Reflexology & Resonance

This past weekend I gave Markus a reflexology treatment, the first since his skin cancer surgery on June 9. Before then, he spent three weeks recovering at home and has since gone back to working indoors over the past two weeks. The incision is healing very well but is going through typical bothersome stages of healing which involves irritations, pain and discomfort to the skin and face overall. Until mid August, he is to wear gauze taped overtop of the scar doubled with a personal mask to help keep environmental toxins off of his face. The pandemic is helping him to fit right in, although there is definitely a strange mask tension in the air.

As he’s been back on his feet, his body is getting accustomed to working and walking often although he is not permitted to engage in any excess exercise or heavy lifting. However the labour is still felt, the stress of the work still endured and so his feet very much craved a treatment after a month off. I refrained working on his feet while he was healing from surgery.

Very soon after starting the treatment, Markus very quickly went into a deep sleep. I completed a full foot routine followed by accentuating the stress-relieving reflexes (solar plexus, pituitary) with the tuning fork and finished with a basalt stone to ground his feet. Markus didn’t wake up; his body was put into a beautiful state of homeostasis. He says it is unusual for him, not to wake up and had no recollection of most of the treatment but did report feeling energized and light on his feet upon waking up. He described how much tension was lifted from his body and felt completely rejuvenated afterwards.

We picked two cards; the Basil card from Herbal Tarot – mainly because we have been eating so much of it lately. The divinatory meaning describes appreciating one’s own manifestation powers and capacities, a good recovery incentive. Markus blindly selected the Resonance card from the Water Crystal deck which was used to intentionally inspire his water for after the session.

This weekend we took a walk through a forest near us, enjoying the benefits of forest bathing. We are engaging little by little outdoors now that he is feeling better. But he still cannot allow his affected areas to be exposed to the sun (for 18 months), so he’s been laying low during the critical healing stage. By the time fall comes around, he’ll be in a safer zone.

I’ve been coming across ‘ghost flowers‘ over the past few weeks. They are a rather rare fungi flower hybrid that presents medicinal properties for anxiety – good for me. I decided to use a photo of them in the feature image. I have also come across rosehips; the oils from the bud are used for healing skin. Rosehips can been harvested in the fall, so maybe I’ll try to make a small batch of homemade oil for us to use. Apparently it’s very helpful for scar recovery and is paired very well with facial therapy and reflexology.

Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problemReflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.

From Feet to Face

Now that the surgery has passed, there is much therapeutic work to be done, at least 18 months worth. At the end of June, I will be taking an introductory crash course in facial massage therapy and reflexology through a Danish school in order to help with rehabilitating my husbands face since having skin cancer surgery on June 9. Our sessions with the feet will continue however I will be focusing more of my attention on his face and you will get to see how that process unfolds over time through the blog.

Starting July 1, we will begin massage techniques as prescribed by the surgeon and later I will be integrating multi reflexology tools into the routines. These tools and routines are specialized in helping to restore the face while addressing facial imbalances, dampen scars and discolouration. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed to say the least however I am receiving guidance from experienced reflexologists in approaching this task and am also seeing this traumatic experience as an opportunity to learn to help someone else. Because the scar is large and irregularly shaped, I will need to work with a variety of approaches over time. For instance, the stitching near the eye intercepts softer more delicate skin than lower down on the face and will require different tools and techniques. In addition to the scar, there is also face rejuvenation occurring where part of the cheek was removed. Currently, there is no feeling in this area however it is supposed to return within weeks or months.

