Uncategorized Archives - Florida School of Massage

“On Bodywork & Awareness”, Paul Davenport, and Navigating Personal Unfolding

Mary with Frontal & Ethmoid Less Closeup

By Mary Reis LMT

FSM Instructor

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”.

Happy Renewal Year

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.

The Evolution of Thai Foot Reflexology

Karen Ball thai foot reflexologyby Karen Ball

I learned Thai reflexology in 2003, and fell so totally in love with the philosophy and experience of giving and receiving this beautiful modality that I just had to turn others onto this amazing art.

Over the many years of teaching Thai Foot Reflexology, the one constant from attendees was a curiosity to know more about the sen lines, and how Thai reflexology intersected with the western style that most of us have been introduced to in North America.

So, in response to those queries I created a 1-day Advanced Thai Reflexology class that explained how the two models relate (ie. which western reflex points the Thai sen lines run through, and which systems in the body were governed by which sen lines), and also give a more in-depth look at the philosophy of the practice.


The Thai sen are what we would refer to as meridians or energy lines. They actually resemble the Ayurvedic energy lines (nadis) more than they do the Chinese meridians though, in that they do not correlate with any organ system in the way that the Chinese meridians do.

The Thai meridians all begin at the navel and end at the extremities of the body and are used to address any and all organ systems through which they pass along their course. In that way, the sen more resemble the zones of Chinese reflexology rather than acupuncture.

and Now

Fast forward now to 2016, and I have decided to combine the initial 2-day and the advanced 1-day into a 3-day training I am calling Traditional Thai Reflexology. Enough people have indicated to me that this is the better format for their learning and time schedule.


I am also responding to requests that I provide a video of the hands-on protocol, in addition to the diagramed step-by-step manual that is included with tuition. So, I’m doing that also!

Beginning with the first Traditional Thai Reflexology training at FSM on September 10, 11 and 12, all participants will be given lifetime access to a video demonstration of the protocol for review purposes.

Anyone reading this who took the initial 2-day Thai Foot Reflexology workshop with me over the last 10 years is also eligible to receive that added bonus. Just shoot me a quick email with the year and location that you attended. I’ll add you to the invitation list. karen@academyofancientreflexology.com


And one more offer! If you took the initial Thai Foot Reflexology workshop with me in the past and would like to attend the Traditional Thai Reflexology training at FSM to brush up on your technique, you may do so at a reduced price. Again, just shoot me an email with the year and location that you attended, and I’ll send you instructions on how to go about doing that.

I hope that you will join us on September 10 and experience for yourself what so many others have claimed as “the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation”. Follow this link for a description and all details.

Also, in case you’re wondering, no previous reflexology training is necessary to attend the Traditional Thai Reflexology workshop. This training is perfect for massage therapists and certified reflexologists; the techniques are completely different than what is practiced in conventional western reflexology.


Embryology Made Accessible For The Inquisitive Bodyworker

By Ella Vassallo

Editor’s Note: This month we offer a personal account of the upcoming Embryology class with Giorgia Milne.  At first glance, the Embryology class can appear ethereal or even inaccessible.  However, the concepts presented in the class relate to all of life, and most anyone can find value in the information presented.  Ella Vassallo, a longtime student of Giorgia Milne, offers her viewpoint below.

Ella Vassalo 6-2016
At first glance embryology may not seem like it holds relevance for anyone except a future doctor. And this may be true of a technical embryology course taught within the constellation of a medical school. But Giorgia Milne’s embryology class cannot be confined to those medical school classes. While it does contain anatomical/physiological information about our embryological stage, it gives us this information as an invitation to view ourselves as ever evolving embryos where the same forces that are at work before conception, at conception and in the weeks following conception, continue to mold us. 

What Lights Your Fire?

by Frank Merillat

frank staff photo

While sitting listening to music this morning I happened across the Door’s recording of Light My Fire. Later while out walking my dogs I got to thinking about life, education and what lights my fire. I thought about how my interests and work have changed over the 20 plus years I have been learning about the body and practicing my craft. I realized how blessed I have been to have FSM here and all the wonderful opportunities available to study and grow with the work.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

By Dar Mikula

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”  – From “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Suess

One of the many blessings of my job is that I get to reach out to graduates and find outdar how they are doing once they’ve graduated.  In my recent cycle of calls, my attention was drawn to the diversity of paths each one of us is on, even though we all share the same qualification as “licensed massage therapists”.  In talking with graduates of our October 2014 massage program, I learned the stories of two fascinating women, both of whom share the same name and both graduates of the same program. Here is the story of the variance and intrigue of the two directions they went in after completing their training here.

Administrative Assistant

Front Desk Receptionist


 The Front Desk administrative assistant will primarily serve as a conduit between the administrative staff and our Day/Night Program students during weekdays/nights (Monday through Thursday). Other reception-related duties and responsibilities will include greeting the public and various other tasks as described below.