RARI's Beginnings

Inspired by an interview with Nancy Bartlett, a RARI member who has been with RARI since "the beginning" I was directed to a gem of a document written by Teri Magnan, The New England Association of Reflexology President (1999-2002) and past RARI President. It is important that as RARI members we know our roots, where we came from and where we are going. Below is a short timeline that outlines the birth of RARI.

  • New England Reflexology Association (N.E.A.R) started In 1996.  It represented RI, MA, and CT. 
  • It dissolved in 2003 as individual states started associations.
  • Sole Support Group started in RI (2002) and ultimately became the Reflexology Association of Rhode Island (2003).

Now for the details.  Below is a document Teri Magnan wrote.  It outlines RARI's early days, the importance of Reflexology Associations, teacher education, legislation, and ways we call can continue to grow and nurture the field of Reflexology. Enjoy! Now in Teri's words:

1998- I became the President of the N.E.A.R.  
We had 10 members.
We would get together 2x a year.  Have a potluck and exchange day.

1999- I became President of the N.E.A.R.

Laura Aho- Secretary.

We would meet every couple of months. We  

  • Established by-laws- Board of Directors
  • Created a Newsletter.
  • Became involved with legislative issues in N.E.

Laura went on to the National Scene.  Was the President of the National Reflexology Association of America.

  • My students and I continued to the work.
  • We set up an Edcation Committee.
  • Held regular meetings.
  • Had Fundraisers.
  • Reflexology Events.
  • Volunteered at Health Fairs, different opening of Holistic clinics, etc.
  • We moved on and began to work on our own businesses, bringing in guest speakers, etc.
  • We continued to be involved with legislative issues.
  • Set up meeting with the Health Department and pleaded our cause to get licencing as our own modality and not under the Massage Therapy Umbrella.
  • Met with senators with helped write the bill to seperate us from Massage.
  • National Certification was important to us.  It gave us confidence to know we had ARCB to repesent us. 

Educatiing of professionals:

  • Each school that teaches Reflexology is responsible for the information taught to their students.
  • Their is no set curriculum for teachers to use.  It is up to the individual and their drive to offer the best education possible.
  • We as teachers need to be continually developing the curriculum with no direction.
  • Reflexology teachers are not and cannot be experts on all subjects taught. Therefore have less specialized knowledge.
  • Reflexology organizations are paying more attention than ever before to education and the quality of its teachers.  The pressure is on the schools to keep up with the new standards, new tests, new teaching methods, and tools use (overheads, handouts, hands on quality).
  • We need to be concerned about the hours taught and the homework given, case studies to do because political and medical communities clamour for accountabilty.

There needs to be cooperation among the parties.

  • schools
  • Reflexologists
  • State Associations
  • National testing
  • Teacher Accredidation
  • the government-the President's Council on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

It will take all of us working together to bring Reflexoogy into the future.  No organization or State or School has all the answers.

RI-MA-CT are fortunate to have schools with 200+ hours of education.

How can we all help.

  • Get involved.
  • Join organizations.  You joining organizations helps fund all the behind the scenes projects.
  • Attend meetings.
  • Continue education.
  • Newsletters.

Be a pioneer.  We are all planting the seeds and nurturing the growth of Reflexology.