I have recently seen a lot of adverts for reflexology and massage courses where the student either attends a weekend course or completes an online course that is around 5 hours long, with course providers advertising that following completion of their course students will be ‘qualified’ to give treatments.
When I studied to gain my reflexology diploma, I attended college weekly and had 50 hours of tutor led study, gaining the understanding and skills to perform reflexology and then had to complete 100 case studies to show I understood reflexology and its impact on clients health. I also completed a comprehensive Anatomy and Physiology course, where I had to complete written assignments and practical assessments.
I have since undertaken Continued Professional Development workshops which have lasted a day or two to further develop my skills and knowledge of more specialised areas where reflexology can be beneficial and incorporate the skills learned at these workshops into treatments for clients when needed.
There is nothing wrong with taking a short course to learn a little about a subject, however it concerns me that people are completing short courses and then claiming to be ‘qualified’ to carry out treatments.
One of the easiest ways to check if a therapist is suitably qualified to carry out treatments is to check if they are part of any membership bodies. I am a full member of the Association of Reflexologists. I pay a yearly fee to be a member of the AoR which I am happy to do as I feel it gives my clients peace of mind that I am trained to a national standard, that I have to abide by a code of ethics and am committed to completing Continued Professional Development to ensure my skills and knowledge of reflexology are current.
If someone has completed a weekend on online course they will not be accepted as a member of the AoR.
Finding the right therapist for you can be a daunting task, I would suggest checking therapists websites to see if they are suitably qualified to provide the treatment you are looking for and if they are a member of any organisations relating to their therapies. Alternatively you can contact therapists and ask for further information on training and qualifications. Therapists know how many variations there can be on courses and a suitably qualified therapist will be happy to chat through their training and qualifications.
Most importantly you need to feel comfortable with your therapist and that you get the treatment you are hoping for. If you have any health conditions or specific reasons for wanting a treatment you may want a more experienced therapist and I am more than happy to answer any questions from potential clients to make sure they have a treatment plan suited to them.