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Reflexology and Stroke: A Student's Story about her Beloved Dad

Updated on July 13, 2008

I was so touched by the story a student told me about her dad, I asked if she would write about it so that it could be shared with everyone.

You've often heard me say that my life's purpose is to "heal the world one foot at a time". But I have just one pair of hands and there are so many feet! I'm so proud of my students who can carry this amazing wisdom much further than these two hands can ever go.

But first, there are 2 factors that stand repeating:

1. She checked with her dad's doctors before beginning the work, and

2. Her dad's recovery amazed even those who gave little hope that he would accomplish what he has done.

Was it reflexology? There's no doubt in my mind.

Here's her story.

My Dad suffered a stroke last August. The stroke was a severe stroke, which affected his left side. His left arm and leg were left paralyzed as a result. I arrived in Ireland 7 days after his stroke and once I had spoken with the doctors and had their approval I begin to work on my Dads feet and hands.

I began by gently touching the feet and doing some warms ups. I had Wendy's voice in the back of my mind reminding me not to dive straight in but to begin by just getting to know the feet and starting with some warm ups. My dad was extremely tired and was still suffering from mild headaches and so I was only able to work on him for a short time to begin with. I noticed that the skin on his toes were extremely dry and peeling on both feet. This continued to happen for a couple of weeks and then stopped.

I continued with the warm ups for the first 5 days lengthening the sessions each day. After 5 days, I felt confident enough to begin working the reflexes. I was unsure of where to start and what to focus on (apart from the brain) as the stroke had affected in some way or another all of my Dads systems. Again using my notes and having Wendy's voice in my head I started doing a general session using very light pressure.

I continued this on a daily basis applying more pressure each day but always within my Dads threshold. After 5 days, I was working on my Dads feet for 1 hour every day. I could see changes in my Dad after day 15 or so, he seems less tired, his color had come back, most of his systems had returned to normal function.

The amazing part of this is story is that after about day 15 or so of doing the sessions and up until I left to return to New York my Dad advised he was feeling sensations like pins and needles in his left arm and left leg during and after the reflexology sessions.

During one session, in particular he advised that he had experienced a sensation like 'shooting pins and needles up his left leg. This was amazing as when I had finished the session my sister and I could see his right leg move slightly almost like twitching. My dad said this sensation had continued for a long while after the session had ended.

During another session my Dad advised a sensation like an electric shock running up and down his left leg during and after the reflexology sessions. Almost after every session, I would see myself that his toes, foot or the entire leg would move or twitch. At this point, my Dads doctors had advised us that it was unlikely that he would regain the movement of his left leg and arm as it was now over 3 weeks after his stroke and that the signs were not good.

I continued to work on my Dad (at this stage I was confident and really worked the braIin, endocrine, spinal and heart reflexes everyday) and refused to believe what the doctors were saying as I could clearly see the response of his left leg and arm to the daily reflexology sessions. When I returned to New York, I arranged for a local reflexologist to see my dad regularly.

I spent over 4 weeks working on my Dad feet and hands every day. It was an amazing journey for my Dad and me. I witnessed first hand everything Wendy had spoken about during the course. Reflexology has amazing powerful healing effects on the body, mind and soul.

I truly believe that my Dad would not be as far along in his recovery as he is today without reflexology. He continues to recover and is walking slowly with the use of a walking stick. Thank you Wendy for teaching such a wonderful course and for giving me the tools, knowledge and skill so that I could use this wonderful therapy to benefit my beloved Dad.


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      doreen 22 months ago

      My brother had a brain abcess before he could be operated on he suffered a stroke. His left arm and leg were dead to him. It's been a year now doing physio therapy but still cannot walk instead his arm shakes a lot . Today he started reflexology n massage and we pray and hope for the best.

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      Wanda Long 6 years ago

      My son (now 38 years old) has a ruptured brain aneurysm in April 2008. Inpatient rehab did work wonders and he walks with a single point cane but a long way to go for stability. He lost all of his speech center and cannot speak, read or write. He does go to a speech clinic and is learning to speak but it's very slow going. He had 2 partial lobectomies and they told us he would never fully recover. I too refuse to believe that he can't recover almost to full capacity because the brain is a remarkable thing. I was wondering if reflexology would help him progress faster and if it was safe for his condition. He has no other serious medical conditions. BP and all labs are always great!

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      sweet pea and me boutique 6 years ago

      This is quiet a good to read about daddies and mommies stories

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      beckie 7 years ago

      my dad had a massive stroke in 2007 and his right side in still weak do u have any ideas on what i can do to help him

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      breathe 7 years ago

      Thank you for your story, as a reflexology practitioner its wonderful to hear such positive experiences.

      Reflexology can be very powerful and real life stories helps to explain to people how effective reflexology can be.

      thank you

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      Janusz 7 years ago

      Thank you for the story. I am looking for some information on how can I help my brother who suffered a serious stroke. Thank you for helping me out. God bless you.

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      Kirsten 7 years ago

      Thanks so much.. My mum suffered a massive stroke in her left hemisphere almost 3 weeks ago. Have been spending lots of time massaging (I knew little about reflexology) but am suddenly learning. She is gaining the pins and needles in her right limbs, we were told she would be almost vegetative but she is writing beautifully with her left hand and doing remarkably well :))

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      Eileen 7 years ago

      My mum had a stoke a year ago, and lost the power on her right side. one year later, she is starting to walk on her own with the aid of a stick. Her power on her arm did not come back. we start reflexology today

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 8 years ago from trailer in the country


    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 8 years ago from trailer in the country

      Wendy...It is awesome to find you on here...I have been getting your newsletters and I have watched you on You are practically my hero. I hope you have time to write more articles on here...please read my profile...I am a new reflexologist and can use all the inspiration I can get....Blessings

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      Nadya 9 years ago

      I truly believe after this story more that a reflexology is amazing and poweful . Nadya from London