My name is Carrin Fernandes, I grew up in Cranford New Jersey and I have had my private massage therapy and bodyworks practice up and running since January 2009. I was very blessed and fortunate to be holistically trained in massage therapy out in beautiful Summit County Colorado in the year 2000 by Dawn Lewis and her wonderfully diverse well equipped staff. Choosing Full Circle School of Massage and Alternative Therapies Inc. has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. The quality of training and expertise I was shown over the course of the year of weekend intensives have proven to be a source of immeasurable value to me.
The style and format of the class room setting was cozy and we grew to become a family in no time at all. I was in an intensive class room setting. So it was definitely necessary to develop interpersonal relationships with my fellow classmates as well as staff members. The staff made it a very comfort atmosphere all the while maintaining a deep level of professionalism. It was a 500 hour program. The morning hours were generally the hours we would do the book work, terminology, and complete study of the human body. The afternoon hours we would pair up and work in groups of 2 or 3 for the bodywork on the specific area of the body we just studied in the morning hours. It would reinforce all we just learn. Dawn or the teacher at the time would do a complete demo on one of the students. It would be an extensive demo. and there was time for questions. We were encouraged to ask many questions. Which we did. It really helped someone like me who has a hard time retaining a lot of information all at once. To be able to retain, grasp and thrive was exactly what I was able to achieve.When it was time for tests, Dawn would have us always take a practice test first to let us see where we were at. What areas we needed to focus on. We also had a day before the tests where the teacher would throw out questions for anyone to answer. We became a true family. We even developed study groups and the students would meet at each others house before big exams. I am still very good friends with one of the girls I graduated with in CO. I went to visit her for a week last summer and gave her a massage. She has a thriving massage practice in the resort area of Breckenridge CO .
Dawn kept the classes that she and her teachers taught small. We were a group of about 12 to 15 people. It made it the ideal learning environment. A lot of times the whole class even went out for lunch as a group to a restaurants around the county. I felt extremely comfortable with Dawn, Charlie and the other teachers in the program. I felt I could go to them with any problem I may have been having concerning my training as well as anything personal that may have been coming up during the intense training.Dawn talked to us quite often. She was very personable and likable. She told us emotionally baggage tends to come up. Unresolved issues from the past. I wasn’t sure at the time what she meant. But know I do. It was a great working atmosphere. It was a lot of work and study to be learned each weekend we were there. But somehow Dawn kept it a relaxed enjoyable environment. We had some down time. We brought snacks in and music. But it was first thing first. And Dawn taught with passion! It kept all of us wanting more. It is a definite time of growth when you enter into massage school. I have nothing bad I could say about my experience at Full Circle. It has been the foundation and it was the beginning of my wonderful journey that has taken me to many places & meeting and working on many different people in my life.
Living on the East Coast and being trained out West has really opened many doors for me. I have worked with many Chiropractors and Orthopedic doctors. When I tell them of the specialized technique I learned specifically at Full Circle. A training which Dawn Lewis herself has developed and I believe has had patented. They immediately become intrigued and are fascinated with SMRT. It has really given me an edge over massage therapist in this area. Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique has become the staple of my repertoire. When I can bring someone out of an acute state of pain by passively bringing the Insertion of the muscle to the origin. Also it is in a non-invasive technique that the client feels little to no discomfort at all. My clients see and feel results in the very first session. These massages that I do while incorporating certain SMRT techniques are both therapeutic and at the same time extremely relaxing. Most clients tend to fall asleep on the table. I have also learned from Full Circle to work the intrinsic muscles of the axilla, popliteus patella, and psoas . Areas in which many massages therapist only learn very briefly if at all. Most Therapist are told to stay away from the bones. How can you stay away from the bones. When the muscle is out of alignment it pulls the bone out with it. The body wants to be in homeostasis where it belongs. So when the muscle tissue is balance the bone will go back into position as well. I was also trained to work on vertebrae, costal and intercostal work. These areas tend to be some of the most bounded up areas that need the work and manual release.It is also energetic work. It can help open up the whole area, adding fluidity and range of motion for the person.
Having the training that I did enable me to feel confident and comfortable to work on many different people in whom could really benefit from these techniques. I have worked on cancer patients, sport athletes, children with cystisfibrosis, rape victims, hospice patients, the elderly, nursing home patients, babies, fibromyalga, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and all sort of mental health issues. I even took my massage table across country by train to do missionary work on the Navajo Indian reservation In St. Michael’s AZ in 2006~2007. Where I lived in the petrified forrest for 6 months. Massage therapy was one of my favorite duties I performed out west. I lived among the Navajos and gave them massages, as well as the nuns, priests, and brothers. They all loved the soothing touch. Especially when the people on the reservation are so oppressed and struggling. Massage is balancing to the body, mind and soul.
I have been a massage therapist now for 12 years and have since completed some continuing education classes at other schools. It was then I realized how truly Blessed I was to be fully trained at Dawn’s school. The other schools let’s just say they left little to be desired and I can’t even remember what I learned if I learned anything new.In my advanced neck class the teacher had to call in her sister to be paired up with me because the class was so over crowded. She was another teacher. and didn’t want a student working on her. She was very reluctant. The women were both from Germany. So I was so excited. I thought I would learn some great new technique from another country. Well first she demonstrated the technique on the other teacher. She was very rough with her it was obvious because she was in pain. She wasn’t quiet about it either.
When I worked on her she asked me where I trained first. and then I began. Dawn always taught us to be comfortable with the head. In hold it and turning it or stretching it. Deep strokes but keep them slow and steady. She loved my work. and asked where I was located. I was too far for her to travel. But I took it as a great compliment from her. As she and her sister where not only teacher of this school but owned it as well.
So many people come to me and are amazed that deep tissue doesn’t actually hurt. Some of my clients at first thinks it has to hurt to be effective. But when they see the results speak for themselves. They are so happy. Sometimes I get a rare client that tries to call me a healer. I actually prefer being called a masseuse which I don’t like either. I am a massage therapist. It is what I was born to do. It is my vocation in life. It has been the most rewarding journey that I have ever undertaking in my life. It has been life changing and life affirming all at the same time. To see the transitions that I have witness through my clients over the years. Seeing people go from 167 to 127 in 8 months and becoming alive again inside. Seeing clients out of pain that they have been experiencing for over 20 years. People that have never experience a healthy form of touch. My clients become my cherished friends. Not many people can say they love there job and it gives them such purpose in life. To also have people come to you and look forward to seeing you each time they come in. If you are thinking of becoming a massage therapist or if you are looking for a good place to find some worth while CE credits. I would strongly recommend Full Circle. My career would be much different if I were trained somewhere else. These massage schools that are popping up are not giving you what you can get in this school. It is a ground breaking technique. Plus even their basic style is far superior than anything I have seen around. I have lived in New Jersey, Florida, Arizona. I can’t even get the same quality massage as I would out West. Especially from one of graduates of Full Circle. I am not some rare gifted massage therapist. These are just the techniques I have been taught. It is my passion. I massage from my heart. I am grateful to God for leading me to Colorado that year and bringing me into massage therapy. If you work for yourself or work for someone else. Your massage career will be so much more filled with knowledge, richness and fullness of life if you decide to attend a class or purchase a DVD from Dawn. Massage therapy has brought such a deep level of peace and Joy in my life. I hope it will for you too.
Carrin Elena Fernandes Therapeutic Massage & Bodyworks LLC.