This is a sample code of ethics used to start the professionalism process in England 1985. It is simply a starting point on an endless discussion on how to best serve the public. Editor's note
1. Reflexology services are provided within a defined practice. Reflexology is:
The physical act of applying pressure to the feet with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques which do not use oil, lotion or cream. The application of this pressure is assessed on the basis of ten longitudinal zones and areas reiterated on the feet in the body's image linking foot to body, with a premise that such work effects a physiological change in the body.
a. Use of the vocabulary of the profession with terms indicating assessment of observation within the definition of the profession. Such terms include: zones, reiteration.
(1) Use of terms which indicate technique application or assessment of observation as defined by other modalities or professions is herein defined as other than the professional practice of reflexology. (For example, the terms "foot massage" or 'meridian" are indications that another profession or modality is in use by the practitioner.)
(2) Use of vocabulary which may mislead the client as to the nature of the services provided is not allowed. Such terms include: cure, heal.
a. The practitioner is responsible for any written material available to the client within the workplace. Reflexology materials must contain a disclaimer. The reflexology workplace should not include equipment, charts, books, products for sale or other items not related to reflexology practice.
c. Business cards and advertising should accurately reflect the reflexologist's credentials. Claims of credentialing should be restricted to those activities defined by the certifier of competency.
2. Full and fair disclosure of the services offered by the Reflexology practitioner.
a. The intent of the practitioner to provide reflexology services is signaled by use of the
Disclaimer/Informed Consent System:
(a) Use of disclaimers which inform the client of the nature of the services offered.
(1) The practitioner provides to the client at the initiation of services a written disclaimer defining services which is to be signed by the client.
(2) A full and fair disclosure of the practitioner's training and credentials is posted in writing in the workplace. Such disclosure includes: hours of training, certification and years of professional experience. Misrepresentation of credentials or the meaning of credentials is a violation of the Professional Code.
3. Practice within professional boundaries
a. Do not practice another profession without appropriate licensing.
(1) Do not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific illness. Such activities place the practitioner in the position of practicing medicine without a license.
(2) Reflexology services are applied to the feet and hands. The application of techniques to other parts of the body is defined as services other than Reflexology.
(3) Appropriate licensing for other services is required as well as being presented to the client as a separate modality and service. Furthermore, the providing of such services cannot be presented as the providing of Reflexology services. The client may be informed of other services offered, however, technique application and assessment of observation must be within the defined bounds of Reflexology when Reflexology is the service sought and paid for by the client. (For example, a licensed dietitian provides those services separately from Reflexology services.)
b. Do not mix reflexology practices with other modalities.
c. A client who expresses concern about an undiagnosed problem should be immediately referred to a physician.
d. The reflexologist should obtain required business licensing.
4. Professional conduct to ensure client comfort, safety and confidence during technique application
a. The application of technique begins with a visual inspection of the foot or hand to determine any cuts, bruises, ingrown nails, plantar warts or features which are to be avoided during work to ensure client comfort. such as athletes foot, verruca, etc.
b. The application of technique to a part of the foot or hand affected by an active injury is not appropriate.
c. The practitioner's fingernails should not make contact with the client's foot or hand during work. Nail length should be appropriate for technique application.
d. The practitioner's working tool is the hand,
(1) Do not use instruments.
(2) Do not use knuckles.
e. The application of pressure technique is within the individual's tolerance to pain. The goal of the practitioner is to stay within the client's comfort zone. The practitioner maintains eye contact with the client to assess client reaction to application of technique.
f. Information about any cream, lotion or oil applied to the clients hands or feet should be available to the client. Any reflexologist applying cream, lotion or oil to the hands or feet of the client should identify to the client the purpose of oil/cream/lotion application:
(1) working tool to ease thumb across the foot
(2) providing benefits inherent to the oil/cream/lotion (i. e. relaxation or specific claim)
(3) safety information (identification of petroleum product or other factors effecting safety in application), and whether or not professional peer review of the product is available)
5. Cleanliness code
a. The reflexologist washes his or her hands before working with each pair of feet or hands with a thorough hand wash.
b. When necessary, the reflexologist makes available a bandage to enable the client to cover any cut or open wound on his or her foot or hand (if being worked). The reflexologist bandages any open cut or wound to prevent client contact.
c. The workplace should meet basic standards of sanitation.
6. Confidentiality code
a. It is the responsibility of the practitioner to respect the client's privacy. Conversations between client and practitioner should be held in strictest confidence. Observations made during work are to be held as confidential as well.
b. Case study discussions are allowable among professionals but must maintain anonymity of the client.ŠKunz and Kunz 2003
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