The Downeast School of Massage was established in 1981 for the purpose of training individuals in the health professional career field of Massage Therapy. DSM began with the founder-director, Nancy Dail, and four determined students. As the years have passed, the school has grown with its graduates and the profession. Although the program began with a strong core curriculum of Swedish Massage and related courses, additional courses and program shifts gradually developed, as the vision of the profession became reality. DSM became committed to giving students a quality personal education that included more choice in diverse selections of Shiatsu, Sports Massage, or Body/Mind courses. The class of 1993 was the first to graduate from the new facility. Built with growth in mind, the passive solar building offers a spacious learning environment, as well as a library, supply and bookstore, student lounge, spa, and sauna. Students are able to stroll around the campus trails during breaks and off-hours, seasonally utilizing sneakers or skis. They even enjoy skating on the 30-acre pond. January 1994 launched a new program start: students are now able to start in either September or January. The September program has the widest variety of schedules, including part-time. The January program allows us to run through the summer months and comprises mostly day classes. Excluding guest speakers, currently, there are 11 instructors who teach a wide variety of courses and schedules to over 50 students. The year 2006 began with new changes in our concentrations. The curriculum has been updated to reflect national trends. We have increased our clinic hours, and by popular demand added another Deep Tissue course. Sports Massage and Introduction to CranioSacral are part of the core curriculum as is Introduction to Oncology Massage. We have renamed our massage course to Therapeutic Massage to embrace other modalities besides Swedish. In the fall of 2018, our 63rd class began its journey toward mastering the art and science of massage therapy.

DSM is committed to expanding with the profession to offer its students as many opportunities in the field as possible. Since 1974, Nancy Dail has promoted massage therapy in Maine, nationally, and internationally. She has served on numerous AMTA committees and the National Board. She helped create the AMTA Maine Chapter, the Commission on Massage Training Accreditation, the AMTA Council of Schools, and the AMTA National Sports Massage Team. In 1996 she was selected to work at the Olympic Village Sports Medicine Clinic, where she provided sports massage for athletes from all over the world. Nancy presented for 8 years with the faculty of David Eisenberg’s annual Complementary and Integrative Medicine Symposium, sponsored by Harvard Medical in Boston. In September of 1997, she traveled to Belgorod, Russia, and was a keynote speaker at the Sports Medicine Conference at the University of Belgorod and Medical College. Nancy continues to teach workshops internationally for her text Kinesiology for Manual Therapies and for her DVD A Gift of Touch. Regardless of her outside commitments, Nancy’s schedule includes teaching at DSM as a priority. Faculty joins her in commitment to the field, as many are involved in outside professional endeavors and bring their enthusiasm to all classes.

DSM encourages staff to create a mutual feeling of support that will permeate the student body. Our friendly and helpful administration is dedicated to providing excellent service to all our students. While our professional staff is always committed to ongoing improvements in the school and the program, they are actively involved in establishing and upholding high standards of education and practice.

Nancy W. Dail, B.A., L.M.T.

Emily A. Waltz, B. S., L.M.T.
Assistant Director

Suzanne Ash
Director of Education



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