Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

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Best Foot Forward: You‘re Two Feet Away from Good Health with Linda Franklin

Robert Downes - October 7th, 2004
“The better we feel, the more beautiful we are,” says Linda Franklin, a specialist in making people feel better from the ground up.
Linda is a certified therapist in the Foot Zone Balance technique which takes a holistic approach to health through intensive, specific massage of the feet. In addition to providing health benefits, her customers end their sessions with a relaxed, radiant glow -- not unlike that of Linda herself, come to think of it.
Anyone who’s ever had their aching feet massaged after a hard day of pounding the pavement can appreciate the basics of what Franklin does, with the exception that her therapy offers to take clients well beyond the benefits of a mere foot rub.

ANCIENT TRADITION
A resident of Traverse City, Franklin is perhaps the only therapist in Michigan who is certified in Foot Zone Balance, a form of reflexology that carries on ancient traditions of foot massage.
For hundreds of years, cultures ranging from the Chinese to the Egyptians have recognized the value of foot massage. The Foot Zone Balance method builds on these traditions, claiming that energy pathways and nerve endings in the feet can influence other parts of the body in a positive way.
“The feet represent the total body,” Franklin says. “When I work on the feet, every cell in the body is represented along with every organ.
“The feet are like a keyboard on your computer,” she adds. “When I work on the pancreas area of your foot, for instance, the feeling goes from your foot to your brain to your pancreas.”
She says stimulating the feet can generate an influx of oxygen-rich blood to a damaged organ, along with the sort of energy described by the Eastern medical concept of the chakra system of the body. “It’s opening energy up to organs that are not getting good energy. What I’m doing is just assisting your body to work better.”

FREEING EMOTIONS
Often, there’s an emotional release as stress is literally massaged out of the body.
“Everyone is so different. What I experienced after the first time I had my feet zoned felt like a full body massage. I just felt really relaxed. Some people feel really emotional, while others feel like they’re 10 feet tall and pulsating.”
Typically, a session lasts 35-50 minutes. “I may end up going over an area of the foot several times and usually we fill up a whole hour,” she says. “I’ve had several people who’ve been holding in their emotions for a long time who want to talk about it after they feel a release.”
For many, it’s as if a weight has been lifted.
“So many people say they just feel better after they get the technique -- they get more than they expected. I’m so glad that I can offer that feeling from a holistic approach, rather than by using a drug.”
A STEP BACKWARD
Born and raised in Mason, Michigan as the youngest of five girls, Franklin attended Grand Valley State University, where she studied health education. “I lived in Hawaii for three years after I graduated and learned a lot about holistic health and how to cook,” she says.
The cooking connection prompted her to launch her own business when she returned to Michigan, providing in-your-home dinners of healthful entrees. As for foot zoning, she got interested after hearing that the therapy had proven beneficial to the emotional health of a friend who lost a daughter. Her friend, Laura Duvall, taught her the technique and Franklin launched a Foot Zone therapy business two and a half years ago.
Foot Zone Balance is based on the reserach of William H. Fitzgerald, M.D., who published a book in 1917 called “Relieving Pain at Home,” which described the beneficial aspects of applying pressure to zones of the body which correspond to various injuries. He called his work Zone Analgesia (or pain relief), and charted various zones of the body. In the Far East, a corollary is that of acupressure or acupuncture.
Physical therapist Eunice Ingham became fascinated with Dr. Fitzgerald’s zone theories and began developing her own foot reflex theory in the 1930s. “She had the opportunity to treat hundreds of patients where each reflex point of contact had been carefully and thoughtfully checked and rechecked,” states a primer on the subject. “Finally she was able to determine, with full confidence, that the reflexes on the feet were an exact mirror image of the organs of the body.”
Ingham went on to become the founder of modern reflexology with her book, “Stories the Feet Can Tell.” Her work was advanced by Charles Ersdal, M.D., a Norweigian physician who studied thousands of patients over 26 years to develop Zone Balance therapy which uses the foot’s “signal” system to benefit the body.

STRESS RELEASE
“Much of our disease is really accumulated emotion that hasn’t had an opportunity for release,” Franklin says. “What you find with the Foot Zone is that it stimulates that area of the body where your stress is concentrated. Your big toe stimulates your neck, for instance.”
She feels that the technique is helpful in relieving pain and stress, restoring circulation to areas of the body, and removing toxins through stimulation. Although a person with a disease like diabetes isn’t likely to be cured by the therapy, they may feel better due to improved circulation.
“The feet are where we move forward in this world, and if your feet are really tender, then what is the body trying to tell us? It’s so simple but so ancient -- all we’re doing is releasing the blocked energy in the body.”

Franklin’s Foot Zone Balance sessions run $60 per hour, available at her business in Traverse City (231-947-3712) or at the Evergreen Center in Suttons Bay
(231-271-2002).
 
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