Having been reflexologists for more than thirty years, we’ve seen all sorts of client uses for reflexology. Currently a wave of clients are helping define a future for reflexology—use of reflexology by the recovering patient seeking cost-effective and efficacious results not available in the medical system.
Take, for example, our recent experience with stroke patient Nadine. Reflexology speeded up her recovery from stroke (according to her physical therapists), allowing her to make progress and remain in rehabilitation for a suffcient length of time to master Activities of Daily Living (ADL). She, thus, met requirements to move into an assisted living center rather than a nursing home. While we gladly volunteered our time, consider if we had charged $200 for each of the thirteen sessions that helped Nadine achieve her goal. For a hypothetical total of $2,600 in reflexology fees, Nadine is now living in an assisted living facility at a rate of $2,600 a month as opposed to the monthly $6,200 cost of a nursing home.
Had Nadine received the rehabilitation care available within her insurance coverage, would this care have met Nadine’s desire to avoid life in a nursing home? The odds were against her. Then there’s the cost benefit analysis—what the reflexology session (hypothetically) cost as opposed to the benefit achieved.The value of reflexology in this instance? You do the math. The (hypothetical) $2,600 in reflexology fees, helped avoid a $3,600 monthly difference between nursing home and assisted living fees—for the remainder of Nadine’s life.
Nadine and her family had concerns about health, quality of life and costs. There is no question medicine met and insurance covered Nadine’s medical needs following her stroke but what of her recovery and quality of life needs? It is here the goals of the consumer/patient and family diverged from those of medical services. When standard services would not achieve her needs and goals, she and her family turned to reflexology to meet this disparity.
Are expectations for patient recovery limited by care within medical standards and reimbursement available through insurance coverage? What is the cost in money and quality of life of such limited expectations? With rising health care costs and aging populations, solutions are urgently needed.
So what does this mean to reflexologists. One problem that was evident in this situation may be an opportunity for the Reflexologist. In essence the Reflexologist could help speed along the process of rehabilitation.
In the current health care crisis, there is pressure to produce unrealistic results in a time frame developed by accountants and not by healthcare personnel. The result of this is frightening from the point of view of the patient and the healthcare personnel. There is a relentless drive to end rehab and potentially warehouse patients who have not met these benchmarks.
If reflexologists could help speed up the progress of these patients it would be good for the patient, good for healthcare personnel and good for the bottom-line.
Barbara and Kevin Kunz