Member In The Spotlight - Kate Winant
My professional quest to study reflexology began twenty years ago while I was the physical education instructor at the Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene, N.H. During this time, a German dance instructor and colleague of mine, Marie Christine, and I recognized that a considerable number of the 100 K-8th grade students at the school had repairable foot pathologies. She suggested we dedicate a semester to studying feet in the hopes of helping these students. Through a combination of parental guidance, remedial work, range of motion exercises and reflexology principles, we embraced the challenge. It was during this time, that Marie shared stories of being raised and schooled in Europe where the healthcare community accepted complimentary modalities. She gave me my first reflexology map, a wallet sized reference card that I still carry today. It is a gentle reminder of the profound turn I took in my professional and personal development.
It was during the late 90's, that I decided to take a reflexology course to get my certification. I found a school in Worchester, MA that followed the Universal Method of Reflexology which was developed by South African instructor, Chris Stormer. At that time, there were a cluster of reflexology teachers delivering her course work in the United States. After completing the diploma process, I went on to open a private practice in the Monadnock Region of NH. At that time, I was still teaching children. Part of my work consisted of promoting self-care techniques, teaching Adult Education courses and providing continuing education hours through the local hospitals. I recognized that I needed more in-depth knowledge in reflexology and learned the Ingham Method from Dwight Byers. I also read research articles from the Kuntz team and reviewed Laura Norman and Mildred Carter's literature. Finally feeling ready, I prepared for and passed the ARCB test completing the National Foot Certification in NH.
I moved to Maine in 2001, and joined MCR. It felt like coming home. After teaching juggling for many years, my interest expanded into hand pathologies. I pursued the ARCB Hand Certification while becoming excited about delivering a mini-class called “Getting a Grip.” Although it is my opinion that national testing is not for everyone, I felt I needed to experience the process to become a better teacher.
My seventeen years with MCR have given me the opportunity to travel meeting many loving and gifted reflexologists. MCR has challenged me to develop leadership skills. I have enjoyed bringing interactive subjects to the afternoon programs and bringing engaging presenters to our State. Recently, MCR selected me to be the delegate to RAA. I am continuing to grow in this profession and am developing my own case study research ideas. Although I am drawn to women's health issues, palliative care, brain injuries and conditions of the sympathetic nervous system, my passion continues to be understanding the role of feet in children of all ages.
Now, more than ever with the sedentary lifestyle of our culture, I want to encourage healthy habits through movement. Many of you may remember me as the 'Energizer Bunny' of the group. However, due to a TBI three years ago, my focus is at a slower pace. I still maintain a sense of humor and sense of wonder. If you have not experienced my invisible jump rope, let me know, and I will be sure to get you one! This simple movement can engage the heart and lung reflexes on the plantar surface of the feet. I call it CPR for the Sole.
I look forward to many more years with MCR learning and connecting with old and new members. I am available to walk softly in the woods with you or invite you over for tea to admire our two Australian Shepherds, meet my partner of fifteen years and sit by the fire.