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Rise up to your feet

“Our hands are like first-aid kits and we have our hands with us all the time,” she said from her Cochrane home.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, families have been spending a lot of time together in their respective homes.

These self-isolation measures are being enforced by all levels of government as an effort to keep us safe and flatten the curve of the virus’ spread.

This closeness with one another could be advantageous. Local author and retired-reflexologist Joan Cosway-Hayes says her goal is to have a reflexologist in every household. Imagine someone needs pain relief or an improvement to their health. Help could be right there.

“Our hands are like first-aid kits and we have our hands with us all the time,” she said from her Cochrane home. “Anyone can easily learn how to use their fingers and thumbs on the feet or hands to reduce tension and congestion, relieve pain and improve the health and well-being of themselves and others.”

Cosway-Hayes led a discussion and presented her books Reflexology For Every Body and Hand to Foot, Your Guide to Health Through Reflexology at the Cochrane Public Library on Mar. 10. Both books are available at the library. She said the well-attended event included residents of all ages. The youngest attendee was a six-month baby who had her feet worked on by her mother.

She promoted the event as a “come and learn” and provided take-aways to participants to practice at home.

“This is not rocket science. It’s easy to do. We can really change our health”

Cosway-Hayes wrote her first book Hand to Foot, Your Guide to Health Through Reflexology in 1989 and has subsequently released three new editions since. She has taught classes at the continuing education department with the Calgary Board of Education and many of her reflexology students practice in the Cochrane area.

Her introduction to reflexology came 42 years ago when a friend of hers worked on her feet. Cosway-Hayes said the experience was profound and got her attention. She started reading everything she could get her hands on at the time and practiced on anyone who would let her.

“In those days there weren’t very many books on reflexology as opposed to now as the market is flooded.” 

She explains that reflexology is a scientific healing art that works on the feet, hands, ears and face. These areas of the body are a map or reflection of what’s happening in the body, she said.

“I’ve worked on thousands and thousands of pairs of feet over the years. Not only does it feel wonderful for the most part, it is a window into what is going on inside your body.”

“Anywhere that you have sensitivity on your feet indicates where there’s tension, congestion or things maybe aren’t functioning 100 per cent.”

She says these indicators don’t always mean the recipient has a disease or an illness. Cosway-Hayes warns that reflexologists don’t diagnose.

Considering the present day she’s surprised that the therapy hasn’t gained ground in the mainstream. She remarked that children in Russia are taught reflexology in schools.

For more information on reflexology, or prices on her books, visit her website