Father’s Day Reflexology & Forest Bath

My apologies, it’s been a while since I have made a blog post. I had the intention of doing at least one or two since the last but I have been focused on other projects while the pandemic had me at a stand still.

Today being Father’s Day, was the perfect opportunity to treat my husband and plant father, Markus, to a reflexology session, and long over due. Today he choose a Scottish landscape YouTube video depicting huge sharp natural rock formations, to accompany his session. Interestingly he randomly selected a card from the Sacred Forest Oracle depicting the scene from Celtic sacred stones with the message that a sacred journey lie ahead. Normally I would see this as a lovely synchronicity however I believe it could be something more. I say this because my husband recently uncovered his ancestry including Celtic (Scottish) and Indigenous (Miami Tribe) from the fur trade era. Since then, we have been focusing on an interdisciplinary project exploring his ancestors. Markus has always been pulled to Druid and Native themes and has since felt a sense of relief in understanding why. While I am working on a larger project about this, it’s no accident that today this came together during his healing session; it is his ancestors at work.

He chose the Adrenal (healing) Water Crystal card (water infuser) to also accompany his session today. The adrenal is an endocrine gland that is tied to our fright and flight system and can be overtaxed from stress. The card represents ‘release’ and with that we work the stress out by putting the body into a state of homeostasis where it can move into a recovery stage.

During the session, other than dryness, a healing blister (due to thick socks) and calluses from his job, the feet appear to be doing well. I always double check the texture, colour and odour for clues of oncoming fungus problems but so far things appear to be OK. As always, he expresses how amazing he and his feet feel after a reflexology session. After today’s session, we took a bike ride to the forest and soaked our feet in the stream while taking a forest bath. Forest bathing and reflexology make a perfect combination.

Markus passed his one year post surgery examination of his skin cancer however he still requires attention for another precancerous spot that emerged in the newly healed skin area. And so with that we are back in the waiting game. It has been suggested to me by a friend mid island to look into CBD oil for topical use (made up island) and will be learning more about that. I am taking my facial reflexology studies on a deeper dive and have signed up with a course at Pacific Rim College in Chinese Medicine called Applied Facial Diagnostics. With this new knowledge, I will use my Dien Chan facial reflex tools to work with the face addressing imbalances in the body. We have been using Dien Chan for aesthetics of the face but now it’s time to work with the therapeutic side. I start the course this coming week.

On the topic of stress, I will leave you with this blog post that I put together with a hand chart you can try on yourself. Here’s the video he chose, mind the ads.

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 & Heart

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 problemReflexology 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.

Reflexology & Pineal

Markus received a reflexology treatment this past Saturday as he is now back on his outdoor mail route and is putting on the kilometers again bringing fatigue to his body, especially his feet and lower legs. To make matters worse, fire smoke from the US has blanketed southern British Columbia making the air quality hazardous. It’s so bad that the mail delivery has been disrupted.

After doing a foot reflexology session, Markus did facial massage on his own while using the Dien Chan tools. His skin cancer scar has healed very well but is still reddish in colour and will need irrigation for some time still. He has started using rosehip oil on his skin as it’s come highly recommended by European facial therapists. Over the past month, I completed an online facial therapy course and will start to introduce some of those methods to his face over time. We still have a journey ahead of us.

Unfortunately a spot has re-emerged where the cancer was before, on the new part of the cheek that replaced the old, that was removed. We will be going to Vancouver to see the surgeon next Monday and Markus will get an examination of his healing progress and an examination of the red spot that has emerged, along with another that emerged on the other side of his face and was treated a few months back. In the meantime, we do our best not to stress about it and know that he is in the best hands now. We recently learned that Markus inherited Basal carcinoma and he is also at risk of melanoma among other kinds of cancer. We really hope the new spot is not another skin cancer emerging. If it is, then hopefully it is early enough to do something not too invasive as he just went through that. But it’s hard to believe we are mentally bracing for this again.

