Three Reasons to Try Reflexology

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Thirty plus years in this field have revealed to me that there are three major reasons that people seek out Reflexology. As a Reflexologist, think about the people who come to you for a Reflexology session. I believe you will have a similar conclusion as I did.

Body Pain Map 314x231 One is for stress and pain relief; a desire for the body to return to a state of relaxation and being free of pain. It is a known fact that body cannot heal until it is in a state of rest and relaxation, which means relaxation is the basis of health. If we are in the business of promoting health and wellness the bottom line is achieving long-lasting health and wellness. To achieve this result, the focus is on eliminating the absence of a relaxed mind and body.
Because of its effect on the central nervous system,Reflexology has a remarkable ability to deeply relax both body and mind.
Reflexology shifts the autonomic nervous system from the sympathetic state (in which we are interacting with and responding to the world around us) to the healing parasympathetic state.

In the parasympathetic state, brain wave patterns shift from the fast beta levels to the slower alpha and theta levels, the only conditions in which the body can relax and rejuvenate itself. For many people, the only time in which they experience themselves in a relaxed state is when receiving Reflexology.

Family Reflexology 2 Just learning some basic Reflexology techniques can also produce some amazing stress and wellness relief for the body, mind and emotions you will appreciate.

The second reason people include Reflexology in their lives is to address chronic pathologies. Reflexology is a unique manual therapy, which is capable of influencing homeostasis and functioning of all of the body’s internal systems. A certified Reflexologist can create a very specific wellness plan that will positively support the health of the body’s systems, organs, cells and glands. Just think of Reflexology as being a “chemical-free” approach to body wellness.

Hand and Foot Pain

Another time people turn to reflexology is when their feet and/or hands hurt. The pain may be associated with an injury, plantar fasciitis, peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, sprains and /or breaks, to name a few.

Each of these conditions demands a different focus and each of them is helped with a specific careful and detailed Reflexology session integrated with other alternative healthcare practices, suggested exercise, nutritional evaluations based on a strong understanding of anatomy and physiology of the nervous system.
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When a Reflexologist looks at the body system they are better able to stimulate the nerve endings to release the toxins and impurities that are causing blockage that is a big contributor to the pain in the feet and hands.

As a Reflexologist or a potential client what do you see as reason for a Reflexology session?
If you have never had a Reflexology session try it your feet and hands will say “Thank You Thank You Thank you” Reflexology Motivation 600x698

If you are a Reflexology looking for more clients ask existing clients for testimonials on the reason they like Reflexology. Leave a comment and let me hear from you on Why You Should Try Reflexology.

Reflexology Certification and Licensing

I receive numerous phone calls and communications from people who mistakenly use words like “certification” and “licensing” when stating they are looking for training in Reflexology. So, I thought I would explain the differences between a certification and a license.

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Certification is not a legal designation. It is an acknowledgement of knowledge and/or skill issued by a teaching organization or a non-governmental testing association (like the American Reflexology Certification Board or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. Certification does not give you the legal authority to conduct business (ie. be compensated for your work).

Most Reflexology training programs and schools on and offline give certificates. At Focus On Healing Wellness Institute we give certificates of training in two areas of Reflexology training Introduction to Reflexology and Therapeutic Reflexology.

Family Reflexology 160x109A Certificate for Basic Reflexology indicates that the student participated in a training program that focused on basic Reflexology information and application. These training programs do not require any testing of knowledge or skills. Upon completion of the training a certificate is given. Training can be a one or two day workshop or a limited reflexology course curriculum for a 4 to 6 week training program. These types of training programs are good for students who are interested in learning how to do basic Reflexology to share with family and friends. It can also be offered as CEU credits for health practitioners.

Training Completed 258X235A Certificate for Therapeutic Reflexology is given at the completion of a training program of 4 to 9 months. These training programs require successfully completing homework assignments, written exams and practicum. A certificate is given based on competency of knowledge in Reflexology theory and application. A certificate for specialized therapeutic training in reflexology is required by the school or non-governmental testing association. Having this type of certificate, basically attests that the student is competent enough to provide the service without causing harm to the client/customer. The curriculum is comprehensive, and require hundreds of hours of training. The certification training hours for Reflexology are 200 to 300 hours.

