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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

3 Common Myths about Reflexology

by Wendy Lewis

Practicing reflexologists encounter many misperceptions with their clients. Let these tips help dispel those myths. 

Myth #1: Reflexology is a foot rub.
Foot rubs and reflexology can both feel great, but the similarities end there. Reflexology is a scientific healing art using alternating pressure techniques on specific zones and reflex areas of the feet (and sometimes hands and outer ears, too). Though a good reflexology session begins and ends with warm-up and cool-down methods that are similar to massage, reflexology and massage are distinctly different. Warm-ups help prepare the feet for reflexology techniques and cool-downs help the client—and his or her feet—prepare for the end of the session.

Myth #2: All reflexology is the same.
While many salons and manicure businesses offer reflexology, the laws concerning reflexology are evolving, which means that still, in many states, just about anyone can advertise this service regardless of training or experience. Look for a practitioner that has earned certification in a reflexology-only training; in the U.S., this means 200 to 300 hours of classroom instruction in techniques as well as anatomy, physiology, professional standards, ethics and more, plus completion and documentation of a minimum number of actual reflexology sessions.

In most states, including Rhode Island, the highest level of certification is national certification through the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB). ARCB-certified reflexologists are required to keep their skills sharp through ongoing continuing education. An ARCB-certified reflexologist can be found at

Myth #3: Cheaper is better.
For a first-rate, real reflexology session, expect to pay rates on-par with other bodywork modalities such as massage. Nationwide rates vary widely, but $60 to $120 per session is common. Clients are paying not just to experience the benefits of reflexology, but also to trust their feet—and well-being—in the hands of someone with expertise and years of experience.

Wendy Lewis is an ARCB-certified reflexologist. Learn more at