Years ago I taught a workshop in South Dakota and there were two old-time massage therapists there – Floyd Hauk and Verne Jeffries. Both had that early American pioneer can-do attitude. Floyd talked about doing massage in the early days – working on Indians, on minor league baseball players, on farmers, housewives, and the full array of South Dakotans.
I first encountered the Downeasterner, Nancy Dail, who’s now been a therapist for 37 years, in 1982 at an AMTA Convention. Nancy has been one of the most vital forces and teachers in our profession since she started her school, Downeast School of Massage in Waldoboro, Maine (on “Moose Meadow Lane”) in 1980. Nancy is not the only pioneer in her family. Her mother was a famous female aviation pioneer in Maine who lent her genetic power and pioneering spirit to Nancy.
Nancy Dail studied in the early 1970’s with Jay Scherer, the famous pioneering director of the Scherer Institute of Natural Healing in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“Dr. Jay Scherer was a strong man with huge warm hands. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a generous spirit, and a big heart. He never tired of doing massage and would come out of his treatment room at age 84 doing a little dance, saying, ‘If you do it right, it gives you energy.’
Jay was a naturopathic physician who practiced homeopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine, color therapy, colonic irrigation, and spiritual healing. He was a pioneer in the naturopathic field, passionately committed to the body’s innate healing mechanisms and the body of knowledge that evolved and was often passed down from teacher to student in a mentoring tradition.”*
If I were to describe Nancy, I would said she is one of the great clinicians in our field. She is always smiling, always generous, always moving forward in and with our field. Her students sing her praises. Over the years I’ve been truly impressed by their devotion to learning and growing. Her book just published by McGraw-Hill, Kinesiology for Manual Therapies is an instant classic source-text for our work.
May we all continue for years to learn and teach and inspire this world with our commitment to health and care. There is no profession more exciting as far as I am concerned.
And it owes so much to the pioneers in this field, Floyd, Verne, Nancy, Dr. Jay and so many others! What a thrill it has been to walk along with them on this wonderful path!
*From the website of the Scherer Institute of Natural Healing
TLC is honored to be presenting Nancy Dail teaching her first workshop ever in Texas “Soft Tissues Dysfunctions of Head, Neck and Shoulder – Dimensional Massage Therapy” on March 26-27. Click here for registration.