Taking My Feet on Vacation

October 31, 2010
People who help others need to retreat and feed their souls.  So this week I ran away to Truth or Consequences, a flat, dry, hot place two hours from Albuquerque to soak in mineral springs and wash away layers of stuff I don’t need any more at the Charles Hotel.
I thought I was coming to be alone, but I’ve now seen almost every New Mexican friend I have.  We are all soaking in these wonderful hot tubs, but that’s another blog.  
Today I’m writing about how important it is to ask clients questions rather than impose ideas on them.  I’ve witnessed this important lesson again here in T or C while watching an experienced body worker provide her services to my friend.
We as body workers may intuitively get all kinds of information about the dear person sitting in front of us, but it is critical how we share that information.  The most respectful way to inform a client is to ask a question and see what the client says.  And honor that answer.
In my practice, I can often “feel” problems in an area on the foot.  Or the client will tell me that while I’m palpating across an area, it is tender.  There are two ways I could address this issue to begin a discussion that benefits the client.
Let’s say, I feel something like tiny bubbles under the skin on the ball of the foot...which is the lung and heart area.  I might ask questions about illness, such as, “Are you getting over a cold?” or about the emotions, such as “Are you sad and grieving something?”  Or shoe issues, “Are you wearing new shoes...or walking longer distances lately?”  Because I know these can all create tenderness and congestion in the ball of the foot.
If the client says, “No.” to all these questions, I must trust my client to know and continue to work the ball of the foot—lung and heart area—until the tenderness diminishes.  By simply opening the door for a discussion, the client has time to think and reveal what is appropriate.
Some intuitive body workers get a thought or feeling  or insight and make a flat out statements like, “You are suffering from unexpressed grief.”  When this happens, there is no room for the client to respond thoughtfully because it easily throws them into a defensive mode.
By asking questions, we allow our clients to speak for themselves.  Regardless of the answer, it is more empowering to come to one ‘s own understanding in the session or hours later then be pushed into hearing what someone else has seen or felt for you.
Many of you reading this blog are my clients.  I appreciate your business and your absolutely right to only answer the questions you want to answer.  Because in my studio,  “No.” to any of my questions is a great response.

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Nancie Hines, MA

OR LMT 18833

Oregon Reflexology Network
National Certified Reflexologist

(1 of 2 Nationally Certified in Portland)

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