Consumer Be Aware- Florida

 

Consumers seeking reflexology services in the state of Florida should be aware: State law allows only massage-licensed individuals to offer and advertise reflexology services. Concerned reflexologists note that these individuals are not necessarily educated or experienced in reflexology.

State regulation does not include mechanisms typical of those utilized to regulate a profession.

Reflexologists advise the consumer that:

1. The Florida law includes no definition (scope of practice) for reflexology, no training or experience requirements for practitioners, and no mechanisms to guarantee that the state-sanctioned reflexologist is practicing within professional standards or in a safe, legal or ethical manner. Usually public safety issues are met by the assurance that, when licensed, practitioners practice within the legally defined, legislatively- mandated and licensed scope of practice, confining their work to those activities that they are trained to do.

 

2. The Florida state law certifies the competence of the massage-licensed individual to practice reflexology as he or she individually defines it and sets safety standards. Normally, professional associations establish standards of practice to delineate boundaries for professional practitioners. This information serves for outside observers to make judgments about the efficacy, safety, and appropriateness of services provided by individual practitioners. Reflexology service providers who practice within the professional standard may not be available to you as a consumer in Florida.

 

3. An individual who has possibly never tried reflexology, let alone become educated or experienced in the field, is recognized by the state of Florida as the professional authority over the subject area. Normally, reflexologists, like other professionals, succeed in business by achieving results following education, experience, and skills practiced in the free market. Florida State regulation of reflexology mandates that licensed individuals, who are not necessarily skilled or experienced, have exclusive rights to provide reflexology services.

 

 

4. The reflexologist of your choice may not be available to you. State-mandated reflexologists don't necessarily have to be proponents of or have achieved results with reflexology to be state-sanctioned reflexology providers. The consumer does not have the choice of receiving reflexology services from individuals who share his or her health belief system. This abridgment of First Amendment Rights is akin to curtailing religious ideas and practices. Court decisions subsequent to the Cardozo Decision of 1916 (New York State Supreme Court, 219NY98) have found that citizens have a right to practice the health belief system of their choice. The right to provide services in a health belief system is included in legal opinions.

 

5. It has been recently determined by Florida officials that reflexologists who practice without massage licensing are practicing medicine without a license. Evidently, the Florida massage licensed individual can diagnose, prescribe and treat for specific conditions with reflexology. The state-sanctioned reflexology provider is not required to be educated or experienced in reflexology. Be aware that consumers complain about massage-licensed reflexology service providers who make proclamations about an individual's health to the point of diagnosis. This is outside the standard of practice for reflexology. Do not become alarmed by comments from the untrained, inexperienced state-sanctioned practitioner. Seek information from a medical practitioner qualified in the diagnosis, prescription or treatment of a specific disorder.

 

For these reasons, it is suggested that the Florida state consumer ask questions to elicit a full and fair disclosure of the services provided by the reflexologist.

1. Ask about the individual's reflexology education and reflexology experience. The ideal practitioner would meet industry standards of education &emdash; the completion of a course of study with a curriculum of education specific to the industry standard (see below) and at least two years of part-time reflexology experience.

2. Ask about the practitioner's intended technique application during a session. What you experience should be within the industry standard: "Reflexology is the physical act of applying pressure to the feet and hands with techniques that do not utilize cream, lotion, oil, knuckles or machines, assessed on the basis of zones and reflex areas with the premise that such work effects a physical change."

ŠKunz and Kunz 2003
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