General Curriculum Guidelines

The ARCB Is Frequently Asked What Its Educational Standards Are.  Please Keep in Mind the Following Points:
  1. ARCB’s focus is practitioner standards, not educational standards. ARCB sets testing prerequisites, not educational standards. ARCB tests the outcome of learning. It is the responsibility of the educator to cover what they consider to be the necessary information.
  2. As an independent non-profit testing agency, ARCB does not endorse or recommend any reflexology curriculum, school or instructor.
  3. For specific information on teacher and curriculum national standards, ARCB that you contact the American Commission for the Accreditation for Reflexology Education and Training (ACARET). ACARET’s mission is to provide schools with guidelines. ACARET may be reached through Juliebeth Mezzy, Secretary,  757-427-3309,,
  4. As a public service, however, the following general guideline as developed by the National Center for Complementary Medicine (NCCAM) is provided. NCCAM is an office within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2004 NCCAM divided educational subjects into  percentage of curriculum rather than hours.
  5. Hours/percentages designated are used during the development of a curriculum. Usually in the delivery of a course of study they are integrated in the overall program and may be difficult to separate exactly as shown.
  6. Therefore, a minimum of 110 hours of reflexology instruction, which qualifies one to take the foot exam, could include:
  • 23% (25 hours) of reflexology theory, history, zones, meridians & relaxation response.
  • 36% (40 hours) of study of body systems as related to reflexology; the study of the leg and foot as a structure; hands-on palpation of landmarks with sensory identification of palpated areas (i.e., congested, grainy, leathery, stringy, tight, soft, etc.); a map of reflexes as they are anatomically reflected on the feet; and how the above are affected by stimulation to the feet and hands-on experience
  • 27% (30 hours) of anatomy & physiology
  • 5% (5 hours) of business practice which involves ethics and business standards and local/state laws and ordinances pertaining to the practice of Reflexology; and
  • 9% (10 hours) or more of supervised practicum or clinical work.
  • Plus any number of additional homework hours which can include giving and documenting client sessions and other written work.

American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) Definition of Reflexology

Foot and hand reflexology is a scientific art based on the premise that there are zones and reflex areas in the feet and hands which correspond to all body parts. The physical act of applying specific pressures using thumb, finger and hand techniques result in stress reduction which causes a physiological change in the body.

Another Definition that Distinguishes Reflexology from Acupressure Is:

Reflexology is the application of, specific pressure by the use of the practitioner’s hand, thumb and fingers to a reflex map resembling the human body, which is believed to exist on the extremities.

The Study of Anatomy and Physiology from a Reflexology Perspective

Anatomy and physiology of the body is for the most part, the same for each individual. Likewise, the study of A&P is similar with most disciplines. However, the theory of body systems and application of techniques by the practitioner in reflexology is different than other professions.

Reflexology A&P Consists of the Interconnection Between:
  • The systems of the body and their functions
  • The foot as a structure (i.e., nerves, tissues, biomechanics)
  • The map of the reflexes in the feet (i.e., reflexes as they anatomically are reflected on the feet)
  • Pathology in relation to the systems
  • Energy pathways
  • How all of the above are affected by stimulation of the feet.
  • Hands-on application
  • Palpation of landmarks of the feet
  • Identification and working of reflexes and other tissue in relation to the theory of the body being replicated on the feet
  • The innate ability of the body to balance itself physiologically and through energy pathways.
  • The nervous system
  • Subtle energy systems & energy pathways
  • Circulatory and lymphatic systems
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Biomechanics
  • Zones
  • The relaxation response.
The A&P Mechanisms by Which Reflexology Works Includes, But Is Not Limited to:
  • The nervous system
  • Subtle energy systems & energy pathways
  • Circulatory and lymphatic systems
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Biomechanics
  • Zones
  • The relaxation response.

These differences are what makes reflexology unique and a separate discipline from other professions.