American Reflexology Certification Board ®

Setting the highest testing standards to which Professional Reflexologists aspire since 1991.

ARCB® Legislative Role

ARCB® plays an active role nationwide on behalf of professional Reflexologists whose right to practice may be impacted by legislative activity in their city, county or state. In addition, we are often called upon by law enforcement or government officials who desire help in revising laws relating to the practice of reflexology in their jurisdiction. Our Legislative Committee works in conjunction with the Reflexology Association of America to monitor legislative activity and legal actions that are of concern to professional Reflexologists. ARCB® opposes any legislation that would place Reflexology under massage or cosmetology licensing requirements, or the control of any other therapy’s rules and regulations. Reflexology has its own history, vocabulary, theories, and techniques. We work on behalf of our certificants and Reflexologists across the nation in order to insure that we are recognized as a separate profession. An unethical, but growing trend in the USA, is the operation of “reflexology parlors or foot spas” that front for operations of human trafficking and prostitution. ARCB® has worked with the RAA and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center to produce a brochure called Identifying the Legitimate Reflexology Practice PDF. This brochure provides information for the general public and law enforcement to be able to distinguish the legitimate reflexology professional. Reflexology is exempt from massage laws in 33 states. Four states have their own reflexology regulations. In many counties and cities with massage laws, professional reflexologists have received an exemption. The ARCB® examination or its written portion has been selected legislatively as the basis for licensing of Reflexologists in some jurisdictions. See State Reflexology Law Information for a summary of state law pertaining to reflexology. If you are a professional Reflexologist with concerns about legislative actions in your area, or a law-enforcement professional or legislative staff member who needs more information, please contact our office to be put in touch with our Legislative Committee chairperson.

ARCB®’s Position on Human Trafficking

ARCB®’s Position on Human Trafficking An unethical but growing trend in the USA is the operation of “reflexology spas” as fronts for human trafficking and prostitution. Legitimate reflexologists and professional reflexology organizations are opposed to human trafficking in any form. ARCB® recognizes human trafficking is a multi-faceted and complex issue. We support law enforcement in its efforts to combat human trafficking operating under the guise of reflexology foot massage/spa establishments. ARCB® is committed to educating and supporting law enforcement in identifying professional reflexologists and their legitimate reflexology practices. It is our belief that business licensing of the individual reflexologist based on proper education and testing will lead to reduced instances of human trafficking. ARCB® works legislatively to support laws that will aid in the prevention of human trafficking throughout the US. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring that laws don’t infringe on the professional certified reflexologist’s right to practice independent of massage or other manual therapies. Recognizing the Legitimate Reflexologist Professional reflexology is recognized worldwide by various national health institutions and the public at large as a distinct complementary practice within the holistic health field. The effectiveness of legitimate reflexology is supported by over 300 global research studies, including a study published in the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that supports the use of reflexology for the treatment of PMS symptoms, Grants funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) support the efficacy of reflexology on patients with breast cancer. Reflexology is recognized by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) as a separate integrative therapy, distinct from massage. Currently reflexology is exempt from massage laws in a majority of states and is licensed at the state level in Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee and Washington. Based on the most recent ARCB® psychometric evaluation study, the typical professional reflexologist:
  • Is a certified graduate of an initial 110-hour reflexology-specific classroom training program (This is beyond a typical massage training program’s 8 to 16-hour reflexology instruction. Online certification is not recognized by professional reflexology organizations.)
  • Adheres to a strict Code of Ethics and Business Standards
  • Is a member of the Reflexology Association of America and/or their state reflexology organization
  • Is middle-aged, self-employed, has college level education and regularly attends continuing education courses
  • Practices in a private health clinic or a home-based office in accordance with state and local ordinances
  • Takes a client health history and keeps written charts
  • Actively communicates in English with the client
  • Carries practitioner liability insurance.
  The Legitimate Reflexology Session A legitimate reflexology session consists of a protocol of manual techniques, such as thumb and finger-walking, hook and backup and rotating-on-a-point, applied to specific reflex areas predominantly on the feet and hands, although some methods include the outer ears. Reflexology techniques stimulate the complex neural pathways linking body systems, supporting the body’s efforts to function optimally as opposed to the soft-tissue stimulation provided by the rubbing and smoothing techniques of massage.
  • At the beginning of each sessions, the professional reflexologist assesses the client to identify any contraindications.
  • A session is typically conducted in a reclining chair or on a bodywork table.
  • The client remains fully clothed with only footwear removed.
  • During the session, pressure is adjusted to a comfort level acceptable to the client through discussion with the reflexologist.
  • The average session is 45 – 60 minutes duration and is priced at $1.00 or more per minute.

