Letter: Reflexology must stay separate from massage therapy

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Professionally trained, certified reflexologists are being threatened with the loss of their livelihoods by the N.C. Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy. The massage board’s attorney wants to force reflexologists and other energy bodyworkers to become licensed massage therapists in order to be “allowed” to legally practice their profession. It is like forcing a plumber to become a licensed electrician to be legally allowed to do plumbing work.

To become a certified reflexologist, one has to undergo extensive training that includes an understanding of anatomy and medical terminology. Professional reflexologists would like their certification process, training and professionalism to be honored and respected.

In addition, as a separate therapy, we need to remain separate from massage therapy. Professional reflexology is a standalone, self-governed energy bodywork therapy. The American Reflexology Certification Board is a separate, national accreditation process specific to reflexology. [Reflexology is] supported by state, national and international associations. It is not massage or a subspecialty of massage. Proper reflexology does not have to hurt to be effective. The Mayo Clinic recognizes professional reflexology as a viable treatment option.

Finally, all health care professionals are ethically bound to practice only in their area of training/expertise, as well as make referrals to professionals outside their scope of practice.

We all have the right to our choice of health care practitioners: medicine, chiropractic, reflexology, acupuncture, massage, etc. By remaining separate from massage, we all win. Remember, all our intentions are the same: your health, healing and well-being.

A professional, trained reflexologist does no harm. Reflexology clients, for your protection, always ask for the practitioner’s credentials and training prior to a session.

Contact reflexology-nc.org for more information.



— Phyllis Weimar, ARCB-CR
(American Reflexology Certification Board Certified Reflexologist)
Black Mountain


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