Starting young—reflexology for children and Teenagers
Author: Bobbie Stanton
Treating children for a range of conditions and needs is universally described by reflexologists who work with the young as something they cherish. For the professional reflexologist, it also brings particular responsibilities and requirements.
Special considerations include legal requirements for parental or guardian consent to treat, their presencein treatment and the need for the reflexologist to be alert to signs of childhood conditions and the specific challenges young people face.
In this series of personal accounts and case studies, RAoA members from around Australia share some of the considerations, challenges, conditions and good results they have witnessed.
For new reflexologists starting out, offered here are gems of experience. For long standing practitioners, here are stories and case studies to enjoy and share.
Reflexology combined with educational psychology
Long before Bobbie Stanton became a qualified reflexologist in 2007, she worked in private practice as an educational psychologist working with families and children. The combination of these skills has led her to specialise in working with children with learning or behavioural challenges.
“I commenced training in reflexology with the Australian School of Reflexology in 2007, did my Diploma by correspondence and then went on to complete a Diploma of Facial Reflexology with Lone Sorenson, who I continue to learn from,” Bobbie said.
“While operating a mobile practice visiting clients in their homes, I have undertaken further studies and last year went to Japan and Oman with Lone Sorensen to work with children and teach family members to implement Temprana individualised programs for each child.”
Temprana is a program of therapy using foot, hand and face reflexology developed by Sorensen. It is based on neuro-anatomy and traditional oriental therapies and is combined with nutrition and brain gym.
Based in Sydney and with her background in educational psychology, the decision to specialise was an obvious one. “I specialise working with children with anxiety. When incorporating reflexology in my practice I work with the parent as the person who observes my work with their child and in between sessions, the parent is asked to carry out the protocols I recommend,” she said.
“At the beginning of 2018 I was approached by a family with a 12 year old boy with severe intellectual needs. The first session involved the parent receiving a treatment so that they have first hand experience on the type of pressure to apply. The second step was to model the protocol with the boy, before the parent practices it with their child. My protocols include face, feet and hands.
“As an educational psychologist who incorporates reflexology in my practice, I find I have many clients whose children have learning or behavioural challenges. The age range in my work is between five and 13 years of age,” Bobbie explained.
“When I set up my private practice as an educational psychologist in 1998, the referrals were from families with children largely in the catholic system in primary and high school. I began to incorporate reflexology after completing my training in 2007 and incorporated the treatment plans
for families who are open to the idea. Treatments are for an hour and I ask that a commitment of six to eight sessions is made.
“Working with children is a lot of fun. The ones that are open to reflexology look forward to the experience and quite often will have the water in a bowl waiting on my arrival to soak their feet. The parents also look forward to the weekly sessions as they begin to learn new protocols,”she said.
“When working with children I incorporate books on the different body systems such as respiratory or nervous system, so their knowledge about the working of the body increases. “The young people that I continue to work with also enjoy the idea of learning to breathe deeply to assist the blood cells moving the oxygen around the body to assist the body to detoxify.”
According to Bobbie, critical factors for working with children include ensuring that her insurance is up to date and relevant, that her First Aid Certificate and Working with Children checks are current, her professional association memberships are up to date and that she has a variety of hands-on resources for children.