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Discover a Career in Therapeutic Reflexology

Why study Therapeutic Reflexology?

  • Do you want to be self-employed?
  • Do you enjoy financial independence?
  • Would you like to determine your own working hours?
  • Do you enjoy working with people and helping them with their problems?
  • Do you know that there is a greater awareness to the benefits of complementary therapies, in particular Therapeutic Reflexology, and this has resulted in increased opportunities for therapists?
  • Do you wish to be recognised as a health professional and be able to work in conjunction with other allied health professionals?

In the past, prospective students were attracted to Reflexology based on an interest in natural healing therapies. The main purpose for them completing a qualification in Reflexology was mostly to the benefit of their immediate friends and family, as well practicing Reflexology as a part-time career from their own home. The majority of students came from the adult female community, in particular those suffering with ill health or with family members suffering from health problems.

In 2001, Therapeutic Reflexology became a statutory profession registered by the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) and as a result, the practice thereof became enforced by law. In conjunction with a wider acceptance of alternative therapies throughout society, institutions can now expect to attract a different type of learner. The expectation is that learners will be younger and more serious about practicing Therapeutic Reflexology as a full time career.

Therapeutic Reflexology is presently one of the most exciting, medically-orientated careers to pursue with a huge scope of practice available to qualified therapists. The time has never been more right, nor the training so advanced and modernised than what is it today. From a financial point of view, it is also one of the most cost-effective therapies in the health sector to date.

Therapeutic Reflexology emphasises the fact that each one of us is responsible for our own health. Worldwide medical expenses amount to astronomical figures, often leaving individuals with the fear that they may lose their jobs due to health related problems. A larger percentage of the population do not have medical aid, nor can they afford the expensive premiums required for proper cover. As a result the need for preventive therapies, of which Therapeutic Reflexology is one of the few modalities that offer this service, is increasing rapidly. Today statistics show that this demand is still in its infancy stages with the potential to peak over the years to come.

“Mankind is surprising – we sacrifice our health to make money and then sacrifice our money to recuperate our health” – the Dalai Lama.

A Registered Health Profession in South Africa

Therapeutic Reflexology became a registered allied health profession in 2001.

The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) is a statutory health body established in terms of the Allied Health Professions Act, 63 of 1982 (the Act) in order to control all allied health professions, which includes Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Phytotherapy, Therapeutic Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Massage Therapy, Therapeutic Reflexology and Unani-Tibb. The AHPCSA is accountable to the Minister of Health and the National Department of Health.

The AHPCSA is mandated in terms of the Act to:

  • Promote and protect the health of the public;
  • Manage, administer and set policies relating to the professions registered with the AHPCSA;
  • Investigate complaints relating to the professional conduct of practitioners, interns and students;
  • Administer the registration of persons governed by the AHPCSA; and
  • Set standards for the education and training of intending practitioners.

Registration requirements:

All persons studying and practicing statutorily recognised professions are legally bound to be registered with whichever statutory council governs such professions. Registration with the AHPCSA is therefore compulsory in order to practice Therapeutic Reflexology within South Africa. Any person who is practising without being registered is practising illegally and criminal charges may be brought against any such person.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Statutory and public recognition as a Health Professional;
  • Being able to indicate on his/her nameplate the profession/s for which the practitioner is registered;
  • Being a participant in a reputable registered discipline/s that contribute towards South Africa’s vast healthcare needs;
  • Being lawfully permitted to practice for gain;
  • Being legally permitted to practice any acts that fall within the Scope of Practice of the profession/s for which a practitioner is registered; and
  • Obtaining of a practice number which facilitates medical aid payments.

Programme Criteria

Qualification requirement

The Allied Health Professions Act (Act no. 63 of 1982, as amended) sets a minimum requirement for a qualification allowing for full registration as a Therapeutic Reflexologist; namely a 240 credits, NQF level 5, Diploma in Therapeutic Reflexology.


The International Academy of Reflexology and Meridian Therapy is registered by the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) as a private higher education institution offering a Diploma in Therapeutic Reflexology.

The programme is accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and listed with the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA), ID no. 36204.

Upon successful completion of the qualification, graduates can register themselves with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) as a therapist and are able to start their own Reflexology practice.

A modular, credit-based system

The full diploma programme offered by the International Academy of Reflexology & Meridian Therapy has been divided into 4 individual modules (two modules per academic year).

Each module is accredited with a number of credits based on the amount of notional hours a student should engage in order to achieve competence in the knowledge and skills expected of them.

