Reflexology & Solar Plexus

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.

Skin Cancer Update

Markus in Vancouver

We headed over to Vancouver for Markus’s 3 month post surgery check-up on Sept 21. Surgeon was amazed to see the level of recovery and stated that there has been rapid changes showing incredible recovery of upwards to 6 months. He recommended we keep doing, what we are doing. (This strategy has been a combination of careful consistent coverage of the scar, diet and facial therapy combined with home-mixed jojoba / lavender oil. Markus uses Dien Chan tools and techniques about twice a week to help irrigate and level out the scar.)

There is concern about a new spot that has emerged overtop of the newly formed cheek on the left cheek. The surgeon observed the new spot but says it’s too early to diagnose as the skin is still forming and healing from surgery. It is suspected to be the same that emerged on the left side of his face; a precancerous spot. He is to go to a local dermatologist should he need any intermediate attention for this. We will return at the end of May of 2021 for a 1 year post surgery update where the surgeon will be able to diagnose the spot better as the skin will have healed. At that point, that spot can be treated, like the one on the right side. Because the right side was sprayed by a local dermatologist office, he recommended following up with them to observe that progress.

(Left image: bulging of cheek swelling, right image: irritation, Sept 29 at 11 pm)

Markus followed up with the local dermatologist office on Monday Sept 28 who quickly examined his right cheek and cleared him of precancer on the right side since receiving the treatment spray. He then proceeded to harshly press (with long finger nails) into Markus’s freshly recovering cheek and scar area unnecessarily. Markus pulled back and verbalized pain during the session but the Dr proceeded anyways. Markus is now on day 3 of recovering from pain, swelling and redness to this area after this visit. Markus feels as though he has been punched in the face and it’s been affecting his sleep and is bothersome at work. Markus has consulted the surgeon with photos, to make sure no long term damage was done. We hope this is not the case but either way this is completely unacceptable especially to someone who is currently in the healing process from such major facial trauma.

As this office has shut down, Markus is now left trying to locate a doctor who can over see his situation. Markus went in to pick up his medical records with the local office and found falsified information on his records. Markus will be filing an official complaint. Read the timeline of events to see full scope of problems.

This has been a stressful, frightening and frustrating process for us both.

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.

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 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 & 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 for Allergies

It’s allergy season and so I thought I would put this easy to follow hand reflexology image together for you to try experimenting with your own hands.

Endocrine, respiratory and lymphatic immune systems are included:
Plantar (inside): large star=solar plexus, mountains=lungs, stars=sinus, thymus, and Dorsal (outside): star=lymph reflexes, bolt=hypothalamus and dot=pineal gland.

Press on these points several times a day. It feels really good so give it a try. You’ll be amazed at how much love your hands want! This will probably also sooth anxiety.

Let me know in the comments if you notice any changes.

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 & Responsibility

While my case studies are on hold, I am still doing reflexology sessions with my husband. I am combining all I can (reflexology, reiki, sound) into these sessions to see if we can reduce any of the stress and inflammation that comes with his job. As Markus is an essential service working as a letter carrier for Canada Post, he continues to endure heavy burdens from his job.

Probably the most concerning of all is the skin cancer on his face and is still waiting another six months for surgery (will have been waiting 1.5 years if you can believe that). Now, with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are unsure if his surgery will be on time or delayed. This isn’t good news as the cancer is growing larger and we find ourselves taking measures into our own hands. He is allowing me to document the sessions and share the journey with you.

If you work outdoors, invest in sun protective clothing. Even though Markus has been wearing hats and sleeves, he is now upping the anti with stronger coverage.

Cards include the Wildwood Tarot and the Water Crystal Oracle.

Reflexology & Winter

This past weekend I continued to practice reflexology for Markus. I always carry through a full foot routine while after accentuating stress relieving reflexes (solar plexus) with the new tuning fork. The session allows the Markus the opportunity to rest the mind while the body experiencing homeostasis (rest and recovery) through pleasurable pressure to the reflexes. Markus felt relaxed and later he noted how exhilarating his feet felt, giving his body a rejuvenating boost after visiting the parasympathetic mode.

Markus has Basal Carcinoma (cancer) on his left cheek and it has been very quiet over winter however he has experienced some awakening sensations and observant cues that the area is no longer dormant. We are concerned about these new changes. It was a very dark and rainy winter here on Vancouver Island with very little sun exposure. I suppose this played a role in its dormant state. As we head into springtime, we are watching to see what happens.

Cards selected for todays session includes the Great Bear from the Wildwood Tarot representing the dark winter months we are now transiting out of in combination with the Winter Water Crystal card.

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.