Reflexology is a form of holistic practice used to manipulate areas of the hands, feet and body to relieve stress and promote natural healing. Reflexology classes are available at schools designed for this specific purpose or the classes can be taken online. Various classes focus on specific areas of the body so the student can gain a better understanding of the reflexology practice. A reflexologist must be certified through the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) and may continue with advanced classes once they are certified.
Reflexology classes teach students the ability to identify the correct way to approach a client's hands, feet and body. To gain a clear understanding of the practice, and benefit from personal attention by the instructor, class sizes are usually limited. This allows the student to learn quicker, and allows for more one-on-one time with the instructor than a larger class would permit.
The reflex points in the hands and feet are connected, and correspond to various body parts. By applying pressure to certain reflex points located in the hands and feet, blood circulation, along with the nervous system, is stimulated. Once the blood flow and nerves have been stimulated in an area of the hands or feet, the corresponding body part begins to receive the proper amount of oxygenated blood, which promotes a natural healing process.
Reflexology classes involving the foot teach the student how to hold the foot and create a comfortable atmosphere for the client. The student is then taught how to press and maneuver their thumbs over the client's foot, searching for tender areas that may need to be rubbed out. The various systems of the body, their functions, and where they are located on the foot are taught. Stimulating these points properly can release stress and open up the ability for the body to naturally heal itself.
Reflexology classes focused specifically on the hand are similar to the classes taken for the foot. The student is taught the reflex points in the hand, and how to press and rub specific areas. The class teaches that reflexology should never be used to create a diagnosis, or be used for only treating disease. Instead, it must merely be used as a means to promote natural healing. The student is also taught techniques to teach their client so that the client is able to continue the practice at home.
The third type of reflexology class reviews the foot and hand, while adding in the reflex points of the body. Specific workouts and limitations are taught to the student on how to work with infants, children and the elderly. Working reflex points of the body can release stress. Reflex points throughout the body can be found in the ears, face, head, back, chest and legs.
After the reflexology classes have been completed, the student is then required to perform a home study with a certain number of clients. Each client will receive reflexology on their hands, feet and body. The student is then required to submit a written study on a reflexology book before he can apply for certification. Once certification has been achieved, advanced certification classes can be taken.