Reflexologists are complementary medicine practitioners who apply specific pressure to reflex points on their clients' hands and feet. These points are said to be joined to the major organs by 'energy pathways'. The aim is to encourage the bodies natural healing.
Reflexology can be used in the treatment of a variety of conditions, for example stress, sleep disorders, sports injuries and chronic back pain.
To stimulate the healing process, they use thumb and finger pressure on different points of their clients’ feet and hands. Reflexology is based on the belief that reflexes in the feet and hands correspond to all organs and parts of the body.
To start with, the practitioner takes a detailed medical history, asking their client about health and lifestyle problems. They then work on the clients’ hands and feet, assessing possible problems. To clear blockages and improve circulation, they apply pressure to specific spots in short ‘crawling’ movements, which ease tension and restore the body’s natural balance.
Nurses and health care workers are increasingly learning reflexology as an additional skill.
Reflexologists have no set working hours and much may depend on how many clients they have, particularly if they are self-employed. Evening and weekend work may be needed to accommodate clients.
Reflexologists can work in a variety of environments, from hospices and hospitals to clients’ homes or complementary medicine clinics. It is also possible for a reflexologist to work as a therapist in a beauty environment such as a salon or health farm.
Reflexologists might work in a number of centres or travel to clients. A driving licence is useful.
As a reflexologist you should:
There are opportunities to work in a variety of medical settings such as hospitals, hospices, practices attached to GP surgeries or natural health centres. You may work from home, from rented premises or at clients' homes. Some reflexologists also offer other therapies, such as aromatherapy or massage.
Although there have recently been some openings for employment within the NHS, most reflexologists are self-employed.
You need to be prepared to market your business, often working part-time hours at first until you have built up your practice. Long hours may need to be spent on marketing and building contacts.
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