Ear Reflexology Certificate

I received my ear reflexology certificate from the course I did, yay! This took me about 5 weeks to complete as the main task of the course was to complete a case study. I chose this course for several reasons; it was freestyle in learning, was affordable and included an ear case study. I learn better from doing and the case study gave me the opportunity to build confidence and make sense of the process. My case study included my husband and I documented him for a months time. You can read that case study here.

Facial Therapy Certificate

Today I received my Introductory Facial Therapy certificate from Danish reflexology expert Lone Sorensen. Although I had completed the course back in the summer, I only submitted my test a week ago haha. The certificate is so cool looking that I had to share. I took this to help with my husbands face and scar rehabilitation. I will start to implement some of this a little later on in his healing.

Digital Use Implications

As you may or may not know, I have an interest in helping people who are dealing with digital injuries; physical, emotional or both. More than that, I hope to help people to manage their digital use in a safer way and help to prevent injuries. I spent a great deal of time studying the implications (both positive and negative) of technology on our society during my graduate studies at U of A; you can see my graduate project here. I am also someone who was impacted by a digital injury; this is how I first came to know reflexology and managing my own use is an ongoing process. As part of my rehabilitation regime, I bike and forest bathe for 2 hours at a time, 2-3 times a week to rehabilitate from sedimentary habits and detox from digital use. This is my way of intervening my own behaviour. I also periodically cleanse of digital accounts (deleting or deactivating) in order to help reset my behaviours. When I experience any kind of imbalance, I turn to reflexology and forest bathing.

These notes were taken at Royal Roads University’s free talk on digital distractions given by Paul Mohapel, PhD (Psych.) in September of 2019. I transcribed the presentation into a bullet list for easiest reading. There was much more information presented but this is what I jotted down. I highly recommend attending his next seminar if you can access it.

I will be using this information to better steer my own digital usage and content creation. In the end, it comes down to balance but really, there are some major steps to mitigating the damage that digital screens is doing to our brains. I’ve also activated the new screen time feature on my iPhone. We need to become digital use stewards and act as examples.

Implications of Digital Distractions & Multitasking

  • We have attention span issues
  • Multitasking = problems in brain due to distraction and addiction
  • People spend ⅓ less face-to-face time due to social media; this is causing major behaviour issues
  • Focus times have decreased from 12 min to 3 min attention span; we’re losing our ability to focus
  • Every psychological disease up 20% including emotional disturbances
  • People get less done due to digital distraction and multitasking
  • People spend 50% more time online than they thought
  • 30-40% check phone first upon waking up in bed; looking at screen 1 hour before sleep inhibits melatonin production, replace smartphone alarm for traditional alarm clock instead
  • ADT (Attention Deficit Trait) on rise in adults
  • High level multitasking is bad for the brain, but demanded of us everywhere
  • Multitasking = wasting time, creates a blindspot impairment
  • Distraction is the biggest threat to productivity
  • Canada has the highest screen time usage, average of 36.7 hours / week (not including work)
  • Canada has the most internet usage per capita in the world
  • Kids are using screens 2.5h / day global average
  • Breastfeeding babies receive less attention from mother who is looking at digital device
  • There is a correlation between obesity and screen time usage
  • People eat in front of screens (even the fit ones)
  • Screens are diminishing social relationships
  • Screens impair our thinking
  • Screen impact severity ranges from TV being the least to smartphone the most severe
  • Reading on paper = recall more information whereas reading on screens = diminished retention
  • Hand-eye coordinative activities help heal brain
  • We participate in superficial screening and scrolling, meaning the longer the scroll is or digital text is, the more fatigued we become. Paper reading gives our brains the break we need, digital scrolling does not.
  • Online activities are rewiring our brains, is severe and profound
  • Our brains can’t multitask
  • Goal direction is impaired
  • Excessive online gaming = results temporary lobotomy of part of the brain
  • Multitasking maybe physically shrinking our brains
  • Gaming and internet addiction showing similar brain impacts
  • Multitasking releases stress hormones of cortisol (I experienced this first hand in 2016 and after that shut my digital practice down to figure out what happened to me), prolonged impact can cause harm to frontal cortex, hippocampus
  • Addiction / multitasking consist of three traits: 1. Compulsion 2. Loss of control 3. Negative emotions
  • Distracted driving is the #1 cause of death in car accidents
  • 1 min use of social media spikes positive sensations, after 5 mins falls down to negative
  • Conditions for addictions, check if you experience the following: stimulated multisensory cues, immediate gratification, social reinforcement
  • Phones are extremely addictive
  • Canadians check phones 150 times a day but only 4 times a day is safe
  • Average person checks phone every 15 mins
  • 73% feel panic when phone is misplaced
  • Online addiction sources in the following order: email, social media, porn, gambling, shopping
  • Internet addicts and gamers have thinner brains (muscle loss) and are less functional
  • Hands on skill activity increases brain health
  • Too much information is a bad thing; Technology drives more information
  • Social media is all about more = quantity not quality, in other words social media cares for quantity not values
  • We are not having a deep experience through social media
  • Focus of attention = more intelligent – risk of loss
  • Prefrontal Cortex is at risk
  • Doctors in Canada are at 50% burnout due to multitasking
  • We don’t know the fullest fallout extent yet
  • Seniors are the fasted growing user group
  • We are spending less time in our optimal zone and more time in under and over stimulation zone, affects our productivity
  • Corporations exploit our addictions to feed us more information technology for $

