Being an active participant in reflexology training is the beginning of a unique and wonderful journey. The path of healing – for one’s self and others – is a challenging and infinitely rewarding one. And, while reflexology is relatively simple to learn and to practice, there are many things to learn in addition to those classically taught in a standardized reflexology curriculum. Reflexology training will provide the very important foundation for a career in reflexology, however a creative exploration and individualized approach to the craft of reflexology should be viewed as the ultimate goal. And, to keep in mind there is always room for continued growth and learning. In fact, many states require continuing education for reflexologists.
Reflexology Training Basics
The discovery that comes from experience is priceless. However, having a few nuggets of knowledge under your belt will help to smooth the transition between the classroom and the real world. And, being able to answer the question, “What is reflexology?” provides a certain level of command for the practice of reflexology and how you communicate it to others, as an up and coming reflexologist.
So firstly, reflexology training typically occurs in a classroom setting, where you will find reflexology tables and chairs for the applied practice and teacher observation of techniques and routines. And desks for the “book learning” and lecture components. Even though you are on a particular track of learning, you will be exposed to different types of reflexology for comparison purposes. Logistically, most class sizes don’t exceed twenty students, as this is the upper limit of what an instructor can effectively handle. And, most of the time, instructors will have assistants helping with the details.
Most professional reflexology training will consist of several modules, including:
- Introduction to Reflexology
- History of Reflexology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Foot Specific Analysis
- Foot Pain Conditions
- Reflexology Foot and Hand Charts
- Professional Business Requirements
- Teacher Audits and Feedback
- Practice Sessions
- Several Elective Classes
Part of your reflexology training will be practice sessions. This is where the fun begins. Especially for your clients. Spread the word – you are taking reflexology training and you need clients to practice on. Be careful, everyone and their brother and mother will be knocking down your door to receive reflexology. For the record, you are not supposed to charge a fee for your practice sessions during reflexology training, as you will be documenting your client’s progress and technically they are doing you a favor by providing their feet for your education. This being said, you can absolutely receive gratuities and donations. Just refrain from asking for them. When I was in reflexology training I had a practice client who insisted on paying me, which I accepted graciously. She is still a client to this day!
Advanced Reflexology Training
Reflexology training is very comprehensive and rivals any other type of bodywork curriculum for its depth and complexity. Having worked through a complete reflexology training curriculum and running my own reflexology business for over ten years, I would like to offer up a few things to keep in mind as your training progresses:
- Practice good posture. Your body is the most important one in a reflexology treatment. So many reflexologists and other body workers are oblivious to their own bodies during a session. It is essential to a successful career that a practitioner develop good postural habits.
- Do reflexology trades with other reflexologists. This is where you both give reflexology to each other and is the best way to stay healthy and remain in touch with the receiving end of your practice. Oftentimes, a practitioner will only provide and not receive. As such, they begin to lose touch with the client side of their practice. Set up a regular monthly trade with a fellow reflexologist. This is the best kind of ongoing and quality reflexology training.
- Take especially good care of your hands. Give yourself hand reflexology every day; be extremely careful using sharp instruments – if you cut your finger or thumb you could be out of business for a while. Use a good quality hand lotion.
- Expect the unexpected. Murphy’s Law is alive and well in reflexology training just as it is in everything else in life. Practice clients will be late or will be no-shows; they will bring their children with them to a session and you will have to round them up while attempting to give their parent reflexology; and lastly, a client may make an inappropriate advance toward you. In this event, you must immediately bring the session to an end and respectfully request they depart. Do not accept payment for the session and DO NOT allow them to return! Just keep your cool and expect the unexpected.
When foot reflexology becomes second-nature and you are comfortable providing an hour-long session, it is time to pursue more education. While there are many modules from which to select, there are only a few that are worth pursuing as an adjunct to what you have already learned.
I recommend hand and ear reflexology training. This is where you will set yourself apart from the everyday reflexologist, who only does foot reflexology. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with only providing reflexology on the feet, being able to offer more reflexology options to your clients is impressive and very professional. It is also a wonderful way to add value to a practice. You can charge more for your services and you will receive more referrals from your existing clientele’.
On an important note, preparing yourself for the unexpected emotional response from a reflexology client is an important lesson to learn, as well. With any hands-on healing method, emotions become an integral part of the reflexology treatment experience. While the nervous system is allocating resources to different parts of the body as the feet are being worked on, there are connected emotional sensitivities that can – and do – arise, as a result. This doesn’t happen all of the time. However, being aware that it can happen at anytime during any reflexology treatment, prepares the reflexologist and they can handle the experience more appropriately.
Reflexology training is a tremendous way to learn a new skill you can offer to family and friends and to take more seriously and start a new and rewarding career.