Sam Belyea a.k.a. The Foot Whisperer
There is a place for every method of learning. Maybe you are totally new to Reflexology, or have some experience, or you’ve been in the field for a while. Growing your base of Reflexology knowledge is always a good thing for personal and/or professional development. The problem becomes where to find the knowledge.
Looking at live classes in your area may yield scattered results. Live classes are fun and community oriented with lots of hands-on practice time, but the bodywork industry isn’t always known for its business sense. The classes you find could have a poor website that isn’t up to date, the instructor’s photo may not even be present or there is unclear communication as to how you register. Maybe the one class you find is far away and you really want to talk to someone on the phone before signing up, but they don’t get back with you. Trust me, I’ve been there.
So, maybe you look for online Reflexology courses to take at your own pace. There are some really extensive courses out there with instructors that seem qualified, but how do you validate their expertise? Looking at testimonials from their students? How can you tell that they are real reviews? NEWS FLASH: Not everything on the internet is truthful. Also, upon completing their course, do they offer a ‘Certified Reflexologist’ designation? That can be an ethical problem, because would you want to receive Reflexology from someone who got ‘certified’ in a hands-on modality through a non-live course? Of course not, so there can be some fishy sites out there to watch for.
Concerns on both ends abound, but the common theme I find is being able to actively interact with the instructors ahead of time so that you can ensure your comfort level before proceeding. An active Reflexology school (live or online) should have people at the other end of the phone/email that return your communications promptly. The instructors should be accessible, not just a sales rep or office manager. Being able to set up an appointment to visit the live school, or talk with the instructor who is teaching in the online course, is a best practice when looking to validate the integrity of the program itself.
I remember when I sought out formal Reflexology training after taking my first one-day intro class. There was a prominent Reflexology school in the area that I had heard about multiple times from reputable practitioners. I looked at their class listings online, which were up to date, and found a live class that worked for my schedule. But, I was nervous – terrified actually. So I called to see if I could drive over and meet with one of the instructors for the course. A very pleasant voice greeted me on the phone and I was able to set up that meeting. Upon arriving later that week, I was expected and given a tour of the facility. The instructor talked with me for a good half hour about the work, how the school was founded and also gave a quick demo of Hand Reflexology for me. Not only was I hooked, I felt totally safe and reassured that this was the school for me.
Online schools can provide the same experience by offering demo sessions, webinars about their courses, extensive descriptions on their school’s website and the ability to speak with the instructor(s) (live, through email, via Skype, etc.). Looking at the online school’s social media presence can be a great indicator of their commitment to transparent interaction online. Likewise, try to avoid flashy websites that offer no substance or ability to communicate and seem to you like you’re entering a sales funnel. Checking for blog posts and videos that are put out by the school on a regular and consistent basis can be a fantastic way to validate that they are truly tech savvy, versus if the creators of the course simply sold the content to a web-based business to host and are now not involved with the school (it does happen people!).
Both live and online courses provide epic value in regards to sharing Reflexology stories, interacting with other students (depending if the online course has a forum/comments area), listing resources for self-study, exposing students to a variety of techniques and establishing a relationship for long-term success in the field. In both instances there is a burden on the instructors to provide as much support as possible while explaining to the students that learning is one thing and putting techniques into practice is another. The final test will ultimately be whether the student becomes a successful practitioner by implementing what they’ve learned and recommending the course to others. There is no better proof of a good course, live or online, than a graduate who is getting results.