Reflexology at the Holmewood School
The Holmewood School, London is a school for international and local children with high functioning autism, Asperger's Syndrome, language, communication and social pragmatic difficulties and those associated with ADHD and specific learning difficulties.
It opened in September 2010 with 6 pupils and has flourished ever since, with the school now at its current full capacity of 38.
Their aim is to enable every child to flourish by encouraging and building upon their unique strengths and interests. Pupils are supported to develop and deploy strategies that overcome and cope with their difficulties. In addition to academic achievement, the focus at THSL is on developing every child's social, emotional and personal skills.
Every child has access to a team of skilled teachers, therapists, and professionals who work together to ensure each has a learning programme tailored to their specific needs. Families are offered the support and advice they need to feel confident and informed about their child’s needs and future prospects.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to work at the school for the last 4 years, providing reflexology treatments for those children that want them. It has been fascinating and very rewarding time.
At first it was a real challenge to get the children to try it out. Some weren’t comfortable with being touched, some found it ticklish, some found it painful, some couldn’t sit still for more than a couple of minutes; but we got there in the end. Starting with very short treatments, with teachers or assistants present, talking through exactly what I was doing and how it might help, I slowly built up their trust and now treatments are around 20 minutes.
Of course not every pupil wants to try, but those that do really look forward to their weekly sessions. It helps them relax, reduces anxiety, improves concentration, regulate mood swings and aids their digestion, which is problematic for a lot of the children.
I see around 10 to 15 pupils every week, with others trying occasionally and am always looking to get new people to try it.
I have also recently started treating staff as well. Teaching is hugely demanding and exhausting job, and the reflexology helps them cope more effectively with all the pressures and strengthens their resistance to illness.