Coming Home to Massage Therapy

funny plansLife is what’s happening while you’re trying to figure out your life…or something like that.

After 15 years of teaching and practicing massage therapy, I went to Acupuncture school. It’s seven years later. I have my Acupuncture license in two states and a couple Diplomates from NCCAOM (National Big Shot Organization for Acupuncture).

MassageAnd still, I love massage therapy.

I love the simple, direct experience of following the intuition of my hands.
With our hands, we evaluate and treat all at the same time.
With our hands, we listen and respond to what may never be said – and in those moments of wordless connection, the therapist and client understand that healing is happening.
Studying Chinese Medicine has given me an appreciation for Qi. My best guess is that Qi is the “stuff” that is gone at death. You should spend a day trying to stick a tiny little needle in that! Qi is a mesmerizing teacher, potent healer, elusive power.
In acupuncture school, before I gained any skill with needles, I kept resorting to massage. Sometimes the obvious is just too obvious to understand.

I have come back home to my hands-on work. My intuition has more to work with post-acupuncture school. I find myself listening to and following Qi in the meridians and points, as I am drawn to trigger points, tendon attachments, muscle spasms, and emotional unrest. I started my study of Chinese Medicine obsessed with the power of needles; I finished humbled by the potential of my hands.

Everything changes.

Meridian Massage Institute is the next stop on my wheel of transformation. Integrating anatomy – hardcore physicality, with Qi – hardcore energy (MMI became Big Tree School of Natural Healing in 2012 ). And figuring out how to teach it – now that is what I call a good time!
I’m glad you are here.
Your questions take me deeper, inspire me, and transform me. Stick around, there is so much more to come.

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Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Ann on August 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    I love your teaching. The depth of your understanding translates to me as your student because of your passion! Your book and the two classes I have taken have been powerfully transformative for me and my clients. Thank you!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on August 21, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you for writing! I appreciate how far you are taking the information, and putting into action for your clients. It is because of who you are, and your dedication to understanding and being with the material that you are getting such great results – well done!

  2. Donna Holt on December 2, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Thanks Cindy. Made the tears flow. I wrote the following a few months ago and it pretty much sums up how I feel about my 18-year practice of massage:
    I know my place in the world
    when my hands are on you.
    I know,
    no matter what
    is broadcast the world over,
    the texture of your skin
    will call me back to the
    uninterrupted & regular
    processes within my own cells.
    I know,
    that even as my heart
    over another,
    it will open
    to the strong & steady rhythm
    I feel beneath your ribs.
    When you exhale with a sigh
    and then breathe in more deeply,
    your relief
    reminds me and invokes mine.
    When my hands are on you,
    I know my place in the world.

    • Cindy Black on December 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks for sharing your beautiful words. I so deeply appreciate the sacredness of Massage Therapy- maintained and expressed by dedicated practitioners like you.

  3. Andrea Butje on November 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

    This is a beautiful post. I also love massage. When it comes to healing, massage has been the one constant in my life, always bringing such relief. Meridian Massage Institute’s website is beautiful, a true reflection of your teaching!

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