by Dorit Brauer, published in Reflexology Across America, Fall 2015
We cannot be whole and complete as human beings and at the same time see ourselves as separate from our parents and the family into which we are born. Our strength comes from our families. It is an illusion to believe that we can deny our origin and still live a happy and fulfilled life.
This understanding is essential in Holistic Reflexology, where we look beyond the individual and see their health record in the greater context of their family of origin and the histories of their ancestors. The poignant reflex points to pay attention to are the kidney reflexes, the root chakra reflexes and the overall understanding of the relationship and differences between the left and the right foot.
In Holistic Medicine, the kidneys are among the most respected organs. The kidneys distribute life energy throughout the body. They are directly linked to the gifts from our ancestry in the form of individual talents and life opportunities, which are believed to wait for the right moment to be manifested in life. The kidneys are paired organs. Sensitivities in the corresponding foot reflexes may indicate how a person deals with contact and relationships, specifically the relationship to the parents. Sensitivities can develop in both or only one of the kidney reflexes, which in some cases may hint to an imbalance in the relationship to the parents.
The lungs, testes and ovaries are paired organs, too. (The stomach, pancreas, liver and spleen are singular organs).
Kidneys are also weakened by fear, which in turn often stems from root chakra imbalances, which in turn stems from the relationship to the parents. Everything in the body is connected and nothing is seen in separation.
The Root Chakra is the most important energy center in our body. Strong roots will strengthen all systems: physical, mental and emotional, whereas weak roots create the opposite effect. The Root Chakra connects us to the physical realm and deals with all aspects of safety, security and feeling grounded in our physical existence. It develops in a healthy and natural way if the child receives the right boundaries and unconditional love throughout the first seven years of their lives. That is also the time when the child is energetically connected to the heart chakra of the mother, but then as the child grows older and becomes more independent that direct energetic bond eventually ceases.
If a person does not receive the right boundaries or unconditional love throughout the first seven years, then they will struggle all their life to seek artificial roots. Physically the root chakra is located at the base of our spine and therefore if there is an imbalance anything relating to this area can be affected and get out of balance: pelvis region, digestive organs, reproductive organs, legs and feet. Other examples of a root chakra imbalance are obesity and anorexia. Both manifestations demonstrate insecurities and the lack of trust in the physical existence, like two sides of the same coin. They are examples of seeking artificial roots, one through excess and one through denial.
For the holistic reflexologist there is an important significance on which side of the body an imbalance or pain manifests. During the client’s first intake, one pays close attention to differences in sensitivities between left and right foot, as well as variations in texture, skin and color of the two feet. The right foot and the right side of the body represent the male aspect of the personality, which also translates to the relationship to the father. The left side of the body represents the female aspect of the personality, as well as the relationship to the mother. How we relate to our parents affects everything in life in an either positive or negative way and thus affects all relationships, e.g. to siblings, spouses, bosses and co-workers, etc.
I remember very well a case of a client in his fifties whose feet were distinctively dissimilar. He came to see me for insomnia and anxiety. The left foot looked and felt harmonic and balanced. The skin texture showed tougher skin (but no calluses) in the root chakra area, which shows a person’s ability to feel grounded. The right foot was the opposite. The skin was soft. Many deep furrows crisscrossed over the foot, especially in the water element area, which indicates emotional turmoil. In addition, the water element area showed a reddening of the skin, which added to the sense of inner turmoil and insecurity.
Suspecting a deep-rooted issue I carefully addressed my client: “May I ask about the relationship to your mother and father?”
He hesitated and then continued carefully, “My mom raised me as a single-mom. She is a saint. My dad was never in the picture. I never met him and don’t know who he is.” Then his voice changed and he fell into a rant about men in general, the no-good type of men that father children, disappear and take no responsibility.
The facts were clear. My client never knew his father, and this absence was clearly visible in his feet and manifested as suffering in his life. Holistically a change in consciousness was necessary to turn a weakness into strength.
I explained to my client: “With your permission I would like to give you an exercise which can change your perception, so you can truly embrace the gift of life which you have received through both of your parents.”
He nodded skeptically. I went on, “Imagine there is a life-force we receive through both of our birth-parents, a force that comes from our ancestors. We can only receive it if we let go of our judgment of how life came to us, and we simply say “Yes” to the gift of life exactly the way we received it.”
My client tilted his head, but listened. “It’s like an engine that carries you through life. You are born with 100% potential. But then your father wasn’t present and you believe this is wrong, so you are cut off from your father’s ancestral line and now your engine runs on only 50%. Then, let’s say, something happens in the relationship to your mom and you feel not taken care of and your potential goes down below 50%.
Now consider the numbers of ancestors who stand behind you from your maternal and paternal sides; seven generations back there are 128 ancestors; eight generations back there are 256 ancestors; nine generations 512 and ten generations 1024 and so forth. Imagine in the 11th generation back there are 2048 destinies, men and women who came together and passed on the gift of life. You have received the gift of life through them, through the men and women from different backgrounds, different social classes, different countries, separated by different dialect and languages. Even if some were enemies who fought against each other in wars, their bloodlines flow in your veins. Imagine that your responsibility, as a human being, is to appreciate this magnificent gift.
