Welcome to RAC-quests, a member-directed Q & A column, where Member inquiries are collected and answered.
Q. What is being done to have RAC reflexology recognized as an insurable
A. As reported at the Annual Conference in Halifax, RAC has started that
process. While no time can be estimated for a decision we know there are
steps that RAC first needs to put in place.
1. Proper training to become certified and remain certified. The education
side of RAC will be looking at all aspects of RAC's courses in 2006 to make
sure they meet or exceed International standards.
2. An annual requirement for educational credits. Your RAC Board of
Directors will introduce a program of Continuing Education Units later in
2006. RAC members will be expected to participate in continual professional
3. Heavily supervised and trained instructors. Criteria for our RAC teachers
and trainers will be increased starting in 2006. We want to ensure that RAC
teachers are among the elite in Canada.
4. Professional Liability Insurance. RAC professional reflexologists now
have access to a new liability insurance package. Although not mandatory,
the RAC Board of Directors strongly suggests all professional and practicing
reflexologists secure adequate liability insurance.
We will continue to dialogue with insurers as we move through these four
stages of RAC's growth and development, the result will be an acceptance by
Q. A member asks “I have a successful practice, but I have no time for vacations and additional training.
I’m not getting any younger. Who is going to take care of my clientele when I retire?”
You may be ready for expanding your practice! You should also be thinking of succession planning.
Expanding a practice is a delicate time, much like a cell dividing.
Only a big, healthy cell divides! Make sure you are REALLY ready before you start.
Where do you want to go? You will want to identify your goals, and a good way to do this is to draft up a business plan. Your plan will be a useful tool in identifying the kind of people you want to have working at your side. You want to pick someone who is going YOUR way! It is also a good for self-assessment, to see if you are keeping on-course.
For the record, you need to keep good records! If you have been operating by the seat of your pants, you will want to clean up your act BEFORE you expand. Additional partners or employees will complicate record keeping, and you want to stay on top of it. Especially important will be your method of booking appointments, and how you will remunerate your helper. You will want to get any agreement you make with an employee, associate, or partner IN WRITING, and you may also want to seek a legal review.
Good help is hard to find – but it IS possible! The better you know what YOU want to make of your business, the more likely you are to attract the best help to get you there.
Recruiting is a difficult process. Resumes usually look great! The candidates are on their best behavior during the interview – it’s a lot like dating; everyone wants to make a good impression! It can actually be a good idea to hire someone you already know and get along with, warts and all!
Expansion or succession? Or both? If you want to increase the modalities you offer, choose someone who has those skills. If you want to continue offering the same services, choose someone whose methodology is consistent with your own, so your clients will feel comfortable with them. Introduce your clientele to your partner(s) once you know that they are firmly committed, by letting your partner substitute for you from time to time. If your partner introduces your client to a different modality, that’s cross-selling! When you and your candidate for succession are sure that you are going that way, you may want to draft up a plan for the eventual acquisition of your business by your successor.
Q. A member asks “How can I promote my practice? I haven't much cash!”
Try inexpensive loyalty programs!
One of the most effective ways to increase clientele is through various loyalty programs.
Promotional drives and loyalty programs create a relationship between you and your customers which encourages customers to return time and time again.
Coupons are the most common method. Whether you take a percentage or a dollar value off your regular price, a coupon is always an effective and successful promotional tool.
Punch cards are also a very common way to give back to your customers. A card giving your customer their fifth treatment free will inspire them to fill up the card so they can receive their complimentary visit.
Another promotional tool which forms relationship with your customers is a birthday bonus. Keeping track of your customers’ birthdays and sending a small gift is a very effective means of relationship. Even something as simple as a card or a small discount coupon sent on a customer’s birthday will make a large impact. Your customer will feel valued and will return knowing they are in good hands.
Pre-purchase bonuses are also convenient for both sides. Making a deal such as "Buy one treatment at $33, or four at $100 up front" guarantees your customer a deal if they commit to four treatments and also ensures you a level of commitment from your customer, regardless which option they choose.
Your customers are the greatest! Give them a reason to feel the same about you and your company. Relationship between you and your customer is the most valuable tool for a successful practice, and loyalty programs are the best way to lay the path for that to happen.
