FEATURE: My romance with foot reflex

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews / 30 June) – A friend introduced and recommended me to foot reflex. I declined, believing it was the kind found in some pretentious and expensive spas and saloons at the malls.

But later, I found myself lining up inside Butuan’s Immaculate Concepcion Parish (ICP) for a foot reflex “festival,” a day of free foot reflex service by students of alternative healing school, a special program of the church. It was a long line and I was excited and anxious as I saw the patients, some relaxed and many in seemingly compromised situation. Then it was my turn. “Please be gentle with me,” I told the reflexologist, “I have the habit to pass out when I’m scared.” The middle-age lady smiled and said, “The pain is necessary so we would know if you have ailment or not.” I said I was joking. I am a fighter. That was 10 years ago.

The author with Kokoy and his “handgun,” a deer’s horn the latter uses for his reflexology. Photo courtesy of Joma Bungabung
The author with Kokoy and his “handgun,” a deer’s horn the latter uses for his reflexology. Photo courtesy of Joma Bungabung

A few months after that, I went back though not on a regular basis. I go to the clinic (now inside the church compound) when I feel my blood pressure is up, had colds or headache. The “reflectors” (how my friends laugh when I said it instead of reflexologists) and the walk-in patients became my friends and we have long chats.

I should be honest. I learned that one of its benefits is you look young, much younger than your age. Who wouldn’t be drawn to that?

Health concern then to me was a second priority, high BP or not. Of course I told no one.

Today, it’s a different story. I am seeing a favorite “reflector” for a pure necessity: attaining good health. I transferred to another alternative clinic called the Pedro Calungsud Health Clinic organized by the Missionary Sisters of Mary (MSM) and met Kokoy (I never got to ask his full name).

He is older than me by two years, his head in full white already, and a damn good reflexologist. His healing instrument: a sharp deer’s horn we call a “handgun.” I’m seeing him three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – because my BP went ballistic two months ago after a heat stroke got me.

Kokoy’s also a herbalist and an excellent hilot (physical therapist). He knows all kinds of herbs, plants and nurtures them and I suspect, talks to them.

His wife, Nene whom he taught reflex as well (including his 21-year-old son), jokingly proclaims him an MD, murag doktor (like a medical doctor). One day, I thought, their son would be an MD too. Maybe this is what humanity needs.

Did reflexology heal me? I think it did. It gave me assurance and confidence and I feel good too and some good vibes as well. All for fifty pesos (but bring your own alcohol, herbal oil and foot towel).

I am glad I’ve found this. The murag doktor (MD) is real, so real after all.