I am not currently working on Markus’s feet as I don’t want to move energy around the body while he is in the earlier recovery stages. However I am working with his hands, arms and legs by tapping the skin with a small reflexology hammer. This feels good and helps to bring some circulation into the body while not over energizing. This is important because too much movement and exercise can disrupt the scar healing process and so he has remained mostly indoors and very low activity. It is the first time in a long time where his body has received an abundance of rest. On his job as a postie, he can walk up to 30 km a day, is very physically active and during the pandemic, the work load skyrocketed causing high stress and burn out. We suspect this contributed to the cancers growth. Once back to work, we are hoping that he will work indoors to shelter from the summer sun. He is not to be exposed to UV rays for a year and this is especially critical during the first three months. When the season changes in the fall, there will be less UV rays to worry about but until then, he must gaiter up when outdoors.

Overall, Markus is said to be healing remarkably well according to the surgeon who has seen recent photos. We attribute this to his lifestyle and diet change that he started at the beginning of May where inflammatory foods were removed from his digestion. None the less, he will forever bare a large scar on his face, always reminding him and everyone else around him of the tough lesson he’s come to face. This time cancer spared his life and so we work to ensure his health and safety to the fullest degree as he is now predisposed to getting cancer again. While he rests, I study and prepare to work on his face.

Due to the expansion of this work, a new domain has been added to this website: feet2face.com as I will be focusing on both ends of the body.

I’ve selected two cards for inspiration; one being the DaVinci Strength card (symbolically a woman working on a face) and the other being the Masaru Emoto Water Crystal card of Hope.

Reflexology Self-Care Kit

This kit was assembled based on my own self-care needs and includes a variety of tools that I find useful for relieving stress and pain. 

STICK – The ‘Relaxus’ Thai reflexology/massage stick with two sides is made from non-threatened wood; use to pinpoint pressure points on hand and foot.

STONE – The basalt stone feels good rubbed on hands, feet and even face! The more you use it, the darker the stone will become as it absorbs your oils. It miraculously remains darker even after washing. Stone was handpicked from the beaches of Vancouver Island.

RING – Roll the stretchy reflex-ring up and down fingers for a pleasant and calming experience. Use when experiencing stress due to traveling, visiting the dentist or doctor, writing tests, or on a first date! Please note that this item mimics a ring and maybe worn as such unless you feel it is cutting off circulation. Reflex-ring tools are meant to feel snug but not worn for long periods of time.

BONUS! I’ve included some magnetic seeds to use if you experience any hand, arm or shoulder pain. Originally made for the ears, I used these to help relieve pain from tendinitis as an experiment and found that it worked! Simply stick to areas tender on hand and press every so often. Stickers stay on until they fall off. Sorry, they only come in one colour.

I’ve also included a photocopy of my hand chart for treating stress.

Comes in a handy carrying / storage bag.

Each kit may slightly vary because no two stones are alike!

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.

Reflexology & Diet

This past Saturday was our reflexology day where Markus is put into a state of homeostasis (parasympathetic mode) aka rest and relaxation. I focused on a full foot reflexology routine, followed by accentuating nervous system and endocrine system key reflexes (solar plexus, pituitary, pineal) with the tuning fork. Markus says he can feel the vibration through the foot and into his body. During our session, Markus didn’t experience any discomfort with his feet since changing up his shoes a month ago; this has corrected issues with tenderness on the feet and knee strain. I always finish with gentle face reflexology and am excited to begin working with some new Dien Chan tools in the near future. Markus choose the dramatic Dolomite mountain range as ambience. After the session Markus felt very relaxed and later became more energized. He always comments on how amazing his feet and lower legs feel over the following two days. This is coming from someone who walks approximately 30k a day on the job, so he really feels the benefits from reflexology therapies.

For this session I choose to work with two cards reflecting on respect and turmeric. The card of respect from the Water Crystal oracle deck was chosen to acknowledge the work he does and highlight respect for frontline workers who are over burdened during the pandemic. The turmeric card coincides with my learning about the herbal formulas for healing digestive inflammation. It seems pretty clear to me now after completing the course on inflammation, that this played a role in his skin cancer. We have since done major diet and lifestyle changes that are making positive impacts in a short period of time. For instance, as mentioned last week, due to the oil change in his body; his feet, hands and parts of his face are softening and more plush.

