Though online programs in reflexology don't exist, this article will cover hybrid programs that cover reflexology such as Holistic Health, massage therapy and Asian body works. It will also explain what to look for when considering these programs as well as a what you might find in reflexology certificate program.
How to Select an Online Reflexology School
Students considering online reflexology schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Reflexology is a field of alternative medicine that espouses the healing effects of massaging key points on the hands and feet. Online programs in reflexology are very rare because many organizations feel that hands-on experience is an important part of learning. Programs that offer reflexology lessons online are usually part of continuing education offerings for registered nurses and are offered by a few universities. Students must then weigh accreditation factors.
Currently there is no single, universal standard body for the teaching and practice of reflexology in the U.S. Some schools offering reflexology are recognized by national accrediting agencies such as the National Council for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB) or the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAO).
Some fledgling groups, such as the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB), help students identify useful reflexology schools according to their own testing and certification standards (www.arcb.net). Programs such as these are not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as valid accrediting agencies. Students should check to ensure that recommendations made by ARCB or the Reflexology Association of America (RAA) are accompanied by valid, regional accreditation (www.reflexology-usa.org).
Reflexology in Other Careers
Reflexology programs are usually offered as part of training programs that teach massage therapy or nursing skills. Students looking to gain greater recognition as a reflexologist may want to begin their training with nursing or massage therapy. Some universities offer online reflexology training specifically to registered nurses. Also, many massage therapy training programs integrate reflexology into their curriculum, but these programs are rarely offered online.
Online Reflexology Program
Though few exist, online programs devoted solely to reflexology are generally certificates offered to registered nurses. The programs can range in length from one to eight courses, including a clinical rotation or practicum. The student generally coordinates any required hands-on training. Registered nurses will usually receive continuing education units (CEUs) when they complete these programs, helping them meet requirements for continued licensure. Reflexologists may also study as part of a school's online offerings in complementary health care, which covers herbalism, healing touch and other topics. Course topics vary, but might include:
- Basic anatomy & physiology
- Introduction to reflexology
- Hand reflexology
- Healing hands and feet
- Ethics in holistic touch therapies
Schools with Online Programs in Reflexology
Front Range community college offers a hybrid A.A.S. Holistic Health degree program and a hybrid Holistic Health Certificate. The hybrid online and in-class associate's degree program covers skills used in aromatherapy, yoga, massage therapy, reflexology, Reiki and wellness coaching. This program includes a capstone course. The certificate teaches professionals, such as nurses, physical therapists, massage therapists and other health care providers, emerging integrative therapies and concepts of holistic medicine. At the moment, only two courses in the certificate program require students to be on campus.
The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine's Associate of Science in Massage Therapy/Asian Bodywork program uses both online and in-class courses to teach students how to give massages and start a careers in private practice, or as an employee of a health care provider. Upon graduation students are prepared for the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certification, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB) certification and the Massage Board License Exam. Additional courses are offered for those interested in membership in the American Organization of Bodywork Therapies of Asia.
Due to the nature of reflexology full online reflexology programs do not exist. However a few schools offer hybrid programs that include training in reflexology. These include degree and certificate programs in holistic health, message therapy and Asian bodyworks.