By Lauren Slade Author, Researcher and Educator
From the very first course I ever took in reflexology over 25 years ago, I’ve had a passion to discover a scientific explanation of exactly how reflexology works.
It amazes me how many people, including Reflexologists still believe that there are little “crystals” in the feet, which when pressed disperse and so cause a healing reaction in the body! How plausible do you think this sounds to a medical doctor practicing in the 21st century? How can it be with all the incredible scientific discoveries over the last half century that this concept still persists?
I have spent a large part of my life studying holistic therapies and how they work. As a Certified Master Reflexologist I have studies Japanese, Swiss, Korean, German, Chinese, Australian, South African, British, American, Canadian and European methods of reflexology. I am also a Master Herbalist, Homeopath, Aromatherapist, Reiki Master/Teacher and Massage Therapist with training in many other holistic therapies. I know that science and holistic healing work hand in hand.
Many years ago I started collecting Reflexology Charts and Maps from around the world and dating back as far as 1917. I now have over 150 different charts in my collection. One thing that really stands out are the startling differences of the reflex point locations on some of the charts. According to my training and my very learned teachers – these charts were just plain wrong! And yet… the Reflexologists who followed them got amazing results. How could that be?
Over the years I have treated thousands of clients. I have worked on a client with four kidneys, another had two uteruses, quite a few have had six or seven toes on each foot, and yet another client informed me that x-rays had shown that all their internal organs were reversed.
The perfectly ordered and neat looking anatomical diagrams we see in medical books, are not always the same as the actual client who comes to me for a treatment. What happens when someone has an organ removed? Do all the internal organs re-organize themselves to fill that space? How and why should the standard classical Reflexology Map still apply?
After almost 30 years of working as a Reflexologist and instructor I know that Reflexology works! I have witnessed and experienced amazing results, both in myself as well as my clients over the years. Reflexology has triumphed where conventional medicine has often failed.
Over the length of my practicing Complementary Alternative Medicine, I have worked on many clients who experienced “phantom limb pain” – a condition suffered by amputees who continue to feel pain after losing a limb. I will always remember one particular client. He had lost his leg below the knee in a motor cycle accident some five years previously. His ‘phantom limb pain’ was so severe, that he was on the highest dose of morphine available to him, just to get him through each day. When I worked the corresponding reflexes in the hand on the side of the missing limb, as taught in my original Reflexology training, there was no benefit felt by the client.
So rather than give up, I decided to do something radical. I planned to work on both feet, the real one and the ‘phantom’ one. I performed reflexology on the real foot, and then moved over to the area where the foot used to be - all the while feeling slightly stupid – but hey nothing ventured, nothing gained!
There was a long silence at the end of the session, as I wondered if I had now lost all credibility as a therapist, and what I should do next. Imagine my amazement when my client reported an immediate lessening of the intense pain in his ‘phantom limb’ from a nine on a scale of 1 – 10 to a five. This was the first improvement he had noted after five years of various therapists using every treatment they could think of on him! I was thrilled. What exactly was the explanation – I do not know. What I do know is that my client reported a complete absence of pain within five treatments, and when I last saw him six years after my initial treatment, he reported that he was still pain free.
This client has been my inspiration for many years to discover the science behind Reflexology. Recent scientific research is indicating a huge upheaval in traditional thinking. Has the tide turned? Is it time for Reflexology and science to come together? I believe the answer is Yes. Much to my delight, I am discovering that at the frontiers of science, new ideas are emerging that challenge everything we believe about how our world works.
These new concepts contain possible explanations for all kinds of wholistic healing – not just Reflexology! Science is providing evidence that the human mind and body are not distinct and separate from their environment, as traditional medicine would have you believe, but a packet of pulsating energy constantly interacting with a vast sea of energy.
Quantum mechanics and new physics are making great strides. Their discoveries indicate that all matter in the universe is interconnected by waves, which are spread out through time and space, and can carry on to infinity, tying one part of the universe to every other part. This idea of a sea of energy might just offer a scientific explanation for many metaphysical notions, such as the Chinese belief in the life force, or ch’i, described in ancient texts as something akin to an energy field. It means that we and all the matter of the universe are literally connected to the furthest reaches of the cosmos.
In this view, the sea of energy connects everything in the universe to everything else, like some vast invisible web. It is as though a memory of the universe for all time is contained in empty space that each of us is always in touch with. Einstein himself understood that the only fundamental reality was the underlying entity – the ‘sea of energy’ itself. The ‘sea of energy’ might be the closest we have to what in Star Wars was called ‘The Force’.
How does this information impact the study of Reflexology? Is a Reflexologist tapping into this ‘sea of energy’? Swiss physicist Dr Hans Jenny, discovered that every cell in our body is controlled by an EM field with its own frequency. That we are beings of light gives sense to energetic or vibrational healing systems such as homeopathy and acupuncture, which can tune the body back to health. Can Reflexology also be classed as a vibrational healing system? As Dr Richard Gerber, author of Vibrational Healing (Santa Fe: Bear, 1988), once said: “If we are beings of energy, then it follows that we can be affected by energy.”
This idea offers a possible explanation for something that has puzzled me for many years – was this the explanation for my client with the ‘phantom limb’ pain? Did his missing physical limb still exist in the energetic sea? Could it be that we, at our most fundamental level, are packets of quantum energy constantly exchanging information with this heaving energy sea? What a stunning thought!
If so, it means that all of us connect with each other and the world at the level of the very undercoat of our being. It also means that we have the power to access much more information about the world than we realize. These and other great scientific discoveries are at the very heart of the Universal College of Reflexology’s Quantum Reflexology Diploma Program - the most advanced Reflexology of it’s kind.
The common assumption has been that psychics, healers, shamans and other ‘sensitives’ have a special gift that somehow endows them with rare and special powers. However, a great deal of scientific evidence now suggests that this type of consciousness is naturally present in everyone if we can learn (as sensitives intuitively understand) – how to access it. With some practice, it can be refined or enhanced.
The world of healing as we know it is undergoing major changes. Science is now catching up with what intuitive and natural healers have always known. Now is the time to let go of our limiting beliefs and let Reflexology soar to its natural height!.
Copyright Lauren Slade 2006
Article by Lauren Slade CMR MH
Principle & Founder of Universal College of Reflexology – since 1991
Published in Mosaic Magazine 35th Issue - Summer 2006