Rule of credit accumulation

In order to receive a diploma, all the modules within the programme must be completed, unless an Exemption and/or Recognised Prior Learning has been granted.

Module Overview


Reflexology is a fairly new field of practice in Western society. Consequently, a large number of people do not have an understanding of this modality or its role in health maintenance and assisting one to achieve a balanced lifestyle. This subject offers a complete introduction to Reflexology including information about the general and specific principles, energy pathways (Meridians) and functions of the human body systems and various anatomical areas of the body.


Reflexology is an ancient science which dates as far back as ancient China, Egypt, Japan, Korea and India. In modern times, a form of Reflexology was known and practiced in Europe as far back as the 14th century. Notable physicians who greatly contributed to the history of Reflexology include Dr William Fitzgerald, Dr H. Bressler and Dr Joseph Shelby Riley. Later a Physiotherapist, Eunice Ingham, vastly contributed to modern Reflexology through persistent research and promotion of Reflexology, both to the medical community and the general public. Reflexology was ultimately noted as an alternative approach to healing.

On completion of this subject, you will understand the origin of Reflexology as a therapy. You will discuss the history of Reflexology and the contributions of both the ancient and modern cultures. You will be also be introduced to the history of Reflexology in South Africa including the statutory registration of Reflexology and the history of The International Academy of Reflexology & Meridian Therapy (IARAMT) as a registered Higher Education Institute.


To understand Reflexology it is necessary to comprehend that the feet represent a microcosm or mini-map of the whole body and its organs. For each organ there are corresponding reflexes on the feet. To understand the positions of the reflexes, the foot must be divided into the corresponding anatomical parts and the reflexes indicated accordingly.

You will investigate the above concepts and apply the knowledge on diagrams and case studies. In the end you be able to connect all the reflexes on the feet with their corresponding organs and comprehend the interaction between them.


By this stage you are set to acquire, develop and master the techniques and procedures that will enable you to perform a Reflexology treatment. You have learnt where the reflexes are positioned and during this subject you will master certain techniques and procedures that will enable you to massage and stimulate the reflexes.

During this subject you will cover all aspects of performing a Reflexology treatment, including preparation for a treatment, personal and patient hygiene, identifying and analysing your responsibilities towards your patients, performing a correct seating position, providing information about reflex sensitivity and treatment reactions, performing and describing each grip and technique and in the end be able to perform a complete Reflexology treatment.


A practicing Reflexologist’s success will largely be due to a combination of skills and a caring attitude towards their patients. It is evidenced by the way of receiving patients, taking down a case history record, explaining reactions to treatments and assuming the responsibility of a therapist.

According to the Patient’s Rights Charter, therapists are required to keep accurate, comprehensive and complete records for each and every patient. The benefits thereof are numerous. First and foremost the therapist will be able to pick up on any contra-indications and conditions that should be treated with care when taking down the initial case history.

It safeguards both the therapist, as well as the patient, as it can be used to settle any disputes that may arise at any point in time. It also serves as a baseline for follow-up treatments as the therapist can monitor the patient’s progress and whether or not treatment is benefiting the patient over a period of time.


Reflexology received recognition in South Africa as a health science profession when the Allied Health Professions Act of 1982 was amended in 2000. On completion of this subject, you will be able to identify and implement aspects of the Allied Health Professions Act (Act 63 of 1982, as amended) that are relative to Reflexology and its practice, establish and maintain professional relationships and standards through a code of ethics and in line with a Scope of Practice (SOP), and demonstrate an awareness of patient rights and confidentiality.


To many it may seem relatively easy to set up a practice, only to find out afterwards that they did not budget properly for everything they need or that they do not get the amount of patients they expected. This is due to poor planning and market research – two vital aspects to look at if you wish for your practice to succeed!

The main aim of this course is to help you formulate a workable business plan in which you investigate each aspect related to running a successful practice. By following the process as outlined step-by-step, you should cover every conceivable expense you may encounter – now or in the future. This course aims to explain the primary reasons for starting a business (your practice) and the importance of conducting market research.

Remember that a Reflexology practice is based on the same principles as running any other self-employment business – market yourself, provide an efficient and reliable service and always plan ahead to avoid any surprises!


Anatomy and Physiology are complementary sciences that allow one to study, classify and understand body structures and functions. Anatomy is the study of the structure and shape of the body, and its individual parts and their relationship to one another.

Physiology is the study of how the body and its parts work or function. The function can never be separated from the structure and therefore to truly understand the human body, Anatomy and Physiology must be studied together.

