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Functional Reflex Therapy

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How long is long enough?

By Lorraine Senior
Friday, July 9, 2021

Well, this week there was one of those special moments! Continuing to learn something new ‘love my job’ delivering reflexology on the timetable during the school day.

With Functional Reflex Therapy and the delivery of reflexology I often talk about the importance of allowing time for the young people I work with, not only to gather the information I am providing through my touch, but also allow time to make sense of it, to process and respond.

I talk about the importance of never presuming we know what our client wants or what their needs are, and the importance to respect and meet individual needs. I was clearly reminded of this in a good way today….

In my therapy room there is often periods of silence and/or quietness, and/or stillness and time for me to hold space between techniques for my young clients and I generally thought I allowed ‘sufficient’ time. I know he loves the movement and the rhythm of the touch so…… long is long enough?

What do we gain from taking a pause or holding a space as we move from one technique to another?

For me it allows time for information to be absorbed, processed, and responded to. I get the chance to observe as the deliverer of the touch and plan a way ahead and sometimes it offers the person who is receiving the touch time to communicate, to interact.

It differs for each person, and today after delivering some repetitive work on my young clients toes, which I know he loves…..I was reminded how individual it is.

I know he loves these techniques because he often sits motionless, he sometimes smiles, quietness descends from his chatter that often accompanies our session, as he may be repeating part of a television programme or reciting his timetable for the day. Often alongside enjoying balancing the hand and foot model from the FRT tool kit he will stare at his toes when he is aware of this particular technique, and after a little time/ holding space between the delivery I usually ask if he would like more.

Take time cartoon

Today following the usual procedure, I was clearly put in my place.

"More”? I asked, supported with a Makaton sign.

Wait! Came quite a sharp quick response; he bent his knees slightly and drew back his feet just a little.

What seemed like 6/8 seconds (or more) long enough for me to rest my hands in an open softened position either side of his feet so he could see I was OK with waiting, I took a slow breath in and issued no further questions and no requests, he replaced his feet, he placed his head back onto the Lafuma chair with one arm comfortably under his head.

Great that he was able to let me know, and I feel pleased that I offered him this option. Obviously today our usual wait or space was not sufficient. Small adaptations, being flexible, being respectful, offering time and offering a choice really helped the session to continue to move forward successfully.

I wonder what sensation did he feel?

What feeling was it that he had to allow to settle?

What was my touch communicating?

After 20 minutes of touch time and the usual countdown to bring the touch to and end, using the communication strip to show that reflexology had finished and to show what was going to happen next, tidying away putting the towel back into the FRT bag, popping the bag onto his back, he linked arms with me, and we enjoyed a quiet calm walk along the corridor back to his classroom.

It was good session, leaving the therapy room in a good frame of mind ready for the next activity it was good to be reminded of the importance of taking time and allowing time…..

Thank you to my young client in school today. I hope you had a wonderful rest of the day.

FRT Cartoon

I look forward to sharing lots of information in my book. It’s going to answer many of your questions but also ask you to consider lots that I hope will support you and your reflexology business. If you would like to know more, please pop over to dedicated page leave your details for the updates and send your questions my way. I would love to hear from you.

Enjoying working with the very talented Catherine Marie creating a wonderful unique storyboard for the Functional Reflex Therapy Framework. See a little of her amazing work

Reader Comments (2)

Lorraine, this really struck me. Your client sounds so much like my 19year old son. He chats to his imaginary friend throughout treatment until he's suddenly asleep and snoring (a pattern in part because the first issue I treated him for and explained his role in was insomnia, now he associates any reflexology with going to sleep, anyway of on a tangent..) Wait. Such a powerful word/sign. I'd interpret it as getting comfortable (and comfort) in recognising his own needs, taking ownership. Beautiful. Obviously I don't know him and if indeed this would resonate with him. Does this matter? Wait is space, space is essential to us all (little do we use enough of it). If his space was joyful, meaningful, profound, awkward, upsetting, we (you, your client and the readers) are searching for reason. Sometimes reason is so it in itself just needs to wait, to be still, calm and have it's own space. Sorry, I'm waffling, I'm not sure exactly what my point is (again searching for reason). Many people are uncomfortable with silence (your example is silence of treatment). Maybe an emphasis on how much energy comes from the wait/silence is what we can learn? Self care would be to use this word, feeling and need to impact on life as a whole. I'd make an assumption (hate that word) that he would benefit from a support team (school) to facilitate this emotional learning with him. Brings up the importance of consent, in the moment and with specific issues, not just on what the documentation says from weeks ago. How do we help this guy benefit from the profoundness of that one word, wait? As you can see this story touched me as mum and reflexology student. My biggest dream is that people learn the complexities of our special citizens. 'Wait' is not face value. Finest respect and regards, Karen. X

By Karen Smith on Sunday, July 11, 2021

This was so lovely to read. The gentleness & whole feeing of taking or allowing time really came through the words, to the point where my usual habit of reading quickly, just slowed right down, & I felt as if I was there in the room. What a lucky pupil!

By Angela Davies on Monday, July 12, 2021

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