Mitigating These Impacts

  1. Containment Strategies
    • Set boundaries and limitations – turn off notifications. Use less apps and applications less often.
    • Focus – on one thing at a time ‘mono’ task to completion. Limit multiple tasks.
    • Technology breaks – check social media / digital device no more than 4 times a day and no longer than 5 mins sessions. Abstain from screens for at least 4 consecutive hours a day – doesn’t include work or sleep. More than that puts us at risk of addiction patterns = brain impairment / shrinkage.
  2. Sustainment Strategies
    • Exercise – 30 mins a day at the min, 20 min nap = full night sleep brain restore.
    • Substitutions – books, physical board games, writing, reflection, meditation.
    • Mindfulness practice – meditation goes in reverse of distraction, stay present, in the moment, non judgemental, open emotionally, sustained attention. Meditation reverses effects of brain thinness to thickness.

Ex-employees of Silicon Valley started up the Humane Technology Society to help steward digital use impacts. Visit Net Addiction for self-help.

Reflexology & Gratitude

This Thanksgiving weekend, my husband received multiple treatments of foot, face and ear reflexology. While I am coming up to my foot reflexology test (October 31), I am also undertaking an ear reflexology course and will have a certificate in that to pair with my main practice. Ear reflexology is especially helpful for people who want to walk away with a self-treatment plan for pain or bothersome symptoms. There are various ways to approach reflexes from different parts of the body; feet, hand, face, ear etc. Auricular therapy (ear reflexology) is a popular one and I am excited to be learning this. I am working on a month-long ear reflexology case study with Markus and once I am certified, I will share the case study here as a PDF.

Markus selected the Lung Water Crystal card, representing gratitude and the Lovers Crow tarot representing partnership. Cards a are a nice gesture of focus and guidance.

Today I focused on just giving him some well-needed R&R from lots of hard work. Markus also complained of stomach issues so I placed ear seeds on the stomach and lung reflexes (on and off tender) and the Shen men reflex that strongly supports other points. Markus used a Dien Chan beauty roller to massage his scar area. This is the first time doing this since the area has been sore over the past few weeks. After the session he felt great on his feet and more energized!

Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problemReflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.

Skin Cancer Update

Markus in Vancouver

We headed over to Vancouver for Markus’s 3 month post surgery check-up on Sept 21. Surgeon was amazed to see the level of recovery and stated that there has been rapid changes showing incredible recovery of upwards to 6 months. He recommended we keep doing, what we are doing. (This strategy has been a combination of careful consistent coverage of the scar, diet and facial therapy combined with home-mixed jojoba / lavender oil. Markus uses Dien Chan tools and techniques about twice a week to help irrigate and level out the scar.)

There is concern about a new spot that has emerged overtop of the newly formed cheek on the left cheek. The surgeon observed the new spot but says it’s too early to diagnose as the skin is still forming and healing from surgery. It is suspected to be the same that emerged on the left side of his face; a precancerous spot. He is to go to a local dermatologist should he need any intermediate attention for this. We will return at the end of May of 2021 for a 1 year post surgery update where the surgeon will be able to diagnose the spot better as the skin will have healed. At that point, that spot can be treated, like the one on the right side. Because the right side was sprayed by a local dermatologist office, he recommended following up with them to observe that progress.

