Considering a career in reflexology? This is what you need to know
What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a holistic therapy that is hard to attribute to a specific time or civilisation. However, many believe it was first recorded by the ancient Egyptians on the wall of the tomb of Ankhamor, which can be dated back to 2330 BC.
Focused on the hands, feet and ears, reflexology is based on the idea that these body parts are connected to important organs and other bodily systems. Reflexologists apply pressure to these areas to assist the body’s healing process and energy balance.
Reflexology is also believed to be beneficial in reducing stress and tension throughout the body and is said to help with facilitating the functions of the circulatory and nervous systems.
Who can benefit from reflexology?
The potential benefits of reflexology are plentiful, including reduced stress and anxiety, an increase in mood, reduced pain in certain areas, and a general improvement in wellbeing.
Clients are often people from all backgrounds, including those suffering from sleep disorders and sports injuries. Many people seek relief via this alternative form of therapy as reflexology can help to improve energy levels, back pain, neck pain, stiffness, tension, headache and toothache.
Before undergoing reflexology training, it’s important to know that this type of treatment won’t be suitable for everyone, including people with:
- A low platelet count – these people are more likely to bleed or bruise during reflexology
- Fungal foot conditions
- Thyroid problems
- Foot ulcers
- Circulatory problems within the feet
- Inflammation or clots
Could you be a reflexologist?
Although it’s possible to teach yourself the principles of reflexology, to become a recognised reflexologist, you will need to gain membership from a professional body that generally requires a level 3 diploma. Obtaining a reflexology certificate usually takes between 6 and 12 months, which includes 150 to 300 hours of studying, along with practical hands-on training.
It’s important to thoroughly research reflexology schools and courses to find one that suits you and provides the technical training you require. Ideally, a good course will also teach you about how to run a business, which is highly advantageous if your goal is to open your own practice one day.
Working in reflexology offers a number of employment opportunities, including being self-employed (from the comfort of your own home or visiting clients’ homes) or seeking employment at a practice. Alternatively, you may choose to work in a health centre, beauty salon, hotel, or hospice.
How to start up your own reflexology business
First of all, you will need to work out if there is enough demand in your local area for the size of the practice you are planning to create. You will also need to look into other reflexology businesses currently in operation as well as therapists that offer different treatments for the same aliments. Check out what qualifications and training these reflexologists hold and see if you could provide something new.
To set yourself apart from the competition, it may be worth looking into complementary treatments that you can provide, such as aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine and homoeopathy.
Think carefully about your pricing policy and make sure it covers your operational costs, including rent for your practice or travel costs for home visits. It may be worth looking at providing discounts to certain groups, such as the elderly, pregnant women, or people who book a certain amount of sessions up front.
Once set up, it’s important to promote your business. Make sure your experience, training and qualifications are on display and easy to find. Some good ways to market your business include setting up a website, leaving promotional leaflets at pharmacies and GPs, selling gift vouchers, or joining a professional association that the public can easily find online.
Reflexology is growing in popularity as a career choice, as is people’s interest in wellness and natural healing. Therefore, there has never been a better time to train in and pursue a career in reflexology.