Member in the Spotlight: June Atherton
I was certified as a reflexologist on 10/19/2001. I went to Treat Your Feet School of Reflexology— the one-and-only Myra Achorn of Augusta, ME. I found her in the Maine Wellness Paper at the Blue Hill Food Co-op. I was talking to my Mom and asked her what she would think if I took the class. Her answer blew me away—”that would be a great thing to do and I will back you with the cost of the class”. I jumped at the offer and off I went to start the class in FEB 2001.
Life before I became a reflexologist: I had moved home from CA in 1980 with two children to work at the local drug store for 7 years... Newly divorced and needing health insurance- I went to work at the local bank—Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. In the 24 years at the bank, I have been a teller, moved to being a certified teller, and finally to the Customer Service Rep where I have seen many customers in high stress. Being a person who wants to serve others and help to lighten their pain—there must be something out there to help everyone in need of lightening their stress level.
In 2000-2001 the bank had upper management turnover and a lot of changes were taking place. I was working at a greenhouse in the spring and summer on the weekend for extra money. There was so much stress and unhappiness in these work places; I wanted something to HELP people to relax and be at peace. My daughter’s first baby was coming and her feet were giving her problems. At the same time, my Mom’s Polio was starting to act up, so her feet were an issue too. After talking with Myra, I knew that I wanted to become a reflexologist and help people’s feet to feel better. What a wonderful part time job to help people to feel GREAT!
Two years after becoming a certified reflexologist—I took the test to become ARCB certified. What a test… and then to do 90 more sessions in their format!! Well on Jan. 8, 2003 —the best letter in the mail came —I had passed and was ARCB certified. Why, you ask, would I do that—Well I went to The RAA conference in Rhode Island; My First RAA meeting and have not missed one so far. The question about licensing came up and went away and then back at each conference. I was new at the profession and was hoping that if we had to become licensed that the powers-to-be would grandmother all ARCB certified members and not make us take another test for licensing. The other reason was to be more accountable to my clients—to be both ARCB and school certified and a member of the national organization—they would respect and honor my services.
I feel if you are working in a field —you should belong to the State, & National organizations. Greater the number, the more power, and knowledge comes to all of us. What I like about MCR and meetings is the energy and love that comes from the wonderful group of Great healers.
I love the sharing of knowledge, the workshops and having my feet worked on in the afternoon. I have been a member since 2001. I also belong to RAA & ARCB associations.
What is my practice like? I work from home, make house calls, have foot parties. I have sessions Monday-Friday at night after work and all day Saturdays. In the winter, sometimes on Sunday, if there is a storm. This is my part time job? Sounds like reflexology is more to me.
I love to try different styles of reflexology—I use warm stones between the toes, chi Reflexology (Moss Arnold), Vertical reflexology (Lynne Booth) and foot reading (Jane Sheehan), just to name some. There are a lot of great styles out there; each has great points (more tools for my toolbox). You need to have an open mind and try different styles and use the items from each style that fit you. My hands guide me into the style that my client needs at that session. Each session is different as each reflexologist is, but the client comes away with the same relaxation, lower stress, and a peaceful feeling.
What workshops have I attended that I loved the most? At the RAA conference in AZ—I went to a workshop given by Moss Arnold on CHI Reflexology—It was great/he was great. Lynne Booth’s workshop was great too. I have been to many workshops and the more hands-on the better. The openness of the teacher to pass on their love of reflexology is so important to me. We each learn in different ways, but to pass the love of knowledge on is so important to ones who starting out now.
I would love to learn more about meridians and pet reflexology would be fun to do. I am open to anything to do with the field of Reflexology and the business that goes with it.
I love to cook and eat; to garden is my way to get grounded and back to mother earth. Sewing, kayaking, camping, cross country skiing, being out of doors are a few of my favorite things to do. But best of all—being with the grand kids and family.
What do I like to do for fun? Now that is a hard one to answer—I enjoy doing so much and if I enjoy it —it is fun, so life in general is what I do for fun and I have one good old belly laugh each day and more if need be. For my own health, I try to eat well, get a lot of fresh air, laugh a lot, and I have polarity each month from a dear friend. Eunice Ingham wanted reflexology to be household word, she wanted to pass her knowledge on for all to use as part of their health program. Eunice was a professional, but she knew that Reflexology should be open to the lay person. Eunice went out into the public with her teaching.
I see MCR as the driving force in educating the members with great workshops and the public with a strong outreach program with many members participating. To become a part of the medical profession and to make reflexology a strong profession—licensing may be in the future. I have mixed feelings with this- for I want the public to have a say in their own health care and at an affordable cost, which reflexology is the great way to do this. Reflexologists need to be trained, certified, have affordable insurance, the respect of the medical profession and our own profession. Will licensing do this? I don’t know. Cost may become an issue but can we afford the cost not to do the right thing for our clients and general public? MCR will need to be on top of this movement…June
Submitted by Wendy Decker