Reflexology is a branch of holistic medicine which is based on the principle that every part of the body corresponds to reflexes in the feet and that working on the feet in a specific way can help to heal those parts of the body. It is believed that disease is caused by the body being constantly exposed to stress which gradually erodes the immune system.

Thus reflexologists aim at reducing stress, thus enabling the body to heal itself naturally. Circulation and the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the cells improve when the body is in a state of relaxation. Reflexologists, in keeping with the holistic approach to healing, combine this special treatment with advice on nutrition, exercise and positive thinking.

Reflexology is not regarded as a replacement for medical treatment, but as a supplementary maintenance therapy.

Reflexology is a personally satisfying career and is a form of treatment which has become popular in recent times, but the material rewards are not good. Many holistic medicine practitioners practise reflexology in conjunction with other forms of natural healing, such as osteopathy, homoeopathy, chiropractic or aromatherapy. A reflexologist starting out needs to either start up a private practice or join an existing practice.

Personal Requirements

  • interest in natural healing and holistic medicine
  • some life experience to enable empathy with clients
  • communicate well and have listening skills
  • able to inspire confidence
  • flexible and strong hands and fingers

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course.
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Diploma: Universities and universities of technology

TVET colleges

Private Health and Beauty Colleges

Registration with the The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) is a legal requirement for this occupation. Consult the AHPCSA website for the most up-to-date information relating to accredited qualifications and registration requirements.  



  • health and beauty salons
  • health spas and hydros
  • reflexologists in practice already
  • self-employment, with own practice

Further Information

South African Reflexology Society
P O Box 15070
Panorama, 7506
Tel: (021) 558-9868

The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA)
Castelli Suite, Il Villaggio
5 de Havilland Crescent South
Persequor Tecknopark
Tel: (012) 349-2331

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a beauty salon or health spa
  • make an appointment to speak to a reflexologist about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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