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Massage Today
March, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 03


Touching the Massage Today readers one letter at a time...

By Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT


I have been reading about how dolphins help heal people. My friend was telling me she had heard of a class where you do bodywork in the water with the dolphins.

Do you know where and who puts this class on, how many days it is, and what is covered in the class?

-- Susan from Alabama

Dear Susan,

Yes, I have heard about a class like this called the BioAquatic Exploration class, put on by The Upledger Institute in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. These four-day classes are held in the Bahamas aboard The Upledger Foundation research vessel, The Dolphin Star. The courses allow therapists to develop a holistic, cooperative relationship with the ocean and its healing resources, while performing CranioSacral Therapy techniques. Highlights include: a structured one and one-half hour dolphin swim at The Dolphin Experience swimpool; the opportunity for exploration, integration and application of CranioSacral Therapy techniques; and the ability to observe and participate in multi-therapist, hands-on techniques.

Feedback from participants who attended classes in 2000 was extremely positive. Regarding the treatment sessions, it was observed: "Releases occurred much more quickly - fluidity was the operating word. Movement of tissue and emotion happened very easily," and "Treating was especially wonderful in the water. There's much more joint freedom in the therapist as well as the client." For many, the "melding" with fellow participants made the experience a standout. One member shared, "The learning and connection with your team is invaluable. You are growing as a group - like a 'pod of dolphins' - accepting/respecting self and each other."

Several programs are offered based on different prerequisites. Class size is limited to 10. If you would like more information on a BioAquatic Exploration class, call The Upledger Institute Educational Services at 1-800-233-5880, ext. 90010, or visit their website at


I would like to know more about Core Structural Integrative Therapy and what kind of bodywork it is based from?

-- Jimmy from Kentucky

Dear Jimmy,

I contacted George Kousalous, BA, LMT, NCTMB the founder and director of the Core Institute in Tallahassee, Florida and developer of CORE Structural Integrative Therapy.

George shared with me that CORE Structural Integrative Therapy follows the classic 10-session model of structural integration developed by Ida Rolf. The CORE method is modified by a 45-degree angle of entry that enables many clients to handle deeper work to intrinsic musculature and fascia. CORE structural also focuses on client-education strategies that teach functional anatomy, efficient movement patterns, and flexibility training that corresponds to each session. The CORE structural training takes place annually at the CORE Institute in Tallahassee, Florida. Qualified massage therapists must complete the six-day CORE myofascial Therapy certification course and receive 10 sessions of structural integration before attending three, 2-week sessions of CORE Structural training. Other qualifications include completion of a 500-hour entry-level training, and National Certification (NCB). You can contact the CORE Institute for further information at: 223 West Carolina Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301; or phone (850) 222-8673; or fax (850) 561-6160; or email to: . You can also visit them on the web at:


I've been hearing a lot lately about Pilates Therapy? What is Pilates? How effective is it? In what instance would one refer to or seek out a Pilates therapist? What kind of certification or training qualifies one? to teach Pilates?

-- Steve in Houston

Dear Steve,

I have notice Pilates is getting a lot of press lately and seems to be very trendy right now. Actually, Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates over 80 years ago. I contacted John and Cheryl Kelley from Dallas, Texas to get more information on Pilates. They are both Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB) and Certified Pilates Instructors.They shared with me the following:

First, Pilates is not referred to as "Pilates Therapy" but simply as Pilates. Pilates may be used as a form of rehabilitation therapy, but would be referred to as therapy only if used by a physical therapist.

Pilates is a method of body conditioning that can be used for physical rehabilitation or used as a form of exercise that engages both the body and the mind. Pilates blends the principals of biomechanics, focus, concentration, control and breathing into every movement performed in a set routine. Performing the movements within a set routine allows the body mind to deepen its ability to grasp more subtle corrections of bony alignment, muscle integration, and mental focus. This allows for retraining of poor movement patterns as well as corrects postural faults that underlie and perpetuate so many neuromuscular problems that massage therapist's work with. A wide variety of clients frequent the Pilates studios. Some are in excellent condition desiring to experience the increased vitality, strength and flexibility that Pilates promises. Other clients referred to a Pilate's instructor have chronic pain or discomfort created and perpetuated by poor posture or poor body mechanics. Pilates addresses the underlying source of these problems. Those clients who choose to heal themselves find empowerment and pain reduction or elimination through this challenging and rewarding system of self-discovery.

There are several ways to locate a Pilates instructor near you. Most certifying studios maintain a list of certified instructors for referral. Working with a certified instructor is highly recommended but certification programs range from a simple weekend workshop to two years of class study, lecture, observation and apprenticeship.

John and Cheryl recommend instructors who have a strong background in physical training such as massage therapy, physical therapy or exercise physiology. Ultimately, a good instructor must have many attributes that create a fun, effective training program for their clients. Attend a variety of Pilates mat classes, experience the different styles of classes and choose the instructor with whom you feel most confident.

Below are just a few of the certifying organizations that you may contact. Physicalmind Institute:, 505-988-1990: Stott Pilates:, 800-910-0001


I graduated from massage school and am due to take the National Certification Exam in three week. I am signed up to take a workshop this weekend that is approved by NCB for CEU's. My question is: will these 16 credits go toward the renewal requirement for recertification for NCB.

-- Candy in West Virginia

Dear Candy,

No, you need to pass the exam first! I called Kelly Koteen, Recertification and Continuing Education Manager for the NCB. She stated all the 50 hours of appropriate continuing education hours must be obtained within the four years following initial certification. Which would mean after you passed the National Certification exam. Kelly also stated you can visit the NCBTMB website at to obtain recertification and continuing education information.

If you have a question about massage therapy or the massage profession for DearLyndaLMT, send her an e-mail: , or write her at:

c/o Lynda Solien-Wolfe,
P.O. Box 173,
Cocoa, Florida. 32923

Lynda Solien-Wolfe is Vice President, Massage and Spa at Performance Health. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has been in private practice in Merritt Island, Florida for more than 20 years. Lynda graduated from Space Coast Health Institute in West Melbourne, FL.


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