This intensive course methodically covers each of the body systems, e.g. the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. Many learners are intimidated at the prospect of having to study Anatomy and Physiology, whereas others are fascinated about the structure and functioning of the human body and thoroughly enjoy this subject.


The human foot is an architectural masterpiece. Although they are a fraction of the size of the body, the feet balance, support and transport the entire body weight.

The foot has lost some ground in the popularity stakes over the years, however, with increased interest in holistic healing practices comes the realisation that feet play a fundamental role in health and well-being. This course will introduce you to the various conditions and disorders of the feet.

Foot deformities and irregularities can also affect the reflexes in the feet (Reflexology) and the Meridians on which they manifest. This can in turn affect the corresponding body parts by causing congestion in energy flow along these Meridians.


The concept of energy channels is a central point of many alternative therapies such as Acupuncture and Reflexology. Congestions along these energy channels are caused by blockages which in turn will manifest themselves as various diseases and ailments throughout the body.

A clear understanding of how these congestions can manifest in the body, together with typical symptoms warning us that the body is no longer in a state of homeostasis, will aid us in the understanding of the root causes of “disease”.

The principles and philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are based on the premise that we need to treat the body as a whole (body, mind and soul). The concept of the Meridians is the focus point of many therapies, such as Acupuncture where needles are inserted into points along the Meridian lines to clear blockages, or Shiatsu being a more Japanese form of finger massage along the Meridians.

Chinese herbal medicine also takes cognisance of these principles and philosophies in determining which remedies will be most beneficial.

Having an insight into the Meridians from a more Western point of view and applying our knowledge of pathophysiology at the same time, a different picture emerges from which many of the questions unanswered in many therapies can be solved. We start realizing why certain debilitating diseases are on the increase in modern society and how we can combat these diseases effectively. In addition to this, a clearer understanding can be obtained as to why certain conditions often go hand-in-hand with one another.

For example, it will become evident why patients suffering from Diabetes Mellitus are often also overweight, susceptible to gangrene and have a tendency to seek attention and sympathy from others (Five Elements). Typical symptoms such as thirst and heart palpitations, which only in recent years have been recognized by Orthodox medicine, are also explained according to the Meridians.

During this course you will investigate the Meridians in depth with specific emphasis being placed on the application of pathophysiology. This will prepare you to apply in-depth assessment skills towards patient emotional behaviour.


Prior to our modern electronic societies, people who lived from the Earth understood the closeness and importance of Nature. As Nature all around them went through its natural process of change, they instinctively knew that the Nature “within” followed these same patterns.

They watched and learned the Elements and knew that as Nature around them went through natural processes of change, the cycle of seasons also created changes within. Each Element is ever present and ever basic to life. All thinking, feeling and performances are done in accordance with Nature.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the relationship of the human being to nature is natural and the system of examination, diagnosis and treatment is based on natural processes. The concept of health follows laws natural in Life Energy (Chi’), natural in Nature. The existence of humanity and in fact all of Nature are dependent upon Chi’.

Chi’ is needed to move planets, making the Sun shine, the Wind blow and the Elements to be present. If Chi’ goes out of kilter it becomes basis of disease. Stress and stress related health problems are often blamed on conditions “outside” the body, rather than “looking” within.

When in a healthy state, human beings should be able to feel and express all the emotions as appropriate. Every illness or imbalance is bound up with an emotion. Even the sound of our voice reflects our emotion.

Furthermore the Chinese believes that climate has a profound effect on our health and energy. During this course you will learn how the philosophy of the Five Elements takes us through the various behavioural patterns that emerge when our Meridians are congested and our anatomical organs are stressed from wrong life-style choices.


The most visible areas on our bodies that are not usually covered are our face, hands and feet. Making tactile assessments of these areas will enable therapists to ask probing questions about the patient’s case history and thereby give a more complete picture of the patient’s general health and well-being. In many health professions we will often be presented with patients having bunions, corns, hammertoes, callous and nail disorders. In treating and understanding these feet conditions, the main stream medical profession will often blame the shape of our shoes.

The feet can be described as an architectural masterpiece as they can bear and balance the entire body weight of a person. It therefore stands to reason that many imbalances within the body can quite easily also manifest themselves in the feet in a more visual form, especially from a structural point of view. These tactile assessments are closely associated with the Meridians and the Five Elements. The Meridians found in the face, hands and feet are the key to revealing where imbalances lie and play a major role in the enhancement of general health and well-being. Furthermore, assessments in the feet also relate to the reflexes as found and understood in the science of Reflexology.


