These special stone / crystal sets were handpicked here on Vancouver island. The large basalt stone comes from a beloved orca rubbing beach I’ve been frequenting since 2003 – if orcas like to rub on them then they must be special. The pebbles (agate, quartz, quartzite, jasper) from the beaches around Victoria that I have tumbled over time. I acquired the very special forest crystals that grow under the trees of Nootka sound and are ethically hand-mined as well. These make great reflexology / reiki kits and are available in my shop. Free shipping Canada wide.
Today is Valentine’s Day and this made for a perfect treatment day for my husband, Markus. As some of you may or may not know, he walks up to 30k a day on his job as a letter carrier at Canada Post and reflexology is a necessity for his rest and recovery. I love rubbing his feet with Cherry Rocky Mountain Body Butter, it makes his feet silky and smooth while giving me good traction.
After his foot treatment, I did a chakra sweep with the pendulum as a closing ritual and found his heart chakra to be active (the pendulum made small circles – I recaptured this in the video to the left). I placed a rose quartz on this chakra while reciting some of the characteristics. The heart chakra represents love, healing touch, walking (in the forest), and joyful endeavours. I use the chakra system as a means to reflect on different things in our lives, such as the activities over the past weekend.
Vancouver Island just had a huge winter storm bringing with it tons of snow so yesterday we took a walk in the forest near our home. It is a magical thing to be able to walk out of our home and in the old growth forest. Interestingly, Markus heard the eagles while there and today he picked the eagle card (representing truth, power, karmic transformation) from the Wild Unknown oracle deck. He also picked the ‘Right Brain Hado’ Water Crystal Card; a healing card representing creativity.
Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problem. Reflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.
Markus is still recovering from skin cancer; in June it will be his 1 year since surgery. You can see in this photo – the scar is still slightly visible but he is no longer in any pain. There is still one spot under observation that emerged over the surgical site and will be taken care of in the spring. Skin cancer sucks and I now dread summer because of this. Although we don’t get as much sun during winter, he still needs to protect himself. We need to observe him often as we learned that both Basal cell carcinoma and Melanoma run in his family. I thought this photo provided a decent visual update on his recovery.
Here’s the view you will have when laying back in the Lafuma chair receiving your relaxing reflexology treatment. We have a huge window facing open sky with 15 foot ceilings that offer spaciousness and tranquility. You’ll probably also get a few glimpses of our resident hummingbirds.
Here are some images I took from a foot session I did with Markus over the weekend. As always, his work load as a letter carrier is extremely heavy throughout the pandemic and his feet could definitely use some loving. After the treatment, I did a chakra sweep with the pendulum and found his solar plexus chakra to be active. The solar plexus is an area of the body that is tied to our sympathetic nervous system and we accentuate the reflex to reduce stress and induce relaxation. I placed a citrine crystal on his solar plexus for a short time. I don’t have personal experience with crystals for healing but I feel they make a nice ritual inciting meditation and calmness while allowing focus on an area of our healing. Some people believe that citrine releases negative traits, depression, fears and phobias; perhaps it’s what we make of it.
Markus commented how much better he felt after his treatment and that his feet felt amazing. Prior to his session he was commenting on how unbalanced he felt from a long stressful work week. Reflexology is a wonderful way to reverse fatigued feet and overall stress.
We always pull cards to accompany the session and for this we used the Hierophant (symbolic of learning from a teacher) from the Mushroom Tarot and the Love & Thanks Water Crystal Card. One of the benefits of the sessions in our new place is the never ending hummingbird views. They are always dancing in the windows. Luckily for the client, they get a front row seat of lots of bird activity.
This arrived today and am excited to show it off!
We had a special guest in the studio today 🙂
Sorry I’ve not blogged for a while but we have moved, sold our old desktop computer and bought a new lap top! In December, I passed my reflexology exam (yay!) and am now a certified reflexologist through the Reflexology Association of Canada.
I wanted to share something I have been doing recently to relieve my allergies. This year, my winter allergies have been very bad; I used to live in Mexico during the winters to get relief but haven’t done so for 10 years now. As it turned out, consistent but careful doses of natural vitamin D really helped! (Take your vitamin D!) So in order to find some natural relief from sinusitis and rhinitis, I have started to practice a lymphatic drainage routine for the face (overlaps the sinus area including two points I added in for rhinitis, on the forehead following inner edge of eyebrow halfway up) followed by a nasal rinse and a herbal tea Throat Coat. I found that doing this routine does an incredible job of emptying out the sinus cavity so be sure to have lots of tissue handy during and after this sequence hence why a nasal rise after is so effective. I am also working on strengthening my immune system with larger doses of vitaminD, omega oils, probiotics and fruits and vegetables.
On top of this, I am giving my vagus nerve (key parasympathetic nerve) lots of love. If you’re curious about why this is important, read this. Speaking of vagus nerve, I have targeted that reflex point on my ears with seeds, as it felt tender. The point is located about halfway down the dorsal (back) side of the ear at the crease – where the ear meets the head. As I’ve just completed this session, I am breathing much better.
I found this video by Me Leonora to be incredibly helpful. I happen to have several Dien Chan tools but you can use other items or your finger as well. So if you are challenged by allergies and are looking for a natural way to find relief, try this sequence followed by a rise and a tea!
I received my ear reflexology certificate from the course I did, yay! This took me about 5 weeks to complete as the main task of the course was to complete a case study. I chose this course for several reasons; it was freestyle in learning, was affordable and included an ear case study. I learn better from doing and the case study gave me the opportunity to build confidence and make sense of the process. My case study included my husband and I documented him for a months time. You can read that case study here.
