REALLY interested, but confused! :)

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REALLY interested, but confused! :)

Postby jyoti on Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:28 pm

Hi all,

I'm a Registered Massage Therapist in north Dallas, TX. I'd LOVE to add reflexology to my practice. I'd also like to be able to say that I practice reflexology with conviction and a sense of legitimacy, but all I have is a basic intro class, and it wasn't all that great. So, I'd like to learn how to be the real deal. But I have a few questions, in no particular order...

--Does anyone know where I might get local training? Any schools around here that teach it? Or do online courses count? Is it even as simple as reading a few good books and practicing on friends & fam first? (I'd rather get some actual training but barring that, I'll read! :) ) (My massage therapy used to offer reflexology as a CEU course, but I don't think 6-12 hours really counts so much!)
--I've seen "certified reflexologist" from time to time in my area, and I'm wondering what exactly does that mean? Have they gone through a certain number of hours of training? Did they pass some certification exam? If reflexology isn't at the state or federal level, who certified them? (And where do I sign up?! :) )
--How does a typical reflexology session flow? How does the reflexologist assess? What's involved in a typical session? What kind of self-care/after-the-session advice do they give their clients? (I know that this'll vary as widely as is so for massage, so I'd like to hear what a few ppl have to say about this, just so I have a few examples to go on.)

Well, that about covers the basic just-starting-out questions. I'm sure there'll be more later :)

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer any advice! :)
Hugs,
~Jyoti
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Re: REALLY interested, but confused! :)

Postby Dragonflies on Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:56 pm

jyoti wrote:--Does anyone know where I might get local training? Any schools around here that teach it? Or do online courses count? Is it even as simple as reading a few good books and practicing on friends & fam first? (I'd rather get some actual training but barring that, I'll read! :) ) (My massage therapy used to offer reflexology as a CEU course, but I don't think 6-12 hours really counts so much!)

Locally:
The International Institute of Reflexology has their Phase I & II workshops coming to Arlington in June. http://reflexology-usa.net/texas.htm. Presently the National Standard is 200 hours of training for certification.

Correspondence:
I have not personally taken a course from the Universal College of Reflexology but they're recommended by the Reflexology Association of America (http://www.reflexology-usa.org). Their site is http://www.universalreflex.com/.

jyoti wrote:--I've seen "certified reflexologist" from time to time in my area, and I'm wondering what exactly does that mean? Have they gone through a certain number of hours of training? Did they pass some certification exam? If reflexology isn't at the state or federal level, who certified them? (And where do I sign up?! :) )

A school can certify you but to be Nationally Certified you would need to sit for the exam with the American Reflexology Certification Board (http://www.arcb.net).

jyoti wrote:--How does a typical reflexology session flow?

I would strongly urge you to seek out a practicing reflexologist and receive a session. There are dozens of different styles of reflexology and sessions will vary from 30 minutes (deep Asian style), 45 minutes (typical Ingham or American Standard) to 60 minutes (typical Universal/South African).

jyoti wrote:How does the reflexologist assess?

By feeling the reflexes, receiving a thorough health history, and gate analysis amongst other things.

jyoti wrote:What's involved in a typical session?

Some offer foot baths, others don't. There's a warm up, complete reflex routine and a cool down. It varies by style and what the practitioner incorporates.

jyoti wrote:What kind of self-care/after-the-session advice do they give their clients? (I know that this'll vary as widely as is so for massage, so I'd like to hear what a few ppl have to say about this, just so I have a few examples to go on.)

Today I had a client that has some twisting of the distal portion of the 2nd phalanx and some overcrowding from the hallux. I suggested speaking with his podiatrist who might suggest a toe spreader like they sell in the drug stores. My earlier client had a bulging MTP joint (she's a dancer), so I encouraged her to continue with the exercises she receives from physical therapy. She is also experiencing plantar fasciitis pain in both feet after an hour or more of dancing or being on her feet so I told her some find it helpful to roll frozen golf balls on the feet to help with the discomfort. It ranges as widely as the client does. :D

Hope this helps.
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Postby jyoti on Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm

Oh thank you, Dragonflies, you helped IMMENSELY!!!

Yes, I'd like to go the Nationally Certified route. 200 hours is definitely more my style. :)

One question, regarding assessing, when you mentioned "by feeling the reflexes" what do you mean by the reflexes? Are you refering to feeling for the tender spots on the feet that reflex to areas that would then be potentially problematic?

