The following is a interview with Monika that was featured in the Ottawa Community News.
Fitzroy woman helps others find balance
Reflexology and children’s yoga help manage stress, provide coping tools
Fitzroy Harbour resident Monika Miller is helping families and children find balance through reflexology and children’s yoga.
Life can be busy and hectic, but through her practice she helps people find time to connect with themselves.
“The world is so busy; half the time when you’re working, how many people skip not even going to the washroom until they really have to? You’re so busy you don’t even eat your lunch or take your breaks,” she said.
“Yes it’s crazy and you can get picked up in the momentum of life, but when you stop and do anything like reflexology, mediation, yoga, massage, it helps you say hi to you. It helps you be charged so you’re ready to go out there. If you don’t recharge, physically you’re going to get ill.”
Miller, 49, has always worked in an environment that helped others; she worked for the Ontario Provincial Police before finding employment through the Ottawa Civic Hospital. When her administration position was cut and she was laid off, she decided to realize one of her life-long dreams of running her own healing practice.
“I’ve always wanted, probably when I was in my 20s, to run a healing centre. I was never confident enough to do anything like that. I worked many different places, went to school, went to college,” she said.
“Administration was something that was predictable, mainstream, in the box. I loved working at the Civic Hospital for 14 years. Then I got laid off.”
She thought she might go into registered massage therapy (RMT) but decided instead to study reflexology and children’s yoga, two of her passions.
“It’s been wonderful,” said Miller. “At 49-years-old I’ve finally figured out what I’m supposed to be doing.
“It makes me feel good to know I’ve contributed positively to (a) person’s world.”
Miller provided me with a reflexology treatment on my hands to demonstrate how the practice works.
I found myself relaxing – actually relaxing – while she applied firm pressure to the various points on my hands, while explaining how it all works.
I slept better that night and found much of the tension I’d been carrying had disappeared.
Reflexology is “a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body.” By applying pressure to specific points, reflexology can help relieve tension, stress, improve the body’s circulation and promote health.
“Massage therapy works on the outside in, reflexology works on the inside out.
That’s really the best way to describe it. Both of them release toxins in the body,” said Miller.
“These are all different little mechanisms and tools to help you have a better quality of life and better quality relationships in your life with your family, friends and yourself. It starts with you.”
Miller is a trained reflexologist therapist with the Reflexology Association of Canada, and she received her teaching and training in Radiant Children’s Yoga from Shakta Khalsa (named one of the top five Kundalini Yoga teachers in the world) and Allison Morgan (who created Zensational Kids).
Miller teaches toddlers to teenagers, and is trained to teach differently-abled children and those with ADHD and autism.
Her favourite part of teaching children’s yoga is when she hosts classes at schools.
“When I get a kid who comes up to me and tell me they feel good, it just makes my heart sing,” she said.
Miller began researching children’s yoga when her son, now 11, wanted to attend a class with her – but she couldn’t see him being still or quiet enough for the hour-and-a-half class, which prompted her to start her own.
“Yoga for kids is not like adults,” she said. “Different age groups have different developmental needs. What you need to do is adjust; you have a template on what to do and then adjust based on the energy in the room.”
Yoga for children teaches them how to self-regulate, to tune into themselves and offers them coping tools to deal with stress.
“Research is coming out to show that it’s very beneficial in stress relief,” said Miller. “Holistic medicine is being looked at a little more seriously.”
Miller travels to her clients’ homes to provide treatment and also offers sessions out of her home. Her goal is to create her own healing centre, but right now being transitory is beneficial for those she treats.
Miller is offering a one-hour reflexology session for $50 (either hands or feet) until Dec. 30. Regular pricing for treatment is $65.