Welcome to RACquests, a member-directed Q & A column, where Member inquiries are collected and answered.

Q. A member asks, "What is being done to have RAC reflexology recognized as an insurable modality?"

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. 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 development.

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 a greater acceptance by the insurers.

Q. A member asks "Where is my On-line referral listing? I am filling out my renewal this week, before March 1, and when I looked for my listing, it wasn�t there!"

A. There may be many reasons why your referral listing may not appear!
1. You may be looking for it after Dec 31, and you have not yet renewed.
Your membership spans January 1 to December 31 of a given year. Although our by-laws allow 60 days for you to PAY your membership dues, the federal government has enacted and strictly enforces the PHIA privacy laws, which means RAC can only post your member information for the current membership period. After midnight December 31, both your membership and your listing expire, and RAC needs your permission to post your information again. Section 2-1 of your RAC renewal form, when filled out and signed, gives RAC your permission to post your listing. You may have noticed our efforts to contact you by phone or email to let you know that you have forgotten to fill out page 2. This is because we do not want you to miss being on Canada�s largest national searchable Certified and Professional Reflexologist referral database!
NEW this year � you can have a hotlink to either your email or website on your referral listing!
You may have also noticed that the 2006 renewals were mailed out earlier than usual - in late October. We are trying hard to help you get your renewal in before your listing expires! If being in the On-line referral listings is important to YOU, please renew before Dec 31 annually.

2. We may not have received your renewal at RAC yet.
We collect the mail, and check our emails and faxes daily, but sometimes there is a delay between when you send your renewal and when we receive it. Please bear with us and allow 5 business days for us to receive mail. If time is of the essence, then please call us toll-fee or fax your renewal.

3. There may be a problem with your renewal, address and/or payment.
Occasionally, a member pays the wrong amount, or a credit card number contains an error, or you may have moved without letting us know. We will make several efforts to contact you. Please remember that RAC�s by-laws put the onus on the member for helping us to keep in touch by keeping your contact information accurate and current.

4. OOPS! It may be a staff error!
It happens! One of our staff may have made a simple error that means that your referral listing does not appear, or does not appear as you expected. Five business days after mailing your renewal, please check for your listing and let us know if it does not appear, or does not contain the information you expected it to. We will be more than happy to correct it!

Q. A member asks "How can I promote and market my Reflexology practice?"

A. 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 and procedure. 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.

Previous RACquests...

Q. A Member asks: "How does the Privacy Act affect the practitioner? 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.
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