International Council of Reflexologists


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Hall of Fame
Case Studies
Inge Dougans

Inge Dougans qualified as a reflexologist in Denmark in 1981 and shortly thereafter settled in South Africa where she started a private practice that became demanding with 12-15 clients daily. Inge was encouraged to teach the profession and the Academy started on the 21 October 1983.

The teaching soon became a success and Inge had ongoing classes, that later developed to be presented around the major centres of South Africa. Today the academy also has tuition centres in other parts of the world as well as a distance e-learning division.

In 1989 a formal complaint had been obtained by the Health Association Board of the practice and teachings of Inge Dougans. She was almost prosecuted by the Attorney General, who had her investigated by a Sergeant from the murder and robbery squad. Inge met with the registrar of the Health Association Board, who advised her that in terms of Chapter 2, 16(1) of the Medical, Dental and Supplementary Health Service Professions Act No 56 of 1974, reflexology, at that stage could only be practiced by registered naturopaths, osteopaths and chiropractors. The fact that few practiced reflexology, due to the time that a treatment takes, was irrelevant.

It was recommended that SA Reflexology Society should submit an application to the Health Association Board for registration of reflexology. The reason for this was to legalize the practice of reflexology in SA, as well as to ensure a professional status for reflexology. The latter included the need to set minimum training standards. Registration was achieved on the 12th of February 2001 with the amendment of the Allied Health Professions Act of 1982. However, in the interim, the Department of Education requested all the institutions to apply for accreditation for their programs at Higher Education tertiary level 5 – with a diploma of 240 credits.

Inge Dougans is also author of several books on reflexology – all with the knowledge of the Chinese philosophy to be a major part of the profession. She is a world renowned speaker on the topic as well as lecturing around the world. Inge has served as a board member on the Allied Health Profession Council of SA – representing the reflexology profession.

Inge’s registered Academy will celebrate its 30th Anniversary on the 21st October 2013.