By Mark Robert (Costa Blanca News, Spain 1985)
The other day I met A S H I R D A, a vital, attractive and unusual woman whose 48 years sit exceedingly well with her. I was intrigued by her name which I discovered means “Love’s blessing” and found out that indeed she has been bringing blessings to many people in the form of Footreflexology.
”What exactly is it” I asked, and before I could protest, she grabbed one of my legs, took off shoe and socks and started to knead my entire foot. Probing around the toes –uuuhhh- little electrical shooting sensations made me jump involuntarily, she said: “It’s like this; a type of foot massage that stimulates your body from the inside. All the circulation, of blood, nerves, lymph – it gets moved, and that gives the body a push to eliminate toxins and waste materials, and believe it or not, you will feel better afterwards.”
Her hands walked around my foot with such knowledge it seemed. I sighed out loud, feeling a huge relaxation coming on, but still my mind was hungry for information.
“Why is it called REFLEXOLOGY?” I questioned, suddenly rather awake because she had pressed an area which hurt somewhat.
“Think of reflecting” Ashirda said. “Like mirroring – the feet mirror the body, not the arms and the legs though, just the rump of the body and the head of course. Then massaging the feet in a specific way, some areas are more sensitive or even painful, than others, which indicate that there is something not working 100% in your corresponding body part, organ or system.”
“What you just touched and it hurt me kind of good, like it wants to be touched more, what does that correspond to? What does it reflect?”
“Does it hurt the same as the first time?” she asked, pressing again into the same spot as before.
“Nnn-oo” I heard myself say, “It’s somewhat less, — WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?”
Ashirda was working on my left foot, kneading, pressing, massaging, manipulating, rotating and stroking. It felt wonderful. “No matter what it does”, I thought, “this is great”. Almost I didn’t want to know anymore what it all meant. I just wanted to stay here for a few hours. I noticed that my head was getting hot and strangely light. I commented on it.
“I am just working your head-zones over” explained Ashirda. “Does this hurt” she asked, sort of pinching the side of my big toe.
“Ouch, yes” I squeaked.
“I noticed that you have a bit of stuffed sinuses. This is the reflecting point in the feet of that condition” She was keeping a steady hold on the big toe. With the other hand she danced along the outer bones of the foot. Suddenly the pain was gone, she took her fingers off my toe, and I swear, suddenly I could breathe free and clear out of my left nostril. Again she tried out that first funny spot. “Still hurt?” she murmured as if she already knew the answer. As I negated, she went on.
“You see it was nearly nothing, just a blockage of energy up there above your waist, on the left side, perhaps the stomach area”. I thought of the slight pang I’ve had all day in my stomach after that Paella last night. But I didn’t say anything.
“This is not a real professional treatment” she said suddenly, “I’m just giving you quick foot rub so you can see what Footreflexology means. For a good treatment, you need to lie down; I sit on the foot-end of the bed or couch. It’s got to be quiet; a warm blanket over you, if you want, some meditative music and it takes nearly an hour. I come to your house or you to mine, no telephone and no interruptions.
Ashirda took off the woolen shawl she was wearing, wrapped it around my foot and started on the other foot. “This will do for just now” she said. I did feel rather funny, sitting there with both my feet in her lap, one nice and toasty in her sweater, yet I was beginning not to care.
“One time I was called to give a treatment to a man who had turned crazy” I heard her say from a bit far off, “In the middle of the massage he started laughing really like crazy, he laughed and laughed. Finally I asked if I could share the joke and he said “I have never been loved like this before”
“Hummm” I ackknowledged, wanting to drop off to sleep. I hadn’t felt this relaxed since ages.
I awoke, couldn’t quite remember who or where I was and looked into Ashirda’s smiling face. “You rested a few minutes” said she “that’s one of the most important things going along with footmassage: to sleep or rest afterward. Not to go dancing, shopping or driving right away, even though you might feel like it” My feet were put down, socks and shoes put on, and then I noticed what was really different. My head felt light and clear, without that forever pressure around my eyes. Testing the ground I walked around a few steps, like a man on the moon. My feet weren’t there; I mean I couldn’t really feel them. Wow!
“I’ve got to go. My dance class, and after that another appointment” I got a hearty hug and she was on her way out.
“Wait a minute” I ran after her. “How can I get in touch with you again? I mean, my feet…” “Here’s my chart” she said, and added. “You can do this yourself on your feet if you are tired or feel unwell, or simply if you are stressed and don’t get a minute to yourself on one of those days. Try it, you’ll be amazed!”
Gone she was.
The next day I still felt like singing, and I found this cart at one of my friend’s home. Have a look, too. They say it’s an ancient method, and like acupuncture, they know that it works but don’t really know why. Who cares, as long as it works! I am going to buy the book and teach it to my children. Yes!