A license is a permit to work legally in a jurisdiction, often following testing and proof of competency from a recognized school. A license is issued by authorities to allow an activity that would otherwise be illegal to practice. A licensing requirement also provides the issuing authority the administrative control to set conditions and limitations that would serve to protect the public.

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Most students, who enroll in a Reflexology training program, would like to one day be compensated for the service they provide. Let it be known that for many people who live in a jurisdiction that requires a license, you are not allowed to accept money for Reflexology services. Compensation is defined as something, such as money, given or received as payment or reparation, as for a service or loss. Compensation also includes barter, tithe, trade, donation, “love offering”, and anything else that you walk away with in exchange for your session.

Licensure for Reflexology applies to students who live in states that consider Reflexology to be a form of Massage. In these states most students will have to enroll in a massage school to practice Reflexology.  If you are in a health care or beauty care profession that requires you to touch a person than your Reflexology training is covered under your license, to  add Reflexology as a service. Only two states (North Dakota and Tennessee) currently license Reflexologists. Washington requires reflexologists to become certified with the Department of Health. Washington, has the most stringent requirement that everyone who does Reflexology has to be trained and certification from a Washington state approved school and the  American Reflexology Certification Board.

Reflexology Search 160X112It is best to check you state’s license requirement before you enroll in a Reflexology training program, if you are considering Reflexology as a career. If you just want to learn Reflexology and do not want to go to a massage school to learn reflexology, contact the Reflexology school and ask if they offer training that will allow you to practice Reflexology without a massage license. It is a reality that the licensing agencies or the taxation arms of governments do not take kindly to someone practicing illegally. License vs Certification can work together when the two focus on giving clients what they want . The clients wants to receive Reflexology from a person who is trained and can provide the benefits desired from a Reflexology session.

Footnote: Do not let anything get in your way of learning and practicing Reflexology if that is your passion. I hope this information helps to clear up any confusion for people thinking of entering the broad field of hands-on therapies.

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Health Facts about Your Feet

Your feet are amazing diagnostic tools that can use as clues potentially pointing to a whole host of health problems. But you don’t need to be a doctor to understand what your feet are saying about your health — you just need to know what warning signs to look for. If you notice any of the following telltale signs or symptoms in your feet, you may want consult a healthcare practitioner:

Dry, Flaking Skin
Dry Cracked Feet 160x104If the skin around your heel or on the ball of your foot is dry, cracked, or flaky, it may be a warning sign of a thyroid condition. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that control your metabolic rate, blood pressure, tissue growth, and nervous system functions. Dry skin can signify a problem with your thyroid. Obviously, dry skin can also be the result of many less serious health issues, and sometimes your skin dries out simply because of changes in the weather. But if you notice that the skin on your feet is dry, and you also have symptoms like weight gain, numbness in your hands, or vision problems, visiting a healthcare practitioner may offer some wellness solutions.

Balding Toes
While toe hair is more common and visible in men, women generally have fine hairs on their toes as well. If you notice that your toes are losing a little bit of hair, or if they’ve gone completely bald, it could be a sign of poor blood flow. One cause of insufficient blood supply to the feet and toes is peripheral arterial disease, or PAD for short. When plaque builds up in the arteries of your legs, blood flow can be restricted and PAD can set in. If left untreated, PAD could lead to a heart attack or stroke, or even put you at risk for amputation. If you suspect PAD, see a healthcare practitioner. You can combat symptoms of PAD by giving up smoking, maintaining a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and managing other health conditions, like hypertension or diabetes that can contribute to the condition.

Foot Numbness
Numb Feet 160x127Like toe baldness, foot numbness due to a lack of blood flow in the area can be a sign of PAD. You’ve probably experienced numbness in your feet if you sat in one position for too long, or if you fell asleep at an awkward angle. But if it happens regularly or while you’re active, it’s a problem you shouldn’t ignore. Foot numbness is also one of the more common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy related to type 2 diabetes, which affects millions of people. Diabetes complicates blood flow to your feet, which means wounds or cuts may take a longer time to heal, leaving you susceptible to infection. If you have irregular bouts of foot numbness, and wounds on your feet just don’t seem to heal, talk to a healthcare practitioner. To promote healthy blood flow and help prevent type 2 diabetes, be sure to get Reflexology, regular exercise and start eating healthy foods.

