Dear parent welcome to Cheery Feet.
The aim of this page is to provide information about Chi-Reflexology in a simple, child friendly way, answering many of the more commonly asked questions and hopefully encouraging parents to consider this complementary therapy as a potential treatment for their child.
As a mother myself, I am very aware that parents only want to do the best for their children and can, quite rightly, be extremely wary of trying anything new or unusual for their child. If you are unsure about the use of Chi-Reflexology for your child then can I suggest that you come along for a taster session, your child can sit alongside you to become familiar with the surroundings, techniques etc and I can answer any questions you may have.
As outlined in the Chi-Reflexology page, this is a very gentle and adaptable therapy, making it ideal for children. Although, in theory, Chi-Reflexology can be used from birth, my experience has shown that once toddlers are mobile it is very difficult to focus their attention for long enough to achieve a treatment!! For this reason I would suggest that between the ages of 1 and approx. 4 years a short hand reflexology treatment is probably a better approach.
As with any form of therapy, or indeed medicine, there are no guarantees, what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. CHI-REFLEXOLOGY is NOT A MIRACLE CURE. It is a gentle therapy that encourages a gradual improvement.
If your child is suffering from persistent health or behavioural challenges and your doctor can find no clinical reason, or available medication isn’t working, perhaps it is time to consider trying a complementary therapy? Chi-Reflexology may be able to provide the help you are looking for. I would ask you to inform your doctor or health visitor that your child is receiving Chi-Reflexology treatment and would stress that Chi-Reflexology should be viewed as a complementary therapy not alternative and under no circumstances should you make any changes to prescribed medication without firstly consulting your child’s doctor. As a therapist I am always happy to discuss treatment with the clinical staff involved in your child’s care. Complementary therapists are keen to see therapies being recognised for their benefits by the medical profession and our long term aim is to become part of a fully integrated health care strategy.
Please be aware that the following information is my personal interpretation of how I believe Chi-Reflexology works. As discussed in other areas of this web site there is currently no published scientific evidence that I am aware of to prove or indeed disprove these theories.
What is Chi-Reflexology?
Chi-Reflexology is a therapy that has been developed by an Australian practitioner and teacher, Moss Arnold. He has combined the principles of traditional reflexology with those of Traditional Chinese Medicine to produce a unique and powerful therapy. Moss has worked for many years developing Chi-Reflexology and is a highly respected teacher and author, presenting his work around the world. For further information see: www.chi-reflexology.com.au
Chi (pronounced chee) is the Chinese word for Energy. So as the name suggests this therapy is working on the “energy” system within the body.
How does Chi or energy work?
This story begins in China, a country on the other side of the world. In China the doctors have some different ideas about how our bodies work. They believe that as well as having, blood, chemical messages and nerve messages traveling around our bodies we also have a special network of chi or energy lines. The Chinese believe that these energy lines collect energy from the food we eat, the air we breathe, the ground we stand on and the light from the sun; and transport this energy around the body, making sure that it flows smoothly to every part of the body. The body depends on this energy to keeping everything working well, helping us to think clearly and also to feel happy too.
So why don’t some doctors in this country believe that these energy lines actually exist? Well, this is possibly because they are invisible, we can’t actually see them, there are no tubes or wires carrying the energy. However the doctors in China have been using a map of where they think that these energy lines are in the body for thousands of years, and by working on special points along these lines they can help people to get better. The Chinese doctors call these lines Meridians and the special points on the lines are called Acu-points. You may have heard people talking about Acupuncture or Acupressure. This is the name given to this type of Chinese medicine.
There are doctors and scientists around the world trying to prove that this invisible energy system really exists and to show how it works. It could be many, many years before all of this can be proved by the scientists, but for now we do know that if we follow the Chinese meridian map and work on the acu-points we can help people to feel better.
So where are these energy lines? We can’t see the lines but the map showing where the Chinese doctors believe they are does exist, and this is the map we use when we do Chi-Reflexology.
Energy lines around the body
On the map we have energy lines that run from our feet up through the legs into our bodies, some end inside the chest, others run all the way up to our head, others run from our head down to our feet. We have other lines that run from our hands, along our arms and into our chest or up to our head, others run from head down to our hands. There is a matching set of lines on the left side and the right side of the body. So if you look at the little gingerbread man in the picture you can see that he has a black line running all the way from his left foot to his head and an identical black line running from his right foot up to his head. There are 12 pairs of lines, 6 run to or from the feet and 6 to or from the hands. The energy lines are a bit like a road map with all of the roads crossing back and forth, and up and down. Each energy line is rather like a motorway with smaller roads leading off to meet up with other smaller roads.
