Reflexology Association of
Rhode Island

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How to Identify a Legitimate Reflexology Practice

Human Trafficking is a growing problem in the USA, often using “reflexology spas” etc. as fronts for human trafficking and prostitution.  Reflexology Associations are opposed to human trafficking in any form and committed to educating the public on how to identify a professional reflexologist.

Professional reflexology is recognized worldwide by various national health institutions and the public at large as a distinct integrated practice within the holistic health field. The effectiveness of legitimate reflexology is supported by over 300 global research studies, including a study published in the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that supports the use of reflexology for the treatment of PMS symptoms, Grants funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) support the efficacy of reflexology on patients with breast cancer. Reflexology is recognized by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) as a separate integrative therapy, distinct from massage.

A legitimate practitioner is a certified graduate of at least a 200 hour reflexology-specific classroom training program This is beyond a typical massage training program’s 8 to 16-hours of reflexology instruction.  (Online certification is not recognized by professional reflexology organizations.)

A legitimate reflexology session consists of a protocol of manual techniques, such as thumb and finger-walking, hook and backup and rotating-on-a-point, applied to specific reflex areas predominantly on the feet, hands, and outer ears. Reflexology techniques stimulate the complex neural pathways linking body systems, supporting the body’s efforts to function optimally as opposed to the soft-tissue stimulation provided by the rubbing and smoothing techniques of massage.

  • At the beginning of each session, the professional reflexologist assesses the client to identify any contraindications.
  • A session is typically conducted in a reclining chair or on a bodywork table.
  • The client remains fully clothed with only footwear removed.
  • During the session, pressure is adjusted to a comfort level acceptable to the client.
  • An average session is 45 – 60 minutes duration

A brochure, created by ARCB, RAA and NCRE “Identifying the Professional Reflexology Practice” is available for you to download: