A head teacher’s view on the value of Reflexology
Sue Davies April 2014 – A head teacher’s view on the value of Reflexology as a regular timetable therapy in the school curriculum
Sue Davies is the head teacher at Harlow Fields School and Sixth Form College where I have the privilege to offer Reflexology as a regular timetable therapy and where I have been given the opportunity to develop and share the Functional Reflex Therapy relaxation routine with staff for use in the classroom. I asked her some questions and would like to share her answers and thoughts.
When I approached you with my ideas and information and gave a short presentation about Reflexology, what was it that made you decide you would like to offer it to pupils?
I wanted to find something that would give pupils quite a different experience. Something that would give pupils an opportunity or a purpose to sit or lie peacefully and feel a sense of calm in what might seem like a very busy and often frightening world for those on the autistic spectrum or with ADHD. It was an opportunity I did not want to pass up.
What value do you feel reflexology offers to the individual pupil?
It gives pupils a chance to relax in a deeper way than perhaps they have ever known, and experience a relationship through positive touch. I am impressed with the way pupils with the most challenging behaviours have responded, and willingly choose to attend the sessions and willingly choose to engage.
What value do you feel relaxation reflexology offers to the school?
Pupils who begin to learn what it means to be calm can take control become happier beings and engage and participate much better in the wider school community.
What input do you require from me as a Reflexology Therapist to value me as a member of the multi disciplinary team and what feedback and to whom do you consider important.
It is very important that education and health professionals combine to support children’s wellbeing and mental health. The feedback we receive from you is shared with parents and strategic partners and links in with our holistic personalised programmes of work and tapers our interventions, to support pupils to do their very best, and realise their own potential.
Do you know of any other schools offering Reflexology Therapy on their timetable? Would you advocate Reflexology Therapy? If so why? If not why?
I am not aware of any, but would absolutely advocate that reflexology has a place on the timetable in every school in the country. Children’s mental health and well being is of paramount importance and children can only truly learn when they are in a comfortable place emotionally
During my work at Harlow Fields staff have been really supportive and have asked me to teach them some techniques to use in the classroom the solution as you know was the development and introduction of Functional Reflex Therapy a unique package that offers relaxation techniques drawn from Reflexology that can be delivered by non Reflexologists and that can be linked to classroom and individual learning targets. Do you think there is a place for these short sessions throughout the school day with the idea to support the classroom calm atmosphere and encourage pupils to focus and be more receptive to ongoing activities?
Yes and I see staff using Functional Reflex Therapy more often around the school. Parents and visitors often comment on a calm environment and I think the reflexology has certainly helped.
The school are looking to link my blog to their website to share with parents, pupils and visitors to the site.