Ron Leibel discovered Reflexology in 1985 because of his asthma. When he tried it on regular basis, within a couple of months his lungs cleared up and he was able to stop taking medications. It was a life altering experience that changed his life forever. Wherever he lived, in the ensuing years, he kept up with the reflexology sessions that acted as a preventative and a health tune-up.
In 1993 he decided to take the Foot Reflexology Certificate Course at the Pacific Institute of Reflexology and another at the International Institute of Reflexology in Richmond. He realized that Reflexology was his true passion in life. He started a full-time Reflexology practice in 1993 and worked at Le Spa at the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver as well as a mobile service for BC Hydro, Vancity, Film Studios and other personal clients.
He went on to be the President of the Reflexology Association of British Columbia for six years and is a Professional Reflexology Standards Committee Member. He was also the Editor of the Foot Press, the newsletter of the RABC. After practicing Reflexology for a few years, he began to feel the effect it can have on his thumbs, hands and wrists. He used the thumb-walking technique as he was taught for the first few years then he began to doubt whether he could continue because of the pain in his thumbs, hands and wrists.
Reflexology is a manual therapy that is all about thumb and handwork, care must be taken to protect and strengthen the hands in order to ensure a long career. Out of necessity, he developed what he call the “Sliding Technique” whereas instead of walking the thumb he would slide his thumb using skin cream or massage oil instead of corn starch, baby powder or nothing.
He found this to be more effective in several ways. It requires less effort because you don’t have the constant thumb-walking motion, you can actually apply more pressure with less exertion, you don’t miss any reflex points and develop a better feel of the feet and the reflexes. It also feels more comfortable for the client because it’s comparable to a massage technique but it’s not a massage because you are stimulating and pinpointing all of the reflex areas. You have less friction built up with your thumb and the feet because you are using cream or oil plus less mess on your client’s clothes and yours if you are using cornstarch or powder.
In 2002, he developed his own Advanced Reflexology “Sliding Technique” Foot Course and began to teach courses at various locations in Metro Vancouver such as Kwantlen University College, Surrey College, Metro College, Vancouver Community College, Sprott-Shaw Community College, North Shore Continuing Education, Burnaby Continuing Education, Port Moody Community Services, Coquitlam Continuing Education, West Vancouver Community Learning, Vancouver School Board and the Advanced Reflexology Institute.
In the ongoing years he has added the Advanced Reflexology Hand & Ear Course. He has also produced Foot & Hand “Sliding Technique” Instructional DVDs that are included as part of the Reflexology courses. All of these courses have been accredited by the College of Massage Therapists of B.C. as part of their Continuing Education and Professional Development (CE/PD) for the full 24.0 Credits needed for the 2-year cycle.