The past week saw me engaged in something new, not only for me but for reflexologists around the world – we celebrated World Reflexology Week remotely. Necessitated by the global pandemic, typically we would have been holding in-person events of all kinds, and there was a question in my mind as to whether or not the online presentation format would be of value to this hands-on practice. In fact the experience was not only useful from a practical point of view, it was also emotionally powerful to be connected in real time to reflexologists across the globe. While I don’t envy the administrators from the International Council of Reflexologists, who had the unenviable task of organizing the schedule across multiple time zones, I really hope this won’t be a one-off. It would wonderful to see something so positive become an annual event which unites us more directly, helping the exchange of information and strengthening our profession. And if there is a next-time, I will make sure to pay attention to the time differences and not chedule myself to participate in an Australian-hosted event beginning at 4:45 am! On the other hand, the opportunity to ‘attend’ events held in other languages was fantastic. I got a huge kick out of the German presentation, and was thrilled that my rusty skills were still up to comprehending almost everything, plus it gave me the opportunity to pick up some reflexology-related vocabulary along the way.
Just as a new door into the world of reflexology was opening, another one sadly closed. The death of Dwight Byers was announced shortly before the week of conferences, and although he was a largely unknown figure to most people, he was renowned and respected in my field all around the world. Dwight was the nephew of Eunice Ingham, widely regarded as the ‘Mother (or Grandmother) of Reflexology’ in the US. Dwight continued her legacy and taught reflexology according the the Ingham Method throughout his life. The world of reflexology is lessened by his passing, but the energy and commitment on display during World Reflexology week shows that the passion he had for sharing this powerful practice will not be diminished. RIP Dwight Byers, 1929-2020.