Member in the Spotlight: Elisabeth Wolfe
I first became interested in reflexology in 1998. I had been an RN since 1975 (23 years then- yikes!) after having graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. I grew up in a suburb 60 miles from NYC, the daughter of an MD and one of 11 children. I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. However, by 1998, I started to feel like I was more a part of the problem rather than the solution. As a home health nurse my work was becoming more and more about medications and paperwork and less and less about the person sick- I wanted to do more! I put that desire out to the universe and before I knew it, a reflexology book (called “The Family Guide to Reflexology by Ann Gillanders”) appeared before me at Borders Book Store. I read it, got excited- overly so, I must admit. I called Nancy Nutt, a reflexologist in the Midcoast area where I live, who said she heard that Myra Achorn was thinking of starting a school. I called Myra and told her I wanted to be a reflexologist. She asked me if I ever had a treatment and I told her no! Well, she said I needed to get 4 or 5 treatments before I decided, so I did (with her) and it was fabulous and it’s been true love ever since.
Now my 14th year as a reflexologist, I practice out of my home in Belfast, Me. I have all the clients I want, again trusting that the universe will send me what I need. As soon as I get a little light in my caseload I send out a prayer and more clients appear. I don’t advertise and lately, because I care for my elderly mother in my home, I don’t do volunteer work either.
My work has evolved so that reflexology is just one of several modalities I use. I am a “Surya” practitioner, which involves working multidimensionally (physically, psychoenergetically and spiritually). Reflexology is the best “IN” I know of to go deeper. Reiki trained, I currently am receiving in-depth training in “The Work” of Byron Katie. She, as well as Michael Mamas (director of the School of Enlightened Healing) have been my main gurus outside of reflexology.
The masters I have learned from in Reflexology includes Myra Achorn (my beloved first teacher and mentor thanks for the incredibly solid, rock foundation you have given me!), Father Joseph, Lynne Booth, Bill Flocco, Dwight Byers, Daniel Lobash (Koryo Hand Therapy), and most recently, Li Chun Huang, MD, OMD from China, whom I hope to work with more in the future in the area of Auricular Therapy.
I am ARCB certified; it was a desire to support our profession that made me get the certification as opposed to any increased knowledge from the process. I continue to this day struggle with which “clothes” (or identity to put it another way) do I dress with for my profession’s sake. Do I spend my energies solely trying to be the most topnotched reflexologist I can possibly be or do I divide my energies and work politically to enhance our status? So far, because I absolutely despise politics, I have chosen to work individually, hoping to present to my small world a professional, competent representative.
As for fun, I have an incredible life. As I have said, I currently supervise 24-hour care for my elderly mother, sharing this responsibility with my sister Penny who moved to Maine just to be able to provide care for her- she is a true saint! We consider it an immense honor to help Mom in this final stage of her life, get a lot of love and laughs out of it as well. And of course, I do reflexology with her that seems to quiet a lot of aches and pains.
When I‘m not in my office or with my mother, I hike (I recently walked 500 miles across Spain-The Camino- what a blast!), garden, do yoga, kayak and sundry other things trying to keep healthy and stay outdoors as much as possible. To sum up, thanks to reflexology, I feel I am part of the solution, not part of the family. I consider it an immense pleasure to support people’s self-correcting mechanism through touch…Elizabeth
Interviewed by Wendy Decker