(Left image: bulging of cheek swelling, right image: irritation, Sept 29 at 11 pm)

Markus followed up with the local dermatologist office on Monday Sept 28 who quickly examined his right cheek and cleared him of precancer on the right side since receiving the treatment spray. He then proceeded to harshly press (with long finger nails) into Markus’s freshly recovering cheek and scar area unnecessarily. Markus pulled back and verbalized pain during the session but the Dr proceeded anyways. Markus is now on day 3 of recovering from pain, swelling and redness to this area after this visit. Markus feels as though he has been punched in the face and it’s been affecting his sleep and is bothersome at work. Markus has consulted the surgeon with photos, to make sure no long term damage was done. We hope this is not the case but either way this is completely unacceptable especially to someone who is currently in the healing process from such major facial trauma.

As this office has shut down, Markus is now left trying to locate a doctor who can over see his situation. Markus went in to pick up his medical records with the local office and found falsified information on his records. Markus will be filing an official complaint. Read the timeline of events to see full scope of problems.

This has been a stressful, frightening and frustrating process for us both.

Case Studies & Ear Reflexology

I have finally surpassed my required 50 treatments and am now hovering around 60, Yay! Sometime in October, I will be assessed and will then receive my foot reflexology therapy certificate! Now, I am spending more time with memorization and making sure I have the sequences down right.

I have also started learning ear reflexology, another yay! Like the foot and hand, the ear maps to the body and reflex points can be manipulated for healing purposes. Ear reflexology has been used for thousands of years and is well known across the globe. I have wanted to add a second modality to the foot and this showed up at the right time. Most importantly, I started consulting ear reflexology to help reinforce healing measures for my husband.

I started a small online course based out of New Zealand with reflexologist Karen Middleton. I choose her course based on the self-paced learning style, the affordability factor and the fact that the course requires a case study to get the certificate. I certainly want to gain the confidence and structure and also enjoy the case study process. I also picked up an ear model and some ear charts from the Pacific Institute of Reflexology in Vancouver and had the privilege of meeting founder Chris Shirley.

I have already started on the readings, and am practicing massage and ear seeding on my husbands ears where there is tenderness. In the photos above, we placed ear seeds on the stomach for digestive issues (left) and lung (right) reflexes for respiratory and skin disorders. Since writing this blog, I have added another seed to the Shen Men point on each ear which is a supporting point for other seeded points.

Ear reflexology is standardized through the World Health Organization and includes the following systems:

  1. Western Medicine
  2. Auricular Landmarks
  3. Traditional Chinese Medicine
  4. Master Points
  5. Zones and Points

Benefits of ear reflexology include:

  1. Release tension in the body
  2. Improve circulation of blood, lymph and Qi
  3. Help the body to normalize its function

Ear reflexology is safe and can be enjoyed by everyone.

Reflexology & Pineal

Markus received a reflexology treatment this past Saturday as he is now back on his outdoor mail route and is putting on the kilometers again bringing fatigue to his body, especially his feet and lower legs. To make matters worse, fire smoke from the US has blanketed southern British Columbia making the air quality hazardous. It’s so bad that the mail delivery has been disrupted.

After doing a foot reflexology session, Markus did facial massage on his own while using the Dien Chan tools. His skin cancer scar has healed very well but is still reddish in colour and will need irrigation for some time still. He has started using rosehip oil on his skin as it’s come highly recommended by European facial therapists. Over the past month, I completed an online facial therapy course and will start to introduce some of those methods to his face over time. We still have a journey ahead of us.

Unfortunately a spot has re-emerged where the cancer was before, on the new part of the cheek that replaced the old, that was removed. We will be going to Vancouver to see the surgeon next Monday and Markus will get an examination of his healing progress and an examination of the red spot that has emerged, along with another that emerged on the other side of his face and was treated a few months back. In the meantime, we do our best not to stress about it and know that he is in the best hands now. We recently learned that Markus inherited Basal carcinoma and he is also at risk of melanoma among other kinds of cancer. We really hope the new spot is not another skin cancer emerging. If it is, then hopefully it is early enough to do something not too invasive as he just went through that. But it’s hard to believe we are mentally bracing for this again.

