Reflexology: A Step to Better Health

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By Lorraine Gregus, The Almanac, June 18, 2008

It’s surprising how frequently our lives are directed by the people we meet. Often during a crucial time a person we hardly know helps to guide us down the right path- many times without even knowing.

Two years ago I met Dorit Brauer as she welcomed folks to walk the labyrinth at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair. Since I’m always in a hurry, Dorit’s calming influence drew me into her circle. From her meditating realm to her artistic talent to her focus with holistic medicine, she had much to share. Without hesitating, I became an eager listener.

Raised on a dairy farm in Germany, as a young woman Dorit moved to Israel to study fine art. She added Hebrew and yoga to her schedule and soon curiosity led her to learning the power of energy healing.

“I studied natural and noninvasive healing which originated in ancient China and Egypt,” said Dorit. “After graduating from the Mahut School of Complementary Medicine and Holism in Israel, I practiced meditation and reflexology in both Israel and Germany before moving to the U.S. in 1998.”

In Pittsburgh, Dorit joined UPMC’s Center for Complementary Medicine and practiced reflexology and meditation with adults suffering from anxiety and pain disorders and those with high blood pressure. She also joined Highmark as an instructor. Dorit’s confidence in reflexology had me realizing that I needed help to reduce my own stress level. “Reflexology offers a variety of benefits,” continued Dorit. “It relieves muscle tension and balances emotions without the use of medications.”

With a real desire for complete relaxation, I read countless articles and visited several Web sites, all focusing on holistic medicine, particularly through therapy of the feet. I checked foot charts and read testimonials. About that time, Dorit told me of her plans to move to California. But before she headed out West, I opt for a foot therapy session. Immediately, the day’s tension seemed to roll from my fingertips.

For the next few months I thought about finding another reflexologist, but wasn’t sure where to go. Shortly after this year began, an e-mail from Dorit announced she was moving back to Pittsburgh, a city she loved. When asked what her plans were, a quick reply stated Dorit was relocating to Scott Township and would continue her focus on meditation and reflexology. Former clients had already scheduled reflexology appointments with her. Without hesitation, I asked Dorit to fit me in, too. Delighted with last week’s results, I am now a believer.

Stacy from Mt. Lebanon also agrees.

“Although I suffered from migraine headaches for 20 years, I started reflexology sessions with Dorit as a good way to relax.” “A few appointments later I knew I was feeling more calm and the benefits were lasting between visits. I haven’t had a migraine in three years.”

Sherry C. of Upper St. Clair writes, “Nearly 10 years ago I began going to Dorit for reflexology purely for fun – thinking a foot massage would be pretty nice. Unconsciously, I had been holding onto possessions of my mothers who had passed away 15 years earlier. Reflexology helped to remove an emotional block and now it’s about restoring balance to my life.”

Doctors wanted to prescribe estrogen and antidepressants as menopause took hold for Mary in Bridgeville. “I didn’t want to be dependent on medications,” Mary said. “When Dorit was recommended, I admit to being skeptical. Through guided meditation and a variety of foot manipulations I’ve experienced a liberating approach to healing my issues.”

Research studies indicate positive benefits of reflexology for various conditions. Studies funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health indicate reflexology’s ability to reduce pain and enhance relaxation, sleep and the reduction of anxiety and depression.

“My hope is that we are entering an era where conventional and complementary medicine begin to work together hand in hand for the benefit of all,” Dorit added.

To learn more, call 412-489-5100.