Foot zone therapist. Foot zoner. Foot zonologist. Foot zone practitioner. You have most likely come across these titles that are commonly used to refer to someone who is certified in the practice of foot zone. The different foot zone professional titles may raise questions in your mind: Are they all essentially the same? If not, what are the differences? Does it matter which professional title I choose?
Language matters, and so do professional titles. The differences in the titles used in the foot zone profession have arisen mostly due to differences in language and culture between European countries and the United States.
Foot zone practitioner is the professional title that we use at Wellness Life Zone Foot Zone Academy. We did not randomly choose this title. The practitioners who founded Wellness Life Zone have used this title exclusively since the 1990s to avoid any misunderstanding of the profession while maintaining the status of the certification. Based on this sound reasoning, the Utah Foot Zone Association (UFZA, the largest foot zone association in the U.S.) also adopted this professional title in 2014, and it is now incorporated into their official policies and procedures.
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Simply put, the UFZA and Wellness Life Zone want you to come across professionally to the public while emphasizing your credentials. Let’s take a closer look at the other titles, the reasons why WLZ doesn’t use them, and why foot zone practitioner is most appropriate for your own use as a certified professional in the foot zone industry.
Foot Zone Therapist
Foot zone therapist is the professional title widely used in Europe, where the practice is considered to be therapy. In the U.S., however, “therapy” is a legal term that can be misused and misconstrued.
Dr. Charles Ersdal, the father of the foot zone profession, resided and taught in Europe; thus, he certified his trainees as “therapists.” This means that Dr. Ersdal’s students who practice in the U.S. were issued certificates that refer to them as “therapists.” Undoubtedly, when clients see this title on their practitioner’s certification (often prominently displayed on a wall), they remember and use it, and as a result, this title remains very much “alive” in our industry’s vocabulary.
A therapist, by definition, is someone who is skilled in a specific type of therapy, such as a physical therapist or massage therapy. Depending on the state in which they practice, some types of therapists can diagnose and treat a client; however, using “therapist” as a professional title in the foot zone industry can be problematic. The legal guidelines that govern the foot zoning profession in Utah and in many states prohibit us from claiming that we diagnose or treat patients. Why? Because unlike traditional Western medicine, our holistic/natural approach de-emphasizes medical diagnosis and instead focuses on enabling the body itself to clearly make known what’s ailing it, and then to heal itself with the help of various holistic practices.
Foot zone therapist is a common title that can be misconstrued in the U.S. If you choose to adopt it as your title, be mindful not to diagnose nor to prognosticate. As always, be sure to explain your scope of practice.
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Foot Zoner (or Footzoner)
If you were a hair professional, would you prefer being referred to as a cosmetologist or hair cutter? Foot zoner is much like “hair cutter.” The term is more fitting for a hobbyist, as it does not even suggest that someone has gone to great lengths to become certified.
Foot zoner is neither grammatically sound nor an official title. This term gained some popularity in the U.S. because of its use by a practitioner from Europe who didn’t have a solid understanding of the English language. The term lacks professionalism and we recommend that you refrain from using it when referring to yourself as a professional.
Foot Zonologist (or Zonologist)
Footzonologist and zonologist are titles that have been trademarked by Katri Nordblom, originally from Sweden, who established the Nordblom American Institute. These titles can only be used by Nordblom’s students and practitioners.
Foot Zone Practitioner
You’re now aware that some legal guidelines have influenced our use of foot zone practitioner as our official title to designate those certified in the foot zone profession. So then, how do we actually define “practitioner,” and what does a practitioner do?
A practitioner is someone who engages in the practice of a specific profession or occupation. Our professionals are engaged in the foot zone practice — and by “practice” we don’t mean that we’re “trying something out.” On the contrary, “practice” here refers to a professional skill that we do regularly. While we don’t diagnose or treat, the term “practitioner” indicates that we’re skilled, educated, certified, and always getting better!
This idea of continual improvement is an important one to convey to others. The title, “practitioner,” includes the notion that the person is not only well-practiced, but is always practicing their profession, and therefore always growing. It’s a very fitting term that we fully embrace!
Hopefully, you are more clear about the various titles used in our profession, how they came to be used so commonly, and why “foot zone practitioner” is the appropriate professional title for you to use. Referring to yourself as a foot zone practitioner will bring you the professional esteem, the respect, and the clients that you deserve!
Co-Owner of Wellness Life Zone, Foot Zone Academy