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I stumbled into reflexology in 1999 after hearing about a place "where they massage JUST your feet”. I had no idea that reflexology and massage differed, but I knew that my feet loved massage. As I began to receive reflexology, discover how wonderful it felt, and feel hip pain and anxiety retreat, I developed a curiosity to learn more and began to take classes.
Although every class was more exciting, I had invested much of my adult life learning ecological sciences and quantitative methods and the rational part of my brain sometimes felt uncomfortable with the reflexology maps. It was enough for me that reflexology felt great and created deep relaxation – did I have to believe the maps?
Over the last 13 years of receiving and giving reflexology I have come to greatly respect the ability of the maps to facilitate connections in the body. As scientists have come to understand the “body-mind” connection, and as I have experienced personal changes and changes in my clients, I have seen that the internal, apparently physical connections that can be stimulated with reflexology enhance one’s ability to understand one’s self and to connect with other people and with the world at large. Connections create function, awareness, and ease!
In a physical sense, as the reflexologist in a reflexology session, I provide sensation to the feet, hands or ears of my client and these sensations are received and processed by the client’s brain. However, in a somewhat amazing turn around, I also receive sensation back from the person’s body. Reflexology allows me to listen and be present in a way that seems to create a space within which the client’s awareness of the inner connections that are creating the sensations is enhanced. Awareness creates connection and connection creates awareness. Both support the ability to heal.
Before studying reflexology, I received a Masters in Marine Affairs from the School of Marine Affairs (1985) and a Masters in Fisheries from the School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences (1995) at the University of Washington. My studies included human uses of coastal zone resources, ecology of the coastal zone, and quantitative methods for conducting scientific studies in changing environments. I continue to analyze environmental data and help people to develop study designs to help further understand ecological processes. My particular passion is estuarine vegetation and its relationship to landscape processes. I am currently enjoying learning about the ecological processes of the shrub-steppe, riparian, and forested ecosystems of the North Cascades and the medicinal qualities of plants. I came to science to be able to understand and help the planet. I now understand that we must also heal our selves to help the planet!