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How Reflexology Helped Me Find the Joy of Giving

We all know that well known phrase, “There is more joy in giving than receiving.” Most of us were taught it as young children. However, how many of us were told this as children, and yet we never felt that joy or happiness we were promised when we had to share our toys? It’s funny now to watch a little kid being told to share when they really don’t want to. Well, now as an adult I am closer to understanding the true meaning of “the joy of giving.” And I have reflexology to thank for it!

When I received my education in reflexology, one of the first places I began utilizing reflexology was at the local hospital in Norwich Connecticut. At the hospital they have a department called CHI (Center for Healthcare Integration). In addition to the traditional medical care at the hospital, CHI offers complimentary alternative therapies such as massage, reflexology, reiki, and healing touch per the patient’s request. CHI relies on therapists to offer their skills to the patients on a voluntary basis since the hospital has no funding for the program.

In the beginning of my time at the hospital, I admit I was nervous and wasn’t use to the hospital setting. However, I had great mentors and nurses that helped and encouraged me in learning all of the hospital safety and health procedures. Some of my friends and acquaintances would ask me why I was going to volunteer my time and energy. My response at the time was, for the experience and practice of my new reflexology knowledge and skills. However, once I actually started providing reflexology to patients it was a whole other ball game. I cannot describe the joy that comes from giving reflexology therapy to patients. Their smiles and thankfulness truly make the time I am there worth it. I have gotten to know quite a few patients in the radiation department where I routinely provide reflexology therapy. I know that they are going through a difficult journey. My only goal is to provide a sense of relief and comfort however small it may be for them. Afterwards, when I see their smiles, and they embrace me in their hugs and gratitude, I truly understand the joy that comes from giving.

I have found something that I enjoy giving and it has changed my life! It has taught me more about compassion and generosity. Giving of yourself and time for a cause is meaningful, no matter how small. No matter what your skills are, you can make a difference in someone’s day. Whether it is coaching little league, being a big brother or sister, helping at an animal shelter, or being there for a sick friend, you can truly make a difference. And not only will it bring a little happiness to those you are helping, it will bring joy and happiness to you as well.

Special thanks and gratitude to Paula Novak and Amy Dunion at The William W. Backus Hospital for their guidance. And also special thanks to Elysia Bates who is a wonderful reflexology mentor.

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