Diary of a Massage Student

A wee bit into Quarter 3

There is this sign in the kitchen at my school that has a funny saying about chocolate not asking silly questions, and for the longest time I thought it was implying a family member or significant other being the asker. Today, after what feels like 3 grueling weeks of learning SOAP charting and health intake, I thought; IT'S THE THERAPIST! The sign is talking about me!

What would it be like to listen to my client's ailments or woahs, then respond with chocolate, and not 30 min of question asking and muscle testing?

And yet...what theraputic improvement could I make for my clients if I don't get a clear idea of what may be going on? Perhaps help them to connect the dots for themselves?

I'm getting in my own way. Cringing and worrying away from the very questions I have to ask. Doubting the asking. Doubting MYSELF and my ability to be a therapist.

I have a feeling quarter 3 is going to be owning my own (growing) professional knowledge. Claiming the space I take up in this world. Accepting the ripples in the water from my choices.

Ok. Woah. I need to go process this more. Preferably with chocolate.

Warmly, Ashlen

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We're SO PROUD of our evening program graduates! Such an intelligent, fun, inquisitive, lively, and personable group! Truly beautiful human beings -- and truly capable therapists!

Watch out world, they're on fire and ready to make a difference.
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Diary of a Massage Student

The End of Quarter Two

Dear Diary,
Here we are, cohort of Fall 2017, in the midst of mid winter break. Where did quarter two go?

Here is a snapshot. In words and pictures (can you match them?)
The time went into getting our hands on muscles, uncovering them and naming them, remembering their actions for tests. The time was filled with study nests for epic anatomy tests, bonding over bones, opening sheep hearts and brains and eyes to make real connections to our learning. It was filled with laughter, wonder, grief, and as many anatomy puns and jokes you could handle. (Heart and Soleus forever will stick with me. Why? Your calf muscles are considered a second heart, their movement pumping blood back to your heart.)

And possibly the most important, we spent this time opening our hearts to each other in each of our most vulnerable, worn down and doubtful learning place.

There are many stories I could tell, but I'll leave here a story of transition:

It was a class with Lisa Nelson, who if you remember was the instigator of our Therapy Thursdays back in quarter 1. When we came into class there was a beautiful red carpet from Afghanistan sitting in the middle of the room. She didn't talk about it till the end. When she did, she told the story of another hand knotted carpet from Persia.
The practice of hand knotting a 6 foot by 5 foot carpet takes months, a circle of carpet makers working together, hundreds of thousands of tiny knots. What happens if a mistake is made in the pattern? Is the knot taken out? The carpet abandoned?
These carpet makers have a mentor that keeps an eye on the progress, and makes suggestions in how to adjust the patten so it fits together, it blends in. Take a closer look. Can you spot the oddity?

This is our work. From here on out, our schooling and learning isn't about studying for tests and filling in the right multiple choice bubble. It's about blending the pieces together. And the mistakes become part of the glorious whole. And we will need to find those who can be our mentors.

Outcome Based Massage! Quarter 3! Here we come! Let the messy learning happen!

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Diary Of A Massage Student
Happy Valentines Day!

It's our Quarter 2 final for MSA comprehensive, which meant knowing details of over 60 muscles. My brain is mush, but I have coffee, and I think I passed.

Have a glorious day!!
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Calling all LMTs! We're on the lookout for professionals willing to receive massage in exchange for quality feedback! Can we count on you? A colleague? (Why not both?)

Two times available: 9:30am and 11:45am on Wed 2/21.

No cost to you, just be willing to give feedback as a client. Sessions will be held in a classroom setting, and supervised by faculty. Click the "Book Now" button and jump ahead to February 21 to reserve your spot.

We need 22 LMTs total, so tell your colleagues and bring a friend!

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DiscoveryPoint Faculty

World-Class Instructors To Guide and Nurture Your Career

Patricia A. Archer, MS, ATC, LMP

Co-Owner, Director and Instructor

Pat Archer has been a sports health care specialist and educator for over 35 years. Her combined knowledge and experience as a massage therapist and athletic trainer provide Pat with a unique blend of advanced manual therapy assessment and treatment skills. Her warm and personal style of teaching keeps students actively engaged in both their head and hands.

She is a popular and highly regarded speaker who has presented at state, regional, and national professional conferences. Her courses span a variety of manual therapy topics including event and clinical sports massage, lymphatic facilitation, orthopedic assessment, and manual therapy applications for specific injury management. Pat maintains a successful private practice at Seattle Somatics.

As an author Pat has published many journal articles as well as textbooks. Her texts include Massage for Sports Health Care, the workbook for a self study video course from Human Kinetics, and Therapeutic Massage in Athletics, published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.


Also published by LWW, Pat along with Lisa Nelson, co-authored “Applied Anatomy and Physiology for Manual Therapist”, a textbook that provides all of the anatomy and physiology knowledge a massage therapist needs in a way they can better understand.

Julie Ann Darrah, BA, LMP

Co-Owner and Director

Julie Ann Darrah has worked in vocational training and post-secondary education for over 20 years.

Her knowledge and vast experience in school financials, administration, compliance, student services and teaching has thoroughly prepared her to be Discoverypoint’s Finance Director.

Julie’s keen intuition blended with her skills in communication and problem-solving make her a gifted director, educational counselor and advocate. Novice and Swedish massage classes provide added opportunities for her to share her contagious enthusiasm for massage therapy and demonstrate her compassion for students.

Lisa A. Nelson, BA, AT/R, LMP

Co-Owner, Director and Instructor

Lisa Nelson has worked professionally as an athletic trainer, massage therapist, and instructor. Over the past 25 years, she has served a wide variety of education communities as a teacher, curriculum consultant, administrator, faculty mentor and learning strategist.

Lisa enjoys the challenge of working with a diverse student and faculty population. She thrives in a collaborative environment that utilizes and challenges her communication and problem-solving skills. Lisa is regarded as being a good listener, creative strategist, passionate team member, as well as a patient and flexible educator.

Lisa has been privileged to speak at numerous teaching conferences throughout the US, published articles for vocational educators, and contributed to several textbooks in sports medicine, sports massage, and muscle anatomy.


Lisa and Pat Archer’s book “Applied Anatomy and Physiology for Manual Therapists”, is a clear, accurate, simple, and comprehensive A&P textbook that addresses the needs of students in manual therapy education programs. The book and more information can be found here on Amazon.

Michael Jacobus, BA, LMP


Michael Jacobus graduated from the Stillpoint Center School of Massage in Hatfield, MA in 1996. Since that time,he has practiced massage both as a sole-proprietor and as an employee in a variety of work settings, including day spas, hospitals and clinical research organizations.

Over the years, Michael’s fascination with how the body responds to bodywork and movement has led him to pursue a wide array of advanced trainings, including certifications in the Trager® Approach in 2005, orthopedic massage in 2008 and yoga instruction in 2010. Currently, Michael is a lead massage therapist at Dreamclinic Massage in Queen Anne.

In 1998, Michael began his career as a massage and movement educator. While he has facilitated a broad spectrum of classes, his current teaching focus is in musculoskeletal anatomy, kinesiology, clinical and outcome based massage, professional ethics and communication. His passion for helping students discover the human body and how it moves makes him a demanding musculoskeletal anatomy instructor. However, Michael’s ability to temper high standards with his sharp wit, a keen appreciation for fun, and commitment to creativity make him a student favorite. As a clinical instructor he enjoys pivoting to a mentorship role, supporting students as they practice and gain confidence in critical thinking, treatment and professional communication skills.

Tel: 206-949-1489
Visit Michael’s Website

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