Our board members!
Mary R. Porter
I retired from teaching business and technology for thirty-one years and reflexology was never on my radar. After working on remodeling our three-story Victorian home, the ladder won, and I was referred to a reflexologist. She educated me as well as making my feet feel better. This seemed like something I needed to know more about. A friend encouraged me to go to school and learn about reflexology. I completed my certification for reflexology at the Reflexology Certification Institute with Debbie Hitt in 2013 and became a National Board-Certified Reflexologist in 2015. I have taken many classes with Professional reflexologists and learn from each of them. The Healing Farm is the name of my part-time reflexology business in Tiffin, Ohio and I work out of my home.
My journey began many years ago, as a nurse’s aide and then became a nurse because I just didn’t want to care for people but wanted to know the reason why. I have always been interested in holistic care. I was receiving massages and thought I could do this but had no idea what I was going to do with this new modality. This is when I found reflexology and loved it, so I continued the journey. I took a weekend course with Barb Bower and then trained at The Healing Arts Center, owned by Charlotte Irwin and became a National Board-Certified Reflexologist in 2005. I went to my first Reflexology Conference in Portland, Maine in 2008. I loved meeting and collaborating with other reflexologists from all over the USA and world. I have taken classes with Bill Flocco (his Intensive Reflexology course), Dr. Maurtine Foure-Alderson, Sue Ricks, Geraldine Villeneuve, Sally Kay, Jenni Tribe, Sam Balyea and Stefanie Sabouncian. And many others. I am Ohio’s RAA Delegate, and I am on the NCRE (National Council for Reflexology Educators) Board. I love to travel and do that as much as I can!
This will be my second term serving on the RAO board. I currently serve as the secretary and love sending emails to all of our membership! I hope you never tire of getting our Reflexology announcements for Ohio. I started studying Reflexology in 1991 and every day I fall more in love with this beautiful modality. I was certified with the International Institute of Reflexology, and I am a National Board-Certified Reflexologist. I see clients in my home in Celina, Ohio. I also travel to North Carolina regularly (where I lived for a few years), and I have a Reflexology clientele I still see there as well. Thank you for the privilege to serve you all. I love beautiful Ohio!
I have worn many hats over the years and the common denominator is serving people, holistic health and community. I grew up spending the summers with my grandparents either helping in the chiropractic office, playing receptionist in the dental office or digging in the dirt in their gardens. While I was a stay-at-home mom, I was a la leche league leader, a girl scout leader, a room mom which moved into part time jobs at a woman’s gym and barista at a local coffee shop. In 2008 I started a gardening business, which I still have today. I met my reflexologist in 2007 while working in our local coffee shop. She came in with a client after a session and when they came to the counter, I asked what the wonderful smell was and the woman said, “It’s my feet!” Well, I became totally intrigued at that point and had to know more. Over the years, I have received and learned a lot sitting in that chair. In 2021, after a conversation we had and a nudge in my gut I started exploring what it looked like to become a reflexologist. I enrolled in the Reflexology Certification Institute in January 2022. I received my certificate and went on to study for the ARCB and became a National Board-Certified Reflexologist this past February. I look forward to many years of sharing this modality with others.
Many years ago when I was having back problems I bought a reflexology book and found it fascinating. Throughout the years I would refer back to it for different issues. Fast forward to a few years ago, a friend referred me to a holistic esthetician who was taking classes to become certified in reflexology and she asked to practice on me. It was deeply relaxing. It really sparked an interest and I had to find out more about reflexology! I took classes from the Reflexology Certification Institute and graduated in the beginning of 2020. I became a Nationally Board Certified Reflexologist in January 2022. I’ve taken many fantastic and interesting classes since my reflexology journey began. I look forward to learning as much as I can about this wonderful modality. I love seeing all of reflexology’s amazing benefits! I live in Toledo and run a small reflexology business out of my home. It is an honor to serve on the RAO board.
Debbie grew up with reflexology, having received her first session at age 6 at Beechwold Clinic in Columbus, Ohio. Years later, at a life crossroads, it seemed natural to pursue training in the modality. She has been a certified reflexologist since December 2002, when she completed Berit Nilsson’s Reflexology Science Institute program in Columbus. Debbie joined the Reflexology Association of Ohio almost immediately and the Reflexology Association of America several years later. She attended her first RAA conference in 2014 in Santa Fe and was hooked; she has attended each one since, as well as an ICR conference in Anchorage and many Ohio workshop offerings. She has a part-time practice out of her home and now combines this with a part-time financial manager position, a few years after retiring from a full-time school library job as Covid hit. Debbie loves dancing of almost every type and has sought out dance opportunities at reflexology conferences, and she sets up her reflexology chair as a vendor at weekend dance events in Ohio and surrounding states. She is honored to serve on the RAO board.