THE GIFT OF RELAXATION
Bobbie, Wellness & Visiting Volunteer
Volunteering for Hospice King Aurora has proven to be, in a word, inspiring ...the wonderful staff, volunteers, and especially the clients. In 2004, I joined Hospice King Aurora as a visiting volunteer, and was very touched by the warm, welcoming atmosphere. The "care, compassion and support" for the clients is also extended to the volunteers. With the establishment of the "Wellness Program", I became a certified reflexologist and have been practising this modality for the clients since 2008.
Reflexology is a safe, non-invasive complementary therapy based on the principle that there are reflexes in the head, hands, and feet that correspond to all parts of the body. By systematically applying gentle pressure techniques to specific reflex points, the natural energy lines in the body are cleared of blockages, allowing the body's systems to function more efficiently. It reduces stress, improves blood and energy flow to all body systems, helps to cleanse the body of impurities, and promotes a sense of well-being. It induces feelings of calm, peace, and tranquility. Many people also feel re-energized.
Hospice clients have stated that the reflexology sessions have helped to diminish the severity of pain, provided some relief of the numbness and tingling of the fingers and toes, (often a side effect of the chemotherapy drugs), gradually helped to reduce swelling of the feet and lower legs, increased their ability to focus, universally decreased their stress levels and promoted feelings of calm and relaxation. One client wrote in a lovely note: "...as you worked on the area of my feet relating to my diaphragm it was as if a heavy elastic band was being released from my abdomen and giving me ease and freedom..." Another client's wife kindly wrote: "My husband really enjoyed the foot massages- one of the few things he could still enjoy".
The clients are always quick to say thank you, but I owe them my gratitude; having the opportunity to work with them and to get to know them is richly rewarding. It is an honour and a privilege to be allowed into these people's lives, especially at such a vulnerable time- a privilege never to be taken for granted.
As Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche says in his book: "Light Comes Through" (copyright 2008): 'The practice of putting others in the center is not simply a crusade to do "good". It is a practice based on the understanding that our own happiness is inextricably linked with the happiness of others.' I am quite certain that there is not one of us who would disagree.
The courage, grace, and inner strength of the clients is to be greatly admired- they are truly inspiring.