Reflexology: A Profound Healing Art and Science!

By Linda Hughan—CRR/RMT, RAC Education Coordinator

Practiced in diverse cultures for centuries, Reflexology, a method of touch therapy, is a universally acclaimed healing art and science. For either preventative care or in response to physical or emotional distress, a reflexology session acts as a catalyst to aid the body towards its own natural healing process.

Where Does The Practice Come From?

Dating back to 2330 BC, the first record of Reflexology is found in an Egyptian physician's tomb. Traces of 'foot work" also appear in other cultures such as China, India and Europe going back thousands of years indicating no one culture having invented it. Researches believe that the art is well over 5, 500 years old. Today's methods are based on the work of Dr. William Fitzgerald who studied the art of "pressure therapy in Europe and pioneered "Zone Therapy" in the USA and that of Eunice Ingham who systematized and popularized the therapy in the 1930's. Research is ongoing proving its benefits.

How Does It Work?

Reflexology is based on the premise that there are reflex points in the hands, feet and ears corresponding via nerve pathways of the nervous system (Western Medicine) and/or meridians (Eastern Medicine) to every part, organ and gland of the body. According to the American Journal of Medicine, stress is known to cause over 80% of all illnesses. Reflexology reduces stress automatically during a session, causing chemical changes to occur at the cellular level throughout the body. Through systematic pressure and stimulation of these reflexes, the body is assisted to return to natural functioning. In the process endorphins (natural pain-killers) are released, para-sympathetic relaxation of the nervous system takes place, increased blood and lymphatic circulation results in increases in oxygen and immune levels all of which helps to restore balance to all the systems of the body.

What To Expect

  • Reflexologists do not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions and should not be used as a substitute for necessary medical treatment. They treat the whole person often working together with other medical and complementary therapies to achieve the best results for the client.
  • Technique should be firm but not painful taking into consideration that tenderness and tension usually denote congestion in the area and corresponding part of the body.
  • Sessions usually last 45 minutes to 1 hour, generally costing $35 to $65 depending upon where and what the service is that is provided.
  • Depending on the focus of the session the number of sessions will vary. For a health problem, expect to commit to a series of 10 sessions before assessing results. It is not required to have a condition to benefit from reflexology: it's a wonderful way to feel better and gain a sense of health and well-being. People usually feel a sense of inner calm and more energy following as a result of their sessions.

Choosing a Reflexologist

It is important when choosing a Reflexologist to choose one as you would choose any other professional. Reflexologists are trained and certified practitioners holding memberships in both provincial and national associations. These Associations require they follow a strict code of ethics and conduct along with professional standards of practice.

Where Do You Find The Professionals?

In Canada there are many training programs. The Reflexology Association of Canada (RAC), the only non-profit federally chartered National Association, has been dedicated to training practitioners, educating the public of the benefits of reflexology and providing referrals for certified Reflexologists across Canada for over 30 years. It is an industry leader in the Reflexology world. It also offers programs and membership for those who do not wish to certify. With certified members from coast to coast it is also affiliated with other non-profit based reflexology associations worldwide. Its mission is to unify Reflexologists in professional programs and services.

Today, Reflexology is at the forefront of Complementary Medicine. It may be learned and practiced by anyone who wishes to pass on its therapeutic benefits.

The Reflexology Association of Canada unifies Reflexologists in professional programs and services. The Association sets standards of conduct for member Reflexologists and offers a certification program in the modalities of foot, hand and ear. Currently, the Foot Program along with Member Services is offered in both French and English. There is also a professional and general insurance program offered for members; regular newsletters and an annual conference. Member Reflexologists are registered on an electronic database that allows the public to find a Reflexologist anywhere in Canada.

For more information about membership, certification or to find a Reflexologist please contact us:

The Reflexology Association of Canada
Mailing Address: 304-414 Graham Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 0L8

Toll Free 1.877.722.3338