Reflexologists are medical professionals who provide therapeutic services to patients suffering from a wide range of disorders, illnesses or concerns.
Reflexology is considered a type of alternative medicine and uses techniques that are geared to lower stress, create balance in a person’s body and prompt a sense of relaxation.
Reflexology techniques are also supposed to help ease the negative effects of medical conditions and ailments a patient has to live with.
This type of therapy is rooted in ancient Chinese, Indian and Egyptian beliefs and is practiced by systematically applying pressure to the hands, feet or ears in order to treat an assortment of disorders and symptoms.
Reflexology establishes its techniques on the idea that the hands, feet or ears have receptors that positively affect other areas of the body.
It is these techniques that help alleviate debilitating symptoms or disorders experienced by patients.
If you are interested in practicing alternative medicine, the following career paths are similar routes you can take in order to practice a non Western approach to medicine and health.
- Herbal Therapist (Herbalist)
- Therapeutic Massage Therapist
All these careers base their practice on non Western beliefs and use a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
In addition, people who want to become a Reflexologist can focus their medical career on more than one specialty in order to be highly competitive in the field.
Some employers look for candidates who are licensed in more than one field.
For example, a common background employers seek is in Therapeutic Massage therapy in combination with a Reflexology license.
Students interested in alternative medicine and who want to become a Reflexologist should continue reading below to learn about this career, the education requirements, a typical job description and salary information.
Education Requirements to Become a Reflexologist
Candidates can become a Reflexologist by seeking training, certification and licensure.
Although Reflexology is its own specialty, some programs are offered at massage therapy schools.
Several states require Reflexologists to earn a massage therapy license.
However, there are efforts within the alternative medicine field that are working to separate the two specialties as different forms of treatment.
The average Reflexology program requires 200 hours of coursework that can be completed in 6 months to a year.
Some states require candidates to complete this training in addition to completing a massage therapy certification.
Researching your state’s requirements is a great step to determining the specific route you need to take.
Reflexologist Job Description
Reflexologists use non Western medical techniques in order to heal and alleviate a wide range of symptoms and disorders.
Some similar functions they perform as Western doctors include documenting information about a patient’s health and medical history.
Some typical information they record includes dieting and exercising habits, any medical concerns, daily habits and mental and physical health.
Their specialty also requires them studying the patient’s hands and feet to observe their intrinsic characteristics such as color and size.
They will use the patient’s unique hands and feet characteristics to determine a specialized treatment.
After documenting a patient’s medical information, a Reflexologist will decide on the best treatment by choosing which body part to focus on.
Reflexologists will spend 45 to 60 minute sessions working with a patient.
Reflexologists will record the patient’s session to keep track of progress and to use in future Reflexology sessions.
Reflexologist Salary and Career Path
Salary for Reflexologists depends on whether the professional is self employed or whether they work for a wellness center.
According to the eHow website, the average salary for a Reflexologist is approximately $40,000 with the highest average wage for these professionals being approximately $70,000 per year.
Alternative medicine has experienced tremendous growth in the last 20 years and is expected to continue to grow as more people seek this type of treatment.
From the years 1992 to 2000, a branch of alternative medicine experienced tremendous growth.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of licensed Acupuncturists tripled in size showing that alternative medicine is growing, probably because of its popularity and people’s acceptance of holistic healing.
Reflexology is considered to be a niche specialty in alternative medicine.
Because of this, students should think about adding another specialty to their background in order to not get pigeon holed and have plenty more opportunities in this sector.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a reflexologist?
Reflexologists are professionals who practice a type of massage that involves applying pressure to feet, hands, and ears.
The belief behind reflexology is that different parts of the body (feet, hands, ears) are connected to organs and that by applying pressure to those parts of the body you can reduce pain and discomfort.
Reflexology is sometimes used as a complementary treatment.
Reflexologists can help manage a variety of conditions, such as insomnia, disorders of the musculoskeletal system, pain, anxiety or stress.
If you want to become a reflexologist, you will need a variety of skills, including communication skills, physical strength, and compassion, but also business skills, especially if you want to work independently or to start your own business.
How much does a reflexologist make?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t record specific data about reflexologists but the median annual wage for massage therapists, in general, was $41,420 as of May 2018.
Salaries in this field vary based on a wide range of factors and many massage therapists supplement their earnings with tips.
As a reflexologist, you can make anywhere between less than $22,000 and more than $80,000 a year.
How much does it cost to become a reflexologist?
Reflexologists can start their training with an associate’s or certificate program in massage therapy, one that includes courses in reflexology or to complete a regular massage therapy program and earn a certificate in reflexology from a continuing education program.
Massage therapy courses cost, on average around $9-$10 an hour and are usually between 330-1,000 hours long.
The minimum hours of training massage therapists have to complete in order to apply for a license vary by state.
Massage therapists may also need a CPR certificate, which usually costs between $30-$60.
What is the demand for reflexologists?
According to BLS, the demand for massage therapists, in general, is expected to grow 22 percent from 2018 to 2028.
As more healthcare providers understand the benefits of massage therapy and reflexology more massage therapists and reflexologists will be hired to help patients with a variety of health problems.
How long does it take to become a reflexologist?
Reflexologists usually start their training with a massage therapy school.
Massage therapy programs are usually between 500-1000 hours long and can be completed in less than 1 year; however, the exact duration depends on the state requirements and on how the program is structured.
A high school diploma, GED or equivalent is usually required for admission to massage therapy school.
Massage therapists also need a state license in order to practice.
The licensing exam may vary by state or you may have to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination, which is offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.
If you want to specialize in reflexology there are continuing education programs that can offer you a certificate in reflexology.