The cards used in this session are the Racoon from Wild Unknown Oracle (representing artistry and creativity) and the Pineal Water Crystal card, which is a gland situated in our brain that regulates our sleep/wake cycle. In reflexology, we compress a reflex point on the big toe that is related to this gland. Due to poor sleep quality the night before, it seemed a little uncanny that he randomly chose this card. I made sure to give the reflex a good rub’n!

Something interesting has happened. The area on his face where the new spot is emerging overlaps the reflex of the lung, in the realm of facial multi-reflexology. While the medical experts do their thing, we may as well try ours. I am unable to interact with this part of his face other than rehabilitating massage so I decided to locate the lung reflex on the ear, which is located on the back side (dorsal) of the ear. Coincidentally, Markus found that particular spot on his right ear to be very painful. Strange! So I placed ear seeds (a small magnetic ball on a bandaid) on this point on the backside of the ears, where the reflex point can be pressed and activated often. Markus revealed to me that his area has been tender for sometime, but I didn’t know.

The seeds stay in place for up to 5 days and then are removed and replaced again as needed. What is interesting is that after 5 days, when the seed was taken off, the pain was gone. Wow!

And with that I have enrolled in an online ear reflexology course to better understand the mystery. Ear reflexology is recognized and standardized by WHO, making it a widely accessible modality. Many people swear by it for a variety of issues. My journey with reflexology also started with the ear, when I was treated last year in Denmark for rotary cuff tendonitis. After half a year of failed rehabilitation and constant pain, it was reflexology that solved the pain so that I could rehabilitate my shoulder, arm and hand. Although not 100%, I recovered to about 98% and when I run into a flare, I turn to ear seeds and place them on my hands and ears where tender.

I am excited to see what happens once I begin to combine ear with foot reflexology.

Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problemReflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.

Reflexology & Resonance

This past weekend I gave Markus a reflexology treatment, the first since his skin cancer surgery on June 9. Before then, he spent three weeks recovering at home and has since gone back to working indoors over the past two weeks. The incision is healing very well but is going through typical bothersome stages of healing which involves irritations, pain and discomfort to the skin and face overall. Until mid August, he is to wear gauze taped overtop of the scar doubled with a personal mask to help keep environmental toxins off of his face. The pandemic is helping him to fit right in, although there is definitely a strange mask tension in the air.

As he’s been back on his feet, his body is getting accustomed to working and walking often although he is not permitted to engage in any excess exercise or heavy lifting. However the labour is still felt, the stress of the work still endured and so his feet very much craved a treatment after a month off. I refrained working on his feet while he was healing from surgery.

Very soon after starting the treatment, Markus very quickly went into a deep sleep. I completed a full foot routine followed by accentuating the stress-relieving reflexes (solar plexus, pituitary) with the tuning fork and finished with a basalt stone to ground his feet. Markus didn’t wake up; his body was put into a beautiful state of homeostasis. He says it is unusual for him, not to wake up and had no recollection of most of the treatment but did report feeling energized and light on his feet upon waking up. He described how much tension was lifted from his body and felt completely rejuvenated afterwards.

We picked two cards; the Basil card from Herbal Tarot – mainly because we have been eating so much of it lately. The divinatory meaning describes appreciating one’s own manifestation powers and capacities, a good recovery incentive. Markus blindly selected the Resonance card from the Water Crystal deck which was used to intentionally inspire his water for after the session.

This weekend we took a walk through a forest near us, enjoying the benefits of forest bathing. We are engaging little by little outdoors now that he is feeling better. But he still cannot allow his affected areas to be exposed to the sun (for 18 months), so he’s been laying low during the critical healing stage. By the time fall comes around, he’ll be in a safer zone.

I’ve been coming across ‘ghost flowers‘ over the past few weeks. They are a rather rare fungi flower hybrid that presents medicinal properties for anxiety – good for me. I decided to use a photo of them in the feature image. I have also come across rosehips; the oils from the bud are used for healing skin. Rosehips can been harvested in the fall, so maybe I’ll try to make a small batch of homemade oil for us to use. Apparently it’s very helpful for scar recovery and is paired very well with facial therapy and reflexology.

Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problemReflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.

Marketing Package for Startup

Pulling it all together

Are you starting up a holistic or healing arts based project and need a presence?

