The FRT Framework: The Importance of Being an Advanced Organiser
As Reflexologists we work with many dimensions within our sessions and FRT Reflexologists are encouraged to be advanced organisers and to consider how to help prepare the receiver before the session begins.
The reason for this is that children and adults with autism or neurological disorders may have high levels of anxiety and find it difficult to transfer from one activity to another.
To allow Reflexology to be accessible to all, we may need to consider how we effectively communicate; to clearly show what is going to happen before, during and at the end of the session. Giving our clients time to process the information and time to prepare is important not only at the beginning but also when completing the session.
The Functional Reflex Therapy Framework is a ‘modus operandi’, a structured approach that not only offers a relaxation routine to reduce anxiety to help the receiver be in a better frame of mind, but encourages reflexologists to think about what they may have in their ‘tool kit’ to use at end of the session. This may be offering self-techniques, offering inspirational statements to allow our clients to leave feeling good about themselves and also activities to encourage good breathing; and to have a little fun. As I mentioned before, this needs to meet the individual’s needs and be meaningful.
Completing the session may include quietness and symbols, it may include verbal support and signing such as Makaton; it may include photos to show where you would like the receiver to prepare to move on to. I use a lovely song with one young pupil, my voice does leave a little to be desired (I won’t give up the day job), but he loves it and helps him to accept and understand we have come to the end, it is time to finish with a little fun.
The photos included here, highlight a few ways we complete the Reflexology sessions at school. It is important to consider what is useful, supportive and effective for each client. These can be used in any environment.
I use the colourful empowerment cards with just one pupil at the moment, she loves the colours and enjoys listening to the words. She is currently learning to read, so we read the words together and talk about what they mean; she usually leaves the session with a big smile and feeling good. The cards you see in the picture are the Sole Empowerment cards by Caroline Te.
A little pandiculation using the fun stretchymen, thanks to Peter Mackereth who first introduced me to this beneficial fun over six years ago!
The squeezy balls also have lovely smiley faces and these can be taken back to the classroom or used by adults in many other environments, to encourage squeezing and breathing in and out.
Self-help techniques squeezing whilst counting up and down and taking a big breath. This is also a transferable skill and my long term aim for introducing this, would be for this pupil (featured in the photograph), to be able to use this technique when he feels a little anxious in any situation.
Bubbles are a favourite and I always carry two different coloured pots, in the FRT tool kit so that the receiver can choose which colour pot they may like to use. Blowing and breathing calmly.
For some pupils, the large sand timer is positioned where they can see the session is coming to an end. This may show for example a three minutes count down, again just helping them to understand the session is coming to an end; allowing time to process the information.
Just having some tools available may help receivers to remain calm and support their transition from one activity to another. It helps them to understand that your session has come to an end, having a little fun along with the instruction of what is happening next.
I would love to hear about methods/tools you may have available which help you to bring your sessions to an end.