Calling this the Spring newsletter seems little more than ironic after yet another weekend of snow in what has become an endless winter. But as April approaches, I have found myself in a reflective mood, as I mark my 41st year in reflexology.
Looking back to 1972 when I first began my career, it seems extraordinary that reflexology became the defining factor ina life punctuated with international travel, seminars and hundreds of thousands of treatments.
When I look at the many photos I have of those times, I can only wonder: ‘Was that really me?’
A series of adventures and challenges (which includes being ‘on the road’ with Dwight Byers!) has, in many ways, passed in a haze. The many thousands of exceptional and interesting people I have encountered in a lifetime of work in the field has provided me with a richness and complexity of thought and experience that has helped me to continue to grow and develop both as a reflexologist and as a person.
ART was conceived as a way of bringing all of these threads together; the wealth of experience, of pleasure and of frustration, of long haul flights and crazy car journeys, of exhausting seminars and inspirational people, of trauma and treatment and the joy of interacting with people in a healing way.
If ‘Life imitates art rather than art imitates life’, in the words of Oscar Wilde, then the years I have spent running ART most certainly live up to their reputation.
I would have been hard pushed to imagine, aged 18 and a trainee hairdresser, what my real life was to become; how far I would travel and how much I would see and do.If I have any regrets about these years, it has occasionally been their incompatibility with a normal family life. But what I have gained so far outweighs what I have forsaken, that ultimately, as my time at the helm comes to an end, I find I am left with no regrets at all about this crazy, exciting, fulfilling voyage of discovery that led to ART’s creation and continuation.
As I said in the last Newsletter, I have made the decision to hand over much of the ART teaching to my long serving tutor, Hagar Basis. Hagar has been with ART almost from its inception and has helped me at seminars at home and internationally ever since. It will be good for both ART and the students to have a fresh and different energy. Hagar, apart from being a lovely person, is a truly great exponent of the techniques.
I shall continue to give seminars; but these will be under my name – Tony Porter. They will be aimed at registered ART students who want to keep up with the latest developments in the techniques. I will also be providing essential seminars on the philosophy and protocol of ART, where I look forward to meeting you all!
I am also very pleased to have the services of Annabel Lewis and Anne Brunton to give ART seminars in Edinburgh and Bristol. Annabel and Anne are both highly experienced exponents of ART.
All contact details will be shown at the end of this newsletter.
I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark. Muhammad Ali
I always enjoy hearing from members of the ART International family.
I recently met up with a long - established registered member, who told me that many years ago she was ready to give up reflexology, finding it impossible to build a regular practice. She was told about ART and decided to attend a seminar. She found the techniques exactly what she was looking for and eventually became registered. Since that time she has never looked back, building a successful and enjoyable practice.She expressed her gratitude and good fortune to have come in contact with ART. There is no doubt that because the ART techniques have a more positive and therapeutic feel about them, patients soon realise the benefits, resulting in a much busier and more successful practice.
I look upon my registered members as a family of specialist reflexologists, who have the dedication to attend the extra post-graduate training to become ART Registered. Many of you have travelled a great distance, even from overseas to attend the seminars, but I also know that this dedication has so often proved invaluable to you and to the people you treat. I regularly receive glowing reports from people who have been successfully treated by an ART registered reflexologist.
You are an elite group of reflexologists, and because of this need to promote yourselves in a way which puts this across to prospective patients.
The importance of effectively promoting yourself, particularly in the present economic climate, is paramount. The majority of people have little understanding about reflexology, imagining it to be little more than a pleasant foot rub given in a spa or beauty salon. The idea that it has such great potential and applications for wellbeing is not realised. For this reason we have to be able to show that the ART techniques are entirely different from normal applications. Of course the best and most effective way to demonstrate this is to give sample treatments. In my experience this never fails to convince people of the difference.
To convince the die-hards I will give a treatment only on one foot, sometimes only working the toes. Fifteen minutes maximum is enough. Those of you who may not have experienced the effect of working only on one foot should contact an ART colleague and have a swap, working on one foot, after which, upon standing, a profound difference on the treated side of the body will be noticed, often extending from the foot to the head. At this point, most people will demand that you complete the treatment by working on the other foot! This is a great way to promote your work and skills.
