Learn About Reflexology

In my blog I will mainly speak about foot reflexology and regularly present a new aspect of this wonderful healing technique  - I hope you enjoy the blog, it's free to learn.

Friday, April 29, 2011

How to Gain Respect as a Reflexologist

This post was written by Pat Walling.

Gaining respect for holistic practices of any kind can be challenging. Chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists, as well as reflexologists have been forced to prove their sciences in all parts of the world. Over 150 years ago, even dentists fought the same battles. Yet the benefits of reflexology and other holistic practices speak for themselves once people try them. Relieving pain and suffering is the best path to recognition and respect. As those with online health care degrees will tell you, the best proof of efficacy is found in positive results.

Understanding Reflexology

Reflexology is simply a matter of understanding that all parts of the body are connected. Massaging, applying pressure or stimulation to one area impacts another corresponding area, relieving pain or improving function. Most reflexologists work with the foot, but the outer ear, the hand and many other parts of the body can also work. Just as we do not have to open the case on the television to change the channel (but instead have a choice of using the remote control or a button on the face of the television) so we can change the inside of the body by applying pressure to the foot, the hand or the external ear. The energies and electrical impulses are connected in a system, so that just as with the TV, by pressing on one external spot, something inside is changed. Thus reflexology is simply applying gentle stimulation or pressure to the foot, in order to improve the function of the internal organs. This is a very noninvasive method of treatment, which is completely safe and amazingly effective.

Reflexology is Painless, Noninvasive and Safe

Reflexology is a completely noninvasive method of treating all sorts of illnesses and stresses within the human body. Patients do not even have to undress, other than removing their shoes. Better yet, reflexology isn’t painful at all. In fact, most people find it very pleasant. Similarly, there is no way a person can be harmed by reflexology. Unlike pharmaceutical therapy, there are no drug recalls, dangerous unknown side effects or even the most remote possibility of allergic reaction. Also, unlike invasive medical procedures there is no recovery time involved, and no risk of fatality or further harm from treatment. Also because reflexology does not involve medications there is no risk of it conflicting in any way with other treatments.

Reflexology is Effective for a Number of Conditions

There has been documented success in treating a number of different illnesses and symptoms, including senile dementia, pain, premenstrual symptoms, migraine headaches and tension headaches with reflexology. Reflexology has also proven effective in alleviating the pains associated with several illnesses. For instance it can provide relief from the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and it is also useful in treating the pain and anxiety of cancer patients. In fact, one in three American Cancer patients turn to reflexology for pain relief. There is evidence that the use of holistic practices, including reflexology, in conjunction with neurological treatments can be beneficial and boost the efficacy of both treatments.

Professionalism and Knowledge Boost Credibility

One of the key elements in gaining respect for the practice of reflexology is educating the public and raising awareness. Therefore, reflexologists should talk about their work, and be able to explain their practice in a credible way. They should have plenty of literature available to illustrate to clients how their system works, and information about studies proving the effectiveness of their treatments. They should be able to explain procedures, before performing them, just as any other medical professional would. As such, reflexologists should avoid pushy sales technique and always remain professional.

The experience of receiving reflexology must also prove effective for the patient. Thirty years ago, acupuncture had many of the same battles in the United States. Acupuncture was not covered by insurance, and most people thought it was pure quackery. Only as people experienced the effectiveness of acupuncture and acupressure for themselves, did it become an accepted field. Today acupuncture and acupressure methods are covered by most insurance in the United States and acupuncture is frequently recommended by American doctors.

Standardizing Practices

It is vital for all reflexology practitioners to communicate with other reflexologists, and stay abreast of events and discoveries within the group. Luckily, there are several Reflexology Associations. These associations must unify and become a governing body for the field, before any progress can be made toward credible credentialing. It would also help the situation if this governing body had close ties with associations in other countries.

In the absence of laws governing the profession, reflexologists should seek to observe the standards of the noblest medical professionals. Perhaps by abiding by the < herf=”http://www.medword.com/PhysiciansCharter.html”> Physicians Charter, reflexologists could serve mankind in a way that would humble a neurosurgeon.

Educational and Licensing Standards

Currently, reflexology is not regulated or recognized by the mainstream French health care system. Treatments are not reimbursed, and there is no recognition of credentials whether a practitioner has a doctorate, merely a certificate or no training whatsoever.

The current non-regulated system has both advantages and pitfalls. The main advantage is that those who are talented in reflexology and cannot afford a medical doctorate can practice without government interference. The main pitfall is that there is no standard of practice, and no governing body to determine if a reflexologist is practicing reflexology correctly.

In order to remedy this situation, an independent authorizing body should be established, and all practitioners should be made to demonstrate their knowledge and ability in a standard exam. This exam should be created and administered cooperatively between all reflexology schools and organizations, not just one or the other. Even if a governmental board is not appointed, and the board offering credentials is not recognized by law, beginning a unified credentialing process would lend credibility to practitioners who hold the credentials.

Giving Clients Results

There is a great deal of evidence that reflexology works if done correctly. However it is vital that each practitioner of reflexology perform all the procedures properly, in order to attain favorable results from their work. Satisfied clientele will praise the effectiveness of treatments, and promote reflexology far more than the government or licensing agency.

Finally, it is important to remember that these battles for acceptance for reflexology and other holistic techniques have already been fought in many other countries. There are always skeptics, both the ignorant and the educated, who attempt to debunk holistic medicine. Only with high standards of expertise, quality care, professionalism and dramatic results will reflexology become as widely accepted in France, as it has in other parts of the world.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reflexology in France

Reflexology is used throughout the world but each country has a different approach to the therapy. For example, in France, reflexology is not recognized by the state so there are no standard training or qualifications. Unfortunately, this can lead to abuse and bad practices which in turn provides further evidence for those that think reflexology is quack therapy. This current situation is also bad for the end-users who can't rely on objective information regarding the training and skill of a reflexologist.

In fact, anyone can set up shop saying they are expert reflexologist! Or even set up a school and deliver diplomas that have no bearing on the quality of the training.

The only thing they are not allowed to do is to use the word "massage" as this term is the monopole of qualified physiotherapists. Any person claiming to provide a massage can be sued by the state! So in English, I can talk about foot massage, but in france, I could be in trouble for saying that I give a relaxation massage at the beginning of a reflexology session. I have to find another way to describe the act: I manipulate the foot with circular movements, or, I apply pressure on the foot. The law states that a massage is a therapeutic act so it can only be performed by a person trained in the medical physiotherapy state schools.

So why not create state qualifications for reflexology to raise and harmonize the quality of practitioners instead of ostracizing them.

At least in the UK, the IIR training courses provide a standard which can be recognised throughout the country. The government has worked on this issue to harmonize standards and training modules.

"The Government, in conjunction with Skills for Health, has been reviewing the current qualifications offered for reflexology and other complementary therapies. The results of this are that, as of January 1st 2011, there will be a single set of qualifications in reflexology recognised by the government. Any awarding body wishing to offer an approved level 3 Diploma in Reflexology will be required to follow the same module structure and content." (quoting a letter from Karen King, Chair of the AoR Board of Directors).

Well, I hope it will gradually improve so the profession and benefits of reflexology are properly recognised.