By Saihini Naidoo
Reflexology is an alternate medicine that involves massaging the hands and feet to promote wellness in other areas of the body. Modern reflexology is based on the principle that the foot has ‘reflex’ points which correspond to the various structures and organs throughout the body. The process is designed to be very relaxing and is often an effective way to alleviate stress.
Sam Langridge is a Reflexologist and has been practicing in the industry for 18 years. She has been operating a private clinic for the past 15 years and runs a reflexology program for SECASA survivors with the help of fellow Reflexologist Jenny Rigby.
Sam said that she always wanted to work with women who were in difficult circumstances and were impacted by family violence.
“[In the beginning], I just didn’t know how to approach this. It was always in the back of my mind”.
Sam also said that she incorporates a women’s health aspect to her work when she teaches SECASA clients about reflexology and self-care. Her first course took place in September 2014 after she was approached by Carolyn Worth. She is currently up to her ninth course.
Sam explained that the reflexology group was the greatest thing she had ever done whilst working with SECASA.
“To work with these women and see them physically change over 6 weeks... It is the most incredible thing I’ve ever done” she said.
According to Sam, reflexology helps survivors relax, as it works on all aspects of a person, not just the mental, emotional or spiritual, singularly. “It is holistic” she said.
Sam also explained that reflexology helps reduce anxiety, stress and tension, and also helps body balance. She said that she liked to show survivors how to work points such as their solar plexus so they could practice reflexology at home.
She also shared that many survivors commented that they felt safe and secure when doing this.
“If survivors feel safe and secure they will take on more of what we create” Sam said.
SECASA clients are selected by Counsellors. A SECASA counsellor is always present in the room during reflexology sessions to ensure that survivor’s feel supported at all times.
Reflexology sessions are not sequential and members can join at any time. Attendee numbers are also fluid and participants have the option to opt out of certain elements of the session if they feel uncomfortable.
Sam said that they preferred to focus on feet during reflexology sessions, as she thought this was the least evasive body part for clients. She also explained that she liked to have an initial consultation with clients (including their medical history) before beginning a session, so she could better understand the different issues impacting them.
The reflexology group runs for one hour at no cost to SECASA clients.