Maria began her holistic healthcare career by becoming a certified hypnotherapist in the year 2,000. This was just after she had completed a six month long trip around the world. This “walkabout” took her to over 35 countries, and along the way, she discovered the amazing mind-body healing properties of ancient Greek “Dreams in Healing Waters” therapy in Bad Sulza, Germany, and Chinese meridian work, specifically during a Himalayan mountain trek in Nepal.
Subsequently, she studied Chinese medicine and massage at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) in Tempe, Arizona, where she also became a Cranio-sacral/Polarity Practitioner, Reiki-Master-Teacher, as well as a Transformational Dream/Soul Coach. She also studied and includes in her practice elements of herbology, aromatherapy and flower essences. In 2001, she finished her Asian Bodywork Therapy Certification from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) in San Diego, California, and became a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in 2002. Maria also did yoga teacher training (YTT) at both Spirit of Yoga (SOY) in Tempe and in the Atlantian Rain Forest in Brazil (2006). She has been in private practice as a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist and Dream/Life coach, while also teaching reflexology and energy medicine classes at SWIHA since 2003.
In addition to her holistic career, Maria has a Master’s in Applied Linguistics from University of Illinois at Chicago and another in Italian Language and Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont/Florence, Italy. Thus, she has taught Italian at Arizona State University and at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. She is currently teaching English as a Second Language at Arizona State University where she has been working since 1996. In her “previous life,” before academia, she worked at Alitalia Airlines, worked in banking, did radio and TV news reporting, did some fashion modeling, and she takes dance lessons and travels any chance she gets since those hobbies make her exuberantly happy, and after all, Happiness Matters!