Black Spots or Lines Under Your Toenails
Blackspot ToenailWhen someone steps on your toes or you drop a heavy object onto your foot, you’ll most likely have some toenail discoloration. Dark discoloration under your toenail isn’t typically concerning if you know what caused it. But if you notice discoloration — or black and brown lines — under a toenail and you don’t remember injuring your toe, you might want to talk to your doctor. Dark, vertical lines under a toenail could be a sign of a hidden melanoma. We’re getting better at fighting cancer every day, but hidden melanomas often go overlooked and untreated. Toenail discoloration could also be caused by a fungal infection, and while that’s much less severe than a potential cancer diagnosis, you should not ignore it. My advice is to check your toenails for discoloration every time you cut your nails.

Morning Foot Pain
Foot Pain 89x160A number of people have foot pain in the morning. Burning or shooting foot pain that happens when you take your first few steps out of bed can indicate of a number of potential issues. First, it could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which inflames your joints and can cause pain even in the small joints of your feet. You can control foot pain and other of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms with alternative therapy and some conventional practices in addition to regular exercise. It’s also possible that your morning foot pain is caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition caused by inflammation in the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes; the band remains in a contracted state while you sleep. When you take your first steps of the day, the tissues stretch. If you’re dealing with inflammation, you’ll notice pain. Some helpful tips are stretching your feet before you get out of bed, or doing foot-strengthening exercises, can help prevent the onset of plantar fasciitis. Lastly, morning foot pain could be caused by a muscle cramp. As with plantar fasciitis, you can avoid foot cramps by stretching your foot muscles before you get out of bed. But cramps may also be a sign of dehydration or a lack of certain nutrients in your diet. Cramps mean your body isn’t getting enough calcium, potassium, and magnesium. You can help prevent morning foot cramps by eating a balanced diet and drinking water before heading to bed.

Swollen Feet
Swollen Feet 160x85This is usually a temporary nuisance caused by standing too long, a long flight or not drinking enough water and sometimes when pregnant. In contrast, feet that stay swollen can be a sign of a serious medical condition. The cause may be poor circulation, a problem with the lymphatic system, or a blood clot. A kidney disorder or under active thyroid can also cause swelling. If you have persistent swelling of your feet, a Reflexology session is helpful along with a wellness program prepared by a healthcare practitioner.

Foot Spasms
Foot Spasms 160x71A sudden, sharp pain in the foot is the hallmark of a muscle spasm or cramp, which can last many minutes. Overwork and muscle fatigue are common causes. Other causes include poor circulation, dehydration, or imbalances in potassium, magnesium, calcium, or vitamin D levels in the body. The changing hormone levels of pregnancy or thyroid disorders may play a role. If spasms are frequent or severe see a healthcare practitioner. Reflexology and Strengthening exercises can help with muscle fatigue.

Yellow Toenails
Yellow Toenails 160x128Your toenails tell a lot about your overall health. A fungal infection often causes thickened yellow toenails. Thick, yellow nails also can be a sign of an underlying disease, including lymph-edema (swelling related to the lymphatic system), lung problems, psoriasis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Herbal and homeopathic remedies have been found to be helpful along with a wellness program by a healthcare practitioner.

White Nails
White Toenails 160x103Injury to the nail or illness anywhere in the body can cause white areas in the nails. If part or all of a nail separates from the nail bed it can appear white — and may be due to an injury, nail infection, or psoriasis. If the nail is intact and most of it is white, it can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition including liver disease, congestive heart failure, or kidney disease. Talk with a healthcare practitioner to identify the cause and prepare a wellness plan.


Hand Foot Reflexology Procedure 160x116When asked the question “What is Reflexology” the answer you get is a foot massage. Let’s straighten this out once and for all, Reflexology Is Not a Massage. They are related to each other but the history, techniques, application, theory and training are very different. The only thing that is similar is it is a therapy that requires a therapist to touch the body using their hands.

No one really knows how massage originated, or where it originated. Massage as a therapy has evolved out of one of our most instinctive desires, to touch and be touched. As a studied therapy, however, it is said to have been born in China coming from the same tradition as acupuncture and Taoism.

Reflexology originates from Egypt 2330 BC. It is the oldest of all the touch therapies. There is a painting in the tombs of the pharaohs showing how Reflexology was used as a diagnostic tool. The practice of Reflexology known as an healing art spread to China, India, Japan and Europe that later evolved into Acupuncture, Ayurveda medicine, Shiatsu and Massage.

