Years ago, when Molly Jeffrey was diagnosed with an illness, a reflexologist friend offered to work on her feet to help relieve her condition. She laughed it off, thinking that her illness had nothing to do with her feet, but gave it a try, nonetheless. It worked so well that six months later, she was cured. Molly was so impressed that she started studying reflexology herself.
That was 19 years ago. Today, Molly is a qualified therapeutic reflexologist, who loves her job. She also teaches at Madge Wallace College for Skincare and Beauty Therapy.
“Reflexology uses the nerve endings and reflexes in the feet that correspond to the organs and glands in the body, to treat internal problems. It relaxes a person to improve nerve blood supply and brings the body back to homeostasis or its normal form.”
As in the case of therapeutic aromatherapy treatments, these treatments involve a client consultation and a treatment plan to address the condition. Once the condition is cured, clients rely on a monthly maintenance plan to ensure that it does not recur.
Among the conditions that reflexologists can help relieve are diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
“You get wonderful results,” she says. One of her clients was diagnosed with diabetes when he was seven and came to her for treatment at the age of 27. In one year of treatment, he managed to reduce his insulin dosage twice. “It’s a wonderful job, you always get results, and what’s so nice is that you help people to help themselves. You get to the cause of the problem and your client heals. It’s so relaxing and I heal at the same time. It’s not a stressful job,” beams Molly.
“There aren’t really any cons to this job,” she says. “The one thing is that there are still many people who don’t know about reflexology. But to counter that, if you’re good and you get results, you are bound to get clients. The other thing is that people call me for treatments on Sundays and I have to tell them that I don’t work on Sunday. They expect you to be there all the time.”
Like with many other complementary health courses, there is a two-year course in therapeutic reflexology.
The first year gives you a basis in reflexology and with this certificate, you can work in a salon or spa. The second year allows you to open up your own practice and specialise in therapeutic reflexology.
You should be a placid, relaxed person and enjoy nurturing and caring for others. You should also be patient and gentle, and a good listener.
An average day would depend on the day-to-day clients. “You could do it as a nine-to-five job, if you worked in a spa or a salon, but that would be more physically draining.”
Reflexologists starting out can charge around R180 for a treatment, but working in a salon or spa, they should expect a salary of around R5 000 per month.
Molly also treats her husband, who suffers from arthritis and psoriasis. When she started working on his feet, psoriasis covered 70 percent of his body. Today, it’s only a problem on 20 percent of his body.
“It’s been 19 years since I’ve started, and I’ve never looked back,” she smiles broadly.