"The art of healing comes from nature and not from the physician. Therefore, the physician must start from nature with an open mind." ~Paracelsus
Reflexology careers have been gaining in popularity for the past 25 years and continue to grow today. With the current wellness boom in the United States, reflexology has earned a place at the forefront of alternative therapies for its effectiveness in reducing stress and relieving a number of common health problems, including chronic pain, allergies and digestive issues.
Today, practitioners of reflexology have the opportunity to make this rewarding field their full-time career. They may run private practices in their own homes, travel to client homes or work in chiropractic offices, fitness centers or salons where they deliver treatment and work on building a solid client base.
If a reflexology career interests you, finding the right reflexology school can make all the difference to your success. A reflexology program should provide not only the technical training you will need to do the job, but also fundamental business concepts and other essential aspects of the profession.
Your reflexology course work should cover the following subjects:
- Reflexology history, theory and techniques
- Reflexology maps of the feet
- Anatomy and physiology
- How to customize sessions based on client-specific issues
- Ethics and professionalism
- Relevant business practices and marketing
- Supervised classroom or clinical work
Tuition and Length of Study
Reflexology school programs generally take between six and twelve months to complete and involve 150 to 300 hours of study combined with hands-on practice. Some schools offer online as well as traditional classroom programs to meet course work requirements.
You can expect tuition for a reflexology education program to cost approximately $1,500 to $3,500. As part of your education, you will also need to purchase a massage table or reclining chair, which typically costs $200 to $500.
Reflexology Career Certification
Certification requirements for reflexologists vary from state to state. Many reflexology school programs result in reflexology certification that meets state requirements; however, others may deliver a diploma without certification.
You will need to research the laws for the state where you plan to practice to ensure that you make the best choice in a reflexology school program. The Reflexology Association of America (RAA) provides a summary of state laws that can help guide your search. Also talk to advisors at your schools of interest for more information.
The American Reflexology Certification Board offers national certification to candidates who meet requirements for education and hands-on practice and pass a certification exam. To maintain your certification, you must pay a renewal fee every year and complete continuing education units every two years.
You can expect reflexology salaries to correspond closely to massage therapist salaries in the area where you plan to practice. Of course, the field offers a lot of scheduling flexibility, and the number of hours you work per week will impact your income. Salaries will also vary based on your geographic location, employer type and experience level.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for massage therapists is $35,970. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
Self-employed practitioners keep the entire amount they earn per session, but must pay their own taxes and expenses. However, those employed at a spa, fitness center or other establishments typically earn a percentage of the session cost, plus tips.
Reflexology offers clients a non-invasive, integrative healing alternative to traditional medicine. Starting your reflexology career with the right education and credentials will help you build a foundation for long-term success in this expanding natural health field.
Sources: Reflexology Association of America, American Reflexology Certification Board.