When you look at the differences in the techniques you will find massage uses Tapotement (tapping); Petrissage (kneading); Effleurage (stroking); Friction (compression) and Vibration (shaking). In Reflexology the techniques are Alternating pressure; Thumb walking; Finger walking; Knuckle walking; Pressure Point Focus; and Rotation on Reflex Point.

The basic theory between massage and Reflexology are different. Massage relates to the premise that stroking restores imbalance within the soft tissue compared to nerve ending in the feet, hands and ears correspond and have a connection to all systems, organs and cells in the body.

It is a known fact that the application of massage covers the whole body and Reflexology is applied only to the feet, hands and ears. With massage, except chair massage the client undresses and with Reflexology only shoes and footwear is removed.

There is also a difference in training and education for massage and Reflexology. For massage it is 500 to 1000 hours that often includes a minimum of 10 to 20 hours of Introduction to Reflexology as an elective course, in addition to a minimum of 48 required hours of continuing education training every 4 years. Reflexology training is 200 to 300 classroom hours with a minimum of,12 hours continuing education training every 2 years

Reflexology and massage do have a few things in common. There are lots of books, schools, associations and certification for both therapies. Massage requires a license with some states including Reflexology under the massage license; while other states may require a Reflexology license and some states do not. The states that have separate license requirements see and recognize that Reflexology is not a massage.

Modern day medicine requires research. Massage has limited documented research compared to Reflexology that has an extensive base of scientific research studies conducted in Australia, South Africa, China, Scandinavian Countries, Cuba, Europe, Canada and The United States.

Egyptian Reflexology Picture- 1aA major difference that is often over looked when talking about Reflexology and massage is the definition. Massage is the therapeutic practice of scientific manipulation of the soft tissues, muscles and limbs to ease tension and reduce pain. Reflexology is a therapeutic method of relieving pain and improving circulation by stimulating nerve reflex pressure points on the feet and hands.

Now that you have been given a brief introduction on the differences between Reflexology and Massage….. Stop saying “Reflexology Massage” because each modality has its own specific training program with a curriculum. Massage works the Muscular system and Reflexology works with the Nervous System.
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What Reflexology Can Do That Medicine Can’t


Sinking Health SignDid you know there are 10 things Reflexology can do that medicine can’t?

  • Phantom Limb pain
  • Postpartum
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer and chemo
  • Neuropathy
  • Hemodialysis
  • Aids mentally ill by providing relaxation a needed benefit for an effective mental health therapy session
  • Provide relief for post traumatic stress syndrome
  • Documented measures of stress significantly decreased after a session
  • Immediate feelings of  physical, mental and emotion well being

Here are the supportive facts as provide by Reflexology Research Project:
1. Research shows that reflexology work alleviates and, at times, eliminate phantom limb pain

2. Reflexology is beneficial for post-postpartum women including issues such as Anxiety and depression and recovery from Cesarean section.

3. Research shows that reflexology work reduces physiologic measures for diabetics and is an effective treatment for type II diabetes mellitus. Circulation to the feet is improved also.

4. Thirteen studies from seven countries (US, Italy, Japan, China, Switzerland, Korea, United Kingdom) target cancer care and show the benefits of reflexology work including anxiety, depression, fatigue, pain, nausea, and vomiting.

5. Neuropathy Research shows improvement in blood flow rate, time and acceleration within the feet following reflexology work

6. Research shows that reflexology work helps individuals undergoing hemodialysis: Improves the kidney’s functions with changes in physiologic measures: an increase in red blood cells (to combat anemia concerns), increase in lymphocytes (to help fight infection),and enhances disposal of waste products.

7. Reflexology programs and research shows that reflexology aids the mentally ill, providing needed benefits unique to reflexology work. Mental health workers report that reflexology work furnishes many advantages including facilitating communication

8. Victims of post traumatic stress syndrome experienced relief from symptoms including anger, depression and muscle tension as well as improved sleep patterns, levels of concentration and a lift in overall mood.

9. Measures of stress such as blood pressure, pulse rate and self-reported anxiety are significantly decreased, decreased or lowered.

A statement that says it all from a Reflexology client.  “I go to the doctor I don’t know what the outcome will be. But when I see my Reflexologist I always feel better.” He said it was a feeling of well being and that is what he paid for.

In conclusion when you leave the doctor’s office what do you want?

Relief or Prescription

Healthy Fortune Cookie

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