teach. It’s been a rewarding journey and today while I use a variety of body-based therapies and holistic approaches, reflexology is the foundation of my work.

My focus today is on pain management as people need natural, non-invasive and non-drug methods for pain relief. Complementary therapies are emerging as the new medicine. Billions are spent yearly out-of-pocket by Americans seeking alternatives approaches for wellness. In my practice, I have seen reflexology work when nothing else does for chronic pain and conditions like fibromyalgia (FM), a chronic muscular pain condition that affects millions of people. Years ago, when I began to research fibromyalgia, there was little information to be found.  Now, there is much research being done and FM is a controversial syndrome without a clear cause or treatment.  My experience with FM clients has been rewarding as I have used foot reflexology to alleviate pain, stress and balance the nervous system. I began teaching reflexology classes to FM individuals for self-care and to reflexologists to understand the fibromyalgia client. Reflexology continues to grow as a choice in caring for chronic pain. 

Research at Michigan State University by Dr. Gwen Wyatt showed reflexology to be the first choice of several interventions and she was granted a $3 million grant to do a 5 year study on the benefits of reflexology for pain in breast cancer  

Musculoskeletal chronic pain is not the expertise of traditional medicine. The use of pharmaceuticals and side effects are rampant and so is chronic pain. The message is being heard from others like myself - reflexology works as a natural and non-invasive pain reliever. Professionals trained in reflexology are merging into integrative medicine and working as pain management practitioners in wellness centers, hospitals and private clinics.        

Recently, I wrote several articles about my success with using reflexology to help my fibromyalgia clients.  These articles were published by the American Holistic Health Assn., the National Fibromyalgia Assn., FM-related websites, and my personal blog that popped up on Google. Requests flooded in from everywhere asking about reflexology for fibromyalgia and how to find a trained reflexologist. The response validated public interest and the need for access to complementary and alternative medicine practices. The opportunity for reflexology to impact a society in pain has never been greater! 

A search for a qualified practitioner should start with the industry’s professional organizations, where certified reflexologists are listed by state.  Search for a state association of reflexogists or go to the website of the American Reflexology Certification Board.     

[Read part II of this article,  ”Medical Student’s First-Hand Experience with Reflexology”]



Copyright 2003-2010 Linda Chollar — All rights reserved. Permission given to reproduce or distribute for non-commercial use only, as long as Linda Chollar is credited as the author, and the URL is included as the source.  All commercial uses require written approval. 

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