A Day To Remember
I have been practicing Foot Reflexology for many years and have encountered a broad variety of clients with a wide range of ailments and misfortunes. But Sheila, 34 years old, would prove to be one of my most memorable clients. In 1988, Sheila was assaulted and suffered a left subdural fracture to the head. As a result, her hearing progressively worsened and by 1990 she had lost 20 to 30 percent of her hearing and was forced to use hearing aids. For five years she struggled with the devices as her hearing became more and more impaired. An audiologist determined there was nerve damage, and an eye, ear, and nose specialist suggested a cochlear implant. By February 1993 Sheila went from being hard of hearing to being completely deaf in both ears. She struggled with her inability to hear and the consequent "changes in perspectives and relationships" as Sheila states. She withdrew from her social services studies at the University of Southern Maine and began to immerse herself in the realm of deaf culture. She taught herself to lip-read and soon moved to a supportive deaf community in Tuczon, Arizona, where she began to learn American Sign Language. Sheila could not hear her own sounds and knew her voice would awkwardly change. So, through time she spoke less and less and used the American Sign Language more and more. In January of 1995, Sheila returned to Maine to be near her mother and brother, her closest friends and "safety net." It was a hard winter as Sheila struggled to find her niche back in Maine. Programs for the deaf were severely lacking and job prospects few. She sought comfort in her mother's company, watched television, and spent time by herself crocheting. She felt understandably isolated and often experienced the intolerance of the hearing world. Soon her entire life would change. Sheila's mother had discovered the joys of Reflexology. The tension in her mother's neck, face, and shoulders had been greatly alleviated, and she talked hopefully about an appointment with me for Sheila.
Sheila's mother literally dragged her daughter to my office in July. Sheila at first refused any foot reflexology and plopped herself down defiantly on a couch in my waiting room. As I brought her mother into my foot room, I told Sheila that when she was ready to hear again I would enjoy working on her feet. I guess those words, which she lip-read, rang loud in her head. During her mother's foot session she perused several of my reflexology books and her interest was aroused. That same day Sheila made her first foot appointment.
Upon my initial assessment of both of Sheila's feet it was apparent that all ten toes were extremely sensitive to any sort of direct pressure. Gentle pressure was beneficial, and I gradually came to understand Sheila's initial reluctance to let anyone touch her feet. Her obvious discomfort, and the blockage in the corresponding neck, lymph, eye, and ear reflex areas immediately signaled the work ahead of us. I encouraged a visit to a local chiropractor, Dr. Benoit, because of sensitivities in her cervical vertebrae reflexes located on the medial side of her large toes, or hallux. Again, Sheila was resistant as she was not receptive to chiropractic adjustments. After her first foot session, Sheila slept for five solid hours and had a dream she could hear. She also experienced an earache with popping in both ears throughout the week and was a bit incredulous. After her second visit with me she agreed to a chiropractic evaluation. After her first adjustment she experienced "mini-shocks and firings" in the facial area and the abdominal area. She had her second chiropractic treatment three days later, on August 4. While Sheila was en route to her third session with me, she and her mother were driving on Western Avenue, when an eighteen-wheels truck noisily rolled by, Sheila realized with amazement that she was startled by the truck's noise. She could hear again!
Sheila could not contain her joy and appreciation when she arrived at my office. The years of isolation brought on by her hearing impairment had come to a truck-screeching halt. We called Dr. Benoit's office with obvious joy. His enthusiasm could not be contained either. Coincidentally, Sheila regained her hearing on the anniversary of the founding of Chiropractic Science by Dr. Palmer. A hundred years ago to the week, Dr. Palmer manipulated a deaf male who also regained his hearing. Dr. Benoit felt that his success with Sheila was a milestone in his career.
As I started working on Sheila's feet, I observed a tremendous decrease in sensitivity. Her reflex pathways in all ten zones had become unblocked, and I was able to give her a complete reflexology session without any tenderness in the previous reflexes mentioned, especially her ears and neck. At the end of her third session, Sheila was able to hear her watch tick -- her full range of hearing was restored. Follow-up visits were made to continue to relieve body stress and stimulate circulation throughout her body by using the Reflexology Technique to nurture the nervous system through the feet and hands.
I am very grateful for this unique opportunity to share my experience of Reflexology with my fellow Reflexologists and other health care practitioners. This case further validates my enthusiasm for the art and science of Reflexology.
I have been seeing a reflexologist since 1996 where I was employed in a job that required me to stand on my feet sometimes up to 18 hours a day. She was able to give me relief to my tired feet and while doing the same, she helped my whole body feel better. She has hands that are so powerful that you can not hide any aches or pains from her as she has the ability to be firm enough to do deep penetration when necessary and even though I didn’t realize how badly I needed the relief she knew when and where to find it for me.
In 2000 my new job required me to sit for the course of the day so my whole body went through a change and with her help she assisted me in circulation and upper body strains which I currently need as my present job is a desk job. She has also touched many of my extended family and friends over the years and many are still clients today.