As a design and web veteran of 20 years (Masters in Communication and Technology from U of A, Batchelor in Image Arts from Ryerson, Certificate in Digital Media Skills from OCAD) I have much to offer you in getting your project off the ground.

I am offering a package deal combining my most valued go-to digital marketing tools (WordPress.com, Canva.com, and Moo.com) that I have used for several of my projects over the last decade including Luna Reflexology, my healing arts portal, Lunar Maria Jewelry, Virtual Forest Bath, MA capstone and my previous design portfolio.

You will receive:

  • Website: 5 hours of WordPress set up and remote instruction including how to blog and why it’s important (doesn’t include domain upgrade packages)
  • Logo: 2 hours introduction to Canva so that you can upkeep your marketing materials (logo will be created for website and business card)
  • Business Cards: 2 hours for producing mini Moo cards for your business (you provide content and pay the card fee plus shipping)
  • Social Media: 1 hour set up and website integration to a social media platform of your choice (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr)
  • Free Bonus: 1 hour introduction to my favourite go-to digital device photography app for editing images

Total cost: $250 CA (50% required at the start and 50% upon completion)

Together, these tools bring the most streamlined and effective means for implementing and maintaining your business. They aren’t only powerful and effective, but they are fun and rewarding to use. They are also mobile device friendly making it easier and faster to produce your content.

Please get in touch if you would like a free 30 minute consultation!

You may also hire me to do any of the following tasks on a hourly basis which I have prorated at $25 for startup entrepreneurs to be cost effective. My corporate fee is $50 an hour.


Testimonials

Thank you so much for your marketing package!  As a holistic practitioner starting my business this was a big help to me.  Maria helped me get off the ground and I am thrilled with the results.  I love my logo she created and my business cards are better than I imagined.  Maria knows all ofContinue reading “Ananda Life”

Ananda Life

Facial Reflexology

Although I am still finishing my foot reflexology case studies and hope to be certified in the fall, I have entered into the world of Dien Chan aka multireflexology aka facial reflexology. This is a newer modality founded by acupuncturist and Professor Bùi Quôc Châu of Saigon Vietnam, in 1980. Since then it has made its way over to Europe where it has been cooperatively further developed in Spain and Italy. This modality is now making its way from Asia and Europe to North America.

I have been wanting to incorporate the face into my practice and when I discovered this modality, I knew this was it. Multireflexology offers dual benefits of cosmetic and health benefits. Facial reflexology points are said to communicate to the brain and from there connects to different parts of the body. Although I cannot personally explain how effective this is for healing as I have yet to try it, I approached Dien Chan for cosmetic reasons and I have not been disappointed with the results. When I started playing with my tools, I really didn’t know what to expect other than the fact that it felt good and the tools looked and felt really cool. I took the plunge and ordered the starter kit and now own a family of five tools. The tools are not cheap, as they are handcrafted and consciously created. Each tool serves a unique purpose. Over time, I will be adding more to my toolkit and they are useful all over the body, not just the face.

Since I have started using my tools on a daily basis, I have noticed that my skin is tighter, softer and lines / wrinkles are diminished. I have also noticed my double chin has reduced. No matter how much exercise I do, this area always requires additional attention, as it does for many. Areas of my face that I am focusing on are: lines, double chin and skin, small deposits around nose, eye bags and discolouration. As you may or may not already know, my husband just under went skin cancer surgery and has been left with a very large scar along the left side of his face. In a weeks time, we will begin facial massage therapy and in a couple of months time, I will be introducing the Dien Chan to his facial therapy routine. I have picked out the tools that will help to restore form and colour to the scare and face. You might be interested to follow along as I will be blogging about that progress over time.

Eventually, I aim to become certified in Dien Chan and will offer this as a service along side of the foot reflexology that I am currently working on. I really feel that both the feet and the face are the perfect combination as they are the book ends of the body where we carry a lot of tension. Do you find you carry tension in your face? If so, try rubbing your face with fingers or better yet with a stone. With Dien Chan, we use a specialized hammer to tap our face and it’s a unique feeling. Once you start, you probably won’t be able to stop! It’s important to wash your hands and stone before and after you rub your face.

In time, I’ll add face charts with key points you can try tapping for different issues. But first I need to explore those techniques on myself. I won’t promote something that I have not yet tried on myself. However on a cosmetic level I am definitely liking the results.