Reflexology can aid in easing a wide array of symptoms that persist from chronic and acute aches and pains, chronic migraines, back pain, sinus conditions, sports injuries, arthritis and sleep disorders. In addition, the technique can be learned through home-study courses and easily incorporated into any massage practice.

By using the specialized techniques of reflexology, practitioners can reduce stress by bringing the body into proper balance while removing unhealthy blockages and toxins.

An Internet search revealed numerous home-study courses that are available for any massage therapist to take to fulfill his or her continuing education requirements.

For reflexology, basic home-study courses include topics that cover stress and well-being; understanding body systems; basic principles using the feet and hands; relaxation exercises for the feet and hands; treating specific ailments; energetic anatomy; meridians; energy zones; case histories; modern and ancient practices; and the treatment of specific conditions.

A benefit to taking one of these courses is it can be done in the privacy of your own home and can conform to your personal schedule. More advanced courses are available for home study and can also be found online.

A recent study of young women with menstrual pain found that the application of reflexology significantly reduced that pain. The study, “Comparing the effects of reflexology methods and Ibuprofen administration on dysmenorrhea in female students of Isfahan University of Medical Science,” involved 68 students with primary dysmenorrhea between 18 and 25 years old.

The subjects were randomly assigned to the reflexology group or the ibuprofen group. Those receiving reflexology treatments were given 10, 40-minute sessions during two consecutive menstrual cycles. Those in the ibuprofen group were given 10, 400-milligram capsules and instructed to take them once every eight hours during the course of three menstrual cycles.

Both groups showed a reduction in pain levels, but the reflexology group showed a greater reduction in pain, even though reflexology was not administered during the third cycle in that group.

Make sure tocheck with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.