If a Sri Lankan in Colombo throws a stone at the sky, it would most probably fall on a foot massage parlour. Foot therapy or reflexology is so popular here in the business capital of Sri Lanka. That’s how we can see it from the surface.
However, when one considers the therapeutic benefits of such a practice, it’s sad to note that most spas in Colombo cater to satisfy the sensual needs of clients more than promote healing.
Dr.Cyril Antony from Wattala has practiced reflexology for many decades in Sri Lanka and has a sizable clientele. Recently the International Council for Reflexologists appointed him as one of the directors of its board. Following a voting procedure, Antony along with Arve Fahlvic (Norway), Sally Kay (UK) and Paula Stone (USA) was appointed as board directors and will serve this council till 2021.
According to Dr. Antony, foot therapy is a sub-element of reflexology. In most spas the key requirement to be a therapist is to have a lovely smile and a hourglass figure.
Commenting on the spas that operate in Sri Lanka, Dr. Antony said that most places offer foot therapy. According to Dr. Antony, foot therapy is a sub-element of reflexology. In most spas the key requirement to be a therapist is to have a lovely smile and a hourglass figure. But Dr. Anthony insists that reflexology is a study of the human body and goes beyond satisfying the human senses.
According to Dr. Antony, his treatments are based on many methods of alternative medicine. He is qualified in acupuncture, acupressure, Reikei and reflexology.
“In reflexology, predetermined points are pressed to relieve pain and stress. Most patients come to me after many unsuccessful attempts at trying Allopathy (Western medicine) as the cure. By that time the condition of patients is chronic and healing rates have reduced,” observed Dr. Cyril.
Reflexology literature reveals that this practice helps in cleansing the body of toxins, boosting the immune system, promoting healing and balancing subtle energies. Allopathy however doesn’t recognize these channels of energies within the body which form a deep part of the study of alternative medicine. Western Medicine reviews don’t find sufficient support where reflexology has aided the process of healing within human beings.
Dr. Antony isn’t the person to start a campaign to promote reflexology nor is he inclined towards highlighting attempts where Western medicine doctors have failed to cure patients. He accepts a patient who has a history of having received Western medicine with a lot of love and compassion, if directed to him.
With Dr. Antony, healing might take time, but the cases are many where cure has come as the end result of a long process more than a miracle taking place. “There is no take home medicine, so there is the need for patients to make that extra effort to visit the doctor several times,” he said.
Dr. Antony receives patients who come from distant places like Chilaw and Ratnapura. Apart from practicing at his clinic in Wattala, he also treats patients at a clinic in Battaramulla.
In reflexology, predetermined points in the hands, feet, face and ears are pressed to enhance healing or reduce stress.
Like in most medical professions, the presence of quack doctors in alternative medicine has greatly inconvenienced patients.
This is why Dr. Antony wants a regulatory body in Sri Lanka so that it can ensure that practitioners of alternative medicine are qualified.
Reflexology helps in cleansing the body of toxins, boosting the immune system, promoting healing and balancing subtle energies. Allopathy however doesn’t recognize these channels of energies.
“We must have provisions to list practitioners and there should be course specific requirements. This feature is lacking in Sri Lanka,” he said. For the record countries like America and most European nations have regulatory bodies to regulate alternative medicine.
Almost anybody can receive reflexology treatment. But reflexology practitioners specify that clients have to wait one hour after a meal before receiving treatment. Pregnant mothers are also advised not to receive this type of treatment.
Dr. Antony has received an invitation to attend the ICR Destination Reflexology Conference scheduled to be held in Taitung, Chinese Taipei in October this year. He believes the new appointment will help create more awareness on reflexology in the island. He also hopes that this new opportunity will help him reach the full potential in this therapeutic practice.
In this era where money making and long hours at work drain your energies and invite you to join the queue at the doctor, Dr.Antony’s reflexology promises an alternative; one press here and another there and you’ll be relieved of stress and will feel like a charged up battery!