This contemplation is for your own benefit. The quality of your life and your health is at stake. We are not justifying people’s actions or making excuses. It means that you broaden your perspective and look at where your life came from and then you can appreciate it. You take full responsibility for your own part, as a child, and become humble in front of the greater forces of life. Then you can see that your role is only to take the gift of life from your parents. That’s all, no judgment, no analysis, just take this gift and then you make the best out of it. The moment you judge, you suffer. In a way it means to agree to life, exactly the way it is, to transcend polarity, overcome judgment and reach a place of unity, where everything is and has a right to exist.”
“Hm, I never thought of it this way,” my client said. “I wonder how my life would be different if my engine were running at 100%?”
I taught him the Ancestral Strength Meditation (listed below) and suggested that he practice it daily. He saw me for Holistic Reflexology once a week. Within several weeks the sensitivities in his feet completely vanished, especially the right kidney reflex pain and the excruciating pain in the liver reflex, which is also located on the right side and represents the emotion of anger. He reported increased emotional balance and was able to sleep through the night. He was surprised that all of the little aches and pains he had experienced prior to the Holistic Reflexology sessions had disappeared.
In my experience, if the client is directed to understand the origin of a problem and practices the meditations and consciousness exercises designed to open the door to healing, then sensitive points in the feet and physical imbalances may heal quickly.
I would like to share two more examples from my practice:
A man in his forties came to see me for Holistic Reflexology and Meditation. Also his presenting issues were anxiety and insomnia. His feet didn’t show the significant differences described in the above case study. The sensitivity chart indicated pain on the kidney reflexes, which points to fear and anxiety. So I asked, “What is your biggest fear?”
He responded without hesitation, “My biggest fear is to become like my father who is an alcoholic.”
It turned out that all his life my client had desperately tried to be different. However, the more he tried to deny his father, the more he had become like him.
The law of unity requires that all aspects of life are looked at and brought to the surface. Everything is conscious and has a right to exist. Unity equals non-judgment. Everything just is as it is. In this approach we find strength and peace.
Everything you do not want to see and push into the shadow will rule you and disrupt your life. It’s simple, what you resist persists. Consequently my client observed that over the years he had become just like his father. He was desperate and appalled at himself.
I developed a treatment plan that included weekly Reflexology sessions. The foot-analysis revealed that his right kidney reflex was weak and depleted. The kidneys are associated with the emotion of fear and the balance of life energy. The right foot was significantly more sensitive than the left. My client confirmed that the right side of his body had always been weaker than the left. All of his injuries, for example a broken ankle, had only occurred on the right side. The right side represents the relationship to the father. The aim of the Holistic Reflexology sessions was to create balance between all bodily systems, as well as strengthen the kidney reflexes.
My client began practicing daily the Ancestral Strength Meditation and made a list of all the good memories he had about his father. Initially my client couldn’t recall any good memories. I pointed out that for his healing journey it was essential that he learned to change his perception. One week later he returned for his Holistic Reflexology session with a big smile. Joyfully he shared wonderful childhood memories. His dad had taught him to ride a bicycle and to fish. They had shared many happy moments. He had not thought about them in years, because he was too busy blaming his father.
Of course, blaming and judging your parents won’t get you anywhere in life. The only way to be free is to accept and agree to everything that happened and count your blessings. If there is nothing good to say about your parents, always remember that they gave you the biggest gift: LIFE! Without them you wouldn’t be here and you always have to be thankful for that.
Within a few weeks my client felt like a new man. He was confident and strong. His insomnia had disappeared. He was able to look at his father with love; the fear of becoming like him was completely gone.
The second example is a mother of two who came to see me for Holistic Reflexology. She suffered from chronic pain. The most predominant pain was on the left side of her neck. When asked how long the pain had persisted she responded, “As long as I can think, all my life.”
The left side of the body relates to the mother. Pain in the neck oftentimes indicates a person’s inability to bow to their parents. I asked, “How is your relationship to your mother?”
The woman exclaimed, “I hate my mother!”
I had to interrupt her, because she went on and on about everything her mother had done wrong. Considering that this woman was a mother of two herself, I couldn’t imagine what had happened in her own family. She was completely disconnected from her own mother. Being cut off at your roots creates a lot of insecurity and struggle. The first step for healing was reconciliation with her mother.
My client refused to listen to my suggestions. I pointed out that she would have to pay a heavy price for maintaining her hatred towards her mother. It is impossible to harbor strong negative emotions without them creating havoc in our lives. I explained that a possible scenario would be that one of her own children would turn against her, just like she had turned against her own mother.
My client looked at me with shock. The repetition of a pattern in a family system had never occurred to her. She agreed to practice the exercises I would teach her.
- She was to practice daily the Ancestral Strength Meditation.
