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Are Online Reflexology Classes Really Worthwhile

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 12/23/2009

Taking online reflexology classes and earning a diploma or certificate sounds like a win-win, especially for a student in need of retraining after a job loss. Before committing yourself and your resources to the training, make sure you know the details of the diploma you receive.

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    What is Reflexology Education

    Practitioners suggest that reflexology stimulates mind and body via the soles of the feet, hands and even certain areas of the head. The most common areas of focus are the feet. It is completely noninvasive and presents a mix of strategically applied acupressure with the knowledge that is behind the practice of acupuncture.

    Other parts of reflexology involve stretching the limbs and also moving them. Finding the proper areas to manipulate requires training and expertise, and this is where schools of alternative healing provide hands-on instruction. Not surprisingly, online reflexology classes make the same claim. Is it possible to learn the art and science of this discipline via the Internet?

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Certificate vs. Certification: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

    Students inquiring about online training may find out that some training locales offer a certificate, while others offer a certification program. In some cases – such as it is the case with Reflex Seminars – both are offered. A certificate oftentimes implies little more than a certificate of completion, which states that the student completed a course of study. It does not make any statement about the student’s abilities.

    A certification may allow the student to call herself a certified reflexologist, but the designation is only as good as the institution that offers it. For example, the Reflex Seminars certification is limited to Rittenhouse Reflexology Seminars, and thus may not transfer to other schools.

    Accreditation

    A good many online training courses feature an accreditation, but it may not necessarily be nationwide. In other instances, the accreditation is highly specialized. For example, Expert Rating offers an online certificate in complementary and alternative medicine that touches on reflexology in addition to discussing traditional Chinese medicine as well as spirituality and health.

    The program is accredited by ALLEGRA, which in turn has the nod of approval from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. This accreditation refers to the attribution of CE contact hours for continuing professional education.

    Does Cost Matter?

    Just as there is no national standard for reflexologists, there is also no standard for the curriculum design of a program teaching reflexology or the cost associated with it. This leads to a great disparity in the marketplace. For example, the International Institute of Holistic Healing offers a very detailed course for $175. The exact same course – by the same instructor – is part of a Breyer State University online master’s degree; in that capacity it costs more than $450. $450 is also the cost of the Rittenhouse certification, while the Expert Rating certificate costs $250.

    How Long is the Training?

    Training times vary as much as the pricing. Reflexology Online offers a certification in reflexology in about a month and is a mix of 25 study hours and 25 logged hours; the Rittenhouse certification is made up of 70 study hours and 120 practice hours. The International Institute of Holistic Healing specifies that the program may take between two and six months to complete.

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    Understand the Requirements

    Since there are no national standards for becoming or staying a reflexologist, oversight of the practice is limited. To ensure that you invest your time and resources wisely, consider aligning your studies with the precepts of the American Reflexology Certification Board.

    Even though this organization does not set enforceable national standards, it nevertheless sets a pace which plenty of independent professionals and organizations follow. The national certification is open to anyone for testing, as long as the prospective board certified reflexologist underwent some kind of hands-on training but not a correspondence or home study course.

    Keep in mind that even this certification is not a license to practice; as outlined in “Review of The School of Natural Healing," certification and licensing do not go hand in hand. Moreover, even if you do obtain national certification, your municipality might still require you to also obtain a massage license, as many states fail to legally distinguish reflexology from massage therapy.

    In short, if you plan on using your specialty education for anything other than a hobby or to benefit friends and family members, you may find that the online education option is not a good one in this field.

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    Sources

    • Reflex Seminars: http://www.reflexseminars.com/
    • Expert Rating: http://www.expertrating.com/certifications/InstructorLed/Health-Care-Continuing-Education/Certificate-in-Complementary-and-Alternative-Medicine/Certificate-in-Complementary-and-Alternative-Medicine.asp?
    • International Institute of Holistic Healing: http://www.doctorajadams.com/ReflexologyCourse.html
    • Reflexology Online: http://www.reflexologyonline.com/
    • American Reflexology Certification Board: http://www.arcb.net/nationalcert.htm