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.
by Dar Mikula
Dar at FSM: May 1992
It’s December in Buffalo and a mixed blessing for us in this City of Good Neighbors. The warm glow of red and green holiday houselights reflect the crisp season of cheer in the freshly fallen snow, and meanwhile the bitter wind is ripping its way across icy Lake Erie and straight into my bones. I’m living in my sister’s basement in a room she built for me when I moved back 19 months earlier after living in Seattle for the latter half of the 1980’s. It’s 1991, I’m 30 years old, I’m working part-time as a cashier at the Convenient Food Mart and part-time as a page in the Lancaster Library. My bachelors degree in creative writing sits stalled on my desk in a black 8×10 picture frame after a successful yet brief career in journalism. I jump up and down on a mini trampoline to keep warm and stay lean because it’s too frigid to exercise outside. My mom and dad live two miles from me; my brother, grandmother and other relatives are within a five-mile radius. This is my home.
I’m still close with one or two friends from my childhood; in fact my buddy Roger and I have been dabbling in massage. He’s bought a massage table and so we take turns giving each other a back or foot rub. He’s got an irritable back from standing and bending all day and has read that massage might help. I’ve just come from five years of living in the Pacific Northwest where it seemed every other person I met was a massage therapist. I’d received plenty of bodywork and informal training as a result, so I just repeat on him what I’ve had done or shown to me.
Is sports massage something you are ready to dive into? Do you love working with athletes? Do you have clients with challenging soft tissue injuries and chronic pain that you want to help? Do you want to have new doors open to you? Our Sports Massage Advanced Certification course may be for you!
Come join us for this 100-hour comprehensive training. Completing this certification will give you the confident edge as a competent Sports Massage Therapist. By participating in this course, you will take away the skills you need to obtain employment in any sports environment.
Our unique approach includes:
- Visits to state of the art sports medicine facilities
- Lectures from top sports medicine professionals
- Application of specific massage techniques for injuries and musculoskeletal dysfunctions
Elevate your practice to the next level! Our course will provide you with the skills necessary to differentiate you from other therapists.
Through our small group centered lectures with athletic trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors, and personal trainers, you will have a first hand knowledge of how to collaborate with other sports medicine practitioners in the groundbreaking sports medicine field.
by Leslie Stager
My friend has a busy sports massage practice. She works with pregnant and non-pregnant clients often doing deep tissue work in hip adductors, hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps. One day we were discussing pregnancy massage adaptations — sidelying and semi-reclining positions, altered body mechanics, and relevant bodywork precautions.
“What precautions?” she asked.
I mentioned the 5x increased risk of developing blood clots during pregnancy, and greater risk for six weeks after birth. I stated that massage therapists should do thorough intakes and adjust their bodywork for those with specific risk factors, such as recent airplane travel, obesity, a history of previous clots, carrying twins or more, being over 35 years old, or recent cesarean section. Seventy-five percent of pregnant and postnatal women who develop clots have one or more of these risk factors.
by Mary Reis
“Who will teach us to give birth to our souls,
to be life-giving creative centers of energy
instead of death-dealing centers of inertia?”
—Camille Campbell in Meditations with Theresa of Avila
I came across this quote at the beginning of “Stillness: Biodynamic Cranial Touch and the Evolution of Consciousness” by Charles Ridley. Having recently finished the Biodynamic Cranial Touch Mentor Course, I was reflecting back on the long journey of my BCT training and picked up this book, which is the required reading. Reading this quote I was transported back to the beginning of my journey into bodywork and the rebirth of my own soul.
by Kendra Ostrander
I had first arrived to Gainesville late January 2014, a week before I would attend the Florida School of Massage. My uncle was attending at the time and talked highly of this magical place that not only allowed, but encouraged, students to be barefoot. I was sold when he carried on and told me that this place is a place for healing – and that in order to be a good therapist, you first must go through therapy. It made sense. After a few exchanged phone calls between the school and then with my uncle, I had decided to leave what was familiar and take a leap of faith and fly on a plane to Gainesville.