What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a gentle complementary therapy in which the practitioner applies controlled pressure with thumbs or fingers to specific areas of the feet (or sometimes the hands). It is based on the theory that every organ, structure and part of the body is mirrored in the feet and that any problem or tension in the body is reflected in the related part of the foot.

Reflexologists do not claim to cure specific illnesses, but to encourage the body’s own healing mechanisms to restore and maintain the body’s natural equilibrium.

What does a reflexologist do?
During a reflexology session, the practitioner will begin by talking to the client about their lifestyle and medical history. The feet will be examined and assessed for potential problem areas before treatment starts. The practitioner can then tailor the treatment to the individual needs of the client. A good reflexologist will need:

  • A caring and holistic approach and a genuine interest in helping people achieve good health.
  • Good hand skills to apply the techniques.
  • The personality to relate well to all kinds of people.
  • The intuition to tune into the client’s needs.
  • Good listening skills.
  • A thorough understanding of how the human body functions in health and sickness.

Who do reflexologists help?
Reflexology practitioners so not treat conditions – they treat people, and reflexology is not a substitute for orthodox medical treatment. However it has proved very beneficial for a wide range of chronic and acute conditions – especially for all stress-related problems. Many practitioners have reported that clients with problems such as sinusitis, asthma, migraine, depression, ME, muscular and skeletal disorders, menstrual problems, hypertension, bowel disorders etc have benefited from treatment. Reflexology has also helped small babies with colic, maintained peak condition in athletes and brought peace to the dying.

How to become a reflexologist
There are schools and colleges which offer Association of Reflexology (AoR) accredited courses. These are part-time, held over at least one academic year with a minimum of 100 hours in-class tuition and about 300 hours home practice and study. Cost of training varies but private schools usually charge £800 – £1,000. Some schools have a minimum age limit of 18 years. No prior qualifications are necessary for enrolment on the majority of courses, but students should be prepared for a certain amount of academic work. The AoR is a Government registered Awarding Body of Practitioners Qualification in Reflexology, and awards Practitioner Certificates to those who successfully pass the examinations.

Job prospects
Because reflexology works well with other forms of treatment, an increasing number of medical centres, hospitals, hospices, dental practices and pharmacists are either employing reflexologists in their practices or working in collaboration with them. While the majority of reflexologists are self-employed, some practitioners are currently renting rooms from other healthcare professionals who can refer patients for treatment. The past few years have seen a much greater awareness of and interst in complementary medicine, including reflexology. With the prospect of complementary medicine being integrated into primary healthcare, the opportunities for reflexologists could be unlimited.

Information Courtesy of:
Association of Reflexologists (AoR)

To find out more about reflexology or accredited courses, please send your request with an SAE to: Association of Reflexologists (AoR) 27 Old Gloucester Street London WC1N 3XX Tel: 0870 567 3320 Email: aor@assocmanagement.co.uk For Further information visit the website: www.aor.org.uk

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