What's in a name?
I’ve been naming and labeling things all of my life: car, cat, blue, hot, I like it, I don’t like it. I’ve been thinking about the name “Meridian Massage Institute” lately.
A little history:
In 1985, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Health Education, and then worked as a substance abuse counselor for three years. While in college and for many years afterward, I actively participated in the martial arts.
I started out as a Massage Therapist in 1990, combining mainly sport massage, shiatsu, connective tissue and trigger point therapies. Over time I added orthopedic evaluation, stretching, and the Trager Approach. From 1994 through 2003, I taught Anatomy and Massage Therapy at the Finger Lakes School of Massage, which I co-founded with Andrea Butje.
Next, I delved into Chinese Medical School while at the same time pursuing Maya Abdominal Massage with Rosita Arvigo in Belize. Over my three and half year Master’s Program in Chinese Medicine, I kept combining all that I had learned and was learning into my hands-on work.
But why stop there?
I completed my Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine in 2007, only to go on and study Chi Nei Tsang (Chinese abdominal massage) in 2010. I began practicing and learning more Qi Gong after my initial Chi Nei Tsang course.
Well, now I have completed a yoga training!
I have been on a search since I was young to understand health and healing. This search has led me to study western science and medicine, massage therapy, Japanese Shiatsu and Karate, Chinese science, philosophy and medicine, and most recently to Indian philosophy and yoga.
In 2010, “Meridian Massage” was the best label I could come up with to describe the work I was doing! I was getting great results combining massage modalities and Chinese medical theories into a hands-on practice. I know many of us long term practitioners have a difficult time trying to come up with a single, quick answer to describe “what we do.”
“Meridian Massage” has begun to feel a like a confining “label” for what I am actually practicing and teaching. Whatever “it” is that we do in our healing sessions is hard to describe. The best we can do is give “it” a label that will serve to communicate something of the essence of what we practice to people who want our help. It’s time for a new label to describe what is really going on around here these days!
Get ready for a new name!
I was walking in the mountains of New Mexico recently when I met a huge tree. As is often the case with me and trees, we met each other in that place where there are no words. Big Tree. And that is how I have come to the new name for this school, Big Tree School of Natural Healing.
In the next few weeks and months, I’ll be introducing the Big Tree School of Natural Healing right here on the web. I’ll always be teaching Meridian Massage! With the Big Tree School of Natural Healing, I’ll be offering other kinds of classes within the scope of natural healing.
Thank you for being with me on this ever-unfolding adventure of living, learning, practicing, and teaching.