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!