Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Save the Birth Center Rally Was Success!

I am so pleased that our efforts paid off to keep the birth center open! At least for now.

Channel 7 news reported yesterday morning, you can see me a little over a minute into their video holding the speakerphone for Marci.

The Salem News did a great job with this video and their articles.

NECN covered the story, as did WBZ, and WCVB.

I was interviewed on the 17th by WBUR which aired the morning of the 18th. No sign of a digital version on their website but I'll link here if I find it.

For more details see Campaign to Save the North Shore Birth Center. See some beautiful pictures from Sherrell Photography.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pediatric Reflexology

Working on children from infancy through the teen years is a great joy of mine at the office. Children respond remarkably well to a Reflexology session, and often the response is very fast.

I was giving a demonstration at a mom's group in Woburn once and one of the babies in the room had colic. The mother had tried everything with little to no success and the poor babe was really fussy. She offered him as my "model" to demonstrate a couple of gentle techniques on his little feet. In less than 60 seconds this little boy became very calm and quiet, in a few minutes he was fast asleep. His mother wanted to know what "magic button" I had pushed to help him calm down and stop fussing. I simply used gentle pressure over the solar plexus point and also worked the adrenal gland reflexes on his ears. See Reflexology for Children: Touch Solutions for Parents for tips on a relaxing routine.

In the United Kingdom news releases are clamoring over a 90,000 pound program to offer Reflexology to disruptive children in school. My response to this great program is an article titled Reflexology For Children With ADHD: Reflexologists Help Children With Behavior And Attention Disorders. When I attended the International Council of Reflexologists (ICR) conference in Amsterdam a few years ago I had the pleasure of hearing a speaker from Israel tell us about his successes with ADHD children. His slideshow and handouts showed his amazing work and he talked about how they had a 100% success rate in getting the children off of medications and their grades improved. All through carefully orchestrated foot rubs! How wonderful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Save the North Shore Birth Center

The North Shore Birth Center holds a special place in my heart as both a birth doula who has attended births there and as a well-woman patient there. I am incredibly fond of midwifery care and feel strongly that women should have choices in where they have their babies.

On November 18th, 2008 the Board of Trustees that oversees the North Shore Birth Center in Beverly, Massachusetts will be presented with a decision to close the birth center to all births. What's a birth center without births? Just a woman's health center, right?

With over 400 people involved already the Campaign to Save the North Shore Birth Center is encouraging people to write letters, join daily picketing, come to the big rally on the 18th and alert the news.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Birth Survey

Americans love to rate things and take surveys, so why not let new mothers rate their birth experiences online?
Women that have given birth in the United States in the last three years now have the chance to rate, review and recommend the hospital or birth center and their care provider. Move over Yelp and Trip Advisor, say hello to The Birth Survey.

CIMS The Birth Survey
Reports for the entire United States will become available this fall so women around the country can find information on local birth places and care providers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fun with Foot Reflexology

In last week's Reflexology For the Family class the students learned basic warm-up techniques for the feet. These movements help to relax the muscles and tendons of the feet in preparation for the Reflexology techniques to be applied.

We also reviewed the History of Reflexology and a booklist of books on Reflexology for beginners to continue their studies between classes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Teaching the Reflexology for the Family Class

Starting this month I am teaching an introduction to Reflexology class for the Reading Adult and Community Education folks in the town just North of me. I'm very excited about the opportunity to work with others and introduce them to this wonderful modality. It is not to late to sign up so if you've been thinking about taking a short course in Reflexology do so today!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

In Season - a cool idea for Boston communities

I just discovered In Season's website and think this is such a great idea! I've had my eye on Boston Organics for some time but they have yet to add Stoneham to their ever-growing list. I'm still holding out for when they do add Stoneham 'cause that would be really cool!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Knitting for the Office

I started a project during my return flight from San Francisco earlier this month specifically for the office. It is the Lola Rainbow Fish pattern. This is my first stuffed toy to knit and I am having a lot of fun with it.

I also just started a throw for the office made out of a really soft chenille-feeling yarn. You may catch me working a few stitches between sessions over the coming weeks. The pattern uses white yarn but I am using an olive colored yarn instead.

