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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne & Monroe Counties Michigan

Taking Care of Ourselves During the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all. Frontline essential workers, including medical professionals, all hospital workers and workers in public safety, food service, grocery stores, order fulfillment, transportation and delivery are working under incredible stress and danger. People sickened by the virus have symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening. Many lives have ended prematurely.

These times are anxiety-producing. People lucky enough to work from home or just shelter in place must still deal with unknowns about this insidious disease, how it is transmitted and when it will be safe to re-enter society. Many people have lost their jobs, causing much economic hardship.

In normal times, there are therapies, including foot reflexology, to help people relax and cope with stress. Unfortunately, for now, in-person sessions are not feasible due to the contagiousness of this disease. Only life-sustaining medical care is available. Until such time that it is safe to resume therapies like massage and foot reflexology, people need to work on keeping themselves as healthy as possible.

First, read or listen to reliable news sources to stay informed of the current developments and possible breakthroughs in the crisis, but don’t fixate on the news. Do something enjoyable, like getting outside for exercise, reading a fun book, cooking, gardening, working a crossword puzzle or gardening. Maintain social distancing, but keep in contact with friends and family by phone or social media. Take a nap in the afternoon.

From a foot reflexology perspective, when we walk or run, we need to do it carefully to avoid injury. Supportive shoes to keep feet comfortable as we enjoy nature are a must. Try pampering feet with a warm Epsom salt soak or massaging them with some relaxing lavender oil lotion. Make sure to work on the balls of the feet, this area corresponds to the lungs in reflexology. Stroking the top of the foot from the toes down stimulates the lymph system. Also know that when massaging the middle area of the arch this can soothe stress organs such as the adrenal glands and solar plexus; it can also give a boost to the kidneys.

These are stressful, unprecedented times, but many people have shown great kindness in helping others. The human spirit shines in many difficult situations. People also need to remember to be kind and gentle to themselves.

Denise Held, RN, a certified Reflexolo-Chi foot reflexologist, normally has office hours at the Natural Healing Center, 2002 Hogback Rd., Ste. 14, in Ann Arbor. At present, her practice is suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the future, call 734-649-2891, email [email protected] or visit