Q. A member asks, "A couple of years ago, shortly after doing a treatment, I developed a plantar wart on my thumb, which took me most of that summer to get rid of. Of course, it meant that I couldn't really give anyone else a treatment, because I didn't want to run the risk of transmitting what I had picked up to somebody else. What precautions can I take if I suspect plantar warts on my clients feet, or on my hands?”
A. Plantar warts are a virally spread infection, called human
papillomavirus (HPV). They can be picked up anywhere, not only from
warts! You may need special treatments to eliminate them. Your best first line of defense is clean, healthy unbroken skin. The pre-treatment inspection is for your protection as well as the client's.
Sometimes a second pair of eyes may reveal whether there is a problem.
Pedicurists and manicurists routinely use disposable gloves.
Please read more about this condition at: www.reflexology-research.com
Q. “Should I include children in my Reflexology practice?”
A. YES! Most practitioners have treated someone for problems that began in the client's youth.
Wouldn't it be great to turn back the hands of time, and prevent pain, joint damage and foot deformity before it begins? Perhaps we can't book a time machine for our clients, but what prevents us from promoting reflexology to clients for their KIDS?
Many tendencies of gait, body type and health habits, are passed down
from parent to child. You, the practitioner, have a unique opportunity to help alter some old patterns with early intervention
If a parent's suffering brings them to you today, they would likely want to prevent future pain for their child.
Chiropractors are promoting their services to children with considerable aggression... and success!
Before you begin to promote Pediatric Reflexology, prepare yourself.
Children are mentioned in Chapter One, page 8 of your RAC manual. Be sure to review your Manual and your skills.
Children's feet are softer, more tender and sensitive than adult feet. They may be MUCH more responsive to treatment.
According to your manual, a lighter touch and shorter, more frequent sessions are appropriate. Much sweeping and gentle massage is encouraged.
It is a good idea to book the appointment with both parent and child.
With a very young child, or for a first session, you may plan treating the parent first. The child will learn by observation what is involved in a Reflexology
session. Both parent and practitioner may talk to the child, involving
them step by step in the protocol of the session.
Benefits of including the parent in the child's session include
the parent helping the child to complete a health history, and the parent supporting and helping the child understand the treatment plan
It is also a very good way of protecting yourself from groundless claims.
Check your insurance. Does it cover treating minors?
Ask your insurance provider if you are not sure.
Good luck on expanding your practice into Pediatric Reflexology!
Please visit: www.reflexology-research.com for more information.
Q. A Member asks: "How does the Privacy Act affect the practitoner? What information about my clientelle can I legally keep when
employed/ contracted by another business? How may I safely store it?"
A. Every practitioner should be able to properly collect "Telephone-Book" information like a client's first and last name, address and phone number.
This information is already public, and is neccesary for record keeping.
However, ONCE COLLECTED, it associates your clientelle with a
theraputic treatment, and should be kept secure.
It is a good idea to keep hard copies or back-ups of client
information in a locked fireproof strongbox.
Protect personal electronic organizers like a blackberry or electronic addressbooks with a strong password.
Protect information on your computer with virus protection, firewalls, and strong passwords.
Please read more at the government's official site:
Department of Justice Canada, Privacy Act
Q. A potential member asks, "Can I take reflexology by correspondence?"
A. Reflexology is an ancient practice that has passed the test of time.
It is, above all, a hands-on modality of alternative health care.
A student seeking a Professional Certification for a career in Reflexology needs instruction from a contracted and certified instructor from the Reflexology Association of Canada.
RAC's courses are for Professional Certification and as such need to follow a strict, hands-on protocol.
This is the ONLY way to properly learn the art and science of professional Reflexology, and to obtain certification from Canada's ONLY national Reflexology association, in operation since 1976.
Through personal instruction from a RAC teacher using the manual as reference, and with guided practice, a student learns where to find the Reflex points. They will learn what levels of pressure to use to release the beneficial effects of Reflexology. They will also learn medical terminology, anatomy and physiology as well as professional and ethical behavior.
Those whose interest in Reflexology is for personal development only, rather than Reflexology as a profession, may look for a shorter, less-intense program, coming soon from RAC.
Click this link to find a RAC instructor, trainer or practitioner in YOUR area.
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