At the Oregon School of Massage in Salem, there is a wonderful community made up of students, staff and instructors. One face that has been a staple at the school is massage instructor, Melanie Zermer.

Melanie has been an instructor with OSM since 1999. But Melanie had a “previous life” before she entered the world of massage. She worked for the Oregon Legislature and was deeply involved in public policy-making. Everything has a cycle and Melanie knew that some changes and reorganization were imminent in her political realm. She thought about what else was possible and one day, Melanie found herself telling a colleague, “I want to be involved in healing.”

From there, Melanie delved into studying Native American spirituality and even went on a vision quest. She was led to a path in bodywork and graduated from Oregon School of Massage in 1994.

OSM is blessed to have Melanie so involved in the eastern style of bodywork. She is the instructor for Dao Yin Stretch, Statues and all levels of Shiatsu.

Melanie also has a private practice and says, “I enjoy figuring things out and being a detective”. She likes combining her western and eastern knowledge during a massage session for positive outcomes. “I like to make people feel better.”

Melanie stresses the importance of using massage to maintain good health. Many of her clients are older and receive regular bodywork with her to manage pain. “Partnership with clients is very important. They have work to do on their own and should come with realistic expectations.”

While in the role of Instructor, Melanie says that she is “inspired by the enthusiasm and excitement that students bring to the classroom. I also have to maintain myself and keep learning to bring my best knowledge to the students.” Even after nearly 23 years, Melanie likes to keep up on new theories and ways of teaching to connect with current and future students.

She certainly has found her calling and that passion is evident in her students’ as well.

by Morgan Neil

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