American Reflexology Certification Board ®

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

Reflexology Digest

The Importance of National Board Certification for Reflexologists


Complementary therapies are one of the fastest growing areas of healthcare worldwide. Foot and hand reflexologists who have achieved and maintain the highest credentials are being sought by the public and health care industry.

As reflexology gains greater acceptance as a legitimate and credible discipline in the larger complementary health field there comes with this recognition certain responsibilities. The primary obligation is to protect the public through the identification of competent practitioners meeting industry standards and who practice according to a prescribed Code of Ethics. These issues can be addressed through national certification testing with the American Reflexology Certification Board® (ARCB®). National board certification is the bridge from where you are now to where you want to be – a professional, sought-after reflexologist.

Building Your Professional Credibility

About ARCB®

Certification with the ARCB® takes you to the elite level as a professional reflexologist. Even if you have been practicing for years and have satisfied clients, stepping up to national board certification demonstrates the ultimate commitment to professionalism and concern for the public. ARCB® is the only national certification entity providing a psychometrically developed exam that is recognized by the Reflexology Association of America (RAA). The exam is also the choice by legislative bodies for state and county licensing and aids law enforcement in identifying legitimate practitioners.

ARCB® is an independent non-profit corporation that acts as the national examining bureau for the field of professional reflexology. It is not affiliated with any educational program nor does it endorse any specific reflexology training curriculum or instructor. All testing materials have been reviewed by industry experts. Certification with ARCB® is beyond your initial education and can be viewed as a career advancement in meeting national standards.

ARCB® is also not a membership association—one cannot join. When you have successfully passed the examination you become a certificant.

About the Certification Process

To achieve ARCB® certification a reflexologist must meet educational requirements, successfully pass a written and practical exam and complete the required number of documented sessions.

Board certification is the highest standard to which professional reflexologists aspire. Consider national certification as having earned a college degree and then gone on to a graduate program. Applicants prepare for the exam by studying an ARCB® Study Guide that is provided upon registration and contains the material upon which the exam is based. This includes the most common information found in reflexology curricula across the nation as well as a composite reflex chart. This may be beyond what your initial program taught. Both the study guide and the exam instrument are copyrighted, confidential documents and may not be used by schools for curriculum development.

How ARCB® Certification Can Help Build Your Practice

  • Board-certified status lets you competitively differentiate yourself from other reflexologists and foot massage therapists

  • You have the option to be listed on ARCB’s® website and to receive client referrals

  • Board certification demonstrates credibility with clients and other healthcare professionals

  • You enjoy legislative representation and assistance where licensing requirements could impact your right to practice at local, state, and national levels

  • ARCB® keeps you informed about selecting a course of study, trends in reflexology and the larger healthcare field, best business practices, and opportunities for continuing education

ARCB’s® national certification process promotes higher standards of education, ensures public safety, and demonstrates practitioner commitment to the profession through self-improvement and continuing education requirements By choosing a national board certified reflexologist the public can be confident in the quality of services offered.

To learn more about the national certification process visit: or email

©Christine Issel and ©2016 ARCB®


5 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Reflexologist

Blog 2 ARCB Certified Logo


Mistake #1 – Assuming All “Reflexology” Is the Same

Not everything that claims to be reflexology today actually IS reflexology. Currently only 4 states (New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee and Washington) have their own law for reflexologists, so in many areas just about anyone can say or advertise they offer reflexology, whether they are truly a trained and certified reflexologist or not! Reflexology is not foot massage and it’s not acupressure. The National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) defines reflexology as a separate therapy. True reflexology is performed only on the reflex maps of the body located on the feet, hands and outer ears. Real reflexology involves the application of alternating pressure techniques that are unique to reflexology and different than massage or acupressure techniques.

Mistake #2 – Assuming All Reflexologists Are the Same

Just as reflexology is a unique therapy, a Certified Reflexologist has completed unique reflexology only training (typically 200-300 hours in the USA). According to the standards of most state and national reflexology associations and the national certification board, this training must include classroom instruction which focuses on techniques for the hands and feet as well as instruction in anatomy, physiology, professional standards, ethics, application of protocols to address particular systems of the body or particular pathologies, as well completing a minimum number of practical sessions and learning to keep session notes. You’ll often hear people say they provide reflexology, but ask them how many training hours they’ve had specific to reflexology and whether they have any certification only in reflexology. Also be aware that there’s a recent trend offering on-line training in reflexology; however, current professional standards require the majority of initial reflexology training to be taken personally in a classroom environment. Learning to locate reflexes on different individuals, modulation of pressure, etc., cannot be taught on-line.

Mistake #3 – Not Checking Credentials

An individual who has completed certification solely in reflexology in the United States should be able to show you the following documentation:

  • Certification from their reflexology-specific school. (Check the school credentials to determine if certification was on-line or included hands-on training and how many hours of reflexology only instruction were involved.)

  • Optimally, national certification by the American Reflexology Certification Board® (ARCB®). You can verify this at

  • A currently valid professional liability insurance certificate.

  • A local business license.

  • If residing in one of the states mentioned above with reflexology laws, then a current state license.

Ask to see certification, licensing and insurance documents up front and don’t be afraid to verify!  Ask for reflexology-specific certification or you’ll likely just be receiving a foot massage!

Mistake #4 – Not Checking Continuing Education, Experience, and Professional Associations

If the reflexologist received certification some years ago, has he or she taken any continuing education courses since that time? Look for someone who continues their education after initial certification. The ARCB® requires 12 CE hours every two years. This insures the practitioner stays up to speed on the latest techniques and information. ARCB® lists certificants in good standing on its web site ( and members of state and the national organization are usually listed on their websites as well.

Check whether the reflexologist is a member of their state association or the Reflexology Association of America ( The RAA website also lists state associations and their contact information. Members of reflexology organizations have access to association-sponsored continuing education. Association members are concerned with the professionalism, ethics and advancement of reflexology as well as protecting public health and safety. Certification by the ARCB® and membership in a state or national association gives you a path for complaint if you find unethical or unsafe conduct on the part of the reflexologist you’ve chosen.

Be sure to ask how many sessions the reflexologist you’re considering performs in a typical year or how many session hours they have overall in their reflexology career. Someone who does more than 1,000 sessions per year will have more experience in a few years than another person who only does 50 sessions per year. It’s not the years of experience; it’s the number of client sessions in the experience that you should check. This will insure you’re working with a truly experienced reflexologist.

Mistake #5 – Being More Concerned About Their Wallet than Their Health

When seeing a certified reflexologist who can evidence the qualifications above, expect to pay between $50 and $120 per session, depending on the area of the country in which you live and the session length. Don’t foolishly try to compare this with the price of a similar length session at a foot spa. Remember, the worker at the foot spa probably can’t demonstrate equivalent education and certification, so the service you’re paying for is usually not reflexology. In addition, an untrained person with no certification can be dangerous to your health. However, you’ll find certified reflexologists are normally welcomed in hospital environments and approved by many physicians.

Bottom line: Don’t expect to receive reflexology from a certified professional for the price of a foot rub at the mall.

©Susan Mix and ©2016 ARCB®