If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou

What can a rugby player’s foot teach us about the pandemic? The fallout from Covid-19 has forced us to make major changes to the way we approach our reflexology practice. This prompted me to look back at an early lesson I learnt in my career as a reflexologist. A sports coach referred a 20 year old professional rugby player to me who had fractured two metatarsal bones in one foot and had badly bruised the other. It was impossible to work on his feet so, for the first few sessions, I gave him hand reflexology, which had the added advantage of working all the Ingham Referral Areas for the feet. He presented with good rehab results and, as soon as I was able, I began to give him reflexology on his feet instead. After a couple of appointments he said, “Do you get the same results on the feet and the hands, as I prefer you working my hands?” I assured him that hand and foot reflexology could equally produce the same results and, from then on, he always received hand reflexology. It was a lesson for me in not making assumptions about what adaptions my clients may or may not like. As a novice reflexologist, I had wrongly judged that a young man would not be too keen on an older woman sitting beside him working his hands! He enjoyed the experience, and rightly could not have cared less about his proximity to the therapist and felt that reflexology appeared to be accelerating the healing process. It had never even crossed my mind to ask him which sort of reflexology he preferred once he was recovered enough to make that choice!
So now, many years later in these times of Coronavirus, we are all facing great changes and decisions on how to second guess what our clients will find acceptable while still strictly maintaining the new PPE guidelines. Our first priory, as responsible professionals, is to protect our clients, ourselves and the wider population yet still offer them the tranquil, relaxing environment they have always enjoyed. Social media forums have offered much discussion and debate on: will certain clients be put off if we wear a visor as well as the statutory mask, will they object to being given hand sanitiser on arrival, will our treatment rooms seem cold and clinical now the soft furnishings are removed, how can we enforce the imperative mask wearing for clients since August 8…and so on? Yet, as my colleagues returned to work, I was delighted to see many comments on Facebook saying that they were pleasantly surprised to be back offering the work they love. It was heartening to hear that, despite several issues, they had positively adjusted to the new regime and their clients were appreciative, flexible and co-operative regarding the many new protocols. My experience with the young rugby player helped to give me confidence to work with a client, be more imaginative in what I had to offer but also to be more sensitive to their needs.

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