First of all, as I begin my foot reflexology reviews, I will share that I have been practicing the Art of Reflexology since 1979 and I became Certified in 1983 through the International Institute of Reflexology,“the Only School Licensed To Teach The Original Ingham Method of Reflexology“.
My experience with this modality has been a huge part of my life and I believe I have instructed and helped many people all over the United States in understanding the benefits of Reflexology.
Today I want to review a basic understanding of Reflexology and discuss other programs promoting Reflexology along with the Original Ingham Method, which I chose to utilize in my life.
Reflexology is a word that some people have never heard. When they first hear that I practice Reflexology, their minds jump to conclusions and I get asked if it is a cult of some sort. I have even been asked if I was a witch!
Ignorance comes in all shapes and sizes and fear overtakes many when introduced to new things. Their concerns are respected and it gives me an opportunity to educate and inform. I hope to do the same here, right now.
WESTERN VERSES EASTERN PHILOSOPHIES
For those of us experiencing health care in the Western World, the medical physician treats the body of patients, working with pharmaceutical companies and sophisticated machinery to identify disease in the body. Often a social worker or psychiatrist will be called in to deal with our mental health. Our spiritual needs are addressed by our religious leaders. Body, mind, and spirit are seen as separate entities.
Eastern philosophies of body health encompass a holistic overview of an individual and his or her environment. Health is perceived as a balance that exists between the interplay of body, mind, and spirit. For good health to be present, the entire person must be treated, not just the body, or the mind, or the spirit individually. All elements of the person are considered in the healing treatment.
Reflexology is one modality that is used to meet this holistic experience.
WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY
This is just a quick overview of what Reflexology is considered. The theory behind Reflexology, an ancient holistic healing method dealing with the energy that flows through our bodies, is that areas of the foot correspond to organs and systems of the body. Pressure applied to the foot is believed to bring relaxation and healing to the corresponding area of the body
The definition of Reflexology, based on the Original Works of Eunice D. Ingham: Stories the Feet Can Tell, is “Reflexology is a science which deals with the principle that there are reflexes in the feet relative to each and every organ and all parts of the body. “
The Mayo Clinic states that “Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet (or the hands). Reflexology is generally relaxing and may help alleviate stress.”
From personal experience, and having worked with thousands of people over the years, I believe that Reflexology allows the body to achieve a natural balance so it can heal itself. Now that is really an exciting reality for me as I don’t fair well with Western Medical practices!
For the thousands out here that do rely on Western Medicine, I want you to understand that I respect every Physician, Nurse, and Caregiver who spent so many hours of training to learn their profession. Reflexology is basically an Alternative Medicine choice for myself and others.
DIFFERENT SCHOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
I have noticed over the years that there are many start up organizations teaching Reflexology technique to anyone who will pay the price of the class. Massage schools have added the training of Reflexology to their curriculum. However, I have often experienced such a session at a Spa and it is definitely not Reflexology as practiced in Eastern Medicine.
The Massage schools teach Reflexology techniques as a massage option. When seeking a Reflexology treatment at the Spa I have always received a foot massage, not Reflexology. Relaxing and wonderful, but it was not truly Reflexology.
So with that in mind, I focus on sharing the training of programs I have reviewed and believe offer the true essence of Eastern Reflexology.
International Institute of Reflexology
As I mentioned before, I was trained in the Original Ingham Method taught through the International Institute of Reflexology based in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Their method is based on the original experiences used by Eunice Ingham who is also considered the Mother of Reflexology in our Western World. Eunice worked for a medical Doctor who allowed her to use Reflexology with patients to relieve pain. Her instruction has been around since 1938.
The International Institute of Reflexology states that “Reflexology is a unique modality in the health field. Its purpose is not to treat or diagnose for any specific medical disorder, but to promote better health and well-being in the same way as an exercise or diet program.”
The certification exam on the Ingham Method® of Reflexology consists of both a written test on the theory and a practical application on an instructor. The student must complete 200 hours of classroom and hands on training.