The cards used in this session are the Racoon from Wild Unknown Oracle (representing artistry and creativity) and the Pineal Water Crystal card, which is a gland situated in our brain that regulates our sleep/wake cycle. In reflexology, we compress a reflex point on the big toe that is related to this gland. Due to poor sleep quality the night before, it seemed a little uncanny that he randomly chose this card. I made sure to give the reflex a good rub’n!

Something interesting has happened. The area on his face where the new spot is emerging overlaps the reflex of the lung, in the realm of facial multi-reflexology. While the medical experts do their thing, we may as well try ours. I am unable to interact with this part of his face other than rehabilitating massage so I decided to locate the lung reflex on the ear, which is located on the back side (dorsal) of the ear. Coincidentally, Markus found that particular spot on his right ear to be very painful. Strange! So I placed ear seeds (a small magnetic ball on a bandaid) on this point on the backside of the ears, where the reflex point can be pressed and activated often. Markus revealed to me that his area has been tender for sometime, but I didn’t know.

The seeds stay in place for up to 5 days and then are removed and replaced again as needed. What is interesting is that after 5 days, when the seed was taken off, the pain was gone. Wow!

And with that I have enrolled in an online ear reflexology course to better understand the mystery. Ear reflexology is recognized and standardized by WHO, making it a widely accessible modality. Many people swear by it for a variety of issues. My journey with reflexology also started with the ear, when I was treated last year in Denmark for rotary cuff tendonitis. After half a year of failed rehabilitation and constant pain, it was reflexology that solved the pain so that I could rehabilitate my shoulder, arm and hand. Although not 100%, I recovered to about 98% and when I run into a flare, I turn to ear seeds and place them on my hands and ears where tender.

I am excited to see what happens once I begin to combine ear with foot 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.

Skin Cancer Timeline of Events

This is a chronological timeframe of my husband, Markus’s skin cancer journey. I have been blogging about it and have been treating my husband for stress using reflexology and diet for calming inflammation. Now that we have surpassed the surgery, we still have unfinished business to deal with and I wanted to voice our concern with how things are playing out.

Summer 2019

July 7, 2019 – Markus sees a walk in clinic to get checked for a suspicious spot has emerged on left cheek and not subsided. It has become a small open wound that has started to bleed. Dr suspects skin cancer and refers Markus to a specialist. Markus waits for specialist appointment.

July 2019 (mid month) – Markus sees dermatologist who suspects Basal carcinoma. Biopsy taken, stitched up, and told to wait 2 months for results. This is much too long for a diagnosis. Markus’s uncle removes stitching while we are in Italy.

September 2019 – Markus sees dermatologist (different from first) for follow up. Biopsy results confirming Basal carcinoma, and is recommended for Mohs surgery as it’s the most effective in removing the cancer as other removal processes have required additional surgeries as it is not as successful in removing all cancer at site. Warning of long wait times. Placed on cancellation list. Told to go to walk in clinic for referral if need to see dermatologist again. Once a patient is in the system with a clinic especially when dealing with cancer, why should they have to get a referral? This is yet another unnecessary step within our healthcare system.

Winter 2020

November 2019 – Markus gets surgery date for Oct 26, 2020, and is put on cancellation list as this is very far away. We are very concerned. This will be a 1.5 years wait in total.

Winter of 2019-2020 – Cancer site goes dormant, virtually disappearing. We feel some relief and relax knowing that nothing serious is happening.

March 2020 – Cancer site begins to wake up. See the walk in clinic Dr as referral is required to see dermatologist again. Clinics are closed due to Covid. We wait.

April 2020 – Cancer site appears to grows larger, bleed and fester. Markus experiences burning sensation at site. Another suspicious area on opposite (right) side of cheek emerges. Markus as a frontline worker endures high stress levels possibly worsening the cancer. He covers cancer with bandaids and orders specialized face gaiters and strong UV protective clothing from Australia but is delayed due to Covid. We order additional back ups from Amazon.