I REALLY like the foot bath idea. I would imagine it would soften the feet and the warm water would promote circulation. And most of all, it would help keep things more sanitary. (Especially in summer when everyone is in sandals and their feet are dry and cracked, and odorifous!) (sp?) Not to mention that it feels good to have it done! But, is there any way to do it without a lot of mess? I've heard of the machines and seen pics of them on the web, is there one that's better quality and less cleanup than others? Barring that, can the feet be moistened and semi-disinfected/deodorized by rubbing them with a warm moist cloth sprinkled with tea tree or some similar essential oil? What about Purell, is its use recommended? I know, tons more questions! :)

Thanks again!
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~Jyoti
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Re: REALLY interested, but confused! :)

Postby Dragonflies on Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:34 pm

Very happy to help Jyoti.

Feeling the reflexes helps you to note the subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the reflexes. For instance, callusing on the outer portion of the 5th MTP joint of the right foot could mean the client has an old shoulder injury or chronic shoulder tightness or another condition of the shoulder. And a crunchy feeling on the tips of the toes could confirm that the client has sinus congestion, or is suffering from allergies. The client may tell you verbally or by a facial expression if a point is tender, but a lot of times, especially when it comes to chronic conditions, the reflex won't be tender at all. Which is why I believe a very short course in reflexology will leave the practitioner without a full bag of tools to proceed in this profession. It took dozens and dozens of pairs of feet for me to detect some of the more subtle "congested" reflexes. I've also found that after studying under eight or so instructors and receiving and giving reflexology to multiple other reflexologists I still don't know all there is to know about reflexology. It's a very cool bodywork modality and I'm sure you'll enjoy pursuing education in it!

I use a Conair foot tub from Target that I get for under $20. I clean it after every use with a natural anti-bacterial agent and replace it when the motor starts sounding a little funky (usually after some pretty heavy feet have been in it). This has worked well for me but I've always thought having an inflatable tub for the ocassional outcall session would be cool. In my 30 minute Taiwenese routine I use hand santizer in which I place a few drops of tea tree or thuja essential oil. It dries out my hands quickly so I keep a pump bottle of lightweight hand lotion for my use in the treatment room. Last year my reflexology association participated in an annual walk by providing reflexology in one of the tents on the common. In two days I touched more than 40 pairs of feet, we used alcohol-based hand sanitizers on each pair of feet. I was so happy to go back to my treatment room with the foot baths!!! :)
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Postby jyoti on Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:51 pm

Awesome information, thank you!! It is especially helpful how you went into detail about how it has taken you many pairs of feet to feel little things like sinus congestion. That is amazing. :) Besides all the hands-on experience, where did you get such good training?

I did a little poking around :) I checked the link for national certification. They had some good info. Under the prerequisites section, which one needs before being eligible for their test, they say you need 200 hrs of training, 90 of which consist of working on ppl and documenting that (that's no problem), but the other 110 hours they break down into the different categories they'd like to see, and they say the training should be from a hands-on sort of institution. Would that, then mean that I couldn't do correspondence?

Then I checked the reflexology-usa link where they have the workshops that come to town. It includes hands-on stuff, and looks really neat! Does that National testing corporation recognize the reflexology-usa organization as training that counts? And another question that arose as I browsed is that I think the reflexology-usa workshops are only 32 hours, if I take Phase 1 & 2. Do you know where I'd be able to get the remaining hours needed for National?

I know, I'm so pesky with all these questions!! It's just that I know NOTHING about how to go about this, except now for the information you've so patiently given me, and I thank you yet again :D

Hugs!
~Jyoti
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Postby Dragonflies on Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:36 am

jyoti wrote:Besides all the hands-on experience, where did you get such good training?

I actually started my training with a short (30+ hour) correspondence course. I was very excited about Reflexology and wanted to become certified so I searched online for any local schools offering Reflexology certification as a separate program. I did find one and they met the ARCB educational requirements so I enrolled. Six months later I opened my own practice and this spring I will be celebrating my business' two year anniversary.

jyoti wrote:I did a little poking around :) I checked the link for national certification. They had some good info. Under the prerequisites section, which one needs before being eligible for their test, they say you need 200 hrs of training, 90 of which consist of working on ppl and documenting that (that's no problem), but the other 110 hours they break down into the different categories they'd like to see, and they say the training should be from a hands-on sort of institution. Would that, then mean that I couldn't do correspondence?

