In the past month I have attended two continuing education courses in reflexology, both informative and useful to my practice, but also very different in style, approach and intent. It is now 10 years since I became board certified, and I still have so much to learn! The first workshop was called Round About: The Heart and is one of a series of programs offered by Dorthe Krogsgaard and Peter Lund Fransen. They are the founders of Touchpoint Reflexology based in Denmark and this was the third class I have taken with them. In Denmark, reflexology is by far the most widely known complementary therapy and approximately 30% of the population have experienced it. Peter and Dorthe view their work as a science based treatment, and although the work is on the feet they are able to touch any part of the body in the course of their sessions. They only work on limited reflexology points during a session, and believe this brings the most benefits. They do not want their clients to go into the relaxation zone when receiving and see this as an expensive nap! It is a very different way of thinking and practicing from the one I am used to but I have gained so much knowledge about the connections in the body from their teaching.
My second recent training was given by Karen Ball, a teacher whose articles I have benefited from reading over the years. She is a Canadian now living in Florida and she follows the American model of reflexology based on an holistic approach, where all the reflexes are worked in every session to promote stress relief and deep relaxation to the whole body.
Over the years, I have attended workshops in Vertical Reflexology, the Father Josef Method, the Manzanares Method to name but a few, and there are many and varied approaches to this field all over the world. So who is right? I think the answer is that they all are. Possibly the most important thing that my studies and work have taught me, is that the body is the most amazing and complex ‘machine’, and so it should be no surprise that the theories, styles and protocols for a practice which we understand to reflect it are complex too. Even though I work within a specific model, I have gained so much from opening my eyes to other ways of looking at and approaching reflexology. While I may not incorporate every new technique into my own practice, and may at times dismiss some of what they say, my teachers have opened up my mind to possibilities I may never have considered had I not had the privilege of attending their classes.