Spring 2020

May 2020 – Early May, send updated photos to dermatologist with festering cancer and new spot on other (right) side of cheek but no response. Contact walk in clinic Dr for urgent phone consultation and referral to dermatologist as clinics are now consulting via phone only, not in person. Dr forwards urgent referral. Receive phone message for a phone consultation for June 10, 2020. This is a months wait, not soon enough. Markus contacts walk in clinic Dr again by phone, Dr agrees it’s urgent and sees it as very serious but there is nothing he can do. Markus continues to send more photos to dermatologist office of cancer changes. Apt gets bumped to June 1, 2020. Still too long of a wait. This causes panic, talk to people in Ontario about how to proceed out of province.

June 1, 2020 – Phone consultation with (a different) dermatologist is very short – a couple of minutes. Dermatologist says that cancer is about the same, is not urgent from what he can see and this doesn’t result in any pressure of moving a surgery date closer as we were hoping. Dermatologist makes off record comment that he’s waited this long, he can wait longer. Markus is told to make an appointment to come in person in a few weeks time if he wants to have the other side examined. Gets hung up on before talking to receptionist to make appointment. Markus calls back to make appointment for a few days later – not a few weeks later.

June 5, 2020 – An opening for surgery is offered (called from the surgeons office) and accepted for June 9 in Vancouver.

June 8, 2020 – Markus picks up ferry pass at dermatologist office the morning of and informs of his surgery and to cancel apt later in the week. Office has no recollection or documentation of the original surgery date for end of Oct, makes phone call to surgeon’s office in Vancouver, about it. That morning the dermatologist sees Markus briefly and sprays a solution on the new spot to bring it to surface as seen most likely as precancerous.

Spring 2020

June 9, 2020 – On surgery day in Vancouver, surgeon is surprised to see how large and serious the cancer is. Says that had he waited for original surgery date that the cancer would have further disfigured his face. Surgeon also wished the dermatologist had not sprayed the other side as now the surgeon is unable to diagnose and treat on surgical day. Approximately 2.2 cm by 1.8 cm of cheek is removed and is pitted deep. Flap approach is used to minimize disfigurement based on the large impact zone. Procedure lasts from 11am – 4:30pm. Markus is left with a very large scar from the corner of eye in a Z shape down to the mouth. Healing will take up to 18 months and scar cannot be exposed to UV rays.

Markus is off work for 3 weeks and is very uncomfortable. Most bothersome is the impacted eye; red itchy and burns as face heals. We are now waiting for his short term disability to kick in. Fingers crossed.

June 15, 2020 This coming week – We will contact dermatologist (and send photos of surgical site) about other side of face and be aggressive about a strategy so that it doesn’t result in what happened to the left side of face. Update: apt is made for 3 months away in September to review new spot.

Spring 2020

July 1, 2020 – We begin facial massage therapy in 2 weeks time and continue this for 3 months or longer. Markus can resume more of a typical life at that point if all goes well. I am enrolled in facial reflexology to help with the facial therapy process. I am also consulting Dien Chan experts about approaching the scar with a specific reflexology technique from a non invasive method.

In conclusion, there were too many problems with this process and we cannot afford to have this happen again. Had Markus waited for his original surgery of Oct 26, 2020 and there not been a cancellation, the situation would have become much more dire, further disfiguring his face and possibly his nose. The local dermatologist failed to identify this, putting Markus’s health in greater danger. We don’t trust our healthcare system now as Markus is at risk for more cancer in the future (other side of face not resolved). We have decided to move to the mainland hopefully in the fall where he can be closer to the expert who performed his surgery and who is requesting to have him follow up with him routinely by email until we can see him in person.

Where do we go from here?

This process has taken far too long and has been unreliable. There should be shorter biopsy wait times, a stronger examination process to determine severity of cancer, removal of referrals and a more timely approach for urgent matters. The cancer grew aggressive during the Covid pandemic when clinics were closed. I undertook a short course at Pacific Rim College to help with diet to calm any inflammation within Markus’s body. This seemed to help at bit as the new spot retreated and the larger cancer site stopped burning.

We have endured a great level of stress and now there’s the ongoing mental toll this is having on my husband. His face will never look the same again and tragically this could have been minimized had it been dealt with in a more timely manner, not a year and a half later. When explained to relatives in Europe, they expressed how unacceptable this is and this would have been taken care of in weeks where they live. This is very hard to swallow and yet Canada is rated as one of the best places to live? The toll this has taken on our lives is another level all together. I plan to take this information to VIHA to see what can be done so this doesn’t happen again to Markus or anyone else.

