The Nations Largest Federally Funded Grant
Welcome to Reflexology! My name is Barbara A. Brower. I began my journey with Reflexology in 1978, my first training in 1980, at the International Institute of Reflexology. It was a wonderful launching into this age-old science. A medical doctor, Dr. William FitzGerald in the early 1900’s, rediscovered reflexology in our country. Doctors in hospitals first practiced it. As we moved from homeopathic medicines to allopathic medicines, Reflexology was being phased out, as the general consensus was that drugs were faster and better for the body. That was in the early 1900’s…I am so pleased to be able to share with you that after almost a century Reflexology is back in the hospitals as a complementary therapy to be integrated with the medical module once again.
You may be wondering how this came about and it is a wonderful story. In an attempt to shorten a much longer story… one of my clients had a broken leg (tibia) that was not healing. Doctors said she would need surgery, to include a plate and screws in her tibia to mend the bone. It had been 3 months since I’d seen her and I thought her schedule was not allowing her to come in. By no coincidence we met right after she had requested one more month for the mending to occur; her doctor told her after three months this doesn’t happen. She hobbled into my office on crutches to drop of some flyers just as I was entering the waiting room looking for a client who had forgotten her appointment only to find her standing with a cast from the base of her toes to just below the knee. I asked her why she hadn’t been in and she said she didn’t think she could have reflexology with her leg in a cast. I told her that we could work the referral areas to the foot which would be the hand, wrist, and forearm. The forearm being the referral to the tibia bone or shinbone in common language. I also told her reflexology could assist the process of mending her leg quickly and that I would guarantee it. She looked at me with high eyebrows, and said, “How are you going to guarantee it?” I said, “I’ll give you all your money back if it doesn’t work.” Needless to say she signed on that day and took the open appointment available at that time. I told her it would take one per week for four weeks and she would have homework on her forearm twice a day. She agreed to 4 sessions (1 per week for 4 weeks and daily homework on her forearm.
After the 4 weeks she returned to her physician who was surprised to say that the bone was knitted back together and asked what she had done. In her elation and surprise she asked if he had ever heard of reflexology, and he replied with a ‘no’ and left the room. When the nurse arrived she said that after 10 days in the walking boot she would be good to go! When my client asked if the doctor was going to return so she could tell him her story the nurse replied, “no, he’s moved on to other patients.”
When she returned for another session of reflexology with me she was very disheartened by the doctors response and lack of curiosity. After all, he told her it would not heal after three months and it did! I told her doctors just hadn’t heard about it. It was around 2001, at the time of this incident. She then said to me, “you’ve always told me this helps your chemotherapy clients…want to write a grant with me to prove it?” You can imagine my response…”sure!” So she asked me to write the protocols and frequency within their strict parameters and she’d take care of the rest.
The Pilot study was done first where guided imagery, reminiscent therapy and reflexology were all offered and women could choose their preference. The reflexology was most requested so the grant was written for Reflexology singularly.
Could reflexology make a difference in the quality of life for women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy? It did make a difference. Read, “The Results” in the drop down menu. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) granted Michigan State University (MSU) $3.1 million in the first 5-year study (2005) and $2.65 million in the second 5-year study (2011) which is on-going. A third grant is now underway. Results of the second grant will be available spring 2018.
As a result of these grants Reflexology is gaining the respect of the medical community and hospitals like William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan and St. John Providence Park Hospital, Novi, Michigan have requested our certificate training course to train on-site at their locations. We so enjoyed the amazing staff of nurses; massage therapists and laypersons that attended. I am so honored to have been a part of this amazing full circle experience. It started in the hospital with William FitzGerald, MD in the early 1900’s and it returns to hospitals in 2011. If you are new to Reflexology please know that Reflexology is not ‘new’. Its earliest recorded history is 2330 B.C. in Egypt where hieroglyphics show the feet and hands being worked on. Reflexology as taught by Dr. William FitzGerald, was first called Zone Therapy, later to be called, Reflexology. It is a deep compression thumb crawl meant to break up or disperse the congestion that lies deep under the tissue. It is never meant to go beyond ‘the good hurt’. This is Western Reflexology. If you have had an experience in reflexology that has felt more like a foot massage or has been incredibly painful it was not western reflexology.
Please ask the person where they received their training. If it was not through a Reflexology School, you
are probably not receiving western reflexology. Reflexology is growing in popularity so there are
many people professing to offer reflexology. They may have had a 2-hour introduction or a 2-day
introduction and received a certificate. Branch Reflexology Institute graduates have had 150-
200+ hours in training and there IS a difference.
My own training includes many other adjuncts to Reflexology as I had many questions that my early training did not address. Why only this one toe, or why just this side of the my body, or is this going to continue to get worse? I had to find answers for my clients as well as myself. My extended training includes:
- Health and the Human Mind, Dr. John Ray, 1981-1983
- Herbology, Ralf Ostertag, 1982-1983
- Body Electronics, Dr. John Ray and Robert Stevens, 1983
- Electromagnetic Fields, Dr. George Yao, 1984
- Iridology; The Study of the Iris of the Eye, 1985
- Reiki I and II, Randall Hayward, 1986
- Mastery of Words, What We’re Really Saying, 1984
- The University of Science and Philosophy, Universal Law, Natural Science And Living Philosophy. Walter and Lao Russell, Home Study Course. 1986-1988
- Michigan State University Cadaver Lab experience. 1986 and 2010, 2015, 2016.
- Able to touch and hold body parts to establish correlation with zones; expanded reflexes during disease processes. View foot challenges from the inside. Talk with physician in lab and ask questions. Most recently (2010) the Assistant Dean in the college of Osteopathy personally confirmed 4 Reflexology indicators confirming locations and chart validity in the feet.
All extended classes were a way for me to bring better understanding of how, “The Body Talks” to us when congestion is present. I am so passionate about Reflexology! I have seen amazing results in my career. In 2017, I am 36 years full time in my practice of this awesome healing art.
If you would like to hear and see testimonials from 15 of my clients taped in a studio on a variety of topics you will want to order the latest DVD on Foot Reflexology, Detoxify and De-Stress! It’s AMAZING.
- “The Body Talks Chart”, Wall Chart 1995
- Foot Reflexology Chart, Wall Chart 2009
- Hand Reflexology Chart, Wall Chart 2009
- Hand Reflexology DVD, 6 Common Areas of Congestion, 2014 (Co-produced with Rebecca Sundeen)
- Foot Reflexology DVD, Detoxify and De-Stress, 2015 (Clinically proven beneficial for breast cancer patients during chemotherapy and after) AMAZING TESTIMONIALS
- Branch Reflexology Institute, a licensed school in the State of Michigan. Where you can become Certified and Registered in Clinical Reflexology with Branch (BRI)