Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reflexology is NOT a Foot Massage

For anyone that may not know, or that may be trying reflexology for the first time-if you have bought a “deal”, and just to clarify what a FOOT REFLEXOLOGY TREATMENT actually entails, here’s what you should know to help distinguish between a Reflexology Treatment as opposed to a foot massage.

 The therapy is provided by a trained and Certified Reflexology Practitioner/Therapist.  There are several schools of reflexology.  A RAC trained and certified practitioner receives the highest standard of training and registered practitioners are assigned a membership number if belonging to a governing body/association such as The Reflexology Association of Canada (RAC).  An RCRT – Registered Canadian Reflexology Therapist must ensure they are continually upgrading their skills and knowledge.

The RCRT Professional Development & Continuing Education Policy & Guidelines were established by the Reflexology Association of Canada. Its mandate is to maintain professional standards for the profession, to maintain the respect and safety of the public and health professionals alike & to meet future regulatory requirements for both government and insurance bodies.  Among other stipulations, RCRT practitioners maintain 30 continuing education units (CEU’s) per 3 year cycle.

Upon an initial visit, a qualified practitioner will conduct a complete, thorough and confidential health assessment with their client.  Although safe for everyone, a few contra-indications are checked for before beginning a treatment.  A visual inspection of the feet will enable the practitioner to see if swelling is present around the ankles (edema), checking for plantar warts (highly contagious and should not be worked on or touched), and lacerations on the feet. To err to caution, best to avoid working on the reproductive system and reflexes of a client that is pregnant and in their first trimester. This is revealed when completing a confidential health record.

Using a precise set of techniques, and using mainly the thumbs and fingers, the practitioner will apply deep pressure (10-20 lbs. PSI) over the reflexes or nerve endings of the feet between 45 to 60 minutes.   Not to worry…for those of you who are ticklish, this will not make you giggle. Meant to be relaxing, if there are areas of tenderness or even pain, they are indicators of deficiencies and by working over the areas, help to restore balance to the body.

So, although having a foot massage is very nice, Reflexology is not a foot massage!!!

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