About Us

The Baobab tree – the tree of life

The Baobab tree is often called the tree of life because it can provide shelter, clothing, food and water for the animal and human inhabitants of the African savannah regions. The cork-like bark and huge stem are fire resistant and are used for making cloth and rope. The leaves are used as condiments and medicines, and the fruit is edible and full of vitamin C. The Baobab tree is an ancient survivor and some may live for several thousand years.

The International Academy of Reflexology & Meridian Therapy has always used a tree as our logo. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Wood Element controls the function of our liver and gallbladder, as well as builds and strengthens our ligaments, tendons and muscles in our body. Compare a person to a tree; resilient and capable of withstanding life’s seasonal changes. Just like a tree, a person needs to establish a solid root system for well-nourished, balanced growth and strength, and to be able to think, procreate and survive.

About our Academy

The International Academy of Reflexology & Meridian Therapy (IARAMT) was established in South Africa by Inge Dougans in 1983. On the 21 October, 2013, IARAMT proudly celebrated its 30th anniversary, three decades of existence.

After Reflexology helped with her infertility, Inge studied and qualified as a Reflexologist in Copenhagen, Denmark in April 1981. By October that year she immigrated to South Africa and opened a private Reflexology practice. She began teaching in 1983 and established what was to become the first international academy of Reflexology incorporating Chinese Meridian theories and philosophies. Incorporating these theories and philosophies, and uniting Western and Eastern insight into the Meridians and the Five Elements, has given IARAMT a high reputation worldwide for its unique approach. Inge was the founding member of the South African Reflexology Society and has also served for 10 years on the Professional Board for the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa for Therapeutic Reflexology. She is a world renowned author of numerous books on Reflexology and has been a guest speaker at many congresses around the world.

Today the Academy has become a family business with Inge’s oldest son, Daniel managing the operations and her youngest son, Thomas in charge of IT and Development.

Our aim is to deliver a high standard of training and development in the field of Reflexology and Meridian Therapy. All lecturers are highly qualified and experienced therapists in their specialised fields, ensuring that an outstanding level of tutoring is well-maintained. With latest technology developments and our new Virtual Learning Environment, never before has the training been so advanced and flexible as it is today.

IARAMT strives to make Reflexology a health promoting and preventative therapy, available to as many persons as possible, so that people of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from this cost-effective therapy. In doing this, IARAMT can assist in improving the health of the people of South Africa and in other parts of the world.

Our Vision & Mission Statement

The International Academy of Reflexology & Meridian Therapy is committed to:

  • Providing an accredited qualification as per the requirements of Act and Regulations governing the profession of Reflexology in South Africa, allowing students to apply for registration with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa, albeit student registration whilst studying and full registration as a qualified therapist once graduated;
  • Providing highly qualified, competent lecturers as well as comprehensive, quality learning materials;
  • Providing quality education facilities at all sites of delivery;
  • Providing quality learning and a state-of-the-art Distance E-Learning platform;
  • Providing the student with a high standard of knowledge and practical skills to become a competent health professional within an exemplary and professional code of conduct;
  • Encouraging the qualified graduate to continuously contribute to the development in the field of Reflexology & Meridian Therapy by means of data gathering, case study documentation and research;
  • Encouraging the qualified graduate to contribute to society by means of community work;
  • Promoting Reflexology and Meridian Therapy as preventative health therapies, making it available to people of all ages and all backgrounds, and in so doing contribute to their overall improved health and well-being

The Inge Dougans Infertility Story

After two Reflexology treatments I was pregnant.

In 1978 I was diagnosed with infertility due to blocked fallopian tubes and endometriosis. My medical practitioner in Denmark gave me a 10-15% chance of falling pregnant after intervention. Desperately wanting to start a family, I decided to go ahead with the operation. My mother intervened and suggested that I try a Reflexologist first. I was sceptical. How could Reflexology afford me the opportunity of falling pregnant when a reputable medical professional believed that there was only a minor possibility after an operation? Reluctantly and against my logical judgement, I agreed to give Reflexology a try and after the second of ten treatments I was pregnant (with a little help from my husband of course!).

