The Downeast School of Massage held commencement exercises for nine new massage therapists from the 45th graduation class and approximately 100 guests Saturday, July 17, at the school.

Guest speaker Dr. Barbara MacDonald, naturopathic physician, spoke to the graduates about the practice of naturopathy and how massage therapists and naturopaths can refer to each other. She gave examples of possible conditions that benefit from naturopathy and from massage therapy.

MacDonald is a licensed naturopathic physician, acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She is the co-author of “The Breast Cancer Companion: A Complementary Care Manual” and has expertise in women’s health issues. Her practice, Wellness Designed Inc., .is located in Camden at the Wellness Center with Dr. Deb Moskowitz, N.D. MacDonald offered congratulations and best wishes to the graduates and urged them all to refer and work with other health professionals when they are in their individual practices.

Orianna Downs, Jeri Pitcher and Susan Wieman represented their class by speaking to the audience at graduation. Memories surfaced with laughter, gratitude and tears representing the deep bonding shared by this class over the course of the year. Nancy Waltz Dail, BA, nationally-certified massage therapist and director of the school, delivered a few final words before passing out diplomas with the directors of education and admissions, Suzanne Ash and Emily Waltz, respectively.

Graduating were: Carol DiPrima, Wiscasset; Orianna Downs, Belmont; Leslie Goode, Bowdoinham; Ken Kohl, Portland; Jeri Pitcher, Readfield; Krista Rideout, Washington; Sarah Sproul, Bristol; Carmela Thompson, South China; and Susan Wieman, Northport.

In business for more than 30 years now, DSM’s 600-hour-plus curriculum is institutionally accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. Completion of the state-approved program is required for students to become Licensed Massage Therapists in the state of Maine. The 10-month program includes extensive instruction in anatomy, physiology, massage, clinic, kinesiology, pathology, reflexology, deep tissue therapy and hydrotherapy, to name just some of the subjects, and, depending on the student’s major, intensely focused course work in sports massage, shiatsu or energy courses.

The Downeast School of Massage is accepting applications for the September 2010 program. Call 832-5531 for a catalog or more information about the school’s frequent open houses or visit the Web site at: downeastschoolofmassage.net and the supply store at dsmstore.net.