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Autism - Reflexology Offers Calm

17th May 2018

Communication with the client is an important feature of reflexology therapy. It starts with the consultation and continues with regular check-ins as to how the client may be experiencing the therapy and what benefits they feel they have received.

"But what if a client cannot verbally communicate with the therapist as may be the case when a client has autism."

For a number of months I have had the fortune to provide reflexology therapy for Anna. The fact that Anna has autism has given me a new learning experience not just because of her autism but because she is unable to communicate in a verbal sense.

Working with Anna has deepened my awareness of the fact that each individual is unique and that includes people with autism. Naturally, Anna’s mother acted on her behalf with regards to the initial consultation. From this I ascertained that Anna appeared to be experiencing some anxiety which resulted in behavioural changes one being an unwillingness to leave the family home, sometimes even for short trips to the shops in the company of her mother.

Anna had not experienced reflexology therapy before or any other touch therapy, so it was relief to her family that she accepted the treatment from someone whom she had not met before. All reflexology treatments took place in the family home, which meant that Anna could be more at ease.

Every treatment with Anna is a different experience. There was the day she decided she did not want to take off her shoes and socks but allowed me to do a full treatment of reflexology on her hands. Anna has a great ability to amuse herself with thoughts that are running through her mind so I am constantly on the lookout for ways to bring her into a stillness so as to allow her to have a complete break from all that mental activity. I have to be just as clever as she is because sometimes she anticipates my moves that she has become familiar with, necessitating a need for me to change my technique and routine.

Autism and Reflexology

Some days, I invite her to play a game at the end of our therapy using a play of hands, where she gets to experience taking the lead in giving and receiving. Her smiles would light up enormous buildings and sometimes, if I’m lucky, I get a hug.

Anna’s mum explained to me the meaning behind the jigsaw symbol for Autism. Every jigsaw piece is different and so too every person with autism. ‘If you know one person with autism, you only know one person with autism’, says Anna’s mum, Martina.

And it is true for every person I encounter. We are all unique with something interesting to share with others.

It has been a rewarding experience to realise that Anna enjoys reflexology and is getting benefit from the regular treatments and it is a pleasure to provide treatment for her and her mum.

Martina had this to say about the benefits of reflexology for Anna and their family:

reflexology therapy

“I first heard of Caroline and her ‘Authentic Reflexology’ service through her art exhibition ‘Return of the Sacred Trees’ at Art Bank Bunclody in November 2017. At the time our daughter Anna, who has autism, had stopped going to her day care centre 8 months previously (in February). She had been attending day care from the age of 18 years, following her attendance of special school, making it a total of 8 years of travel by bus.

Anna is ‘non-verbal’ and so could not explain her reasons for not wanting to go to her day care centre anymore but she let us know by her behaviour. Every behaviour is a communication and Anna became aggressive and noticeably stressed when asked to leave the house for the bus journey to the centre. After months of trying to work through this situation we finally accepted that Anna was better off being at home where she is happiest.

I had always heard that one of reflexology’s many benefits is that it reduces stress and tension so I contacted Caroline and asked if she would call to our home to see if Anna might enjoy a treatment. We have a small treatment room in our home as two of our girls had studied beauty therapy so the space was suitable for the reflexology treatments.

When Caroline came to visit, I was unsure how Anna would react to her. I was pleasantly surprised to see Anna interact with Caroline in a very positive way. Six months later, both Anna and I are having weekly reflexology treatments with Caroline. Anna always has a welcome for her. I have my hour with Caroline first and Anna is always waiting her turn. She is more relaxed and less stressed. I believe everything happens for a reason and I feel blessed to have Caroline in our lives” (Martina/Mother of Anna)

Autism is a complex, invisible condition which a person is born with. It is a developmental condition which means that the way a person communicates, interacts and understands other people, and the world, is different to those who do not have the condition. It can be described as a “spectrum” which means it impacts different people, in different ways, to differing degrees at different times and in different situations. To find out more about Autism visit:  www.asiam.ie

Thank you to Anna’s mum Martina for agreeing to this article with regards to reflexology and autism and to Anna for allowing me this opportunity to improve as a therapist.

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I provide a bespoke reflexology wellness service for clients in Carlow, Dublin and some parts of the south-east of Ireland. You can find out more about reflexology and my treatment plans in our Frequently Asked Questions.

Caroline Cunningham

I love reflexology, it has served me well in my path of transformation to becoming much healthier and happier. I specialise in helping clients who want to succeed with their personal and business goals. I do this by providing reflexology therapy and personalised support and strategies for managing stress and achieving balance. My therapy services are available in Carlow and Dublin and nearby counties in Ireland. Through my blogs I hope more people will be inspired to take steps to improve their wellbeing. Read more about my educational background and expertise here.

Testimonials

See what people say about our company.
  • Calming & Super Knowledgeable

    My reflexology treatment was very relaxing and calming. Caroline’s observations encouraged me to make small changes in my day to day living. Caroline is very friendly and super knowledgeable. I highly recommend her wellbeing services.