Their technique uses the thumb to apply pressure to the different reflex areas on the foot that relate to a specific energy zone.
What I like about The International Institute of Reflexology is it is one of the pioneers in Reflexology here in our Western world. Through their history, they have paved the road of legitimacy for others to follow. I respect their training and their ethics.
The Barefoot Dragonfly LLC
This is a fairly new training center, located in Austin, Texas. offering a combined curriculum of in-person and online courses.
They also reach forward to educate their students in complimentary services such as aromatherapy and self-care.
The certification consists of 300 hours of both classroom hours and live hours (hands on).
The technique used involves specific finger and thumb positions applying pressure to targeted points.
What I like about the Barefoot Dragonfly LLC is they are compliant with two of the biggest associations that regulate the legitimacy of Reflexology. These organizations, The Reflexology Association of America (RAA) and the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB), bring criteria and regulation to this modality. So even thought this is a relatively new Training Center, The Barefoot Dragonfly is fresh, updated, and in compliance.
Laura Norman Holistic Reflexology
In 1970, Laura Norman began her career in Reflexology. Laura has over time developed a very comprehensive training program offered at spas, salons and wellness centers, as well as at universities, hospitals and massage schools.
Classes are taught through home study and teleclasses as well as at her training centers in New York City, Delray Beach, Florida and New England.
She has authored several informative books on the techniques and theories of Reflexology and has promoted Reflexology awareness in the media and on T.V.
The certification program covers 300 hours of study and practice
The technique includes thumb walking, finger walking, hook and back up, and rotation on a point.
What I like about Laura Norman Holistic Reflexology is the attitude toward Reflexology and the students who study this program. In any training, it is first important to learn the skills; however where many fall short is in teaching the personal contact skills of running such a business.
People skills such as listening, compassion, and ethics lead to success and returning customers. This program not only teaches the techniques of proper Reflexology, but also teaches how to deepen a relationship with a variety of people and conditions through interpersonal skills.
In addition, Laura Norman Holistic Reflexology teaches business skills and guides students to National Certification.
National Board Certification for Reflexologists
Reflexology practitioners who are able to meet industry standards and practice the prescribed Code of Ethics provided by the National Board Certification through the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB), are understood to be professionals. Their extensive training is the next step in becoming legitimate and credible.
All the above mentioned Training Centers present qualified teachers whose experience is passed on to all students. With these new skills, students are properly trained to provide professional services to anyone who is in need of information or treatment in Reflexology. The National Board Certification confirms their qualifications.
As the public begins to accept Reflexology as a legitimate and credible modality in the complementary health field, having access to a Reflexologist with high credentials is in the best interests of those seeking treatments.
Reflexology is not the same as a foot massage, even though it is often promoted as such. So if you are seeking a Reflexology session, look for the National Board Certification to confirm you will be receiving more than a foot massage.
Whether you are a client or a practitioner, you will be protected from fraudulent or shady dealings as long as you are dealing with industry standards set forth by the ARCB. Having such a certificate indicates you are bound by certain rules and regulations and provides the giver of treatment with a credibility above all others.
Over all, Board certification sets the highest standard to which a professional Reflexologist can aspire. You can think in terms of having received a college degree and then moving through your graduate program. This education is beyond what you would receive in your initial program.
I found this statement on the ARCB’s website. “ARCB’s national certification process absolutely promotes higher standards of education, ensures public safety, and demonstrates practitioner commitment to the profession through self-improvement and continuing education requirements. By choosing a national board certified Reflexologist the public can be confident in the quality of services offered.”
Although I have only shared my thoughts on three Reflexology Training Centers, you must know there are many more options if you are seeking training. These are three that I personally hold in high esteem.
I hope reading my foot reflexology reviews, gives you the knowledge you will need when seeking training as a Reflexologist or in seeking a truly professional Reflexologist for a natural way to promote self-care.
If you need help or want to discuss this article, please leave your comments. I will be happy to respond as soon as possible.
Get Happy Feet,