Reflexology ~ frequently asked questions:
Q. Does a reflexologist diagnose?
A. No. The reflexologist can identify where stress and tension are located in the body. This can assist in the diagnosis, but is not sufficient by itself. If the client has other symptoms that present in the same area of the body that the reflexologist has identified as holding stress or tension, then the client should seek the advice of a doctor for a diagnosis. Reflexologists are not licensed health care providers and hence and not legally qualified to diagnose.
Q. Does reflexology treat specific conditions?
A. No. Reflexologists work to bring the whole body back into balance, which may alleviate and improve symptoms. Reflexology is used by many, along side conventional medicine, to help with a variety of ailments. Although reflexologists do not claim to treat or cure any particular ailments, it is thought that some disorders, detailed below, may respond well to reflexology. This is based mainly on anecdotal evidence and some limited scientific research (please see the links page for details of scientific research carried out):
Stress and anxiety – sleep disorders – back pain – fertility issues – hormone imbalances – digestive disorders – joint pain – blood pressure disorders. Maternity reflexology is increasingly used by women to support them through pregnancy.
Q. I have a serious illness – can I still have reflexology?
A. Reflexology is a very gentle treatment that can be enjoyed by the majority of people, however if a doctor or other health care professional is managing your condition it is important to discuss any complementary therapy, including reflexology, with them before commencing treatment.
Q. Does reflexology hurt?
A. Normally the treatment is extremely relaxing and some people even fall asleep. However if any part of the body is out of balance the corresponding reflex may feel tender as the reflexologist works to release any energy blockages. If at any time you find the treatment painful it is important feedback to give your reflexologist as they can adjust the pressure to within your comfort zone.
Q. Is reflexology ticklish?
A. The pressure used in reflexology is quite firm and the movements the reflexologist uses do not normally promote a ticklish response.
Q. Do reflexologists have to be registered in order to practice?
A. No. As there is currently no regulation of reflexologists in the UK the standard of work varies considerably. In order to ensure that your practitioner is trained to the highest standard, and is committed to regular post-graduate training, we recommend that you choose one who has the letters MAR (Member of the Association of Reflexologists) after their name. Not all reflexologists are able to join the AOR as they have a strict entry criteria and insist on on-going professional development. Look out for the AOR logo (on the side of this page) or visit the Association of Reflexologists website for a list of registered practitioners.
Q. Will my health insurance cover reflexology?
A. That depends on your insurer and they type of policy you hold. Some insurers will pay for 50% of the treatment, some will cover it all up to a set amount. Most insurers will insist that your practitioner is appropriately qualified and may ask for proof. Please check with your insurance company to see what documentation they require.