She also comes to my home to assist my mother-in-law, who is 85, and does her feet and legs to help with her circulation. With my motherin- law she needed to be gentle due to brittle bones but firm enough to bring relief. My mother-in-law is starting her second year of once-amonth visits from her and I look forward to the same every-other-week. My reflexologist is a very caring, giving person who definitely cares about her fellow man and reflexology is a gift she has shared with many of us lucky enough to have found her.
Submitted by Linda P., Farmingdale
On March 1st I went to try reflexology for current illnesses and because I was going to have TMJ surgery on March 6th. I was concerned because of the othroscopic surgery on both sides that would be very uncomfortable. I went two times before the surgery and two times after the surgery within a 10 day period. My surgery was essentially pain free and I was eating soft solids two days later and regular food the next week. This was after several months of pain and not be able to open my mouth even 50% of the way. The TMJ pain is now gone.
Reflexology is also still being used for pain control for arthritis and fibromyalgia. With once a week treatments the pain is less and can be kept to a tolerable level with tylenol rather than pain medication that can be habit forming. Back pain is less with reflexology used with chiropractic care.
It would be true to say that I have found reflexology a useful tool that has shown positive results in the two months that I have been receiving treatments.
Submitted by Cathy F., Augusta
Going to a reflexologist was the best thing I have done for myself. I am a diabetic and have lost some of the nerves in my feet. My feet were cold all the time and I was unable to separate my toes without doing it by hand. This frightened me. Since going to a reflexologist, I can separate them without using my hands. And important to me, my legs and ankles have not swollen as badly as they did. Also, prior to going , as I would go to bed my feet would burn and keep me from being able to go to sleep. Now, I lie down and am out; my feet giving me no more notice than any other part of my body. It is going to take a while to recover completely, but it has taken even longer to get in this condition and what an improvement has been made in only five sessions. The sessions provide a healthy and emotional rebirth for me.
Submitted by an anonymous client
Monthly, for almost two years, I have been utilizing reflexology sessions for stress reduction and as part of an overall body preventative maintenance practice. This past summer I tore many of the ligaments in my right ankle. Six weekly reflexology sessions helped my ankle heal enough so that I could go on a hiking vacation in Canada. I am convinced that without these sessions, I would not have been able to hike for many more months. Reflexology is a simple process that can be used with a variety of other health practices or by itself with positive results. It has been valuable for me both for acute problems like my ankle or over the long term for stress management.
Submitted by Diane F., Augusta
I was referred to a reflexologist by a friend who had experienced dramatic results from his sessions. Having Raynaud’s Phenomena I am extremely sensitive to cold. When cold, my fingers and toes change from pink to white to shades of deep purple. It is often painful. The treatments stimulated blood circulation. Since my circulation is better I have fewer attacks.
I also have fibromyalgia which causes me to experience periods of extreme fatigue and pain. Reflexology also helps reduce stress which is a major cause of FMS. By reducing stress the aches, pain, and fatigue has lessened. An extra from my visits has been the relief from a swollen ankle. Doctors told me I have a bad valve in the back of my knee and to just live with it. The reflexologist noticed the swelling and believed I had a clogged lymph gland in my groin. After 3 to 4 visits the ankle was back to normal. If I wait too long between visits (5 or more weeks), the swelling comes back. Reflexology really helps me and I recommend it whenever I have the opportunity.
Submitted by Patti C., Dexter
Reflexology? What’s THAT? In the fall of 1994, I read an article about a local reflexologist along with a brief description of what reflexology is. I told my daughter who was home from college for a few days that I’d really like to have a “good old fashioned foot rub” described in the article. So on Christmas morning I was delighted to find a gift certificate for a reflexology session with Myra Achorn. I made the appointment but was really fuzzy as to what to expect. When the appointed time came (after a long and stressful day of working at my legislative job) I was invited into a comfortable room with a bed! First I sat while Myra bathed my aching feet in warm water. Then I laid on the bed with a warm heating pad while beautiful and soothing music played in the back ground. I was already in Heaven! Add to this Myra’s expert foot session and I was on my way to complete relaxation. I knew right then that this destressing had to become an essential part of my life and it has been now for 16 years. Both my feet and I anxiously anticipate each session. I can’t emphasize enough the benefits of reflexology and recommend that everyone run - not walk - to their nearest reflexologist!
Submitted by Mary Lou S., Whitefield
My first experience with reflexology happened when my husband gave me a gift certificate for Myra’s services for my birthday almost 20 years ago. If I had continued to see her regularly, I probably wouldn’t have the problems I have with my feet now.
