Tuesday September 14, 2010

Feature Story

Sole Sister

Improving Chilliwack's health one foot at a time

Staff/Photos submitted


s in the Rolling Stones song "Beast of Burden", if you feel like you've walked for miles and your feets are hurting, you may want to try reflexology to soothe those aches and pains.


For people who don't know what reflexology is, its a form of bodywork that uses pressure on the approximately 7000 different

nerve endings in the feet which

correspond to specific organs, glands and other parts of the body. It is thought that when applying pressure, it sends out signals to the brain which balance the nervous system and release chemicals such as endorphins which reduce pain and stress.

For example; the tips of the toes are connected to the head, the heart and chest are around the ball of the foot, the liver, pancreas and kidney are in the arch of the foot and the lower back and intestines are towards the heel. Hands are also treated in much the same way.

Historically, the method was introduced in 1915 by American Dr. William H. Fitzgerald who called it "zone therapy" then and in 1930, Eunice Ingram took it a step further developing it into what is now known as reflexology.

Reflexology is used to relieve symptoms of stress, headaches, digestive disorders, arthritis, insomnia, hormone imbalance, sports injuries, PMS, improve circulation and back pain to name a few.

An American-based study found that one-third of cancer patients use reflexology as a complimentary alternative therapy not as a replacement to what a doctor prescribes.

Margaret Snell, owner of Sole to Soul Reflexology has been married for 19 years and has two teenage boys 16 and 18. She's been in administration and management for most of her life. When she turned 40, she found herself at a point in life where she was looking for something different and more meaningful to do as a career, when she was asked to attend a Health and Wellness show in Grande Prairie Alberta.



Snell provides ambiance while she works on a client in her studio.

While at the show, she saw a sign for Reflexology and immediately went over to talk to them and try a session. After just one night of thinking about it as a possible new direction for her to take career-wise, she knew that this was what she was looking for.

Margaret had always done massage on her own family's feet and was intrigued by the idea of foot health through reflexology. She was enthused that she could actually help people and make them feel great.

Passionate about wanting to learn about reflexology and "hounded" Kim, the reflexology instructor in Grande Prairie for 8 months to teach her the course and finally she got her wish and became a certified in reflexology.

She did 60 hours of practicum while in Grande Prairie and through an unfortunate set of circumstances both her and her husband lost their jobs and decided it was time to go back to beautiful Chilliwack BC where the couple married and started raising a family.

At some point Margaret found out about the EI self employment program and approached them about it and later got accepted into the program. Her dream suddenly became tangible when she opened Sole to Sole.

Even though Margaret has been certified for two-years, she was only able to get her business up and running in February.

In an e-mail to the Voice, Margaret said she "loves working on people's feet and is amazed on a daily basis at how well Reflexology works for people. Every day she seems to become more passionate about her healing art when she can "improve the quality of people's lives one foot at a time."

When you go into the Sole to Soul studio you fill out a questionnaire about your medical history and general health. Swathed in a blanket, you lean back in the padded recliner while Margaret inspects your feet.

She looks for placement of calluses, lines and puffiness which act as clues to your overall health. Using the pads of her fingers in soothing motions, she seeks imbalances in the reflex area.

Throughout the treatment Margaret asks questions and encourages dialogue about how the client feels. If the person is uncomfortable then she adjusts the pressure of her fingers to match their sensitivity.

A relaxing foot massage with vanilla scented lotion ends a session. Then she'll sit with her client afterward discussing with them what they can expect in terms of how they may feel and whether a second treatment is necessary. She also offers tips on how to ease other health-related issues like stress headaches by using finger pressure on the back of the calf to relieve a tension headache.

"My goal is to alleviate pain, but more importantly to inspire and educate my clients to become active participants in their own health and well being," says Snell.

Sole to Soul has a $30 special on now and for the next three months. Regular rates are $50 per session.

For more information call Margaret at 604-392-6665




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