LIGHT TOUCH REFLEXTHERAPY
A NEW WAY FORWARD FOR REFLEXOLOGISTS
Written in accessible language Light Touch Reflextherapy is a wonderfully illustrated practical workbook for reflexologists and all body workers and physical therapists who use the body's reflexes. This pioneering book gives reflexology a complete makeover from the standard approaches of using moderate to heavy massage on the reflexes. The book discusses how both acute and chronic conditions may be treated. Acute pain syndromes utilize foot reflexes and acupoints (I see no discernible difference between the two) and chronic conditions utilize the reflected chakras on the feet, hands, arms and legs. By using the chakras I indicate how the cause of the condition may be addressed.
There are over fifty colour and black and white illustrations to accompany the text. Description of contents:-
The book is also designed to accompany the 3 day post graduate workshop of the same name.
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The book also accompanies the LTR poster that is offered for sale at £11.50 plus £3.45 postage and packing in a sturdy tube.
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Lynne Booth for 'Positive Health'
Reflexologists are always looking for new techniques to enhance their practice and this new book by Dr John R Cross, Light Touch Reflextherapy (LTR) is an interesting and useful adjunct to mainstream reflexology. I have always admired the author’s passionate approach to promoting the assimilation of complementary therapies into the medical model of mainstream physical therapies. I was immensely impressed with one of Dr Cross’s previous books: The Concise Book of Acupoints, which was beautifully illustrated and gave valuable information for acupuncturists and novices alike.
His slim, new book on Light Touch Reflextherapy has a much wider brief than conventional reflexology books; the author makes no apologies for this, as he is taking the reader onto new concepts which include energy imbalance and introduction to the major Chakras system, a fairly basic introduction to some of the main acupressure points and then a perhaps provocative introduction in Chapter 7 to Etheric-off body LTR. The reader is gently introduced to these more esoteric concepts as the book progresses and there is very helpful information in the first chapter on the definitions of what is a Reflex, the theory of the treatment of acute and chronic conditions and brainwave frequency.
In his introduction the author sets out his experience over many years and charts his developments which have led to these less mainstream theories and the possible connections between Reflexology and other modalities. The book contains some clear line drawing illustrations which are extremely helpful and well labelled, some of which are in colour. I was particularly interested in the illustrations that combined Reflexology reflex areas, Acupressure points (often situated on a similar part of the foot). This is a helpful way for the diagrams to show the skeletal foot as well, as it guides the therapist very precisely to the correct point on the foot. He also illustrates some Acupressure points on the lower leg trunk hands and other parts of the body. These are helpful to the Reflexologist but most are used to working reflexes on the hands and feet, plus ears and face with other reflex points on the legs are arms. The author runs 3-day classes in LTR so will no doubt explain how he expects a Reflexologist to utilize these techniques into their practice.
In Chapter 2 there is discussion on initial holds on the feet and Dr Cross teaches how to make an assessment of energy imbalance. This is an extremely useful chapter which many reflexology students could read to help them assess the needs of the new or existing client, so that the treatment can be of optimum benefit to their client. There are three basic photos which combine calming techniques used by Reflexologists on what would be the area of solar plexus / diaphragm and the acupoint K1 (Kidney one). I have a great respect and interest in Acupuncture but as a Reflexologist I tend to take the purist approach to Reflexology as I realize there are many overlaps in the reflex and acupressure point charts that can become confusing when they are worked along side another modality such as reflexology. However, in this case it was very interesting to see where acupressure and reflex points coincide and whatever conclusion one comes to, it is helpful for these concepts to be explored .