Markus went gluten free 1.5 weeks ago, and so we have started to bake our own gluten free bread at home. Gluten is a major cause of digestive inflammation and chronic inflammation leads to disease. The next stage will be to remove dairy as dairy proteins mimics gluten and gluten can mimic and bind to connective tissues causing harm aka inflammation. Markus noted that the burning and itching sensations (experienced on a daily basis) with the cancer have slowed down since his diet change 3 weeks ago and completely stopped since becoming gluten-free.

My next stage will be to source and combine up to 5 herbs at one time and make a daily quart; mint, chamomile, fennel, liquorice, plantain, marshmallow – a therapeutic mixture to assist during this diet change. For now we begin with teas with 2+ herbs (turmeric & ginger) as they are more effective combined than on their own. We also use green tea orally and topically to help fight the cancer. For now we work with the following teas on a daily basis. As usual, I continue to create powerful cancer fighting smoothies and meals that are safe for digestion as per recommended by skincancer.org. I am really new to all of this; it’s been a crash course for us both. It isn’t until you find yourself up against such a challenge that you realize you have no choice but to jump right in and do your best. To summarize, the month of May has felt like this.

Since implementing all the changes together (holistic and diet therapies), Markus says he has more energy on his job, experiences less bloating and gas and generally over all feels much better. So everything is working and that means our stress is starting to reduce. On June 1, Markus will be having a teleconference with the specialist in regards to a plan for earlier intervention for the right side of his face as it’s too far gone. My regret is not having woken up to this earlier. Over winter his cancer retreated, confusing us, but now we understand more about the role of UV rays over winter versus summer and diet caused inflammation and its role in disease thanks to the course I just completed. It has made a world of difference. These changes are for life and I am just one step behind him in making all these changes for myself.

Cards: Turmeric of Herbal Tarot and Respect of Water Crystal

Note: I am not a nutritional expert. I am coming at this from a learning perspective to help my husband through a critical time.

Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problemReflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.

Reflexology for Vertigo

I can’t say that I use reflexology for vertigo because I use a physiotherapy technique for mine when it acts up (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) called the Epley maneuver and is effective within 20 minutes. There are several kinds of vertigo, caused by different things therefor there are more reflexes involved than this. However, these are the key reflexes that reflexologists associate with vertigo in general.

I work with the foot but during the pandemic I decided to explore the hand as it is easier to convey the key reflex points on an image, and closely mirror the foot. The hand is easier to manipulate when self-treating. But that shouldn’t stop you from exploring your own feet. I won’t promise anything but if you are feeling explorative and are dealing with some unbalances, why not press on these reflexes and see if anything comes out of it. Nothing to loose right?

There are many studies found on Google Scholar that indicate that reflexology is most effective for managing stress and pain (what I use it for) however if one of these factors is causing an imbalance of the equilibrium, then it might be a good thing to try for calming things down. This chart is very similar to the reflexology for stress except that it swaps the eyes for the ears.

Reflexology & Inflammation

This week is bringing some good news for Markus! It’s been two weeks since we started the “oil change” (removal of offending omega 6 and increased omega 3) and his skin is changing for the better! First we noticed how soft and plush his feet were during his reflexology session this past weekend. His feet still bare some hard calluses but the sandpaper heels are changing. He also noticed how much softer his hands are and the lines on his face are softening. The course I am taking on inflammation indicated that by day 10 there would be some noticeable differences in the skin and that by day 40, an entire oil change in the body would be complete. We are so thrilled by these changes and is giving us hope. Not only this but the suspicious spot on his left cheek has retreated from a few weeks back when it started to emerge similarly as the cancer on his right cheek. We have continued to feed Markus a cancer fighting diet in combination with directed herbal teas. Markus also had his blood work done and is quoted to be in top physical condition. The doctor said to keep doing what he is doing as it’s working. His knee pains have also resolved now that he has introduced a better supporting shoe.

