Finding connection: Vicky Barrett launches Muskoka Reflexology as a natural extension of her nursing career

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Vicky Barrett’s passion for relieving pain, connecting with patients, and helping them gain energy and relaxation shines brightly whenever she speaks about her new endeavour, Muskoka Reflexology.

Barrett discovered reflexology at a young age while she was living in England. Her grandfather had severe shoulder pain that wasn’t going away with modern medicine, but was greatly eased with reflexology.

As a nurse for 21 years, eight of those in Huntsville, Barrett understands the importance of support, love and care with her patients and now with her reflexology clients. While she will continue with her passion for ER nursing, she knew that practicing reflexology would be a perfect next step in her life.

Reflexology was originally practiced by the ancient Egyptians and adopted in Europe in the 14th century. Barrett describes it as “trying to achieve harmony, balance, and stimulate healing through the reflexes in your feet and hands.”

Points in your feet are connected to different zones, explains Barrett. By working on and putting pressure on different points in your feet, she can target ailments in internal organs, glands, muscle groups, bones, and nerves (sciatic). Reflexology can help with many common conditions such as bladder pain, migraines, sciatica, back pain, and low energy levels. Each session is documented on a chart from the Ontario College of Reflexology.

Before even asking her clients where their pain is, Barrett likes to check their feet to feel where the pain and tension is in the rest of their bodies.

Each reflexology treatment includes aspects of massage towards the end of the session. Barrett has partnered with Soapstones and uses solely their products as they are all-natural and offer many unscented products which her clients will often request.

Barrett says meeting new clients and hearing their stories is one of her favourite aspects of the job.

“I want my space to feel comforting and at home for each and every person that walks through my door,” she says.

 

If clients are unable to travel, Barrett has a mobile kit and will drive all over Muskoka for appointments. She currently has clients as far north as Burk’s Falls and as far south as Bracebridge. Her patients vary in age from as young as 11 to well into their eighties.

“It’s such a personal service I offer,” she says. “I love being able to offer that aspect to people because it’s so much different than nursing. As human beings we tend to isolate aspects of our bodies but, as reflexology teaches us, everything is all connected.”

Barrett completed a one-year course through distance learning and had to spend many hours practicing. “I had to practice on over 70 people as well as my instructor in order to gain my diploma,” she says. “But I absolutely loved learning and taking part in the schooling. There was tons and tons of theory involved and I learned so much.”

She has been running her business for more than five months now. She says that Muskoka is her forever home and that she couldn’t imagine setting up her business anywhere else.

“There is such a beautiful sense of community here,” she says. “Other local businesses and my clients have been amazing at getting my business off the ground and supporting me.”

Barrett solely practices foot reflexology right now but plans to expand into hand reflexology and Indian head massage come winter.

For more information about Muskoka Reflexology, contact Vicky Barrett via email at [email protected], phone or text at 705-783-9697, or through her Facebook page facebook.com/muskokareflexology.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed Barrett’s years of nursing experience as 10. The story has been updated to reflect the correct time period of 21 years.

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