In Chapter 3 the author addresses the treatment of acute conditions and pain syndromes. This is quite an unusual concept and may stimulate considerable debate, as his theory combines treating a acupressure point anywhere in the body while connecting it to reflex point on the foot. Again this may be an interesting challenge for Reflexologists who are only used to treating hand and feet and whose clients remain fully clothed. Dr Cross is obviously only advocating Acupressure with the finger tips, and there is no suggestion at any time of acupuncture needles being used, which are only appropriate when implemented by qualified acupuncturists. The author promotes the concept of ‘intention’ where the therapist is focusing on balancing energy within the body and he also suggests the idea of ‘magnetism of the fingers’. Some Reflexologists will embrace these new ideas, while others like me will take a more pragmatic approach and suggest that unless one is stimulating the precise reflex point, to hopefully initiate a physical change, it will only generally - not specifically - benefit the client. This chapter is full of excellent illustrations and examples of helping conditions such as spinal and head pains, sore throats and internal organic pain.
The author writes that his pioneering book gives Reflexology a complete makeover from the standard approaches of using moderate to heavy massage on the reflexes, and each chapter manages to give helpful advice, challenge old theories and bring in new concepts of the use of multiple modalities to help heal the body.
Chapter 4 concentrates on balancing the body by superimposing the Chakra system on the feet. The chakras are “seven subtle body forms of different vibrational frequencies ranging from the physical to the spiritual body”. Dr Cross very convincingly suggests that, as the reflexes on the feet mirror the body, the feet will also contain the reflected reflexes of the chakras and can be treated accordingly in the same manner. I found the coloured illustrated chart of the major and minor chakras of the body on page 34 very interesting and informative.
This chapter continues to challenge a Reflexologist or therapist to widen their boundaries and work with intention to create energy balancing. Those with an interest in a modality such as Reiki will find no difficulty understanding these suggestions. Chapter 5 continues with the subject of Chakras but takes the Reflexologist on a treatment protocol; I am sure many therapists will experiment with these simple but possibly profound techniques accompanied by colour reflexology foot charts.
I am a great advocate of Hand Reflexology which I feel is underused and underrated as it is just as powerful as Foot Reflexology, easier to access and the reflexes just take a second or so more to respond. In Chapter 6 I was pleased to see the author encouraging us to use the hands to “perform therapeutically away from the feet in order to both augment the foot treatment or to enable the patient to use points in self-help therapy”. Again there are good colour charts and it is interesting to follow a self-treatment protocol as the author draws together techniques and concepts learned in the various preceding chapters. The coloured illustrations of the spinal segmental areas on the arms and legs are fascinating and helpful; I would have like this topic to have been expanded further.
The very short last Chapter 7 is no doubt for me the most challenging and thought provoking chapter entitled Etheric (Off Body) LTR. My first reaction was one of interest, but I came to the immediate conclusion that I preferred the pragmatic approach of the physical therapeutic touch. The author states that you can treat a person without touching their body by massaging the aura that surrounds the body, and that this intention can benefit and help the chakras and the entire etheric field. He realizes this is a difficult debate but says this idea of “off body massage” it is not an “airy fairy “ concept and “nothing could be further from the truth” and cites Kirlian photography saying that the existence of an aura has been described for thousands of years.
Many may be open to exploring these ideas but I feel the author has only touched on this subject and that the shortest chapter should have been expanded with far more detail, references and argument. The ideas are challenging and helpful in expanding our concept of the energy we use to tap into achieve healing through Reflexology and Acupressure; no doubt Dr Cross will expand on these theories in future volumes so his arguments can be fully debated and presented to mainstream Reflexologists and the wider therapeutic community. And in my view, the author might consider amending the subtitle from A New Way Forward for Reflexologists to A New Way Forward for Reflexologists and Energy Therapists.
The book is written in an accessible language and the concepts and illustrations mean the author’s ideas can be clearly expressed. I hope Reflexologists, Acupuncturists and other therapists will consult this book discover some new techniques that can be incorporated into their practice. Some may find John Cross’ thoughts too radical or esoteric, but I am pleased that a respected practitioner of many years standing has been prepared to challenge therapists to step out side their comfort zone and explore new, or expanded, theories. This is the only way any profession progresses.