I want to point out that I am grateful to the Dr. who rallied behind Markus and the surgeon who somehow fell out of the sky when we lost all hope. We don’t know exactly how it happened but we suspect a cancelation due to Covid played in our favour. But it should not have come to this. We are traumatized by the outcome and want to seek compensation for laser scar removal. Our healthcare system desperately needs to be reevaluated and overhauled. I’ll have more to say later…

My case studies are on hold until July while I focus on my husbands health.

Reflexology Presurgery

This weekend, I carried out a reflexology case study session for my husband, Markus, this one being the last before his Mohs (skin cancer) surgery on Tuesday. A miracle happened two days ago; he got the call on Friday to go in for Tuesday as there was a cancellation. His original surgery was scheduled for the end of October and we have been putting pressure on the medical system to see if there was a way to get him in sooner, but we were loosing hope. We are quite relieved and very grateful as the wait has been a long one (a year now). We leave to Vancouver on Monday and return home on Wednesday.

Markus is tired from his job (letter carrier) during the pandemic and since we didn’t do a session last weekend, it was overdue. He has noticed however an increase in energy on the job due to his new (gluten free) diet. I noticed something interesting during today’s session; the large bunion on his left foot is significantly smaller! His feet have been surprising us lately! There have been many changes over the past weeks and months from new shoes to diet changes so I am guessing the combination of footwear correction and inflammation reduction have helped the bunion to shrink. The lifestyle and diet changes implemented in May continue to make significant changes in Markus’s well-being and have given us hope. I have started to adopt some of these changes into my own life as well. We are now both gluten-free.

After a full foot reflexology routine, I accentuated the stress-relief reflexes (solar plexus and pituitary) on the foot with the tuning fork. Then, we spent time working on facial reflexology. I have introduced myself to Dien Chan, a unique facial reflexology system founded in Vietnam by acupuncturist and professor Bùi Quôc Châu and further adopted and developed in Spain and Italy. These techniques are used to release tension in the face, for beauty and also health benefits. Oh and it also feels good! I have acquired a few additional tools and have been exploring some new techniques. Since I have been experimenting on my own face, I have noticed a change in my skin and a few of the deeper character lines have receded a bit. Today Markus explored using some of the tools on his own face. After his surgery and once he is healed, he will also be engaging in Dien Chan regularly. Dien Chan is also said to be helpful for healing surgical scars. It will be interesting to see how his face responds since having dealt with skin cancer. In the future, I hope to get certified and offer this modality along side of the foot reflexology. But in the meantime, we will experiment as we are the perfect guinea pigs. Stay tuned for those updates.

Markus appeared very sleepy during the session and expressed some excitement and nervousness around the surgery, but an hour later felt energized. He commented as usual about how amazing his feet felt after the session. Reflexology is effective for reducing the stress of surgery. I will approach carefully afterwards. You can find peer reviewed articles on Google Scholar about this.

Although his (Basal Carcinoma) cancer isn’t fatal (at this stage or that we know of), once we saw it starting to spread back in April – we knew we were in trouble as we realized this wasn’t an isolated incident. Thankfully with the abrupt diet and lifestyle changes, things have helped to calm some inflammation. None the less it has been incredibly scary as we felt so out of control – this in combination with the pandemic have made it a very trying time. I do feel optimistic that we are now in the home stretch.

Markus picked the Wolf (reminds me of the wolf who visited our village in the mountains of Italy last year) card and I added in the Healing Archetype card from the Wild Unknown card series (Kim Krans). Finally we used the Healing card from the Water Crystal (Masaru Emoto) deck for intentionally inspiring his cup of water. This is a special session, so I decided to combine an additional card (Healing) for guidance and good luck.

Markus selected the Italian Dolomite mountain footage for his ambience.

I will close with this new music video from Depeche Mode : Fragile Tension

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 & 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 & 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 & 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.