The 90 hours is actually on top of documentation you will be doing in a correspondence course or in a hands-on setting. So basically you're looking to fulfill that 110 hours first. You won't receive the SOAP note forms for the 90 hours until after you apply to take the exam. But I have heard of people passing the exam just fine after a correspondence course. However I will say this -- when I took my correspondence program I did not have the techniques down at all. I was hyper-extending my thumbs and didn't have the "thumb walk" together at all. Just something to keep in mind.

jyoti wrote:Then I checked the reflexology-usa link where they have the workshops that come to town. It includes hands-on stuff, and looks really neat! Does that National testing corporation recognize the reflexology-usa organization as training that counts? And another question that arose as I browsed is that I think the reflexology-usa workshops are only 32 hours, if I take Phase 1 & 2. Do you know where I'd be able to get the remaining hours needed for National?
IIR's program is actually 200 hours, and I know many get ARCB certified after going to IIR. Phase 1 and 2 get your feet wet, then you go on to a Phase 3 and do 52 hours of Home Study. So essentially, perhaps the best of both worlds: study at your own pace at home and have the fun of going to workshops getting your feet worked on by other students and learning the hands-on part. :) Here's the program outlined from their website...
CERTIFICATION - 200 hour, 3 Month minimum membership program:
32 hours - Phase l & ll Workshop
16 hours - Phase lll Workshop
52 hours - Home study of books, study guide and videos
100 hours documented Reflexology sessions on at least 15 people

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. This exam can be taken at any Phase l & ll Workshop after the completion of all of the above requirements.


I am very happy to help with your questions and don't hesitate to PM me for information you aren't comfortable asking on the board. If I don't have an immediate answer I do have a large network of Reflexologists from around the world that can help.

I think you would really enjoy this website...http://www.reflexology-research.com/. There's an interactive foot chart, dozens of case studies and research projects and a wide assortment of cool articles and reflexology tidbits.
Last edited by Dragonflies on Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jyoti on Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:38 pm

Hi Dragonflies! Congrats on your upcoming 2-yr anniversary! And thank you for all of your wonderful resources!

Dragonflies wrote:The 90 hours is actually on top of documentation you will be doing in a correspondence course or in a hands-on setting. So basically you're looking to fulfill that 110 hours first.


Dragonflies wrote:CERTIFICATION - 200 hour, 3 Month minimum membership program:
32 hours - Phase l & ll Workshop
16 hours - Phase lll Workshop
52 hours - Home study of books, study guide and videos
100 hours documented Reflexology sessions on at least 15 people.


Would IIR's program meet ARCB's criteria? If so, should I then go ahead with the whole 200 hrs since they require 110 and Phases I-III only total 100 hrs? This whole thing is still all really new to me lol.

Dragonflies wrote: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. This exam can be taken at any Phase l & ll Workshop after the completion of all of the above requirements.


Now is that IIR's own exam?

Many thanks again!
Hugs, :)
~Jyoti
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Postby Dragonflies on Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:03 pm

jyoti wrote:Hi Dragonflies! Congrats on your upcoming 2-yr anniversary! And thank you for all of your wonderful resources!

Thanks! And you're very welcome. :D

jyoti wrote:Would IIR's program meet ARCB's criteria? If so, should I then go ahead with the whole 200 hrs since they require 110 and Phases I-III only total 100 hrs? This whole thing is still all really new to me lol.

Good question. I wonder what proof of training from IIR you might receive if you didn't complete the course. I would think with 10 hours to make the balance you might be able to inquire at IIR and see if you could supplement that portion with additional documentations or something.

jyoti wrote:Now is that IIR's own exam?

Yes it is. As I understand, it is rather close to ARCB's exam, though I can see about asking a colleague of mine who has taken both exams to offer a better comparison. I gathered from their site and conversations with other IIR students and grads that you have to take IIR's exam to be eligible for certification through them.
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Postby palpable on Sat Apr 29, 2006 7:01 pm

I would like to add my thanks for the great information given here.
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Postby Breathe on Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:32 pm

Yes, thank you for having the discussion on the board instead of through PM. Very interesting and helpful information for anyone seeking training. My school also offers 12 hours of training, and it doesn't seem like it did too much more than teach one how to do a good foot massage.
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Postby Dragonflies on Sun May 07, 2006 2:49 pm

palpable wrote:I would like to add my thanks for the great information given here.

You're very welcome. :D

BreatheBodywork wrote:Yes, thank you for having the discussion on the board instead of through PM. Very interesting and helpful information for anyone seeking training. My school also offers 12 hours of training, and it doesn't seem like it did too much more than teach one how to do a good foot massage.

I'm glad it was helpful! I imagine it must be difficult to cram 5,000 years into 12 hours! :lol: Heck, most of the time I feel the 200 hours comes up pretty short.
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