- She had to list all the good things she saw in her mother.
- In her conversations she was not to talk negatively about her mother.
The shift happened within only a few weeks. As my client gradually filled her heart with love, she observed that not only the relationship to her mother improved, but also to her husband. Relationships to a number of other people with whom she had struggled became harmonious and peaceful. The pain in her body became less and less with each day. She described it as a miracle.
The key to happiness, love, strength, success, and fulfillment is the connection to our ancestors and the appreciation from where life came to us. Only then are we free to live a life different than theirs, without the negative entanglement. We have to accept them as they are, acknowledge that they gave us the greatest gift, the gift of life and be grateful. This way we go right into the solution and do not dwell in what we previously may have perceived as a problem. To illuminate this fact consider the following: If you have children or grandchildren of your own, then you know for sure that as you look into the future, to the next generations, you only want the best for them. You want the future generations to thrive, be happy, healthy, succeed and truly enjoy their lives. That’s exactly how your ancestors look upon you. Feel the enormous love and life force. Connect to it now.
ANCESTRAL STRENGTH MEDITATION
- Sit in a comfortable armchair, close your eyes and focus on abdominal breathing
- Become aware of the presence of a ball of bright, shining light right above your head. The light comes from the highest level and serves your highest good. You feel the presence of the light and the peace and comfort it gives to you.
- Inhale the light; let it fill your entire body from head to toe. Exhale everything that you would like to release, everything that does not serve your highest good. Practice the ‘Cleansing Breath’ for several minutes until you feel calm and clear.
- Let your awareness travel to your heart, your center for love, self-love and healing. Breathe the light into your heart until you clearly see a radiant ball of vibrant sunlight filling your heart. Your heart is now a source of infinite love and light. Focus for a few minutes on the love and light vibration inside your heart and anchor it thoroughly.
- Visualize now your parents standing right in front of you. Your father stands to the right of your mother. Just look at them, always aware of the light that shines so bright inside your heart. Notice how you feel. Allow emotions to surface. Just say, “Yes” and let them be. As you continue to breathe the light into your heart all emotions that do not serve your highest good evaporate. Bring happy memories to mind, beautiful and happy moments you have shared with your parents.
- Look at your parents with love and say “Thank you.” You may have to repeat this several times until it feels true and sincere. If you have difficulty at this part, imaging bowing your head in front of your parents and become humble in front of the greater forces of life. Each time you say “Thank you,” feel more love inside your heart. You also may add, “Thank you. You gave me the greatest gift, the gift of life.”
- With your inner eye you may perceive a stream of light and love streaming from your parents hearts into your heart. All you do is open your heart and receive this love. You may say “Thank you.”
- Now in your mind’s eye you see standing behind your parents, your grandparents. They are there with their love, their strength, their blessings and support for you. Acknowledge your grandparents; express your gratitude for the gift of life you have received through them. Now their hearts open and streams of love, light, joy and blessings stream from their hearts, into your parents hearts and now into your heart. Open your heart and receive this love. You may say, “Yes” and “Thank you.”
- Now your great-grandparents join, then the next generation, your great-great grandparents. Sixteen ancestors send streams of love to you through each and every generation until this love enters your heart. Open your heart and receive.
- If you have children send this love onward into their hearts, and from there onward into the future.
- With your inner eye you clearly see more generations joining in, now 32 ancestors, next 64 ancestors, then 128 ancestors, 256 ancestors, 512 ancestors, 1024 ancestors, and onward. Open your heart and receive their love, light, joy and blessings. Say, “Yes” and “Thank you.”
- You see how you can only connect to the strength of your ancestors if everyone has their place and the love streams from generation to generation. Enjoy these infinitely growing streams of love and light. Open your heart and receive. Enjoy this wonderful experience for as long as you wish.
In some cases clients or meditation students had to skip a generation, since it was too difficult to connect to the parents. Then we immediately bring in the grandparents or great-grandparents and then the next generations. It is important to point out that there are cases, e.g. abuse, where it is not safe to physically contact the birthparents, and it is not necessary for this meditation. The goal is to create a shift in perception of reality.
This meditation works beyond time and space, and can be practiced if your parents are deceased or if you have never met them (in case of adoption). You will find that the more love you give, the more love you receive. This will affect all the relationships in your life in a positive way and of course, will strengthen your sense of health and well-being.
Dorit Brauer is the owner of the Brauer Institute for Holistic Medicine in Pittsburgh, United States, and the only teacher in the state of Pennsylvania offering a comprehensive Holistic Reflexology Certification.
She is the Award-winning author of Girls Don’t Ride Motorbikes – A Spiritual Adventure Into Life’s Labyrinth, which chronicles her modern day pilgrimage in which she embarks onto a 7,430-mile solo motorcycle adventure across the US.
Learn more at The Brauer Institute for Holistic Medicine
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The Excitement of Practicing Reflexology and its Results by Dorit Brauer, published in The South African Reflexology Society Journal, 2011
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