By Frank Merillat LMT
As I sit here writing this I am reminded of how lucky we are at FSM to have access to such wonderful continuing education opportunities at our school. Benny Vaughn, a leading figure in sports and athletic massage was just here at the end of October. Giorgia Milne will be here in November, another leading figure in the Biodynamic Craniosacral world. Deane Juhan, a noted figure in the Trager community and author of Job’s Body, a guide to anatomy, physiology and how touch affects the body will be here in January.
I have had the opportunity and pleasure to study with these three in my educational process along with other noted names in our profession and find it is always worth my time, energy and finances to do so. There is something about working with folks who have been doing this work for so long and who themselves studied with the pioneers in bodywork.
By Mary Reis LMT
I graduated from FSM in 1993 at the age of 24, inspired by school and excited to begin my Massage Therapy career. Now at 48 years old, I have been practicing Massage for half of my life and the profession continues to be immensely satisfying and intriguing. Recently I stumbled upon some of Paul Davenport’s* old writings and I have been reflecting on the power of awareness and how it has enriched my life and continues to inspire my career.
Currently, I am working on becoming an Approved Provider with the NCBTMB and have to update my resume. While combing through my old paper massage files, searching for dates and evidence of my education and various roles, I stumbled upon an unnamed file and discovered that it was filled with a piece of FSM history — it was my cherished stash of the old paper version of this electronic newsletter, the “Connective Issue”.
By Luann Overmyer LMT
At the age of 19 I had a motorcycle accident that left me with 6 broken ribs, a punctured lung, a lacerated liver, a torn hepatic ligament, and 3 compressed fractures in my spine. I was in a coma for hours and arrived at the hospital without a pulse or blood pressure —- essentially dead on arrival.
It is a dramatic story yet without this experience I may have never have discovered the wonders of bodywork, nor recognized the amazing capacity of the body to heal and the phenomenal benefit of self-care. By the age of 23 I was beginning to believe that I would have pain for the rest of my life. Also of concern was the head and neck injury resulting in my lack of ability to focus and blurry vision.
I recognized I needed some help. I went to see a chiropractor who commented that “he didn’t know how I could be alive with a neck like that”. Over the next few months, I felt his treatments turning me into a “bobble head” as he would adjust my neck into alignment but within 12 -24 hours I would be just as miserable as before. I decided I better start to figure this out for myself and began taking classes in bodywork and massage.
The Florida School of Massage (FSM) will be launching two acclaimed Therapeutic Massage and Hydrotherapy programs including a 6-month daytime program starting in October and a one year night program in Septemeber. The Therapeutic Massage and Hydrotherapy program is a transformative and empowering journey that provides students the flexibility to pursue professional massage part time or full-time upon graduation.
The comprehensive conceptual and experiential curriculum addresses the body and mind in totality and teaches students the interdependent forces that support healthy living.
By Frank Merillat, LMT
There is a saying I learned when I lived in the Virginia Mountains that goes like this:
“Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while”.
I think this applies well to the practice of massage and the concept of therapy. I even use it these days in class when I talk about problems we encounter with the body while doing massage therapy.
When I work with a client they often present a problem with their body that they would like addressed. It is usually presented in the form of a sensation or feeling. Think of what clients tell you. “My shoulder hurts”, “I am not able to bend or squat easily”, “I’m feeling tingling or numbness in my hand”, “I’m just feeling stressed”, these are the types of things I often hear followed by “What is it?” or “Can you fix this?” It is at this point that I can feel like the proverbial “blind hog”. There are just so many possibilities involved in any one of those feeling statements.
by Gil Hedley, Ph.D.
Over the course of my career as a student and guide of what I call integral anatomy, I have been blessed with the opportunity to dissect many human forms. Literally, every body is different; every body represents a unique expression of the embodiment of the human form. That having been said, there are patterns of tissue structures, relationships, and textures that we share in large measure, while each one of us manifests variations on principal themes. Experience in the lab enables us to formulate, for different tissues, an answer to the question: “Is that supposed to be connected or not?!”
“Nothing stops me. I keep working hard at what I do; it’s the only way to make change in the world”
Ariela Grodner did not plan to attend FSM. However, in 2002 Ariela convinced a good friend that she had to check out “this cool massage school” in Gainesville (with the ulterior motive of getting said friend to move to Florida). She did such a thorough job that Ariela “sold” the school to herself as well.
At the time, Ariela was a new mom looking to find herself again. From teaching Shivananda Yoga in India, to owning a punk rock store in Ybor City, to living on a farm in the Berkshire Mountains, she had always lived life on her terms. In her application, Ariela wrote of wanting to heal people and needing a livelihood that would increase her ability to grow in compassion and love for her fellow humanity.
by Tracy Walton
She called me about getting massage for her brother. He was in treatment for advanced cancer, and he felt too sick to arrange massage for himself. “What is different about massage for people with cancer?” she asked me. And “How is it different from ‘normal’ massage?”
I hear this question often. It always deserves a thoughtful answer.
by Giorgia Milne
The ground substance of our connective tissues is the matrix within which life originates. It is composed of a liquid substrate that bathes, and is within all cells, and provides the means for global, body-wide, communication. It behaves as a liquid crystal that communicates all quantum vibratory information throughout the whole body simultaneously at various speeds – light, sound, pressure, tension, wave, temperature, and so on.
After fertilization embryological forces inside the embryo’s protoplasmic ground substance ignite intentional whirls and eddies from which WE develop. Fourteen days after conception, a core of stillness emerges as the central organizing principle that will become known as “midline”. Bodily, this becomes the germ layers of ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm – leading to the formation of the heart, central nervous system, and the rest of the body’s organs and structures. However, midline actually defies description, because it is nonlinear and multidimensional.
“After embryogenesis is complete, the midline’s resonant signals convey the coherent instructions for the maintenance, defense, healing, immunity, and perceptual development of the bodymind”.
Charles Ridley, author of STILLNESS – Biodynamic Cranial Practice and the Evolution of Consciousness.
Embryological forces continue to guide our growth, development, and overall health maintenance throughout our lives. These subtle emotive forces behind the motions of life are indeed perceptible, and this is what we are connecting with in Biodynamic Cranial Touch. By resting in stillness at the center of your being, you become resonant with the organizing principles of creation, and the source of our health and sense of wholeness.
By Frank Merrilat
I recently received an email, it began “Happy Renewal Year”. It was an inquiry about an upcoming workshop that I will be presenting in March and a nice play with words. I have to say that it got me thinking about the meaning of renewal.
The base of the word is “new”. To me that means something different, maybe unique. It could also mean seeing something a little bit differently, a new take on a familiar subject. The prefix “re” to me means doing something again. So the word renewal could have several interpretations, referring to examining what came before and beginning again.
We are now in a renewal year for our massage licenses. Continuing Education is an opportunity to learn new skills and grow your practice. Is there a modality or area of interest that turns you on? Maybe you want to get clear on anatomy or go deeper into a particular technique. Maybe you are interested in some self-work to help you in meeting clients in your practice. There are so many options available. I have several offerings available including Getting Specific one-day workshops on the neck, shoulder and low back as well as a two-day offering focusing on the breath. Check out the FSM website
to see what will be offered at the school.