“A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings” – Hippocrates.

As complementary health therapists, we use our skills, e.g. Reflexology, Massage, Acupuncture or other techniques to help stimulate the patient’s body to “get rid of” toxic build-up that causes congestion and disease. With that in mind, it is important for us to also help our patients to understand their own responsibilities in maintaining their own good health.

Although we may think we do, many of us unfortunately do not have the slightest idea of how to truly maintain good health. When illness strikes, we rely on our medical system to “cure us”. The greatest healing, however, actually comes from within. Even if we take a prescription of tablets, it is ultimately our body that has to generate the chemical reaction, for better or for worse!

The human body has been provided with an incredible immune system. All we have to do is take good care of our own natural healing force which is available to us every second of our lives. Our modern lifestyles have, however, completely taken us off the right track. Fast, convenient and processed foods, alcohol abuse, smoking, caffeine and drug dependencies for headaches, insomnia, stress, depression, pain, constipation, muscle fatigue etc. are examples of the many products of an unhealthy lifestyle.

As a living individual we need to “re-learn” how to take responsibility of the present state of our existing health. This essentially involves us taking an active part in both our attitude (positive) and the maintenance of our body by learning more about nutrition. This course will cover interesting discussion topics such as food, drug and supplement interaction, allergies and intolerances, weight management, stress, nutritional intake, exercise and many more.

You will explore the lifecycle of modern day food and the dangers associated with, e.g. genetic modification, food irradiation and packaging. You will learn how to become healthy and understand, e.g. the warning signs and signals indicating a high acidic environment in the body. You will also cover important skills needed to become a good therapist, e.g. how to record a health profile of a patient and how to become a good listener. All in all – a very interesting and eye-opening course!

The classical Greek Athenian philosopher, Socrates, once said “There is only one good; knowledge, and one evil; ignorance”.


It is impossible to distance ourselves in our daily lives today from research in one form or another. Almost everything we use is based on some sort of scientific research. It is important to know that all scientific knowledge, even if it is elementary in nature, is based on research.

Learners need to independently seek answers to certain health related problems. In order to do so there are a variety of methods, procedures and techniques that can be used. Although it is impossible to prescribe a single method to be used in a research project, this course will teach you the basics concepts of research and how to write a research proposal.


To understand pathology it is necessary to learn a new language. In order to understand and appropriately use this new language you will need a strong foundation of anatomy and physiology (Module 2).

Pathology is a very medical orientated look at what causes disease (aetiology), the host factors (e.g. age, race, genes), agents (e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungi), environmental factors (e.g. air pollution) and lifestyle factors (e.g. diet, exercise and rest).

What we will not be able to look at, but what is equally important, is how each person responds to stressors of life and what the inner message of disease can be.

This Pathology & Pathophysiology course is divided into two parts. Part one incorporates general pathology while part two comprises of systemic pathology.

General pathology covers the study of pathological or disease processes in general with particular reference to changes on a cellular level, while systemic pathology compartmentalises each system and looks at what diseases occur in that particular system. What is important to remember is that the body is a symphony of over 50 trillion living cells that work together in order to create homeostasis. No system works in isolation!

Important note: This course will NOT enable you to make a diagnosis. Diagnosing, as well as altering or commenting on Western medical treatment, is not in the scope of practice in this course.

Admission Criteria

Enrolment intakes

The modular structure allows for two enrolment intakes during an academic year for prospective students wishing to enter the diploma programme.

Applicants can either enter the programme with Module 1, Reflexology which starts in February, or applicants can enter the programme with Module 2, Anatomy & Physiology which starts August. Enrolment is open until commencement of the respective modules, or until the maximum class capacity (academic staff to learner ratios) has been reached. Students may enrol module per module as they progress through the programme and as such do not have to commit themselves and pay for the full programme at once.

General admission requirements

At the time of enrolment, the applicant must EITHER be:

  • In possession of a grade 12 certificate and/or equivalent (no university exemption required), OR
  • Must be at least 23 years of age, or older.

As the primary language of instruction used at IARAMT is English, applicants must be able to understand, speak, read and write in English.
Management reserves the right to conduct a language proficiency test, if deemed necessary.

Admission procedure

The applicant will be required to complete and sign a General Registration Form. An Enrolment Form must be completed and signed accordingly upon enrolment for each module. Compliance with the institution’s General Admission Criteria and Admission Procedure does not provide applicants with an automatic right of admission to the programme. Final learner selection will be consonant with the Selection Criteria.

