At Summer Solstice in June of 2002, I started thinking about going to massage school, not really from the point of view of working as a therapist but as something I felt I should do and wanted to do. I believe it was a month later that I was talking with one of my neighbors at the Kundalini Yoga Center and she mentioned that she was planning to go to massage school. She said that she had already looked into it and that she had picked out the best school in the area, the Central Florida School of Massage Therapy in Winter Park. That September I started the night program at CFSMT. The program was 575 hours and was three to four nights a week for a year.
During my stay at CFSMT, I came to highly appreciate the work of the head instructor, Monica Reno, later to become the director of the school. She calls her approach to bodywork Fundamental Integration which is tailored primarily to athletes. She plans to teach her work in a workshop setting and has done quite a bit of work towards that end; but as yet, it has not come to fruition. So, I've worked with her as much as I can in a mentorship role.
One of the places I worked part-time for four years, New Directions Health & Bodywork Professionals impressed upon me the value of CranioSacral Therapy. I've taken CSTI and CSTII through Upledger. CranioSacral Therapy is a light modality focusing primarily on the nervous system and its hydraulic action. I've found that it has been very useful in conjunction with other modalities to help a person regain balance within their body.
Another modality that is used quite a bit at New Directions is Neuromuscular Therapy which focuses on trigger points, nerve entrapment, and postural distortions. My training in this modality has mostly been informal, on the job, and self-taught until I started taking Paul St John's classes. I've taken both Posturology 101 and 202. His charting approach provides a reliable diagnostic for locating and prioritizing problems related to structural imbalance. Charting is the basis for Neuromuscular Therapy. Without it, a therapist is technically not doing Neuromuscular Therapy.
During one of my many stays at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, I took a class with Glenn Black on his work, Bodytuning which relies on intuition, innovation and creativity to alleviate conditions in the skeletal, muscular and connective tissue systems. His influence dramatically changed my point of view on bodywork and I plan to take more of his classes.
Every six months, I go to a 3HO solstice yoga retreat. One of the many blessing of attending is being able to go to Guru Dev's Sat Nam Rasayan classes. Sat Nam Rasayan is an application of Kundalini Yoga meditative awareness toward becoming aware of imbalances in a person's body and sending energy to it giving it the opportunity for change without judgments about how or when. In essence, it is a healing modality that takes the practitioner's ego out of the equation.