The path to optimal health is a personal journey. Our bodies and minds are complex entities worthy of being open and receptive to various methods, means and philosophies. People are increasingly interested in merging western or allopathic medicine with holistic and other complementary treatments.
I received a profound boost to my well-being after spending time at Heal & Toes with Centralia reflexologist Lorna Smith. She touched, pressed and worked on my feet as I melted into a comfy, reclining chair.
The art and science of reflexology has been around for more than 3,000 years. It is based on the belief that organs of the body are represented in various locations on the feet. By applying pressure with the thumbs, fingers and hands to the specific areas on the soles of the feet, body parts are stimulated. Reflexologists do not diagnose conditions or give medical advice, but many people find relief for a number of conditions such as neuralgia related to diabetes, foot pains and many other body discomforts.
Even if your life and body are pain-free, they’re likely active and laced with stress. Most of us spend hours on our feet every day, but give little appreciation to the appendages that hold us upright. My ‘doggies’ were thrilled with the touches of the skilled, strong hands of Smith, who is certified with the State of Washington.
Reflexology is non-invasive – all you need to do is take off your shoes and socks, sit down and allow the chair to recline. Breathe and unwind. Lorna will take care of the rest.
Starting in 2007, Smith brings a wealth of skills to her practice in Centralia. She’s a life long resident of the area and lives on a 125-acre family farm with her retired husband Carl Nelson. They grow blueberries to sell but tend to a host of other berries: goji, goose, cranberries, medlars plus trees with pears, apples and plums. Other trees such as Western hemlock and blue spruce have been planted along Lucas Creek, which runs through the property. Smith has teamed with CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) to improve the habitat for salmon. Her hands are impressively strong in part from pruning 150 trees and also from being a gymnast on the uneven parallel bars. “I’m thankful I used to milk goats,” she adds. For twelve years she worked as a computer graphic designer but as that industry evolved, Smith looked for other ways to employ herself.
She came upon an article in a magazine about reflexology and headed down that path. “Feet tell a story,” she explains. With clients equally divided between men and women, she said that people come in for a variety of reasons.
The work on the feet increases circulation and people find it helps create balance in the rest of their body. Many come in at regular intervals to support their issues with diabetes, overactive bladders, cancer recovery and heart issues. Others experience relief from foot problems such as plantar fasciitis.
As my session progressed, Lorna told me which part of my body her touching was addressing. I had a few tender spots and found the information helpful. I might have drifted off to sleep if I hadn’t been so intent on the interview. Again, reflexologists are not doctors, however, they are complementary to a path to overall well-being.
Max Vogt, owner and designated broker at Windermere Centralia, treats himself to a 90-minute session at least twice a month. “It’s something to look forward to and it definitely helps with stress reduction,” he commented. He’s gifted reflexology visits to members of his office team and suggested that idea to others. He also added that he recommended it to anyone, particularly men.
Reflexology is a way to get your toe into the world of massage. People new to any sort of bodywork might be more willing to try a new treatment option when they get to keep on their clothes.
Smith expands her knowledge with continuing education courses and is associated with the Washington Reflexology Association and the Oregon Reflexology Network. She’ll be offering free mini-reflexology sessions at the annual health fair at Thorbecke’s Fit Life Center.
Make plans to take excellent care of your health throughout 2016 and beyond. Finding ways to relax and de-stress from your usual hustle and bustle as well as taking care of more serious health issues is important.
Lorna Smith delights in being a long-term part of the Lewis County community and notices that everyone seems to be connected somehow. Her joy comes from “seeing people helped and their pain eased.” My feet are already making noises about going back.
To schedule an appointment with Lorna Smith (CR#60394451) and Heal & Toes, call 360-262-3169.