Returning to the nest: Reflexology


I shared on some social media posts recently that this new year is feeling less like a “new” beginning for me, but more of “returning home” of sorts.

Is this what happens in mid-life?

Is it that we acknowledge the facts that we already have everything we need; that we are not broken; that the present is the most important?

This year, 2023, is going to personally be about taking care of me (my body, my mind, my soul) and professionally about diving deeper into all the wonderful natural healing modalities that I have cultivated over the years.

The goal is to share more of their magic, blend them together and customize them for each and every one of my patient and client I am so privileged to work with.

We begin today where it all started – in the Maine woods where I learned the art of REFLEXOLOGY.

The year was 1998, and I was a new college graduate with lots of anxiety about my future.

I had decided to forego a path toward conventional medical training, but I knew I still wanted to do something with my hands, to help people feel better.

Memories have faded over the years as to why and how I found Janet Stetser, the only reflexology teacher around. But I do remember meeting her for the first time as her only Reflexology student at that time.

Eccentric and odd along with loving and caring, would describe the aging hippie who was to teach me everything I know about reflexology today.

Janet and I would spend hours in her small, basic, composting-toilet kind of home in the Maine woods.

She would teach me the didactics of reflexology, followed with her working on me, then me working on her (while she blissfully naps).

This went on for weeks until she deemed me “certified.”

I remember finishing the “course” thinking…

“Wait, who am I going to give reflexology to now?!”

Had I known that I would incorporate it into every single healing session over the last 20 years, I would not have had a flick of worry then.

Reflexology is one of the most ancient healing arts still practiced today, with Egyptian pictographs and symbols on the feet of Buddha statues to prove!


This modality has been linked to Chinese medicine meridian theory, and zone therapy, among other energy healing systems. It’s still being researched and understood today.

The concept of reflexology is simple: there are “micro-systems” all over the body that can be used to heal the macro-system that is the individual’s mind and body.

Specifically, there are points and areas on our hands, feet, and ears that when pressed or massaged, healing in the corresponding body parts is activated.

Because every body and everyone responds to modalities differently, it is not surprising that reflexology is challenging to be properly researched and studied.

In my personal and clinical experience, most people benefit from deep mind and body relaxation from reflexology as well as promoting healthy circulation and the feeling of well-being.

Here are some evidence-based studies according to National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health:

  • In a study funded by the National Cancer Institute, women with advanced breast cancer who received reflexology treatments showed improvement in a few symptoms, such as shortness of breath, but not others, such as nausea or pain. In this study, reflexology was safe even for the most fragile patients.
  • A small amount of research suggests that reflexology might be helpful for reducing a burning or prickling sensation sometimes associated with multiple sclerosis.

Clinically, reflexology is wonderful in helping ease:

  • Stress / anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Digestive issues
  • Fatigue
  • Labor
  • Headaches
  • Sinus issues

Finding a reputable reflexologist can be challenging. Sometimes a well-rounded massage therapist can offer you proper reflexology as part of their treatment.

Or, you can come experience it along with acupuncture at Urban Acupuncture Center where I am happily offering the combination sessions to everyone I see!

Book your appointment here, or call the clinic at 614-725-2488.


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