Bringing Balance to Your Life

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Reasoned Considerations


The other end of the lorgnette: Seeing things differently

By June 10th 2021

seeing things differently
Illustration 2 of seeing things differently

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A Ponder: When one door closes, another one opens

By May 30th 2021

quote by Graham Bell
Quote by A. Graham Bell: When one door closes...

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When a Wellbeing Session is a Safe Place

By May 20th 2021

Illustration: a wellbeing session can be a safe place
Illustration: a wellbeing session can be a safe place

Wellbeing sessions have a way of helping us find ourselves in the present. As you know, there are different kinds of wellbeing sessions and you have to find something that is for you. Today, I write about how sometimes a reflexology session can be a safe place.

Vignette 1: Bad meeting

One time, a wellbeing improver arrived for her reflexology session. The first thing she said after I welcomed her was something like I am so glad I am here. I knew I would need my reflexology session. My meeting at school went as bad as expected. The situation was fraught and there was some underlying anger.

My wellbeing improver was clearly upset. Furthermore, her shoulder blades were throbbing as a result of the stress she was under. She settled into her session rapidly.

When she left, wellbeing improver:

did not feel so bad and she was calmer; she also looked more peaceful. Her reflexology session brought her emotions under control and helped her put things into perspective so that she would be able to cope at home.

her shoulders did not feel so jammed. There was a decrease of physical discomfort, brought about by a strong emotional response to a situation. This also helped with the emotional pain she was going through.


Wellbeing improver knew she might find it difficult to deal with her emotions. This was true and she had planned to use her reflexology session as a tool to be able to cope better with her situation. There is a proactive way of knowing what reflexology can do for her and of using it to deal with life better.

Vignette 2: Upsetting news

One day, a wellbeing improver called. She wanted to know if I could see her straight away. I was able to and I could hear she was upset. She was given some bad news: she had just heard she had lost her baby. Hearing such a thing is always very hard, especially when, as a mother, she did not suspect anything was wrong. To compound it all, she had to go for a procedure later on in the week unless she miscarried before.

Having found previous treatments so beneficial, I somehow instinctively knew what I needed at that crushing time. Reflexology really helped me cope with all I had to face, and it was enhanced by Sylvie's natural compassion. You may forget what someone has said but not how they made you feel.

She was relieved I was able to see her. The reflexology session was entirely designed to calm her down and relax her. At the end of our work together, wellbeing improver had calmed down, was more composed and more relaxed in her frame of mind.

She knew the coming days would be hard. She now felt she could go home able to see and tend to her two young children

Vignette 3: Some time down the line

Four years ago, I gave reflexology to another wellbeing improver. She said she was in a bad place and could be emotional when expressing her concerns. She was always more relaxed and more serene at the end of her time with me and, gradually, she felt better and better physically and emotionally.

She liked reflexology as a safe touch and was feeling a connection as if I was touching her inside . She also liked our friendly talks.

She moved away and we reconnected recently via video conference and telesessions.

She told me recently: I do not know if you realise that when I met you, you saved my life .

It was also important to me that you were happy to chat through the session. As I lived alone, and at that point in my life, very lonely and unhappy our sessions provided an added benefit for me – they contributed to my mental wellbeing.

The pain and the issues did not go away but a safe place was offered to take a step

In these real-life stories, none of the issues went away, none of the mental pain went away.

What their reflexology sessions did was to offer these three wellbeing improvers a safe place for them to be themselves and to find a kind of anchor for them to move forward one step.

That one step was enough for the three of them to be the starting point they needed. I always find it very humbling when wellbeing improvers have that kind of trust in myself and the services I offer.

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The other end of the lorgnette: Seeing things differently

By May 10th 2021

seeing things differently
Illustration 1 of seeing things differently

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A Ponder: Become who YOU are

By April 30th 2021

quote by Nietzche
Quote by Nietzche Become who you are on a pink sea background

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Vignette: Everyday life: Bringing your arm forward at shoulder level

By April 20th 2021

pictures of people reaching forward
Collage of people reaching forward

So why have an Alexander Technique session?

Wellbeing improver of 70+ would like to know if we could do anything about a little problem she had in her right shoulder. She experiences pain when bringing her arm in front of her at the gleno-humeral joint (what is often called the shoulder joint). She also feels sometimes like a pulling in her joint. She has no injury.

Performance of the activity

We started the session with Wellbeing Improver showing me how she performs her activity. I noticed some movement behaviour in the head∕neck relationship and in the right shoulder down to the hand.

We are looking for improvement

During an Alexander Technique session, we are looking for an improvement and for the movement in the activity to be reasoned out so that the Improver performs it more easily. It may be that the problem brought to the session is resolved; it might not have to be the case though. Applying a process that brings about a gradual improvement because we reasoned out how to move is what we are after.

Not trying to get it ‛right’

An important point to remember is that during a session, we are always working with the body. There is not a goal to achieve, and we stay at all times within comfort. At some point, when Improver was performing her activity, I noticed she winced. It turned out she wanted to get the movement ‛right’ (Man's Supreme Inheritance, p. 81). This led us to discuss ‛right’ and ‛right’. The first one is judgemental; the 2nd one has the meaning of ‟the most effective way”. In sessions, we work with the latter meaning as it is not such a burden.

With this reminder in mind, Improver carried her movement again, following a process: it was good, smooth and “it just happened”!

From the general to the specific

We started by working on a general level with the head∕neck relationship as FM Alexander said that what we do with that relationship either helps us to move or gets in the way of our movement. This general work solved some of Improver’s issues.

Some more specific work with the arm and more verbal interactions brought about changes that allowed Improver to perform a different movement while bringing her arm forward.

We talked about some ideas such as the different joints in the arms; where does the arm connect with the body. These ideas brought about a different understanding. This new understanding translated into new ideas. And these new ideas brought about a different movement together with some release in the upper thoracic area.

Improver brought her arm in front of her at shoulder level one more time, she mentioned her ‟movement felt different, was different, was simpler and neater”.

An improvement and a success to take and use beyond the session

Improver, through our interactions and work together, put in place a process which brought about a new movement pain free, easier and simpler. This was a success, and she found this new movement ‟fascinating”.

Improver is supporting her own wellbeing.

She can now transfer this knowledge to other everyday life movements: reaching into a cupboard, reaching for a book, putting her palms against a wall, exercising, etc.

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References:
Man's Supreme Inheritance, Alexander, FM [1910] 1996, Sixth edition reprinted with minor corrections December 2002, Mouritz.
This page was last modified on Jun 10 2021 6:42am