Alison Morewood – A personal introduction to the late, great Clive O’ Hara.

Posted by lizrichardson – Thursday, August 9th, 2012

As your current Chair of the Clinical Association of Reflexologists and former student and friend of Clive O’Hara, it is my privilege to introduce here one of the modern day pioneers of reflexology.  During a career of more than 30 years unbroken clinical practice treating literally thousands of clients, a fact that undoubtedly qualified him as one of the leading experts in the field of complementary therapy, commonly referred to as ‘the voice of reason’.

Clive was the founder and principal lecturer of the Centre for Clinical Reflexology, where I did my training in 2002, also founder of the Clinical Association of Reflexologists and undisputed Reflexology Guru, who sadly passed away in June 2008.

Clive was passionate in his quest to find the ultimate truths surrounding reflexology and advocated standardized training within a single regulatory body, he realised a successful contribution to this dream when as its Editor, he saw the ‘Core Curriculum for Reflexology in the UK’ published in 2006.  He was constantly questioning and challenging the rules and theories of reflexology.  As editor and publisher of Clinical Reflexology News, the quarterly journal of the Clinical Association of Reflexologists, he regularly wrote articles aiming “to push against any restrictive boundaries of reflexology to widen the areas of understanding”.

In 2008 he published his final article ‘A Step Too Far’ and introduced it as: 

“a collection of thoughts on how easy it seems to be for some to cross the line from being an astute practitioner to being – well – wrong!  Quite simply more damage can be caused to the profession by what irresponsible reflexologists say as opposed to what they do during their application of reflexology.  There can sometimes be a fine line that once crossed makes our profession appear totally flawed and unacceptable to onlookers.  And if those onlookers are important to the progress of reflexology developing as a valid and integral part of the multidisciplinary healthcare team– such as our own GP for example, then crossing that line has let our profession and colleagues down.”

A few final wise words from my Guru:

Don’t fall off the edge by taking A STEP TOO FAR. Our profession is amazing enough without spurious help.

Sadly we have lost Clive but we mustn’t lose the legacy he left.  We must continue to build on the lifetime of commitment he gave to “our beloved profession” by working responsibly, intelligently, sensibly and be realistic and reasonable in our expectations of reflexology.

Lynne Marland, CAR Board member and co founder of the Bury Cancer Support Centre and Peter Mackereth, Clinical Lead for Complementary Therapies and Smoking Cessation at The Christie, wrote a moving piece about Clive following his passing in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.  The article outlines how Clive first became involved in reflexology and in addition to him establishing the Centre for Clinical Reflexology and Clinical Association of Reflexologists, describes some of his other notable professional achievements.   To access the article click here: Clive O’Hara Tribute in Journal

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