Choosing a Reflexology Education

Completion of your reflexology education and training is required prior to sitting for the ARCB® examination. As an independent certifying testing agency, ARCB® does not recommend or endorse any school, curriculum or instructor. Important: ARCB® has not authorized or endorsed any school or instructor to state that completing their course of study will qualify the student to pass the ARCB® examination. Upon acceptance of your application to ARCB®, you will receive a Study Guide and instructions about how study and prepare for the exam. The ARCB® examination is copyrighted property and it is illegal for a school or instructor to use any portion of the examination or the Study Guide for teaching purposes.
You must select your own course of study and be certain the course you select meets ARCB’s® standards for the minimum educational requirements necessary to sit for our exam.
Reflexology is a hands-on discipline and ARCB’s® policy is that reflexology education requires hands-on instruction. A prerequisite for testing with ARCB® is completion of a hands-on reflexology course through certification (if available). On-line or distance learning reflexology courses are not eligible to fulfill the training prerequisite. We require the course be a minimum of 110 hours.
The classroom content should include a minimum of:
    • 25 hours of reflexology theory, history, zones, meridians and relaxation response (23%)
    • 40 hours of body systems as related to reflexology; study of the leg and foot as a structure; hands-on palpation of landmarks with sensory identification of palpated areas (congested, grainy, tight, soft, etc.); a map of reflexes (reflexology chart) as they are anatomically reflected on the feet; how the body is affected by stimulation to the reflexes on the feet, as well as hands-on experience (36%)
    • 30 hours of Anatomy and Physiology* (27%)
    • 5 hours of business practice covering ethics and business standards, local/state laws and ordinances pertaining to the practice of reflexology (5%)
    • 10 hours (or more) of supervised practicum or clinical work (9%)

* The Anatomy and Physiology portion of your training may have been taken at an accredited college or university.

Note: Any documented client sessions used to complete the educational requirement for your school certification may not be used for the documentation portion of the ARCB® exam. ARCB® has specific requirements for session length, number of clients and documentation format that are provided in the Study Guide you will receive upon acceptance of your application to sit for the ARCB® exam.
ARCB’s® 110-hour minimum educational prerequisites must legally be based on psychometrically valid information. This is determined from a job analysis survey for the standard reflexology education of professional reflexologists in the USA at the present time. Our standard may change in future and may differ from the standards for professional membership that are set by state and national reflexology associations.
See the Other National Reflexology Associations listed below for more information on schools and instructors. You may also wish to download ARCB’s® Suggestions for Selecting Your Reflexology Education.

Other National Reflexology Organizations

Reflexology Association of America (RAA) WEBSITE: See the RAA website to access listings of reflexology educators/schools and state reflexology associations. In addition, RAA’s site provides a list of states with reflexology laws or exemptions as well as information regarding legislative work and guidelines, assistance with setting up a state reflexology association and marketing materials for your practice. National Council for Reflexology Educators (NCRE) WEBSITE: The mission is to meet the diverse needs of the reflexology educational community by bridging the gap between the individual's desire to teach and evolving standards; and give a voice to experienced teachers and those who provide instructional aids.

Privacy Policy

We collect information from you only when you fill out a form or send us an email. This information is used to process application(s) for testing or continuing education-related activities which you initiate. We may use the information to contact you regarding your renewal fee and continuing education attestation, or to send certificants and educators our journals and educator communications. We don’t use cookies and we don’t disclose your information to any third parties; however, we may release your information when we believe release is important to comply with the law, enforce our policies, or protect our rights. We do not collect information from anyone under 13 years of age and our services and website are directed to people at least 13 years of age or older. At our discretion we may include links to third party sites on our website. We have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of those linked sites. By using our site, you agree to our privacy policy.

Linking to ARCB®

ARCB® is an independent certifying testing agency and does not endorse any specific reflexology training curriculum, method, school or products. Therefore, ARCB® will not approve requests to link from our site to any such sites. In order to increase professional resources for the general public, however, ARCB® does provide links to the Reflexology Association of America (RAA) and the American Commission for Accreditation of Reflexology Education and Training (ACARET). Limited permission is granted to link to the Home (Welcome) page of this ARCB® website under the following conditions:

  1. It must be clearly stated that the link is being provided for informational / resource purposes only.

  2. Use of the link may not imply that any entity is approved or endorsed by ARCB®, or that their training program, curriculum, reflexology method, instructors, products, services or organization is approved or endorsed by ARCB®.

  3. Failure to comply with the above conditions for linking with the ARCB® website may result in legal action against you.

Logo and Acronym Use

All ARCB® logos are trademarked and may only be used with permission. ARCB® grants the use of the “ARCB® Certified” logo to our certificants in good standing for use on business cards, stationery, brochures, and other advertising for certificants’ businesses under the following guidelines:

  1. The ARCB® logo may only be used by Reflexologists certified by ARCB® in the particular discipline for which they are intended.

  2. ARCB® logos that lack the word “certified” are reserved for ARCB’s® use and may not be used at any time, by anyone other than the ARCB®.

  3. The ARCB® Certified logo may not be altered in any way.

  4. ARCB® practitioners may use the ARCB® Certified logo in conjunction with the words “ARCB® Board Certified Reflexologist” or "National Board Certified Reflexologist" (NBCR).

  5. The ARCB® acronym, unless previously identified to mean the American Reflexology Certification Board® in an article, brochure, or press release cannot be used by itself.

  6. The ARCB® Certified logos are for individual practitioner business use only and may be used in the certificant’s biographical information.

  7. The ARCB® or ARCB® Certified logos may not be used in any way that implies you are endorsed, recommended or licensed by ARCB® or to infer you are an instructor for ARCB® or that your educational program is approved by ARCB®. However, schools or instructors that have submitted and received ARCB® approval for a continuing education activity may state that the activity is ARCB® approved but may not use the logo to advertise such activity.

  8. The ARCB® logos cannot be used in conjunction with products or in the promotion of products.

History of Reflexology

Information about reflexology's origins can be confusing and subject to much conflicting information. As part of its effort to protect the public and support reflexology as a profession, ARCB® sponsors a website that contains the true information. To learn more, visit We encourage you to share this link. For a more comprehensive history of foot reflexology refer to the book Reflexology: Art, Science & History by Christine Issel from which the information on the site has been provided by permission.