How I left Corporate America for Reflexology

There I was in the center chair of a group healing with Reiki practitioners. Little did I know that the powerful energy work of several people would rattle me to the emotional core I tried to keep hidden. Through tears and release of pent-up life dramas, I experienced energy healing without being physically touched. That was the beginning of my seeking a path of hands-on healing work. Quite an introduction . . .

My day job at a TV studio kept a roof over my head, but my real interest and time was focused on studying with healers. First, I became certified as a Reiki practitioner when most people even in offbeat Los Angeles, barely understood energy work. It was powerful, no doubt about it.  Yet, somehow I still felt intimidated by the effects and responsibility of sharing healing work – and uncomfortable claiming it to be a business. At the time, it was still a bit too far on the “woo-woo” spectrum side of helping people, in spite of the results I witnessed.

A few years went by . . . I thought if I could find a skill similar to full-on body massage to ground me with the Reiki, I might be able to transition out of my corporate day job into a private bodywork/healing practice.  Naïve as it sounds, the deep desire to be in business for myself was enough of a motivation for things to fall in place.

At that time I did know a smidgeon about reflexology. I personally felt great when my feet were worked on. The turning point came when a friend of mine got very sick with what we later found out was strep throat. He was not inclined toward seeking medical help, ‘til I finally insisted, so we started with Reiki to help with this pain.  In desperation, he remembered a book about reflexology sitting on the bookshelf.  “See what it says to do!” There it was. A book by Mildred Carter, detailing the feet and the correspondence with various organs and systems.

So, with Mildred as my guide, I worked on the toes for head and neck discomfort, of which there was plenty by now, and I began pressing the sides and entire surfaces of the big toes. One side at a time.  After about 15 minutes, when a very painful area of one toe got worked on – more accurately, rubbed, I switched to the other foot to locate the same area of discomfort.  I wasn’t so lucky in my search, but in the middle of all this trying, my friend exclaimed: “the left side of my throat doesn’t hurt anymore!” That was the first toe where I found the very tender area. I was convinced I’d found the key!

We didn’t cure his strep, but the pain was manageable enough to get to a doctor. For sure, it was the deciding factor in choosing the healing modality I wanted to learn.

Fortunately, I found a reflexology education program at school and a teacher who could teach me this work in a compassionate and detailed manner. At the time, I still thought of this as a path of self-evolution.  Part of my intention was to develop my being – my hands, my voice, my self-confidence – that if I was picked up and dropped into any culture anywhere in the world, I would have all the skills I needed to provide for myself.  No computer, no desk. Just me. Well!

Twenty-five years later, through tough times, through travels and relationships as well as many eye-opening experiences, thousands of people have come under my hands for this amazing reflexology. Many times I thought I was finished with this work, but it just won’t let me go. I’m always thrilled to pass along the skills I’ve developed. It’s great to feel appreciated as I hope you will be more than ever as you develop your reflexology skills.

TFT Blog Editor’s Note: As a State Certified Instructor of Reflexology since 1994, Rhonda has held teaching positions at the following institutions: American Academy of Reflexology, The California Shiatsu School of Massage, The Massage School of Santa Monica, and Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine. Ms. Funes served as President of the Reflexology Association of California from 2009-2011.