We did a reflexology session on Saturday afternoon to help bring his body into homeostasis or parasympathetic mode (stress-relief) after a heavy work week as a letter carrier with Canada Post. After a full foot routine, I used the tuning fork to accentuate key stress relieving reflexes connected to the endocrine and nervous system (solar plexus, pituitary, thymus). I also used my multi-reflex tool to relieve tension in the face – specifically the jaw line where we clench due to stress. Reflexology is used to combat stress and pain and Markus swears by it; he receives one treatment a week on weekends. I selected two cards for this weeks session; the Thymus Water Crystal card (a powerful immune defence gland in the endocrine system) in combination with the Chamomile Herbal Tarot card (a powerful immune defence herb). It’s a bit ironic that this card also illustrates a crown (head) impaled by a sword (upcoming surgical removal of cancer on face) symbolically suggesting the herbs role in his immune defence. My Herbal Tarot card deck is proving now to be a very helpful learning tool as it outlines the medicinal uses of many popular herbs. The Water Crystal card is placed against a cup of filtered water for Markus to drink post session. The creator of the cards, Masaru Emoto, believed that the card’s intention will infuse into the water molecular structure as it’s conscious. It’s a nice ritual to include in the session and people seem to appreciate it. The other card is used for intention setting and is read at the end of the session. I pair the session with a relaxing nature video and Markus loves to watch the Italian Dolomites.

Markus wearing his new personal Covid / skin cancer mask by Finawear – locally made Indigenous clothing designer

This week in my course with Pacific Rim College, I learned about different herbs, in particular about Chamomile and it’s significance in fighting inflammation. We are now focusing on reducing Markus’s digestive inflammation (has been dealing with excessive bloating for a long period of time) and are introducing an elimination diet in combination with specific herbal teas into his diet (green tea, chamomile, nettle etc). This week also marks his first week of six, of going gluten free. Markus’s appointment with the dermatologist is on June first and we will have a phone conference about how to proceed with the cancer on his cheek. Markus continues to completely cover up on the job with the exception of a 20 min vitamin D exposure window – this is needed to help fight digestive inflammation in the body. Markus’s nutritional changes have been set in motion for hopeful future cancer prevention. When I started out on this journey, I never could have guessed that my husband would become my biggest case study and challenge. And all this on top of a pandemic.

As for me, I am slowly getting my sleep back now that my stress levels are coming under control. What a roller coaster ride the month of May has been. Soon, we are commencing our case studies again and I cannot wait to get reflexology treatments through one of my colleagues! Bring it on! So far 2020 has brought on unprecedented stress due to too many factors crashing down all at once. Our lives are forever changed.

Cards: Chamomile of Herbal Tarot and Thymus of Water Crystal

Note: I am not a nutritional expert. I am coming at this from a learning perspective to help my husband through a critical time.

Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problemReflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.

Reflexology Case Studies & Covid-19

Reflexology case studies will resume during May of 2020 as per “returning to safe operation Phase 2“. Existing and new case study subjects are now required to fill out a form before setting up their first session upon opening in June of 2020. Should you experience any of the following symptoms throughout the session duration, please let me know so that we can rebook accordingly.

Fill out form here

Because we will be working together within 6 feet, it is suggested that both myself and you wear a non-medical mask while in the clinic space. Please bring your own mask and thank you. Only 1 person is permitted in unit per session.

