What’s in a name?

What's my 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!
Yoga poseI 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!

CB_frontviewI 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.

 

About The Author

Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

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.

47 Comments

  • Linda Rienzie

    Reply Reply August 29, 2014

    Love the new name Cindy. Perfect Big Tree.
    Many limbs and branches. Perfect. Hope to see you soon

    Blessings

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Thank you so much!

      • Linda Rienzie

        Reply Reply August 30, 2014

        Yes Cindy…I am an astrologer and YES it has been a doozie of a month !!!!
        that’s why we all need you services. Stabilizing the this human connection.

      • Donna

        Reply Reply August 31, 2014

        Cindy this is wonderful! As I am often reminded to “be the tree” it is a perfect name for all that you do!
        Congratulations and many wonderful blessings on this!

        • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

          Reply Reply August 31, 2014

          Thank you Donna – let’s make a forest! 🙂

  • Karen Ball

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    Impressive background! Honored to say that I’ve called you friend for many of those years. Congrats Cindy on your new adventure!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Thank you Karen – you were there way back in the beginning teaching me Reflexology – thank you for your help along the way.

  • Vickie Bunty

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    Fab name, Chiquita!
    Says a lot for those of us with highly associative minds n hearts.
    As per usual, your seeds shall be scattered far and wide as your branches reach for the sun. It’s the best time of year for trees when they can wear their brilliant colors and party before their winter sleep. And so you have shared with us your seedling…many thanks 🙂 May she blossom under your tender loving care.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Thank you so much Vickie, your words are so beautiful! Thanks for be a part of my growth!

  • Maria

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    Hello Cindy, I feel honored to receive your mail. I love the new name and wish you all the best in all you do!
    Maria

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Thank you Maria!

  • Christina

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    Does this mean you’ve gotten really good at tree pose? I love the name and I love you!
    Happy Birthday to Big Tree.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Ha Ha! Thanks Christina! It’s been fun to share so much of this path with you 🙂

  • Andrea

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    The name definitely fits!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Glad you like the new name!

  • korie wright

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    How exciting! Congratulations on your new endeavors!!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Thank so much Korie 🙂

      • korie wright

        Reply Reply August 30, 2014

        You are very welcome!! 🙂

  • sonja simpson

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    I love the name of your school. What I like even more is the story of your journey!!

    what an incredible background you have! Your teaching is always so clear and useful!!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Thanks Sonja!

  • Brenda

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    I was very impressed reading your background, thank you for sharing. I love the new name, it fits perfectly. I am about a month away from my reflexology certification here in Canada, my aromatherapy course will be a little longer. I am glad I found your website and have enjoyed your webinars and am learning little bits that I can put into practice. My hope is to one day be able to take one of your online courses and be a Big Tree student!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Thank you Brenda – I love the sound of being a “Big Tree Student”! 🙂 Let’s hope it happens one day soon.

  • kris

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    That’s fantastic Cindy!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 30, 2014

      Thanks Kris! 🙂

  • Meredith Carpenter

    Reply Reply August 30, 2014

    Beautiful! I love that the name came from the place where there are no words. Just perfect.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 31, 2014

      Thanks Meredith! Yes, there is so much to know without words…

  • Gina

    Reply Reply August 31, 2014

    Love the name!! Good luck as you “branch” out into new adventures!!
    I enjoyed reading about your journey too….I am trying to find a way to pull everything that I have learned together and it’s inspiring to me to hear how others have done it!!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 31, 2014

      Thank you Gina – I know you know many things and offer so much with every session…I hope you enjoy the process of finding the “name” for the healing that you offer to so many people.

  • Bianca D

    Reply Reply August 31, 2014

    Yes, there’s so much in a name! We name our things too 😉 And the one you have chosen for your school is absolutely brilliant! …encompassing the many, complementary facets of your practice and conveying both a solidity from deep roots and the newness of growth at the same time. It’s perfect. How exciting!! Heartfelt congratulations!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 31, 2014

      Thank you Bianca – always wonderful to hear from you and your beautiful perspective on life as it unfolds.

  • Karen Williams

    Reply Reply August 31, 2014

    Perfect name! So love it.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply August 31, 2014

      Thank you Karen!

  • ISY Nobilski

    Reply Reply August 31, 2014

    Dear Cindy, reading your story brought lovely memories of our first class at Fingers Lakes in Ithaca. You and Andrea were our teachers, leaders and models of what we all wanted to be. Congratulations on continuing your journey of helping and healing.
    Hope you are happy and healthy. Much love, Isy Nobilski

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply September 1, 2014

      I appreciate hearing from you Isy! That was quite the journey we all began together, so happy to remain connected. Love to you too 🙂

  • Carolina

    Reply Reply September 1, 2014

    I like it too much Cindy!! 🙂
    And also love that the name came from the place where there are no words.
    Abrazo enorme desde Argentina 🙂
    Caro.- (delfincaro)

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply September 1, 2014

      Thank you Carolina!

  • Bernadette

    Reply Reply September 1, 2014

    The best a name can do us be as close to the essence if the ” thing ” it is a symbol for.
    Of course you would be “Big Tree”…it’s simple and unpretentious while simultaneously holding the symbolism for the perfect beautiful balance of life , from roots to sky, standing strong and flexible between heaven and earth. A beautiful friend to meet as you walk your oath.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply September 1, 2014

      Bernadette,
      You were on this path before I was. Thank you for being one of the pioneers in hands-on healing who paved the way for the rest of us.
      Wishing you peace, love and the constant return of healing to you that you have poured out to so many over the years.

  • Bernadette

    Reply Reply September 1, 2014

    That should have read … Walk your path… But walking your oath is a good thing too!!
    Congrats Cindy and blessings on your next iteration of your commitment to natural healing!!

  • Challice

    Reply Reply September 1, 2014

    Love it! A big tree with different branches of healing. (also a familiar name in the Geneseo region…)

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply September 1, 2014

      Thanks Challice! And thanks for walking along with me all of these years through so many twists and turns… 🙂

      • Challice

        Reply Reply September 2, 2014

        No, thank you! Also that’s an
        awesome picture, right, Marilyn?

        • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

          Reply Reply September 2, 2014

          🙂 That was a fun day with you and Marilyn!

  • Sheri

    Reply Reply September 1, 2014

    Cindy – Loved you shared your bio and all that you have in your medicine bag.
    Big Tree School of Natural Healing – Great name.
    It reminds me of a story – Did you know where the saying “Knock on Wood” came from. They used to believe the gods lived in the trees. So they would say “Thank God – Knock on Wood” So that is what you new name brought to mind for me.
    Best of luck and look forward to learning and growing with you.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply September 1, 2014

      Thank you Sheri – I never knew that story of “knock on wood”. It makes sense to me!

  • Joyce

    Reply Reply September 2, 2014

    Beautiful name, Cindy!!! It brings such a wonderful healing image to mind, also!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply September 2, 2014

      Thank you Joyce!

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