Reflexology and Mindfulness and
how they work together
The relationship between Reflexology and Mindfulness is one which can be immensely rewarding for anyone who enjoys having their feet touched.
In my experience, people fall into two groups - those who love having their feet touched and those who absolutely hate it. There seem to be few people on the middle ground. This page is for those in the first category. If that's not you, no problem. We are all different and must learn to play to our strengths rather than getting hung up on what we can't do.
Reflexology and Mindfulness pair up easily
It is always far easier to allow your mind to be in the moment when you are experiencing something pleasurable. We talk of "abandoning ourselves" to sensations. When we do this we are simply allowing ourselves to be aware of the pleasure. We are not mentally evaluating it or trying to find words for it. We are simply just being, in that moment.
All Mindfulness involves being aware of whatever we are experiencing in this very moment, but at the same time not commenting on it in our thoughts or out loud. Being mindful is awareness and total acceptance of whatever is.
How our culture makes it hard to just be
In the Western world we are constantly urged these days to evaluate everything.
Evaluation of this kind is a mental activity that requires logical thinking and analysis. Both of these are alien to the practice of being mindfully in the moment.
These days I can't even take my car to be serviced without being asked to complete a, "How was it for you?" questionnaire. It is not surprising then that we also talk to ourselves in our heads constantly.
Therefore it is something which we usually need to deliberately practice. The easiest way to start is therefore when we are experiencing pleasurable sensations because it is so much easier then.
Being mindfully in the moment is to simply be aware of the here and now and of just being. When we are having a positive experience this is easier to do.
It is quite simple, for instance, to let your body slide into a hot bath and just wallow in the pure sensation.
It is much harder to do when less pleasant sensations are involved
Have you ever tried to be mindful and accepting when you have a pain in your leg? Can you simply acknowledge it's there without tensing against it, resisting it, and wishing it would go away?
The mindful approach to pain management would expect you to do just that. And it is possible with practice and once we overcome our belief that 'we should get rid of it'. Actually focusing on pain we can do nothing to alleviate only brings it more into focus and makes it feel worse.
Although it may feel totally wrong initially because we are taught to worry about pain etc, once you get the hang of doing this you will find that it actually works.
In the main it's worth remembering that:
If it's unpleasant but you can't do anything to get rid of it just now -
Why think about it!
So again, by way of practising being mindful and in the moment with positive experiences, if you are someone inclined to participate in reflexology you can combine the pleasurable sensations (being mindful of touch) along with being mindful of the aromas of any oils being used in the process.
Again I am not suggesting that this alone would be a single effective cure for anxiety but any mindful practice you do and any positive experiences you recognise you are having all contribute to lowering the arousal level and, in the longer term, to reducing a tendency to become anxious.
Everyday Feelgood Factors