NCRA – The North Carolina Reflexology Association
The North Carolina Reflexology Association is currently resisting the attempts by the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy and their legal advisors to regulate the reflexology profession as though it were a form of massage, claiming that reflexology is being used as a front for human trafficking operations.
Our Professional members are certified by the American Reflexology Certification Board which has been testing and certifying professional reflexologists since 1990. In the nearly 30 year history, there has NEVER been an ARCB certificant charged or suspected of involvement in any illicit activity.
Reflexology is a stand alone modality.
• The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine lists:
“These modalities included massage therapy, herbal medicine, meditation, chiropractic, hypnosis, spiritual healing, acupuncture, homeopathy, reflexology, and naturopathy.”
• The National Foundation for Women Educator, Inc. on “health and empowerment”:
NFWL Reflexology RESOLUTION (passed Nov 2012)
Professional Reflexologists on this site have been nationally board certified by ARCB – an independent testing agency providing a psychometrically valid 300 question written test and practical exam since 1991 (8 years before the formation of the NC Massage Board). There has NEVER been a case of human trafficking charged against an ARCB certified reflexologist in history! In an effort to alleviate the confusion, NCRA has worked to formulate Senate Bill 527 to assist law enforcement in determining legal business establishments.
Please help us by signing the petition listed here to allow ARCB certified professional reflexologist to practice without interference.
- Reflexologists have been free to practice in North Carolina since the 1920’s. It was 1919 when Eunice Ingham, physiotherapist, worked with Dr. Joe Shelby Riley DC, and Dr. William FitzGerald ENT, two American physicians, to develop reflexology.
1991 The American Reflexology Certification Board
- In 1991 the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) was created setting the highest testing standards to which professional reflexologists aspire. The goal of national certification is to promote reflexology and protect the public through competent professional reflexologists. Certificants must pass a 300 question psychometrically and legally defensibly test in 3 hours and demonstrate professionalism and competency during a hands-on test segment with an ARCB Professional Board Member.
- In 1999 the North Carolina Board of Massage and Body Therapy (NCBMBT) formed. They wanted reflexology under their umbrella. We, reflexologists, fought back and an exemption was granted. Likewise, in 1999 the North Carolina Reflexology Association (NCRA) formed.
Fast Forward - 2018
- In June 2018 Charles Wilkins, lawyer for NCBMBT, requested a meeting with NCRA. On July 23, 2018 we met along with ARCB board members. Charles announced they, NCBMBT, were removing our exemption in the Guidelines, 1.11 G.S. 90-624 (Clause 7), based on claims of human trafficking.
- There have never been any claims of any nationally certified reflexologist being involved in any form of human trafficking. The claims Charles Wilkins and NCBMBT made referred to illicit ‘Asian/Chinese’ massage parlors and individuals who are not part of NCRA or ARCB.
The Legal Process
- Many discussions, emails and conference calls were had between board members of NCRA & ARCB and a clarification email was sent to NCBMBT. The primary issues being to protect the public along with the rights of 100+ current reflexologists and future reflexologists to work in NC.
Ongoing Legislation Efforts
- North Carolina does not want another licensing board; we were told this by many sources. Protecting reflexology, the public and preventing human trafficking are all very important. Requiring that reflexologists practicing in NC be nationally certified became the most logical path forward
- On August 15, 2019 NCBMBT removed the ‘energy-based techniques’ exemption and added reflexology to a list that needs to be licensed. This means reflexologists would be required go to massage school at a substantial expense, receiving an average of 8 hours in-class training in reflexology before being allowed to practice their profession of reflexology.
Current Status of Reflexology in NC
- On September 17, 2019 an agreement was drawn up between NCRA and NCBMBT, mediated by Representative Riddell, and signed by both parties in December 2019 stating that current ARCB nationally certified reflexologists and those who become nationally certified by March 31, 2020 will be free to work
- In March 2020, Gov. Cooper mandated that all touch therapy practices should shut down in the state. Any legislation from that point on through 2020 had to do with Covid-19. We were once again left in que until legislators could look again at our bill. During this very trying time, the massage board gave no grace whatsoever to those who were completing their national boards.
We are presently searching for additional sponsors for our bill. We want the acceptance of Reflexology in North Carolina to match the acceptance on the national scene. Our bill was intended to discourage unqualified individuals from defrauding the public while setting a standard of practice that could be monitored by those who understand what those standards should be.