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Frequently Asked Questions – and Answers

Q.What is Reflexology?

A.The science that deals with the principle that there are reflex points on the hands and feet which correspond to all parts of the body’s glands, organs and structures.

Q. What are the benefits?

A. There are four main areas:

– To increase blood and lymph flow

– To relieve stress and tension

– To promote nerve energy

– To help the body maintain a state of balance

Q.How much pressure should be used?

A. It depends…

– On the type of foot being treated

– On the sensitivity of the client being treated

– A heavy foot would need deep pressure

– A slim, delicate foot would need a light pressure

– A sick or frail person would need a light pressure

– A child would need light pressure

– A good guide for the reflexologist is to observe the client’s face.Ask for feedback – this applies to both client and reflexologist

Q.How many treatments are necessary?

A. In this stressed world of ours, ideally the reflexologist would like to recommend six to eight treatments. However, one treatment can be found to be not only beneficial but financially realistic. The number of treatments and duration of each will depend on a number of factors. Health and wealth being key considerations in recommendations.

Q.How many treatments should be given in order to establish the effectiveness of Reflexology?

A. This is a difficult question to answer. However as a general guide, it is best not to continue treatment after the third or fourth treatment if the client is unable to report any changes.

Q. Does Reflexology hurt?

A. No. Reflexology should not hurt but some areas on the foot may feel tender or different, even a little uncomfortable (the reflexologist should adjust the pressure).

Q.What are your views on treating cancer patients?

A. Reflexology can be part of the core package a patient suffering with cancer receives and can be integrated into their orthodox treatment. It is recommended that the patient’s treatment center is aware they are receiving reflexology, indeed many hospitals and hospices now offer reflexology to their patients.Chemotherapy patients will benefit from a full reflexology treatment one or two days prior to their treatment and a zone walk as soon as possible after the chemotherapy (same day preferably).

All professionals considering working with cancer patients should undertake specific training prior to giving any treatment.

Q. What can you tell me about a corn on the foot?

A. Corns are patches of hard skin which become dense in the center. They can cause intense pain, due to pressure. Corns are found most frequently on toes 1, 3 and 4 and appear as a result of pressure from footwear. This protective shield will indicate to the therapist a possible reflex disturbance in the zone/reflex.

Q.What can you tell me about a build up of hard skin?

A. The foot forms hard skin to protect it from rough surfaces. This can be a ridge on the sole of a shoe, walking around bare foot or the natural posture and stance of a particular person. Hard skin that is flexible poses little threat to reflex disturbances but the thick, horny, inflexible skin often found on the heel, ball of the foot and the edge of the big toe, can indicate energy blockages.

Q.Why is a consultation card necessary?

– To establish there are no contradictions to the treatment.

– To assess the client’s physical and mental state.

– To show a genuine interest and establish their expectations.

– To ensure that our therapy is holistic and meets client’s needs.

– To ensure that we give the best possible treatment for each client.

– To establish that Reflexology is the most suitable treatment.

– To refer client to a reflexologist with the appropriate skills or to a medically qualified practitioner.

Q. Reflexology balances andrevitalizes. What do you mean?

A. Illness, stress, tension and fatigue can each have the effect of causing body disharmony (imbalance). Energy is wasted fighting the problem or struggling mentally with negative attitudes. Reflexology encourages the body’s own energy flow and as the body and mind regain their balance they can work more efficiently.

Q.Should I treat during Pregnancy?

A. During pregnancy we are dealing with two lives, not just one and unless the therapist has specialized training relative to pregnancy, no treatment should be given but a referral should be made to a maternity reflexologist. Reflexology is known, among other things, to relieve morning sickness and back aches as well as boosting energy levels. Self-help should be advised by a maternity reflexologist.

Q.Can you give us a little more information about treating children?

A. It is important to note that it is a legal requirement as well as an ethical obligation to seek medical assistance for any undiagnosed conditions in children. Do not attempt to treat anything that may need medical attention. Children can respond very well to Reflexology treatment. The therapist should bear in mind that the child can have similar reactions to the therapy as would an adult, so treatment pressure, pace and duration would be judged accordingly.

Q.Are all Aromatherapists qualified Reflexologists?

A. No. Some Aromatherapists will have undertaken a separate course to qualify them in the field of Reflexology.

Q.I have been told that Reflexology is part of Aromatherapy. Is this true?

A. No! Some Aromatherapists do press on some Reflexology points in order to help them choose an oil for their aromatherapy treatment; but this cannot be classified as Reflexology. However, fortunately this is becoming a practice less often performed by the well qualified Aromatherapist.

Q.Are all Beauty Therapists Reflexologists?

A. No. Beauty Therapists who hold qualifications to undertake face and body treatments will have studied anatomy, physiology and massage. However this does not qualify them as reflexologists.

Q.Does the Reflexologist have to be insured?

A. All professional people should be insured.

Q.How can a Reflexologist get insurance to practice?

A. Reflexologists gaining their training through a recognized establishment will be given details of professional bodies/societies for membership and insurance.

Q.Where can I get information about courses?

A. By contacting the International Federation of Reflexologists

Q.Is there a way to continue training after qualifying as a Reflexologist?

A. Yes, all professional organisations offer further training sessions in a variety of forms.

Q.Do qualified reflexologists have to attend continuing professional development courses?

A. Yes, as part of maintaining professional memberships the Reflexologist is expected to demonstrate evidence of updating and improving their skills and to keep up to date with current developments in the field of Reflexology.