Today I received my Introductory Facial Reflexology Therapy certificate from Danish reflexology expert Lone Sorensen. Although I had completed the course back in the summer, I only submitted my test a week ago haha. The certificate is so cool looking that I had to share. I took this to help with my husbands face and scar rehabilitation. I will start to implement some of this a little later on in his healing.
As you may or may not know, I have an interest in helping people who are dealing with digital injuries; physical, emotional or both. More than that, I hope to help people to manage their digital use in a safer way and help to prevent injuries. I spent a great deal of time studying the implications (both positive and negative) of technology on our society during my graduate studies at U of A; you can see my graduate project here. I am also someone who was impacted by a digital injury; this is how I first came to know reflexology and managing my own use is an ongoing process. As part of my rehabilitation regime, I bike and forest bathe for 2 hours at a time, 2-3 times a week to rehabilitate from sedimentary habits and detox from digital use. This is my way of intervening my own behaviour. I also periodically cleanse of digital accounts (deleting or deactivating) in order to help reset my behaviours. When I experience any kind of imbalance, I turn to reflexology and forest bathing.
These notes were taken at Royal Roads University’s free talk on digital distractions given by Paul Mohapel, PhD (Psych.) in September of 2019. I transcribed the presentation into a bullet list for easiest reading. There was much more information presented but this is what I jotted down. I highly recommend attending his next seminar if you can access it.
I will be using this information to better steer my own digital usage and content creation. In the end, it comes down to balance but really, there are some major steps to mitigating the damage that digital screens is doing to our brains. I’ve also activated the new screen time feature on my iPhone. We need to become digital use stewards and act as examples.
Implications of Digital Distractions & Multitasking
- We have attention span issues
- Multitasking = problems in brain due to distraction and addiction
- People spend ⅓ less face-to-face time due to social media; this is causing major behaviour issues
- Focus times have decreased from 12 min to 3 min attention span; we’re losing our ability to focus
- Every psychological disease up 20% including emotional disturbances
- People get less done due to digital distraction and multitasking
- People spend 50% more time online than they thought
- 30-40% check phone first upon waking up in bed; looking at screen 1 hour before sleep inhibits melatonin production, replace smartphone alarm for traditional alarm clock instead
- ADT (Attention Deficit Trait) on rise in adults
- High level multitasking is bad for the brain, but demanded of us everywhere
- Multitasking = wasting time, creates a blindspot impairment
- Distraction is the biggest threat to productivity
- Canada has the highest screen time usage, average of 36.7 hours / week (not including work)
- Canada has the most internet usage per capita in the world
- Kids are using screens 2.5h / day global average
- Breastfeeding babies receive less attention from mother who is looking at digital device
- There is a correlation between obesity and screen time usage
- People eat in front of screens (even the fit ones)
- Screens are diminishing social relationships
- Screens impair our thinking
- Screen impact severity ranges from TV being the least to smartphone the most severe
- Reading on paper = recall more information whereas reading on screens = diminished retention
- Hand-eye coordinative activities help heal brain
- We participate in superficial screening and scrolling, meaning the longer the scroll is or digital text is, the more fatigued we become. Paper reading gives our brains the break we need, digital scrolling does not.
- Online activities are rewiring our brains, is severe and profound
- Our brains can’t multitask
- Goal direction is impaired
- Excessive online gaming = results temporary lobotomy of part of the brain
- Multitasking maybe physically shrinking our brains
- Gaming and internet addiction showing similar brain impacts
- Multitasking releases stress hormones of cortisol (I experienced this first hand in 2016 and after that shut my digital practice down to figure out what happened to me), prolonged impact can cause harm to frontal cortex, hippocampus
- Addiction / multitasking consist of three traits: 1. Compulsion 2. Loss of control 3. Negative emotions
- Distracted driving is the #1 cause of death in car accidents
- 1 min use of social media spikes positive sensations, after 5 mins falls down to negative
- Conditions for addictions, check if you experience the following: stimulated multisensory cues, immediate gratification, social reinforcement
- Phones are extremely addictive
- Canadians check phones 150 times a day but only 4 times a day is safe
- Average person checks phone every 15 mins
- 73% feel panic when phone is misplaced
- Online addiction sources in the following order: email, social media, porn, gambling, shopping
- Internet addicts and gamers have thinner brains (muscle loss) and are less functional
- Hands on skill activity increases brain health
- Too much information is a bad thing; Technology drives more information
- Social media is all about more = quantity not quality, in other words social media cares for quantity not values
- We are not having a deep experience through social media
- Focus of attention = more intelligent – risk of loss
- Prefrontal Cortex is at risk
- Doctors in Canada are at 50% burnout due to multitasking
- We don’t know the fullest fallout extent yet
- Seniors are the fasted growing user group
- We are spending less time in our optimal zone and more time in under and over stimulation zone, affects our productivity
- Corporations exploit our addictions to feed us more information technology for $
Mitigating These Impacts
- Containment Strategies
- Set boundaries and limitations – turn off notifications. Use less apps and applications less often.
- Focus – on one thing at a time ‘mono’ task to completion. Limit multiple tasks.
- Technology breaks – check social media / digital device no more than 4 times a day and no longer than 5 mins sessions. Abstain from screens for at least 4 consecutive hours a day – doesn’t include work or sleep. More than that puts us at risk of addiction patterns = brain impairment / shrinkage.
- Sustainment Strategies
- Exercise – 30 mins a day at the min, 20 min nap = full night sleep brain restore.
- Substitutions – books, physical board games, writing, reflection, meditation.
- Mindfulness practice – meditation goes in reverse of distraction, stay present, in the moment, non judgemental, open emotionally, sustained attention. Meditation reverses effects of brain thinness to thickness.