Tuition Fees

Once a student has enrolled in the programme, all tuition fees are fixed for each module for the full duration of the programme, i.e. two years, provided that the student does not postpone their studies in between modules and all modules are completed in normal succession.

There are no hidden/additional costs. All tuition fees include all study materials and postage costs (South Africa only).

All new students will receive a Starter Pack including an IARAMT school bag, a pair of “Reflex Feet”, a “Fresh Feet” spray and a “Rub ‘n Relief” crème. All these items will be required during the programme.

2019 Tuition Fees

Prices are subject to a slight increase every year. All fees are non-negotiable. All fees are payable in South African Rands only.




MODULE 1: REFLEXOLOGY (1st Semester 2019) 80 R21,000.00
MODULE 2: ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY (2nd Semester 2019) 40 R15,000.00
MODULE 3: THERAPEUTIC REFLEXOLOGY (1st Semester 2020) 80 R20,000.00
MODULE 4: PATHOLOGY & PATHOPHYSIOLOGY (2nd Semester 2020) 40 R15,000.00
TOTAL R71,000.00

Payment plans

Students have the option of either paying for all tuition fees upfront upon enrolment into a module, or entering into a Payment Contract.

When entering into a Payment Contract, a fixed deposit is payable upon enrolment. The balance of the tuitions fees will be split into a monthly instalment plan over the duration of the module. No interest or additional administration fees will be added, provided that the instalments are paid on time.

Distance E-Learning

Mode of instruction (Distance E-Learning)

The International Academy of Reflexology & Meridian Therapy officially delivers all the modules in our Diploma in Therapeutic Reflexology via Distance E-Learning. All students will be granted access to the online Learning Management System (LMS) and must follow the lesson plans posted every week. As per regulations, compulsory knowledge and practical skills must be supported with “hands-on” tuition by qualified lecturers.

To meet this requirement, students are presented with the option of EITHER attending weekly tutoring sessions at the IARAMT Rivonia Campus, OR a compulsory workshop (five consecutive full days) per module (available in Johannesburg and Cape Town).

Weekly tutoring sessions are offered at our Rivonia Campus only. During each tutoring session, our lecturers will revise the specific learning outcomes and assessment criteria covered in the lesson plan for that particular week.

Tutoring sessions for Module 1, Reflexology and Module 2, Anatomy & Physiology are scheduled on Mondays and Tuesdays from 09:30 – 12:30 (3 hours each) throughout the duration of each module, excluding public and school holidays.

Tutoring sessions for Module 3, Therapeutic Reflexology and Module 4, Pathology & Pathophysiology are scheduled on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 09:30 – 12:30 (3 hours each) throughout the duration of each module, excluding public and school holidays.

Students choosing to attend the weekly tutoring sessions must achieve an attendance record of at least 80% in order to be eligible for the assessments.

Due to other commitments or geographical restrictions, students may not be able to attend the weekly tutoring sessions. In order to complete the face-to-face tuition requirements, these students must attend a five (5) day workshop scheduled during or at the end of each module.

Workshops are offered at our Rivonia Campus, as well as at selected venues in Cape Town (depending on student numbers). Each day will start at 09:30 and end at 16:30-17:00. The workshops focus heavily on the competency of the knowledge and practical skills that should be acquired during each module. All practical and written assessments will be completed during the workshops.

Attendance is compulsory for all days in order to be eligible for the assessments.

Exemption and Recognised Prior Learning


Applicants may apply for full exemption for Module 2, Anatomy & Physiology and/or Module 4, Pathology & Pathophysiologyon basis of a similar or higher medical qualification (NQF level 5 or higher) completed at a recognised tertiary institution. The applicant will be requested to include a proof of certification and a detailed curriculum outline of the subjects completed with their application.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

IARAMT recognises the value of informal learning, e.g. knowledge and skills acquired during practical work experience, and as such may grant Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) for Module 1, Reflexology and/or parts thereof provided that the guidelines, principles and criteria for application and award of RPL are fully met.

As the qualification offered by IARAMT is a professional programme, the RPL assessment process may become complex in order to ensure that the applicant is fully competent in the required knowledge and core skills. The assessment of applicants is done against the same assessment criteria and exit level outcomes as for enrolled students.

The RPL assessment process will consist of a series of summative assessments, both written and practical, and designed to test the fundamental knowledge and core skill competencies of the applicants.