The therapist is a human being. This seems a straightforward observation, but I think that this condition should always be remembered. Primarily it is key to understanding that there are no great gurus in the various techniques, but there are Men who have passed through a path of knowledge different from ours and who, on a specific occasion may be useful in the rebalancing of our physical, xactlymotional and mental issues.
My introduction to Reflexology was thoroughly unexpected, though in hindsight it is exactly what I’d been seeking. As a teenager I once heard of a friend’s mother who knew a woman that could induce ‘wind’ in her clients by pressing points on their feet, but though this sounded ‘cool’, I hadn’t given the concept much thought since. It wasn’t until many months into my study that I finally looked to Google for some information in my native language...
Far from the comprehensive method I’d found in Italy, the internet presents a bewildering picture of this technique. But to me, one of the most misleading quotes of all is the therapists’ favourite “I’m a Reflexologist, what’s your superpower?”. Whilst I’m sure the intention is harmless, as I’ve indicated in this series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) there is nothing super about the power of Reflexology. It is an utterly natural technique which reflects the healing potential that we all possess. Moreover, it is a medicine which does not necessarily require the presence of a Reflexologist.
As my teachers often emphasise, “the therapist does nothing!” meaning, the real work that takes place during treatment, the adjustments which lead to improvement in symptoms, originate always with the receiver. In other words, the person lying down is the one doing ALL the work.
If you’ve been reading about the method that I practice (Dien Chan Zone®) you’ll know that it has two key benefits: 1. by working in proximity to the brain and sense organs results are a lot faster than with other reflexologies (often immediate); and 2. because the face is accessible to all of us without bending and twisting (obstructing energy flow at the joints or solar plexus), it can be practiced in complete autonomy without the need for a therapist.
This means that any time you get a headache, a sore back, severe period pains or experience the first signs of a cold you needn’t ‘pop’ some paracetemol or ibuprophen as these are exactly the kind of ailments which can be easily targeted by stimulating zones on your face. But this technique is not limited to such ‘minor’ disturbances… It’s also a great aid in situations where your physician can't prescribe for the symptoms you're experiencing, or when you or a loved one is diagnosed with an intimidating clinical illness.
Even for those who already have a preference for natural remedies, from plants and aromatherapy to acupuncture and sound… this is the tool that you’ll come to when your kit is at home or when a certain ingredient runs out. Facial Reflexology (and its adjoining ‘multireflexology’) is an opportunity to influence your body’s functions without ingesting anything. Therein, it eliminates reliance upon chemicals and remedies but most importantly, upon others to treat you. No Pharmacists, no Doctors, no Therapists, no waiting lines and no opening hours!
This puts healing literally in your hands in a way that nothing else does.
So, whilst the role of a therapist is extremely important - to acquire knowledge, facilitate treatment and create a space for healing - it is no longer vital for the benefits of Reflexology to spread. So what is the duty of the therapist?
Therapists, speaking from experience, often find their way to the position due to a need to serve and an inability to look after themselves. “How did you know that?” and “You’ve changed my life!” are regular compliments that can distract from the benefits we accrue from treating and make it easy to overlook the fact that ultimately, we don’t really do anything. We are merely the taxi drivers witnessing the discovery of a beautiful place, the guides in unexplored terrain but certainly not people with special abilities. And in this day and age it is our duty to remember this humbly because with it we will empower our receivers.
As a key part of the Dien Chan Zone® method, at the end of every treatment we share a personalised map with instructions for receivers to continue the work at home. Doing so offers those we touch the opportunity to appreciate the positive influence that they can have on their own wellbeing – without spending money or purchasing 'indulgent' items. Until they’ve grasped that capacity it is difficult for them to deeply understand the true notion of self-care.
The future of Western healthcare systems depends upon their transition from crisis management to prevention, mind-body connection and self-care by the masses. We need introspection, reviving and enlightening which is exactly what this method offers. Besides caring for my own balance and energetic state (no easy task!) my main objective is to educate by sharing what people call my 'secrets'.
Our culture is built upon a tradition of information limited to elite circles, the wealthy and the educated. This has generated a paradigm of Doctor and Patient – Educated and Uneducated – which is a knowledge structure adopted by the natural therapies industry. But what if Reflexologists were educators too? What if this technique alone could help cultivate a shift from compliant patient to actively engaged participant by reminding the masses of their power?
Dien Chan Zone® was born in Vietnam as a product of war and necessity. It re-defines the very notion of Reflexology and its ethos clarifies the role of therapist and receiver. In times of internet connectivity, more than any other technique it presents a self-care revolution just waiting to be unleashed on the world. It is my absolute pleasure to share it with you here.