    Katie Dunne, Tullow, Co. Carlow

    Incredibly Relaxing Home Treatment Cancer Care

    I found Caroline’s reflexology treatments incredibly relaxing and I really looked forward to her visits while undergoing chemotherapy. Caroline has a lovely friendly personality and the option of home visits was fantastic.

    Claire, Dublin

            Motivation & Focus        

    The reflexology treatment was wonderful! It was just what I needed. I started running again which I always enjoy but I had lost my motivation for a very long time. So, the next day knowing I had two hours free I just started jogging all along the west-peer and surroundings. Felt great and focused afterwards.

    Maria Muffat, Dublin

  • Energised & Fewer Headaches

    I have been feeling really good since my reflexology treatment, more energised and motivated. My tummy seems to have settled and I have fewer headaches.

    S. Lynch, Dublin

    Helpful physically & emotionally

    The reflexology treatments were helpful both physically and emotionally. Caroline is an experienced therapist with a friendly attitude and good advice, I highly recommend her as a therapist.

    Hazel, Dublin

                Feeling at Ease            

    Caroline is very approachable and knowledgeable. I found the reflexology good for overall health and feeling at ease within myself. I felt more focused, energised and motivated as a result of a course of treatments.

    Melanie, Dublin

  •           Stress-free Zone           

    Caroline is an excellent therapist with extraordinary skills. The healing element is vital but she manages to put her clients in a total stress free zone. I adored the chimes as the music played by some therapists can be so very distracting. Caroline has healing hands and I felt excellent afterwards

    Colette Coughlan, Dublin

                Walking on Air            

    Thank you so much for reflexology! Before treatment I was tired and my feet hurt from walking around. Afterward, I felt so much more energetic, I felt like I was walking on air and the swelling had gone down in my broken arm.

    Read more...

    The next day, I had a 10 hour flight. I was anticipating a lot of discomfort with my arm. To my delight, I was nearly pain free throughout my travels. Reflexology really works!

    I highly recommend Caroline for Reflexology. She is gentle, but she works miracles!

    Anna is the Author of Amazon Best Seller “Black Belt Selling: Closing with confidence

    Anna Scheller U.S.A

    Tummies settled & sleeping better

    I brought my two little boys to Caroline and she was fantastic with them and with me. Caroline showed me how to do some home treatment with my boys and it has helped a lot as they sleep better and their tummies have settled.

    A. O’Shea, Carlow

  • Calming & Super Knowledgeable

    My reflexology treatment was very relaxing and calming. Caroline’s observations encouraged me to make small changes in my day to day living. Caroline is very friendly and super knowledgeable. I highly recommend her wellbeing services.

    Katie Dunne, Tullow, Co. Carlow

  • Incredibly Relaxing Home Treatment Cancer Care

    I found Caroline’s reflexology treatments incredibly relaxing and I really looked forward to her visits while undergoing chemotherapy. Caroline has a lovely friendly personality and the option of home visits was fantastic.

    Claire, Dublin

  • Motivation & Focus

    The reflexology treatment was wonderful! It was just what I needed. I started running again which I always enjoy but I had lost my motivation for a very long time. So, the next day knowing I had two hours free I just started jogging all along the west-peer and surroundings. Felt great and focused afterwards.

    Maria Muffat, Dublin

  • Energised & Fewer Headaches

    I have been feeling really good since my reflexology treatment, more energised and motivated. My tummy seems to have settled and I have fewer headaches.

    S. Lynch, Dublin

  • Helpful physically & emotionally

    The reflexology treatments were helpful both physically and emotionally. Caroline is an experienced therapist with a friendly attitude and good advice, I highly recommend her as a therapist.

    Hazel, Dublin

  • Feeling at Ease

    Caroline is very approachable and knowledgeable. I found the reflexology good for overall health and feeling at ease within myself. I felt more focused, energised and motivated as a result of a course of treatments.

    Melanie, Dublin

  • Stress-free Zone

    Caroline is an excellent therapist with extraordinary skills. The healing element is vital but she manages to put her clients in a total stress free zone. I adored the chimes as the music played by some therapists can be so very distracting. Caroline has healing hands and I felt excellent afterwards

    Colette Coughlan, Dublin

  • Walking on Air

    Thank you so much for reflexology! Before treatment I was tired and my feet hurt from walking around. Afterward, I felt so much more energetic, I felt like I was walking on air and the swelling had gone down in my broken arm.

    Read more...

    The next day, I had a 10 hour flight. I was anticipating a lot of discomfort with my arm. To my delight, I was nearly pain free throughout my travels. Reflexology really works!
    I highly recommend Caroline for Reflexology. She is gentle, but she works miracles!
    Anna is the Author of Amazon Best Seller “Black Belt Selling: Closing with confidence

    Anna Scheller U.S.A

  • Tummies settled & sleeping better

    I brought my two little boys to Caroline and she was fantastic with them and with me. Caroline showed me how to do some home treatment with my boys and it has helped a lot as they sleep better and their tummies have settled.

    A. O’Shea, Carlow

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