"My strongly research-based scientific background meant that, when I decided to train in reflexology, as one might expect I took the matter of finding an appropriate training body extremely seriously - I did not want to waste my time and hard earned money on any qualification which was not going to be of real value, rather than simply a paper exercise. I was not looking for simply a certificate which gave the appearance of being properly trained: I wanted to be very precise in locating reflexes and fully understanding how to treat in the most effective manner possible dependent on the conditions being suffered from.
I found reflexology training offered at a range of local colleges but generally that was alongside lots of beauty offerings such as manicures and massages so that one studied a few weeks of each. There were a range of other specialist colleges also, although not as many as now. I was clear that I wanted to get to the nitty gritty of how reflexology can really, seriously help improve health. I had found it helped me, my children were young and were suffering from an extensive range of health complaints and I wanted to see how reflexology could help my family in particular.
Researching all the listings and then following up by researching the background of the training bodies and the individual tutors and their individual backgrounds led me to select the International Institute of Reflexology (IIR). Its founder Eunice Ingham, was the originator of the footcharts which many still use today. She was medically trained as a physiotherapist and worked to a doctor and observed the direct relationship between health issues and markers on the feet. The IIR ran what appeared to me to be a high quality, specialist course in Warwickshire covering the West Midlands from Bristol down to London, across to Lincolnshire and up to Derbyshire. The class numbers were small (10), the training hours were long and the requirements were significant in terms of case studies and those case studies being independently and randomly verifiable. I was sure this course would tick the boxes and help me to help others. I was not disappointed.
I already held a BSc (hons) and I found the IIR course was easily tantamount to a second degree in terms of its depth and complexity and the degree to which we were expected to research conditions and understand how a client's body is affected by particular health issues, lifestyle, etc in order to develop appropriate treatment plans to help restore them to better health. I found that all of my previous biology, physics and chemistry and all my self-study at home collectively came in great use during the course and when sitting the exams. I also found that all of my case studies were showing marked improvement in their health, especially as I improved and developed my skills, knowledge and understanding - I did choose case studies who had a wide range of complex issues so that I could challenge whether reflexology was truly making a difference to their health (rather than simply enjoying a foot pampering). The scientist coming out in me again! Reflexology amazed me - far more than I had ever anticipated.
The tutor at that time brought an extensive range of books and resources with her to every training weekend and encouraged us to extend our knowledge at every opportunity as well as making the training sessions fun and sharing many examples from her own experience. Most of the students on the course were graduates, one was a nurse, and the level of debate was high and kept us gripped.
The course in that area is now directed by Vicky Laws, who I have also met on courses several times over the years, and I have absolutely no doubt that her knowledge and expertise is equally encyclopaedic and I can most certainly vouch for her enthusiasm and approachability as well.
Since training with the IIR I have also studied with Suzanne Enzer, a world-renowned expert in maternity and fertility reflexology who incorporated reflexology into her midwifery for many years. This was an IIR CPD course run in Sheffield and its content fully justified the additional cost of the overnight stays in a hotel."