My protocols:

  • Masks and sometimes gloves will be used for each session
  • Pre and post sanitization of all surfaces
  • Mandatory hand washing before subject enters space, prior to and post session
  • Provide disposable paper towel available for drying hands
  • Provide fresh linen for each session as per usual
  • To wash tools before and after use

Your protocols:

  • To wash your hands upon entering unit according to WorkSafe BC
  • To wear a non-surgical mask
  • To rebook should your health situation change

Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the following protocols: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/awareness-resources.html#covid-awareness-table

Reflexology & Super Moon

This weekend Markus’s session consisted of foot and facial reflexology. As usual, I used the tuning fork to accentuate specific reflexes. Markus says he prefers the vibration on the solar plexus reflex, just under the ball of the foot. Anything we can do to reduce his stress will help contribute to his body in healing. But we must take it to a deeper level than this. Markus selected cards that were connected to cetacean energy so I pulled the whale card from the Animal Spirit oracle deck in combination with the dolphin card from the Water Crystal deck. Both cards speak of unconditional love and self care. After his session he became energized so we will be moving his next session to earlier in the day time.

Last weeks super (scorpio) full flower moon (phew) brought with it many intense changes for us, ones that I am still adjusting to. Out of the blue, I started to wake up crying, and feeling out of control in regards to how long it’s taking to resolve Markus’s skin cancer. I am personally terrified that he still has another 5.5 months to go before (Mohs) surgery! I felt propelled into action, and made phone calls in order to get a doctor to look at Markus ASAP. A teleconference was carried through and hour later while he was on the job. An urgent referral was put into the dermatologist to look at Markus’s cancer and is scheduled for June 1, still not soon enough in my opinion! Well into spring, he is being exposed to more UV rays than he did over the winter when he had little to no exposure due to the lack of sun, and as a result put the cancer into a hibernated state. But that is not where we are now as it’s been aggressively growing. Things are changing quickly and we need immediate attention. This is of course all happening in the middle of a pandemic!

In order to come at this from the inside (while doctors come at it from the outside), I began taking a course at Pacific Rim College called Systemic Inflammation, Food Intolerance, and Autoimmunity. This course was selected with the help of the College, to help educate me on behalf of my husbands health and how I can contribute on a nutritional level. Since we are unable to see a natural path in person at this time, I am left to pull any resources to do what I can as fast as I can. His surgery is scheduled for October in Vancouver but hope that the dermatologist can move it forward. At least by my learning about inflammation and being given the knowledge tools to help him on some level, I am finding some relief. I literally woke up panicking and haven’t been sleeping well since.

At the beginning of last week, we started Markus on a strict whole foods diet (enriched foods as suggested by the Cancer foundation) and removed all offending omega 6 oils and have upped the intake of rich omega 3 oils to assist with a bodily oil change. I just learned in the course that the root of inflammation and disease begins with an imbalance of oil in the body.We also need to make sure he is getting the required vitamin D3 as it is vital for his health and healing. We are working on getting his lab tests underway through his doctor. These shifts in the body take time though. Next stages will include an elimination diet to remove any inflammatory foods followed by putting trace minerals back into the body via a homemade tea with herbs grown from nutrient dense soil. I will need to locate or source these ingredients here on Vancouver Island. These shifts are permanent changes set in motion for preventing cancer in the future.

The course is helping to explain better my concerns that his diet may be producing an unbalance (very typical of others, eats healthy but not always) and in combination with the over abundance of UV ray exposure on his job as a ‘postie’, have resulted in his cancer. So this course is educating me on balancing the fats, the role of vitamin D, depletion of trace minerals, and bringing attention to the fact that much of the food we eat is deficient in nutrients. Essentially, food must be grown in remineralized soil in order to contain the nutrients we need. At any rate, we will use nutrition to help his body combat cancer as best we can. We have a lot of catching up to do and I have literally been ‘called to action’ to assist through this process. Once services open up again, he will get to a natural path to help further direct his nutritional needs.

Markus holding a customer appreciation rock by a healthcare worker. On the back it says “we’re in this together”

We are also looking at getting Markus moved indoors for work ASAP. He will speak with the doctor tomorrow to get that referral started. By sheltering him throughout the summer, he will remain protected from the UV rays that have been feeding his cancer causing it to accelerate as of recently. Of course the stress load of this job during the pandemic isn’t helping either. His face gaiters finally arrived in the mail and will be covering his entire face up until he is moved in doors. His work load has been unprecedented. The posties are not used to working with such heavy loads for such long periods of time. There are too many aspects to this job that are scaring me.

