By Laura Norman
Special to The Pineapple
“The moment you can visualize being free from the things that hold you back, you have begun to set yourself free.” – Unknown “Addiction.”
For many, that word once conjured images of decadence and criminality. Today, in a more enlightened time, we recognize that dependencies of one kind or another are very common, affecting people from all walks of life. While we traditionally associate addiction with alcohol, drugs and tobacco—food, coffee, shopping, gambling, sex, work, social media posting, texting and many other things can also turn into compulsions.
Whether it’s too many cups of coffee, too many cigarettes, shopping binges just to make ourselves feel good, hours of online video games or Facebook posting, many of us have displayed addictive behavior at one time or another.
“We are free to make our own choices, but we are not free from the consequences of our choices.” – Bilal Zahoor
Breaking the habit is like opening a lock. It requires the right combination, and that depends on the treatment plan for recovery, support from family and friends, avoidance of “enablers” who encourage the habit, and commitment. One’s strong determination to replace addictive patterns with healthy ways of living is the single most important factor for success. And today there is a therapy being used that supports and enhances the effectiveness of the traditional techniques for getting back on track— reflexology.
Reflexology is a science and art that applies specific thumb and finger techniques to stimulate reflex areas on the feet (which most people associate with reflexology), as well as on the hands, face and ears to facilitate healing of organs, glands and all parts of the body. It soothes thousands of nerves and induces deep relaxation of the body, mind and spirit.
A graduate of my professional reflexology training program, a recovering alcoholic, works in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center in New Jersey. He provides reflexology sessions to most clients in the program. He discovered that regular sessions diminish much of the edginess and anxiety caused by substance deprivation. And it is very rewarding for him to be able to contribute to the well being of so many people.
Reflexology is a natural, effective tool that can take the place of addictive behaviors because it has some of the same characteristics as addiction—but without the negative impact. Addictions offer both immediate gratification and escape. Reflexology also offers both immediate gratification and escape, but without the calories, hangover, the crash or the jitters. It’s a healthy way to reward and pamper yourself when you feel down or anxious, and to give yourself a beautiful, and natural, high.
Reflexology is also an escape in the best sense of the word. There’s much in modern life we seek a break from now and then: traffic jams, deadlines, overwork—even the incessant chatter in our heads! Slipping into deep relaxation through reflexology can help you drop out for an hour or two, clear your mind and steady your nerves so you can cope more effectively.
“I was on a roller-coaster of overeating/dieting, gaining/losing weight and feeling better/worse about myself. Since I started having reflexology sessions I feel like I’m finally on solid ground. I’m happy and at peace, my weight has stabilized, and I have more energy than I’ve had in a long time.” – Jennie L.
As Alcoholics Anonymous reminds us, addictions are as much spiritual as physical. Reflexology’s meditative quality nurtures the soul. It facilitates spiritual as well as physical and emotional healing.
When reflexology is given by a friend or family member, it’s a way to be loved and pampered by someone important to you. You can also work on yourself. My book, Feet First, gives easily-learned reflexology routines to address different kinds of dependencies.
Reflexology can help support, enhance and integrate all the components of a program to create a better, freer life. Best of all, it is a powerful way to let go, remember your connection to your higher power and love the person you really are!
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world… as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Laura Norman, M.S., LMT, Holistic Reflexologist and author of the best-selling book, Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology, offers private Reflexology and Life Wellness Coaching sessions in Delray Beach and Holistic Reflexology Training Programs in Boynton Beach starting February 6th. Visit www.lauranormanreflexology.com • Call 561-272-1220