I have said this many times, and will continue to do so; there is enormous, untapped potential forreflexology and in particular for people like you.
In these economic difficult times, patients need to know that they are getting value for their money before committing to regular treatments, but when they experience the benefits, they very often realise that the investment is more than worthwhile.
Recently I had the good fortune to meet up with NicoPauly of Neuro Reflexology fame while he was in London giving one of his fascinating and ground-breaking seminars. I met up with him and a party of a few of his students in my favourite Greek restaurant – The Halepi in Leinster Terrace, Bayswater in London. This has been the restaurant for reflexologists ever since Dwight Byers and I began teaching at the nearby Columbia Hotel. Evidently it is a favourite of David Cameron amongst other prominent people. However nobody could complete with the celebrities who were there that night who includedNicoPauly, Lynne Booth of VRT fame, Noelle Weyenth and Charles (who run the Bayly School in Lausanne Switzerland and also host my ART seminars there) as well as Carole Samuels who holds a PhD in complimentary medicine. It was a really wonderful evening of joy, laughter and reflexology banter.
I first met Nico in Brussels many years ago when I presented an ART seminar. We met up in the evening and I was invited to give some seminars to his students at his excellent school.
I really admire the great work he has done in ‘filling in’ some of the gaps in the understanding of reflexology. His seminars are well worth attending and really get the brain cells stimulated.
Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
New ART web site
The new ART website is now live. The new site is intended to provide clearer and more efficient information to help promote our registered members and is easier to navigate.
The ART Foot Balm
Due to serious issues concerning aspects of production, I have decided to stop manufacturing this very popular product rather than risk any problems with quality control. While I realise this has caused a certain amount of inconvenience, for which I apologise, rest assured that a totally natural, organic replacement product is in the pipeline.The new cream has passed all the necessary testing and will be manufactured by one of the leading European cosmetic manufacturers. I am hoping that giving my bank manager a few treatments may help with the financing!
My toughest fight was with my first wife. Muhammad Ali
The new ART Manual
A number of you have been asking when the new manual will be completed. This is a project that has suffered a couple of serious setbacks. Part of the original material was lost through a computer failure, and the new edition about which I was feeling extremely positive was then lost in its entirety when my house was burgled and my computers and back up discs stolen.
I have restarted the project and hope that all this happened for a reason – and that the finished (heavily backed up) book will be better than ever! The new manual will fill in some of the gaps in the original, drawing on my experiences in reflexology since writing the first manual and including much of the latest thinking and techniques.
Drag your thoughts away from your troubles – by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.
Vitamin B against Alzheimer’s disease
Scientists at the University of Oxford conducted a trial of 168 people and found that vitamin B supplements taken every day reduced brain shrinkage associated with dementia, by up to 53 per cent. Professor David Smith, who co-authored the study said the results ‘were immensely promising’
Daily Telegraph 09/09/10
Poor Kidney function related to strokes and heart disease
Researchers from Taiwan and the US found that a low fluid rate through the kidneys was linked to a higher risk of stroke in later life.
The second study, by British and Icelandic researchers, found that even people with the earliest stages of kidney disease were at an increased rate of developing coronary heart disease. The study tracked almost 17,000 people living in Iceland over a 24 year period.
British Medical Journal 03/10/10
Vitamin C The Real Story by Steve Hickey PhD
This new book about the importance of Vitamin C corresponds perfectly with what I have always believed as a lifelong advocate of Vitamin C supplementation. I have always found that the more I take the better I feel. The book is available as a Kindle or other download as well as in hard copy form. The book provides an interesting and thought provoking view on the medical resistance to its use within mainstream medicine.
‘Disease becomes a vested interest, and consciously or unconsciously, the doctors foster it as such. It is quite a common observation that doctors produce disease. Moreover, the whole system and philosophy of our dealing with disease is mistaken.
Dr. W.H. White, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P.
I wish you all good health and success in your work.
My Best Wishes
ART and Tony Porter seminars
+44 (0) 20 8920 9555
ART P.O. Box 56845 London N13 4SS
Hagar Basis Principle tutor
07971 808 011
ART Registered tutors
Annabell Lewis and Anne Brunton
Tel: 0781 422 5319
Tony is a London-based reflexologist and founder of Advanced Reflexology Techniques (ART)