Dalia is someone we can always count on. As member of our hospitality commitee, she, along with Geri Marandola and Nora Sodeur, is always ready to provide delicious food, drinks, and even flowers to make our meetings comfortable and welcoming. Dalia has also been an active member in organizing the yearly RARI cadaver study at the University of Rhode Island. She has also been a great mentor to the new board members this year and is always quick to reply to our many questions. Thank you, Dalia! And now in her own words.
What were your early experiences with Reflexology and why did you decide to become a Reflexologist?
My earliest experience with reflexology began 36 years ago when I hurt my neck - somewhat of a whiplash. An older gentleman from my church, Dave, (who recently passed away at age 96...!) had taken some reflexology classes for his own interest through the International Institute of Reflexology from St Petersburg, Florida (the Ingham Method).
He heard of my plight and suggested he work on my feet, "Strange," I thought, (but ok... :) And so we met, he worked on my feet, and then showed me how to work on my left great toe. It was wonderful and such a revelation! That practice got me going in the mornings to pursue my day teaching!
Being a biology teacher, I tucked this little "pearl of wisdom " in the back of my mind for future reference. About a dozen years later, after having my 2 daughters, temporarily leaving my full-time teaching job, and teaching Childbirth Education for 5 years, I pursued reflexology classes through IIR.
I spent the next 2 years taking classes when teachers were nearby, working on practical hours, taking the test and becoming certified in 1996.
What do you love about your job?
What I love the most about reflexology is recognizing how miraculous we are designed to have our body mapped out on our feet and how reflexology can help our whole body to function better. Of course, that translates practically to helping other people in their desire to seek alternatives of healing, pain management and relaxation.
I love meeting new people and, for me, to pray for them, and to enjoy working on their feet. I love hearing their stories, seeing their countenance change during a session, watching their body relax into the chair, and then to hearing their story change for the better.
I also love it when family members sit next to me on a couch and put their feet in my lap, not only to work on their feet as a reflexologist, but also to establish a better bond with them and have our relationship become closer.
Where do you see Reflexology going in the future?
For 10 years from the late 1990's to early 2000, reflexology seemed to be more of an 'individual sport'; I didn't know many other practitioners, so while I was helping others in the field, we didn't seem unified, but that changed in 2003 when a small group of us sat around a kitchen table and started RARI.
This gave us more direction: to meet other reflexologists, to network, to grow individually, as well as, collectively, in order to protect ourselves through legislation.
Continuing on, we now have a strong public voice to let others know who we are, legitimately, and to demonstrate the wonderful work well do in alternative healing.
Right now, I only have a few clients that I see regularly, but my days have been quite full since retiring from teaching high school biology!
Tell us about what you do when you are not working.
When I am not babysitting for our precious 3 year old grandson, my days/weeks are occupied with Bible study and daily devotions, being a part of 2 quilting groups (and sewing as often as I can), leading an aerobics class at my church 2 evenings a week, gardening (Spring! I can't wait!), knitting scarves during the winter months, travelling as much as possible (Hawaii, here we come, April 1st!), hosting summer parties, doing hospitality for RARI, helping with the cadaver study and running anatomy workshops. Did I mention babysitting for our grandson...?! :)
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you, your work, or the field of Reflexology?
I am very grateful to God for leading me in the direction of Reflexology and meeting such wonderful people (fellow practitioners, as well as clients)! Reflexology is timeless, from 5,000 years ago, and has a great future. We practitioners will be able to work for a long time in our field and as reflexology becomes more of a household word, we can look forward to enjoying helping people for many, many more years to come!