Almost six years ago I took my reflexology training. I was 7 months pregnant at the time so my feet were "patched" with cute band-aids so the other students knew what sections of my feet should be avoided. Why would they do that? Simple. Pregnancy is considered a contraindication in the standard reflexology training. What is a contraindication? It is a condition considered "do not treat" for the therapist. So if someone presents with such a condition, the therapist must not treat them, or must alter the treatment, until that condition no longer exists.
Does that mean pregnant woman cannot benefit from a reflexology treatment?! Absolutely not!! Reflexology can help with nausea, vomiting, heart burn, insomnia, anxiety, swollen feet (edema), hip/joint pain, back pain and the list goes on. Reflexology can also help a woman when she is approaching her due date to get her body prepared for the upcoming birth. It can benefit during labour to regulate contractions, ease discomfort by gating the pain, stimulate hormone secretion and give mom some time to rest.
So what is a pregnant woman to do when she wants to take advantage of the benefits of reflexology? She can find a reflexologist who has gone further in his/her studies to include maternity reflexology training. Think about it. A doctor (or general practitioner) is trained as a doctor right? But when we are pregnant, our care is transferred to an Obstetrician (or Midwife) - someone who has furthered his/her training to specialize in pregnancy and birth.
Often I have other reflexologists say to me: "I have treated many pregnant clients so I feel qualified to work with pregnant woman". I worry when people say this because it means they have not taken the extra time to invest in their business and further their training to include working with maternity clients. If the practitioner does not have a vested interest in working with this special category of clients, why would a pregnant woman or new mom want to work with them? Let's look back at the doctor example. Some people would feel comfortable with their doctor delivering their baby. They have an established relationship with that individual and want to maintain that bond to help them through the birth process. But more often than not, we feel we would be in better hands with someone who has gone beyond that "general" training and specifically trained in the type of care we require at this phase in our life - maternity care - that is offered by an obstetrician or midwife.
It was my goal to specialize in prenatal, postnatal and baby/child care when I started my alternative health care practice. So I went beyond my "general" training to specifically train in the type of care I wanted to provide for my clients. What some people see as a "formality" or a "piece of paper" was much more important to me than that. It was so important that I had to look hard to seek out specialized training even though there is currently no one in Canada that offers such training. I helped organize for a trainer from abroad to come to Canada and offer Maternity Reflexology and I traveled to the United States when I heard a trainer from the UK was offering her training in Baby and Child Reflexology. I had a vested interest in the needs of my clients and a desire to learn more so that I could service them better. Was it easy to do that? NO! But I think that shows the level of dedication and the true passion I have for helping this specialized group of people.
There are very few people in Canada who have been worked to take advantage of this specialized training. In fact, I am one of only two practitioners in the surrounding area of Kitchener/Waterloo who is qualified to offer these services. There was a total of 20 people in Ontario who took the Maternity Reflexology training and they are scattered throughout various regions in Ontario and neighboring boarder cities in the US. Even less of those are actively practicing it (if you are in the Belleville/Trenton/Kingston area, you can look up my good friend Michelle Stroud of By the Moon. She shares my passion in birth services!) There is another Maternity Reflexology training offered in Europe, so you might find a few who have pursued that training by traveling abroad. So far, I am the only practitioner in Canada who has taken the Baby and Child Reflexology training. Within the next year, there will be training offered through The Healing Arts Learning Organization that will help make these services more accessible, but for the time being, if you want a specialized practitioner, do your research and find one that is dedicated to your needs.
My name is Tanya Goreing and my company Soul Treatments is dedicated to your maternity and childcare health needs! If you have questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Tanya Goreing is the proud mother of one boy and the owner of Soul Treatments. The natural health of woman and children is her passion!