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Returning to Viet Nam: Healing the Past Through Touch

by Michael Broas

I am standing at my massage table, laying my hands on a man about my age, who is also a veteran of the same war that I was in, but with a very major difference; He was in the North Vietnamese Army, my former enemy, who I tried to kill and who tried to kill me.  I notice a scar near his scapula that looks as if it might be a bullet wound, so I Michael in VNcall over an interpreter to ask him about the scar. He laughs and says, yes, that is one of his scars and yes, he did get shot. I ask him where he was in Viet Nam when this happened and he replies that he was in Pleiku in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam, which happens to be where I served in 1969-70. I ask him when he was shot and he states that it was sometime around Christmas in 1969. I get a tingly sensation in my body, as I was in a large firefight, one that I will never forget, on December 22nd, 1969. I communicate this to this man, and he looks up with a huge smile and says “Isn’t that so funny, that both of us didn’t kill each other and are here now to be happy together? We can now love and make peace! “ In that moment for me, the past crashes into the present, bringing with it a soothing salve on a bitter and terrifying memory.

Returning to Viet Nam: Healing the Past Through Touch, Part 2

by Michael Broas

Clinic in Hoi AnAfter visiting Friendship Village near Hanoi, we next traveled south to the city of Hue, which was the site of one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Viet Nam war, lasting a total of 26 days in 1968. Hue is also near the DMZ, or Demilitarized Zone, where we visited several other famous battle sites. It is so interesting to go to those locations that I had only heard of and that were charged with such strong memories of a time so long ago. While in Hue, we also visited the Thien Mu Pagoda, one of Viet Nam’s oldest and most beautiful Buddhist Pagoda’s, located on the north side of the Perfume River. Lying in juxtaposition just across the river is the Citadel, where a large battle was fought during the war. It was interesting for me to think that while the battle raged at the Citadel, the monks continued to offer their prayers for peace just a short distance away.

First Comes Love…

By Dar Mikula

The Florida School of Massage has plenty of graduate success stories and our fair share of love stories too.  This is a success story and a LOVE story.  First comes Love…

Mike Megan bridgeMike Withee and Megan D’Andrea met in Micanopy. Megan was offering couple’s massages at the Herlong Mansion Bed & Breakfast and needed another therapist to work with.  Mike offered outcalls and also worked at the Old Florida Cafe across the street and had his cards around town, so Megan called him to see if he’d like to work as a team.  He said yes, but when the first opportunity to work together came, the scheduled couple at the Herlong ended up cancelling their session.  Since their time was already booked, Mike and Megan decided to trade with each other instead.  Megan gave Mike a session first, and then when it was Megan’s turn to receive a few days later, they ended up talking for almost eight hours after the session.

Successful Graduate Shares Her Story

by Dar Mikula

IMG_2669.27181619_largeIt was 1996, I was 21 years old, I had left my hometown Pittsburgh, PA to attend the University of Florida. After my second year of undergrad, I was still uncertain as to what I wanted to do with my future.  I thought perhaps psychology, for I was keen on helping and listening to others, but it was after coming down to FSM for a massage where I found my true calling.  I was immediately hooked on both the curriculum, and the healing energy that was abundant throughout.  After sitting in on a class, I decided to leave UF after that semester and attend FSM.  I went home for six months to save up enough for tuition.  I worked as a server in a restaurant and did catering jobs on the side.  I had no idea that my life was about to be completely changed.

Is Thai Foot Reflexology Really Reflexology?

by Karen Ball

KarenAwhile back I got into a conversation on a Facebook reflexology group page I follow. The exchange started with a woman’s struggle (her word) around the term Thai Reflexology. She wondered how someone practicing this age-old therapy could call it “reflexology” when the techniques were so different from what she knew.reflexology

Her comments sent me back to an earlier time in my reflexology career. Back in 1983, I learned what is now referred to in the United States and Canada as “conventional” reflexology, based on the theories and techniques developed by Eunice Ingham, known fondly as the “grandmother” of modern reflexology. For more than 10 years, I just assumed that reflexologists all over the world practiced reflexology as I was taught, happily thumb and finger-walking their way around an ancient map of foot and hand reflexes corresponding to other parts of the body. And then…

FSM Announces Special Events to Celebrate 40-Year Anniversary

By Dar Mikula

Old sign pix

Our History:

In 1974, the Florida School of Massage graduated its first students. The American Institute of Natural Health, Inc. and the Florida School of Massage, Inc. merged their programs of massage therapy and allied holistic health training in September 1979. The merger of these two Gainesville schools produced a vocational training center with outstanding instructional faculty and equipment resources for expanded and advanced programs of massage therapy and natural health care.