Earlier this year I fell down a flight of stairs. I was fortunate that my only injuries were a skull fracture and multiple black and blue patches. My balance has not been good for my years. I have seen many doctors about this problem, but none of them could find a definitive reason. I have a problem with my toes curling under, which can affect balance, so I decided to see if Myra could help. Gradually over many visits she has been able to get my toes to relax and be less rigid. I also have more feeling in my feet. She takes the time to explain how all parts of the body work together and our emotions can affect how our body responds to treatment. I also had weakness in my right leg and restless leg syndrome which made sleeping at night difficult. She referred me to her chiropractor, Dr. David Benoit. He took x-rays and found I have rotated hips and arthiritis in my lower back. After only one adjustment, I could feel the difference in my back and legs. I have not taken any pain medication since I first saw him the end of August and am sleeping much better. Between seeing Myra and Dr. Benoit, my well being has improved considerable. I’m not 100%, and may never be, but the improvement is remarkable. I am so grateful to both of them and plan to continue seeing them to maintain the benefits I have received from their expertise. Don’t be afraid to try reflexology for fear it can’t help. It helped me.
Submitted by Sara D., Maine
My wife and I have been clients of Reflexologist, Myra Achorn, for over ten years. During this time we have observed first hand the highly positive results of her fine work. Joan started first and kept mentioning how pleased she was with the positive results realized in her feet and legs and the loss of darker skin tones on the skin in the areas of her feet. Joan also noted Myra’s calm demeanor and the sharing of knowledge realized through her years of teaching reflexology and applying its principles in such a wonderful way.
Upon getting to become a client, I became quickly aware of her skills and professional dedication to her special services to folks dealing with minor or multiple issues particularly with their feet. She now has many individuals that she has trained around our state and beyond. My experience with reflexology treatments have been truly great including my ability to stay active in my progressing age, and I also attribute reflexology work to keeping my feet more flexible and healthier.
Myra’s fine service and her excellent skills lead to the success in her message to “Treat Your Feet”. This is a recommendation to do this for yourself as other parts of our bodies share in these positive changes.
Submitted by Joan & Clyde, Augusta
I have known Myra Achorn, reflexologist, professionally for over twenty years. I had a boating accident in 1990, resulting in multiple injuries as well as numerous operations. Starting reflexology in the 1990s was the one thing that helped me with the pain that I had in numerous parts of my body. Myra also recommended and referred me to other alternative health care professionals. This was done while working in harmony with conventional medical treatments. Throughout the years, I have continued to maintain my weekly sessions with reflexology. I truly believe that without session with her regularly, I would never have been able to be employed full time as well as live the productive life that I live. I always know that I will come away from a reflexology session feeling better physically as well as more balanced.
Submitted by Michala G., Hallowell, ME.
I have been seeing Myra for reflexology for the past 17 years. I first heard about her through a friend who raved about reflexology foot treatments. When I gave myself a Morton’s Neuroma by walking on a treadmill barefoot, I went to a podiatrist. I had a couple of cortisone injections in my foot to try to fix the Neuroma; they didn’t touch the pain. My podiatrist said the next step was severing the nerve that affected two of my toes. I was unwilling to give up the feeling in two of my toes!! I decided to try reflexology. When I tried reflexology, it was such a relief. The treatments themselves felt absolutely wonderful. I forget the exact number of reflexology appointments I had. I know I went twice a week for a couple weeks and then once a week after that. Within a month, the Neuroma pain was completely gone, and I was totally sold on reflexology. Myra explained to me the theory behind reflexology, and I studied the reflexology charts while she worked on me. I am convinced that regular reflexology has improved my overall health and reduced my stress level for years. I have been receiving reflexology once every two weeks ever since the neuoma incident, and I am completely convinced I owe much of my good health to the maintenance effect these treatments give me. My husband Steve has neuropathy in his feet. He hasn’t committed to regular appointments, but he does go often and always gets relief from her work. My Aunt Nancy Libby moved to Augusta at the age of 86 to live at Granite Hill Estates, a place for healthy elders to live. She had a lot of foot pain. It took me a while to convince her that reflexology could work wonders for her feet, but after a couple of years of coaxing her, she decided to give reflexology a try. She was afraid any touch would hurt her more, and she didn’t think she could take it. One session with reflexology convinced her otherwise and she experienced great relief from her reflexology appointments. Myra went to my Aunt Nancy’s apartment every week for the remaining six years of her life. She showed Aunt Nancy the right type of shoes to wear as well as worked on her feet. Aunt Nancy was much more comfortable in her final years as a result of reflexology’s work. So, I guess you could say that reflexology has made a great improvement in my life and in that of two of my loved ones.
Submitted by Nona T., Hallowell, ME.
I have been seeing Myra Achorn, reflexologist professionally for more than 13 years. I had been a practicing RN for more than 30 years and suffered from chronic pain in my feet after long hours of being on them in the hospital. So I decided to try out reflexology. After 4 weekly treatments my pain had decreased tremendously. Since then I have received a reflexology treatment every month for years.
In 2005 I had foot surgery and healed very quickly due to the reflexology. It improved the circulation in my lower extremities which helped speed the healing process.
I am firmly convinced that I could not have continued my career as a hospital nurse if it were not for these reflexology treatments. I have retired after 45 years of nursing but continue to have monthly maintenance treatments. Also the skin on my feet has never looked better.
Sheila T. Maine.