If you can imagine the energy being loaded onto lorries and moved up and down the motorway system you can perhaps understand how energy might be moved around the body. However this is a one way system, the lorries cannot turn around, so if they start their journey on the black line they can only travel along the black line, then down the green line, up the orange line. Some lorries will start at the top of the red line, travel down the red line then up the yellow line… and so on. This means that if there is a breakdown on one of the energy motorways we can end up with a bit of a traffic jam. Sometimes we can have lorries travelling too fast, too slowly or have too little or too much energy on board. Now the energy isn’t flowing properly and we can start to feel unwell as the body doesn’t always have the energy where it needs it and cannot repair itself if things go wrong, or to keep everything in the body running smoothly.
The acu-points are a bit like motorway service stations where we can take energy off and on the lorries, slow the lorries down or speed them up to try to keep the energy moving at the right speed, to the right places and at the right time of day. Each motorway has its own special rush hour, when it will have extra lorries running along it.
Why do you touch my feet to help me feel better?
In reflexology we believe that there are different areas on our feet and hands that have an energy link to all the different parts of our body. It is easier to identify all the parts of the body on the feet rather than on the hands, so most reflexologists will prefer to work on your feet. On the feet we can identify parts of your feet that reflect the energy in specific parts of your body, really like looking at the pages of a map, a map of the whole body. We call these Reflex points, this is why we call this therapy reflexology. Sounds a bit crazy but if you look at the picture you will see what I mean. If you think about the big toe representing your head in two halves, the left side and the right side, all your different organs are then represented by different areas on the soles of your feet either the left or right foot depending on which side of your body the organ lies in. So if the feet reflect the energy in the body we can help the energy flow in the different parts of the body by gently working on the reflexes encouraging the energy to flow properly.
As we have just learned half of all the energy lines begin or end in our feet. So the Chi-Reflexologist can work on the acu-points (service stations) in your feet and ankles as well as working on the energy reflex points in your feet therefore helping to unblock traffic jams and keep the energy moving correctly.
Why does the Chi-Reflexologist ask so many questions?
The reflexologist has to be a bit of a detective, looking for clues to find out where the problem really is. It isn’t always obvious which energy lines are needing help. Your body sends out lots of messages asking for help and the reflexologist needs to look at all of the messages and work out what to do to help. This is similar to your doctor taking a blood sample or an x-ray, he is also looking for clues so that he can work out what is wrong and how to help you. In Chi-Reflexology there are lots of different types of clues that we can look at; pain, the type of pain and where it is?, do you feel cold or hot a lot of the time?, what kind of food do you like to eat, do you sleep all night or waken up at different times?, when do you go to the toilet? The list is endless and some of the questions may seem a bit crazy but for the reflexologist all of this information is important in solving the puzzle.
Does Chi-Reflexology make me better?
NO, Chi-Reflexology simply helps your body to repair itself. Our bodies are amazing, most of the time the body will fix itself without any help. Think about the last time you had a cold, you probably felt a bit poorly for a few days and then you were totally back to normal because your body killed off the cold germs and repaired the damage they had done. Sometimes our bodies do need a bit of help to get better; you might need to take some medicine to help your body fight germs, or if you had a really bad cut you might need to go to the hospital and get a few stitches to hold the cut closed until the body heals the cut, its not the stitches that make you better they just help. A bit like a plaster cast on a broken leg holds it together until the body repairs the broken bone. If things go badly wrong you may even need an operation to take away bits that have become too badly damaged for the body to repair by itself, then the body will heal itself and do the best it can to get back to normal.
Chi-Reflexology works by finding out where the energy lines aren’t working properly and then helps to get the energy moving along the lines at the right speed, making sure that there is just enough energy getting to all the different parts of your body so that it keeps working well and is able to grow and repair itself whenever it needs to. It’s up to your body to do the work of healing.
What will happen when I have a cheery feet treatment?
Firstly there will be question time and some paperwork to complete – a bit boring but as you now know the questions are very important. You can ask questions too, so if there is anything you want to know about chi-reflexology just ask. The grown up who brings you along will stay with you the whole time, right through your treatment, so don’t worry.
Then it‘s shoes and socks off and into the special reflexology chair. Once you feel comfortable the treatment can begin. This involves the reflexologist firstly having a look at your feet then gently touching the different bits of your feet and your ankles. Carefully the reflexologist will press on the acu-points or reflexes that need a bit of help, this shouldn’t hurt but if it does it’s important to say so. Remember the reflexologist will only use his or her fingers to do the work. Your first treatment will last for about 15 minutes, later treatments may take a little longer but only if you feel happy for that to happen.
Then it’s shoes and socks back on, a quick chat with the reflexologist about future treatments, a drink of juice if you would like one and off you go!
Looking forward to meeting you at Cheery Feet !