Prior to my diagnoses I had suffered for years with extreme menstrual pains and acne. My menstrual cycle was never regular and I was consequently prescribed a contraceptive pill. Taking the pill suppressed my acne and the monthly menstrual cycles became lighter, more regular and less painful. The underlying cause for my body having to express such intense symptoms was however not being dealt with. When the time came to start a family, I was infertile.

During my teenage years I suffered from knee and shin pains that were diagnosed as “growing pains”. I would frequently have large cold sores on my upper lip and my lips were generally always dry and sensitive. I was a “mouth” breather and would drool saliva onto my pillows when sleeping. Nearly all my molars had to be root treated and some even removed. The quality of my hair was poor and thin with hair loss and splitting ends. My finger nails were always soft and peeling, and I was treated for severe athlete’s foot problems that manifested between my fourth and fifth toes.

I suffered from chronic constipation resulting in only a few difficult bowel movements on a weekly basis, producing haemorrhoids. My nose bled frequently and was internally covered in big scabby painful sores. My sense of smell was poor and often oversensitive resulting in me having difficulty in shopping for fresh produce as it had a “rotten” smell. I had a very transparent whitish look to my face and my arms were covered in lots of long body hair.

My diet consisted of loads of simple carbohydrates, coffee and cigarettes. My protein was mainly pork and I generally did not enjoy vegetables or fruits. Both conditions; blocked fallopian tubes and endometriosis, can be mapped as congestions along the pancreas meridian and therefore a warning sign that I had problems with my blood-sugar balance.

Having successfully benefitted from the Reflexology treatment, I now continued with my lifestyle with the exception of giving up smoking. During the first 3 months of my pregnancy I craved oranges and would easily eat up to 15 oranges in a day. Unbeknown to me I was creating an acidic environment in my body and much of this acidity was being absorbed by our unborn son’s skin tissue.

Daniel was born with a massive birthmark covering most of his right lower arm. The medical practitioners informed us that Daniel would need skin graft once he was fully grown. I went back to my Reflexologist, however she was not able to help and suggested that I maybe should find a method of changing his lifestyle and “detoxify” him! How could I change his lifestyle – he was breast fed?

After some months of searching I came across my next life teacher. Her work gave me an understanding of “internal health” vs. toxins in the tissues, e.g. the birthmark or many of my own health problems. Her work taught me about the moon phases and relating these to the female menstrual cycles and ovulations. Within this science, different foods are to be consumed for two different energies of people; namely those conceived at new moon and those conceived at full moon; “The Yin and Yang Principals”.

As the pictures bear evidence, the recommended lifestyle change was successful and within a period of 6-7 months Daniel’s birthmark disappeared and his skin tissues changed to normal.His daily nutritional intake consisted of loads of organic vegetables and grains, but most importantly, I went to the forest and picked stinging nettles to make bottles of herbal teas for him to drink. This helped in getting his pH-levels in the tissue fluid to become more alkaline rather than extremely acidic.

Daniel’s birthmark experience helped me understand the importance of a balanced pH-level in the tissue fluid of the body. Again without this hardship, I would not be the person I am today and Daniel most probably would not even have been born. Recording my own health profile using the philosophies of the Five Elements and the 12 Meridians, my case study would look like this:

Metal Element representing the lungs and colon:

  • Impaired sense of smell
  • Long body hair on my arms
  • White transparent look to my face

Earth Element representing the stomach and spleen/pancreas:

  • Dry and sensitive lips
  • Drooling salivary problems
  • Need for eating lots of simple carbohydrates

Water Element representing the bladder and kidneys:

  • Generally weak teeth, plus soft and peeling finger nails
  • Bad quality hair with splitting ends

Colon Meridian:

  • Scabby sores and bleeding nose, impaired sense of smell, cold sores on upper lip, bad quality hair with splitting ends

Stomach Meridian:

  • Acne, teeth abnormalities, drooling salivary problems, chronic constipation, knee and shin pains

Spleen/Pancreas Meridian:

  • Dry and sensitive lips, fallopian tubes dysfunction, menstrual abnormalities e.g. endometriosis

Bladder Meridian:

  • Poor quality hair with splitting ends, hair loss, haemorrhoids, athlete’s foot (between 4th and 5th toe)