Reflexologist  What They Do

Just the Facts

Massage Therapists Career Video

Insider Info

dotA reflexologist is a person who does a type of massage on the feet. It is believed to relieve tension and even to treat illnesses in other parts of the body.

This is considered a complementary form of health care because it can be used in addition to other medical treatments.

The goal of the reflexologist is to help make the client's own body cure itself. The approach of western medicine is to use therapies like drugs and surgery to cure illnesses.

dotReflexologists use their hands to apply pressure to spots, or "reflex points," on the foot. These spots correspond to other parts of the body. For instance, the toes correspond with head and neck problems.

The theory behind reflexology is similar to that of acupressure, acupuncture and other ancient Oriental healing methods.

dotReflexology is considered one of the holistic approaches to healing the body and mind. The idea is that our minds and bodies are connected. These practitioners believe there are energy pathways in our bodies, and stimulation of the correct reflex points will clear blockages in these pathways and allow the body to heal itself.

Reflexologists stress that there is a psychological element to their treatments. It's clear that the body is greatly affected by the mind, since stress and tension are a factor in many health problems.

dotBefore reflexologists begin treatment, they try to get to know the patient's history, including such things as current medical problems.

dotReflexologists work in clinics along with other holistic health professionals, like chiropractors, naturopaths and herbologists. Some work out of their homes. A comfortable environment is important to patients.

dotYou have to have strong, sensitive hands for this job. More importantly, you have to be mentally strong. Reflexologists say this can be a draining job when you're working so closely with patients.

"I have been in this industry for over 13 years, and I can tell you that full-time [work] does take a toll on the body's energy levels," says reflexologist and certified massage therapist Joanne Marie.

At a Glance

Relieve pain and illness through feet

  • You need strong hands
  • The goal of the reflexologist is to help make the client's own body cure itself
  • Research training programs carefully and consider getting certified