Reflexology Trends for the Future

Reflexology Trends for the Future

The television movie was fictional but it was also a portend of things to come. The 1988 movie pictured a rock musician calling for her reflexologist. That scene is not so far-fetched anymore. The reflexologist of the future is here now, showing up in all sorts of places.

The biggest trend in reflexology is the changing marketplace. The reflexologist's office is not the only place you find reflexology and the reflexologist any more. Flexibility is the key. The reflexologist of the future will increasingly sell his or her services in a variety of locations beyond the traditional reflexology market.

The trend is toward more employment opportunities along with a more sophisticated approach for the reflexologist. The number of consumers now seeking to buy reflexology services in more places has grown with the intricacies of the profession. While more people are aware of reflexology, they need to be given a plausible reason to buy reflexology services. The ability lo describe reflexology services as a commodity of value within the specialty markets gives the reflexologist an economic advantage. In addition, the reflexology community has responded to changes in the marketplace with increasing participation in legislative processes, calls for scientific testing and offerings of more training hours. Both consumer and reflexologist are making demands on and changes in the marketplace that will shape reflexology of the future.


The trends of the last decade continue into the 90's with some new wrinkles. There is more awareness about reflexology leading to a more sophisticated consumer and reflexologist. New markets have evolved and the reflexologist is learning to respond to the changing trends.

Marketplace Changes

General public interest...Interest in reflexology is indeed a trend among members of the general public as reflected by the increasing media coverage over a ten year period. Three reflexology articles appeared in magazines and newspapers in 1981. No television programs showed reflexology. By contrast twenty articles mentioning or about have been published so far this year. Some 42 national or cable television programs and movies have pictured reflexology so far this year. Some of the programs were among the top ten watched shows in the country. The recent mention of Princess Diana of Great Britain seeking reflexology services on a national television program added to the general interest.

The more sophisticated consumer...Today's consumer knows what they're looking for when it comes to body work. The trend is toward a more educated consumer, one who has sampled a variety of body works sad body workers. This is the consumer who uses body work as a tool to maintain wellness. He or she is seeking to compensate for illness, past injury, current stress, tired feet, environmental pollution or even former abuse. These people buy reflexology service for its inherent properties, its ability to meet their needs and for the work of the individual reflexologist. They talk in terms of the reflexologist's "good hands." The reflexologist is seen as a with a focused service that differentiates him or her from other body work providers.

Reflexology in the spa market...The providing of reflexology as a luxury, pampering service is growing at spas across the country. Women's magazine articles and television programs about spas commonly mention reflexology as an available service. Growing demand and the ability of the reflexologist to sell his or her specialty services will increase the number of reflexologists employed at spas.

Reflexology in the cosmetology market...The beauty market illustrates the new uses of reflexology in the marketplace. One of the world's largest cosmetics companies, Shiseido Cosmetics in Japan, provides its employees with a reflexology Stroll Path as a form of health care that is both natural and cultural, with roots dating back to Japan's samurai era. New in the U. S. is the use of reflexology services in the beauty salon as a luxury service akin to a pedicure or manicure. Reflexology has also become part of a beauty regime. Many aestheticians in the U. S., view reflexology as an important part of body maintenance, having a direct bearing on skin care. Specialists in the cosmetology market, the nail care providers and the aestheticians, see reflexology as a way to enhance service and make more money.

Reflexology in the sports medicine market...Sports medicine articles now mention and even debate the use of reflexology.

Reflexology in conventional medicine...Holistic physicians seeking the natural solution, nurses with interests in native healing traditions and physical therapists from other countries where reflexology is practiced have created more and more acceptance of reflexology in the conventional medical field. Growth in the area is impeded by the lack of scientific testing.

Reflexologists' Trends

Specializing services...The mobile reflexologist who travels from work site to work site to provide services is already appearing. Appealing to the upper budget clientele, appealing to the lower budget clientele or developing skills to work with particular group are all trends within the reflexologist's world. Going where the client is and traveling to his or her office, spa, or beauty shop are trends in the field. The reflexologist with abilities to demonstrate expertise as a specialist, describe his or her service in logical terms and to meet the needs of the client has an advantage.

Defense of reflexology practice by reflexologists...Growing demands to move forward aspects of professionalization have been created by the reflexologist who has grown frustrated with the lack of respect from the medical community, the failure of governmental bodies to recognize reflexology as a separate profession and actual harassment resulting from the inability to defend reflexology from current charges that it is unscientific. Calls have inscreased for research, legislative / municipality licensing scrutiny and more training hours.

Consumers are making such demands as well. The consumer truly believes that reflexology is vital his or her well being. He or she places a value on specialty reflexology services. The consumer wants easier accessibility to reflexology services and wants his or her medical insurance to pay for reflexology sessions. Furthermore, these consumers are asking their doctors about it.

More serious attacks on reflexology...What once was a general dismissal of reflexology as voodoo, a cult or quackery has entered a more focused effort of direct attacks. More demand has been created for scientific testing as a result. Questions have been raised about the ability of one test to blunt criticism. The ability of each and every reflexologist to defend reflexology as a credible practice is viewed as a long term solution. Educational trends include such training.

Reflexology schools...The trend toward reflexology schools that offer a fifty to eighty hour course is spreading across the country. Not only will number of hours of provided by a training course come under scrutiny but also the content of those hours will be of increasing concern. A division of job titles is also possible in the future. The reflexologist who works with the seriously ill will need more training that the one who provides purely relaxation services.

Marketable skills...The reflexologist now has job opportunities in places of employment other than his or her own office. The reflexologist who can demonstrateprofessional authority and meet the needs of the client has marketable skills. Competition for positions at spas, salons and medical offices will be decided on the basis of the ability to project a credible service.


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