This page looks at training to become a reflexologist, the importance of an anatomy and physiology level 3 qualification and how this can be achieved by home study / distance learning.
Gone are the days when a career was for life. More and more people change careers and it is getting increasingly common to hear that people want to leave the “rat race”, maybe become self-employed, and investigate different philosophies of life. Complementary Healthcare is a rapidly expanding industry and many adults come to it wanting to help themselves and others lead a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Reflexology is a popular Complementary Therapy with ancient roots. It is a pressure therapy primarily involving the feet. It revolves around the understanding that there are reflex points on the feet that relate to the structure and function of all parts of the body. Applying pressure to these reflexes using a gentle on-off pressure may influence the state of the body in many ways. For example, reflexology has been found to reduce stress and tension, relieve pain, improve bodily functions and generally restore the body to a better state, so improving physical well being.
Reflexology is not as physically demanding to perform as some other treatments such a full body massage. The therapist can sit throughout, but intensively performing treatments over a long period of time can take its toll on the hands and the thumb joints in particular. So if you fancy training to become a Reflexologist where do you start?
A Level 3 Certificate in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology is the starting point for most careers in Complementary Healthcare. Before you can progress to study you chosen therapy you must develop an understanding as to how the body works. This is quite sensible when you think about it. It would be unprofessional, and indeed dangerous, to perform any hands-on treatment without a detailed understanding of the body’s structure and function. After all, you wouldn’t attempt to improve the performance of a car if you didn’t understand the mechanics of its engine.
Some reflexology courses may incorporate elements of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Other courses require a Level 3 Certificate as a pre-requisite. You will often hear the phrase Accredited Prior Learning (APL). If anatomy, physiology and pathology is listed as APL for a course then it is necessary for you to hold a qualification in anatomy, physiology and pathology before you begin.
Before you, as a Reflexologist, begin to treat any members of the public you must take out insurances to protect both your clients and yourself. You will have to show that you hold an accepted qualification in Reflexology and that your anatomy & physiology is up to the required standard. The industry standard for anatomy & physiology is the Level 3 Certificate. A word of warning – if the anatomy & physiology is run in tandem and is not accredited, find out if a separate qualification in anatomy & physiology is given. If not, you may have problems getting insured and, despite your studies, your anatomy and physiology may not be accepted as APL for another qualification. It is worth the extra effort to gain an accredited Level 3 Certificate because this will open many doors for you in the future.
To help ensure that your Level 3 qualification will be accepted as APL, wherever you choose to study, it is wise to select an awarding organisation that is regulated. The Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) is the Government framework for recognising achievement. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. Details of qualifications that are accredited by the regulators of external qualifications are listed on the Register of Regulated Qualifications (RRQ), formerly known as the National Database of Accredited Qualifications (NDAQ). A Level 3 Certificate on the RRQ should be universally accepted. The VTCT (Vocational Training Charitable Trust) is an approved and regulated awarding organisation and offers a Level 3 Certificate in Anatomy Physiology and Pathology for Complementary Therapies that is on the RRQ.
It is important that you find a Reflexology course that suits you. You could contact your local college to see what they have to offer. The Association of Reflexologists (AOR) also offer much advice for those just setting out and their web site www.aor.org.uk lists approved AOR Training Centres.