Going Green at the Office

We took the green challenge and passed with flying colors! Here are some of the things we've changed recently:
- switched over to entirely recycled toilet paper and paper towels with at least an 80% post-consumer rating.
- switched to a water filter pitcher instead of bottled water.
- started a recycling program at the office for plastics 1-7, paper products, beverage containers and other items.
- walking to work on fair weather days (started this in the spring).

And here are some things we've been doing all along:
- using recycled paper for printing intake forms, brochures and flyers.
- using all-natural products for use on clients.
- using all-natural and non-toxic cleaners for office, bathroom and sanitizing client-use items (foot bath, tools used during sessions, etc).
- using energy efficient office equipment, powering down computers after use, turning off lights when not in use.
- using natural ventilation and natural essential oils instead of fragrances.

If you have any suggestions we'd love to hear them! It isn't always the easiest choice to "go green" but we know it is the right decision for us. We will continue to improve our environmental foot print as we explore new ways to be green.

For tips read Creating a Green Office: Building an Eco-Friendly Workspace

Saturday, May 10, 2008

RAA Conference 2008

I was pleased to have attended the Reflexology Association of America's conference in Portland, Maine at the beginning of the month. This year it was titled Oceans of Opportunity, a fitting name as international Reflexologists converged on this small oceanfront city.

On Friday, May 2nd I drove up to Portland arriving close to 8am to attend the 9am Leadership training workshop. Laura Aho Jodry and Bill Flocco co-taught this workshop geared towards leaders in state and national Reflexology associations.

Saturday, May 3rd was kicked off by Dr. Gwenn Wyatt from Michigan State University's Nursing college. Dr. Wyatt had a PowerPoint presentation outlining some of the work she is doing in her current research project "Reflexology: An Intervention for Advanced Breast Cancer."

After a second full day of conferencing a colleague and friend of mine headed over to Soakology for some foot soaking, tea and crackers. I chose an Ayurvedic foot soak and there were polished river rocks and pebbles in the bottom of my basin. This was my second visit to Soakology and was once again quite enjoyable.

During the conference I attended Bobbi Warren's breakout class on Foot Reading, expanding on my training from Chris Stormer. We had fun discussing the banana shaped fourth toe and other interesting aspects of toe reading. After a short break I then attended Dr. Martine Faure-Alderson's session on Cranio Sacral Reflexology. Dr. Faure-Alderson's English was thick with her French accent but she was very quick witted and a joy to listen to. Her techniques were very interesting and I've been experimenting with some of them since returning from the conference. The final session I attended was with Dr. Dan Lobash on Korean Hand Therapy. I had been introduced to SuJok Therapy for the first time by a new MAR (Massachusetts Association of Reflexology) member, which is similar to KHT, so I was quite intrigued. After three days of sitting for many hours at once I was experiencing lower back, neck and shoulder discomfort. We practiced the Korean Hand Therapy techniques using an aluminum probe and some press pellets and within a couple of hours my back was feeling much improved whereas my neck pain had disappeared. Very cool!

At the end of the conference a bunch of us Massachusetts Reflexologists got together for a photo in front of the Reflexology History display. What a great conference!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sampler Sessions at Curves' Open House

On Wednesday, April 16th, I gave Foot, Hand and Ear Reflexology samplers to guests at Curves' Open House. I met some wonderful ladies between the members, the staff and others participating in the Open House.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

See us on

This week we're the featured location for Reflexology in Boston on Lucky magazine's website.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Queen for a Day

I've been invited by the South Elementary School Fundraising Committee to participate in their "Queen for a Day" fund raiser on March 30th here in Stoneham. The donations and proceeds from this event are going towards ArtQuest. Kim shares...
Art Quest is a unique educational program designed to develop thinking skills through observation of visual works of art. Art Quest integrates art history and art appreciation with class curriculum providing students with an opportunity to learn visually.

I will be providing sampler sessions of foot, hand and ear reflexology as well as foot reading demonstrations. If you are interested in attending or want information on this event please contact me and I'll put you in touch with Kim and the organizers.

Friday, March 21, 2008

New pictures of the office

I received a call from a magazine last week wanting pictures from the office for an upcoming online article on Reflexology and Reflexologists in the Boston area. With the help of a friend (thanks Kris!), I have some new pictures of the office to share!