This has been an incredibly stressful time and I too could use some reflexology right about now. Either way, much has been accomplished in one week and there are several shifts now in motion. This should help me sleep better at night. In addition to this, I still need to complete my case studies (once permitted) and become certified so that I can begin working with reflexology as my job. Although this is a reflexology blog entry, it’s also become an outlet for me to talk about Markus’s journey through the process of dealing with his skin cancer. Hopefully it will help someone else out there, too.

Here’s a resource I found helpful for designing his diet.

Cards: Water Crystal by Masaru Emoto and Whale from Wild Unknown by Kim Krans

Note: I am not a nutritional expert. I am coming at this from a learning perspective to help my husband through a critical time.

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.

Reflexology & Synchronicity

This weekend we focused on the fine details of my subject, Markus, who is very observant with both his eyes and his ears. And so I found it interesting that while I was picking out an animal focus card to use for the reflexology session, at almost the same time he asked for the hawk card, just as I was holding it. And so hawk energy it is!

This past week, his depot participated in a health worker appreciation and a 45 truck convoy made it’s way to the Victoria General Hospital to show their appreciation. You can find some videos of that on Canada Post’s Facebook page. It was very touching to see the cross appreciation of the frontline workers during this difficult time.

Markus’s job continues to be heavily loaded. As a postie, they are seeing record high parcel volumes similar to Christmas time. Except this has been never ending and the weight of the job has definitely been taking some toll on his stress and knees. He has since upgraded to a new style of shoe to see if that helps take some of the impact. Also, people have been more aggressive than usual about receiving their parcels as there are delays due to Covid-19. And so my husband has had to deal with his fair share of difficult incidences on his route.

This coupled with growing and spreading skin cancer (another suspicious spot has emerged on the other side of his face) has been stressful, for us both. We are currently waiting for a variety of face gaiters and strong UV protective clothing that is also stuck in transit. We need to make contact with the dermatologist as soon as they open to alert them to this and see if there is any way to expedite his surgery. He has been waiting over a year and we have another half a year to go. We are discussing phasing out his job as a postie and moving him indoors in the near future.

On a personal level, I have been having more trouble sleeping lately due to the worry and will start to administer stronger more consistent self-reflexology routines for stress and sleep.

For this session, I performed a full foot reflexology routine, some facial massage, used the tuning fork to emphasize the stress-reducing reflex points and applied Reiki to the cranial, face, knees and legs. He felt amazing after the session as well the following day. It gives me some relief to know that I can do something to reduce his stress. When we reduce our stress, we can put our body into parasympathetic mode and that is when we heal ourselves.

Cards used: Masaru Emoto – Cranial from Water Crystal & Hawk from Wild Unknown by Kim Krans

Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problemReflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.

Reflexology for Edema

Aside from having a full foot reflexology treatment, here is something that can be tried by applying pressure to the hands for reducing Edema symptoms of swelling. I have done my best to cover the key reflex areas emphasized for dealing with Edema which include the following: endocrine, cardiovascular, immune & lymphatic, nervous and urinary systems. Work on both hands.

The large zig zag or mountain areas represents the lung, chest, breast and rib areas, the palm centre star is the solar plexus, the hearts represent the heart, and the lighting bolt represents the hypothalamus. When it comes to the thumbs, try to press the star in the centre of the thumb pad (pituitary). The arrow means to follow the motion down from the large circle (kidney) to the smaller circle (bladder). Stars on the back of the hand represent lymphatic reflexes while the circle at the tip of thumb the pineal gland.

Should you run into a tender area, you can go over that spot more times to see if the soreness reduces. Happy reflexing! Please leave a comment below to share your experience. I am eager to know!

Read more about Edema here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/edema/symptoms-causes/syc-20366493

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.