We recently caught up with Suzanne Travis, a Reflexologist. We learnt more about her therapist experience including her journey into complementary therapy, her perspectives of reflexolgy and what you can expect as one of her patients.
1. Can you tell me about your journey into complementary health and why you reflexology?
I trained as a Reflexologist 15 years ago after 25 years of secondary school teaching. It was the best move if my life, though it took me 5 years to gradually let go of the security of my teaching. I felt very strongly that I wanted to become a healer rather than a teacher and I knew inside that I had a lot to offer others. However, it was a complete leap of faith into the unknown to completely change my career in my early 50’s, but I have not looked back since.. As my knowledge and experience grew over the years my work has gone from strength to strength and it is one of the proudest thing I have ever done, to carve out a very successful business in a field that still fascinates and amazes me to this day.
2. How would you explain the benefits of reflexology to someone unfamiliar with it?
I often combine my Reflexology sessions with Reiki. The combination of these techniques enhances the effectiveness of my work which I gear towards the needs of the individual. I work from the knees down as I incorporate acupressure (working with the energy meridians). I also trained with Sally Kay in treating Lymphoedema in clients who have had a mastectomy due to breast cancer. My work can help reduce stress levels, ease pain and many other physical issues, such as hormonal imbalance, digestive and sleep problems.
I will always work to the best of my ability to support individuals who need mental and emotional support or have experienced trauma in their lives.
3. What do you wish more people knew about reflexology? What is the biggest misconception?
I wish the benefits of my therapy was more well known. To show people that they can often achieve stress and pain relief without the common side effects experienced from many medications. It could save the national health enormous sums if more preventative techniques were employed such as regular Reflexology. Regular sessions can keep the bodily systems balanced and reduce stress in people’s lives. Stress over a long period of time can eventually lead to physical and mental problems. The biggest misconception about my work is that Reflexology is simply a foot massage. It is so much more than this, a well trained Reflexologist can detect problems in the body by working the feet. It is a two way process where working the feet can have a positive effect on the organs and bodily systems. Working the feet can be far more relaxing to the whole body than most people realise
4. What advice do you have for individuals interested in exploring reflexology for their own wellness?
Find a therapist who is insured, well trained, ideally with a lot of experience and who also belongs to a reputable Reflexology Association. Read their website and/or Facebook business page to get a feel for the person, to find out if they will suit your requirements. If someone is interested in self help, there are books available and some very good youtube videos. Although both books and videos will obviously vary in quality.
5. How do you approach appointments and series of appointments with your patients?
People access my details from my website or Facebook page. Other people come to me via word if mouth and recommendations from my other clients. The initial session lasts for one and a half hours and includes a consultation and an exploratory session to find the sensitive areas on the feet and a record is made of them. The information gleaned from this first session can then be used to formulate a treatment plan. This can often involve a block of 3 to 6 weekly sessions, if this is manageable for the client. A review of progress is then undertaken to see if further treatments are needed or perhaps spread out with larger gaps between each session. Clients often then move to regular monthly top-up treatments, once we have got on top of the main symptoms or issues that the client is experiencing. I also offer one off relaxation sessions as and when a client chooses. I never put pressure on a person to make another appointment or have follow up treatments. I explain what I offer and what I recommend but I never assume they will want to have follow up sessions.
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