Germany

 full members

DRV Deutscher Reflexologen Verein

VER Verband Europäischer Reflexologen, Deutsche Sektion

The German situation regarding reflexology:
In Germany persons without a medical education are not allowed to work with patients or sick people – strictly speaking, ill people must not be touched with the intention to heal.
For that reason we, the VER, work only in the field of wellness. This also has the consequence that the reflexology treatments must be paid by the clients themselves.

read more


Our association currently has about 250 active members, about 10% of them have a medical education. In Germany, people with that kind of special medical education in English terms are called “non-medical practitioners”, “alternative practitioners” or “natural health professionals”. A direct translation of the German term would be “healing practitioners”. Healing practitioners are allowed to call a reflexology application “massage”. Massages are reimbursed by private health insurance companies in part.
The following diagram illustrates the situation in Germany reflexology practiced:

  • reimbursed by statutory health insurance
  • reimbursed by private health insurance

                                                               statutory health insurance             private health insurance

privat physician                                                                           no                                                                  partly*

physician in health care system                                               yes*                                                               partly*

alternative „healing“ practitionerno                                       partly*                                                          no

State-approved massage therapist,chiropractor etc.           yes*                                                               partly*

reflexology practitioner                                                             no                                                                   no
privat physician                                                                          no                                                                   partly

physician in health care system                                              yes*                                                                partly*

alternative „healing“ practitioner                                          no                                                                    partly*

State-approved massage therapist, chiropractor etc.       yes*                                                                 partly*

reflexology practitioner                                                          no                                                                     no

* if declared as “massage” (partly contractual agreement or license required)

For linguistic differentiation we created the term „harmonization by foot-reflexology“. So the differentiation between the kind of reflexology work we offer and other forms of reflexology massages can be displayed.

To become regular members the participants of our trainings in foot-reflexology must pass an exam before the Audit Committee of the VER. This is executed by instructors appointed by the Association. The audit aims to review the statutory practice of reflexology in theory and practice.
The VER has a lawyer who is available for consultation on legal problems – providing that the member has faithfully performed reflexology conformable to statutes.
In order to ensure a sound education, the VER has implemented a rather formal schooling for future instructors. This schooling includes job-shadowing at least 4 training units with already VER-certified instructors plus certificates of employment over a period of 2 years. During this schooling for future instructors a mentor is on each candidate’s side.
All by VER appointed instructors must provide evidence of further education on a regular basis to ensure that the training they offer are up-to-date with VER-standards.
Our goal is to make reflexology available to everyone in Germany. In the spirit of “Help for Self-Help” we have the vision that there is someone in every family trained in foot-reflexology. For that purpose a kind of competence is needed that we can only achieve through further education. With our system even medical laymen can and may apply reflexology and that helps us to realize our goal.