This first image is taken from the front porch where our sign reads "Relax, Renew, Reflexology." I had the sign designed from one of the main images on the website - the one with the beautiful lotus flowers on it.

And the second image here is of the treatment room featuring me, reclining in the zero gravity chair. I don't know about you but when that chair is reclined I go into instant power nap mode! I moved the Sansevieria trifasciata, aka: Snake plant, into the treatment room from the waiting room and it looks really cozy in the corner by the radiator.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reflexology for the Childbearing Year Workshops

On February 23rd I co-taught Reflexology for the Childbearing Years with Marionna Sabia at the Palmer Institute. The students were current Reflexology students or graduates of Reflexology courses looking to incorporate techniques and theories to work with clients from preconception through postpartum. Two of the students were pregnant so everyone in the class got a chance to feel and see the differences in the reproductive organ reflexes of:
- a pregnant foot
- a never-been-pregnant foot
- one or more pregnancies foot
- and even the areas reflecting the residual scar tissue from cesarean deliveries

Reflexology is so wonderful for women during this stage of their life. Though the studies, so far, have been few it is certainly showing the benefits range from ease of pregnancy symptoms, to improved chances of conception, to shorter labors and births, and a quicker recovery period after the baby is born.

I will be teaching a similar workshop at the Cortiva Institute in Watertown in September but this time it is geared towards birth professionals, couples and massage therapists. For details click here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Marbelous Foot Soak

Treat your feet to this at-home foot soak! You'll
a basin/tub large enough for both feet (plastic is
a bag of marbles
Epsom salt or sea salt
2 hand towels
your favorite foot lotion

Place one of the hand towels on the floor in front of a chair. Place the basin or tub on top of the hand towel to help catch any splashes. Gently empty your bag of pre-washed marbles into the basin. You may wish to soak your marbles in warm water first so they won't cool your bath down too quickly. Add a couple tablespoons of Epsom salt or sea salt. Finish with warm water and start soaking. Let your feet explore the marbles at the bottom of the basin. Experiment adding a little pressure, or rolling the feet in different directions -- circular, back and forth. After your soak, dry your feet with the remaining hand towel and apply foot lotion.

-Use small pebbles gathered from the beach instead of marbles.
-Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil.
-Buy colored marbles and consider the healing properties of the colors on the reflexes of your feet.
-Add the marbles to your bathtub, fill with a few inches of water, sit on chairs next to the tub and share with a loved one (this is fun with grade-school children - picking up marbles with the toes and making an exercise out of it).

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Using Feng Shui and Vastu Concepts in the New Office

I've had a very enjoyable time decorating the new office using Feng Shui and Vastu concepts. Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) is an ancient Chinese practice where spaces are arranged to achieve harmony with the elements (wood, metal, fire, water and earth).

Vastu, on the other hand, originates from ancient India and is considered one part of three sciences: Vastu, Ayurveda and Yoga (the latter being the most well-known) that comprise the mind-body-spirit equation and spiritual philosophy. According to author Kathleen Cox "Vastu is the first design science to use the human body as the guiding force in the creation of space. Vastu also understands that every design decision sets in motion a predictable consequence that is experienced by the human body. So once we know the predictable consequences, we eliminate the belief that there is mystery in design."

Next time you are in the office enjoy the aquarium in the corner of tranquility, or let yourself be drawn to the candelabra in the treatment room where the candles represent each of your energy centers, or chakras. I hope your experience at The Barefoot Dragonfly is one of peace, renewal, and comfort.

One Fish, Two Fish

Love your environment as part of you, and it will embrace you with universal peace in return. This is Feng Shui in its purity.

My gift to the office for the New Year was a tank of goldfish. According to Feng Shui concepts goldfish are considered good luck and promote harmony within the waiting room. I must say I feel incredibly relaxed watching these fish swim around the tank! The tank contains each of the five elements: earth (the pebbles on the floor of the tank), metal (the fish), water (in the tank), wood (the plants in the tank), and fire (the tank's lamps). The new tank is located in the Northeast corner of the waiting room, which is considered the Zone of Tranquility according to Ayurvedic Vastu principles. I will post more information about these two systems, Feng Shui and Vastu, in another entry.