Massage School for Maria

Hello dear souls, and thank you for visiting!

I am raising funds to help pay for my attendance at the Downeast School of Massage this year. Please read below to learn more about my training and work in the Healing Arts, My goals for with the Massage Program at the Downeast, and how you can help support this path. I have been officially accepted to the full time, year- long program at the Downeast School of Massage. This program will begin September of 2017 and complete Mid July, 2018.

I have been deeply committed to the Healing Arts and- specifically- bodywork for thirteen years now, learning and practicing skills while helping people strive for better health physically, emotionally and mentally. Yoga and Bodywork has been my soul and professional calling, and also the most effectice way I’ve found to support my family while helping individuals and groups in my community feel better. I have been teaching Yoga classes for individuals and groups for over a decade, and last year I’ve started developing bodywork sessions that incorporate Yoga with Thai Yoga Bodywork and Lymphatic Bodywork. The feedback I have gotten and my progression of skills have led me to the natural conclusion that I need to complete massage school for full licensure as a Massage Therapist. The Downeast School of Massage has been a leader in State licensed Massage training for over thirty years and offers an incredibly deep and broad foundation in clinical Massage Therapy that will prepare me to for licensed practice in Maine and qualify me for licensure in other states as well. The director of the established studio where I currently rent space for my private practice has offered me employment as a regular therapist with their team when I complete my training, so I know I will have regular work upon graduation.

The Full- Time, Year Long Program at Downeast costs $12,420.00 for tuition and an additional $1,000 for materials, supplies and fees. Although the program is nationally recognized, it is not eligible for federal loans. However, I have applied for a state scholarship of $4,000 and am now in the final process of receiving it. In addition, I received an offer from a private sponsor that will help pay for some of the tuition. I am extremely grateful for this anticipated support but still have a lot of ground to cover to ensure this year’s success.

In addition to classroom and study hours, I will need to complete and log almost 100 hours of therapeutic massage for people who need it in our community. Three individuals will receive 10 consequitive weekly sessions, and I will be offering over 20 individual sessions to others in the community. Please reach out to me if you need or would benefit from a therapeutic massage! I have a table I travel with and would love to practice the skills I will be learning on you!

However, because I can’t accept compensation for these logged practice hours (state regulations), this significantly limits my availability for my private practice and clients, which has been my main source of income for supporting my family. I am asking for your financial support in this campaign so that I can successfully complete school while continuing to care for my boys and afford our daily living expenses.

Please read on if you would like to learn more about my work and training:

Over the past thirteen years, I have been honored to serve people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds in the communities where I've lived.  I have held part and full- time positions as a Direct Care Worker, Behavior Specialist, Yoga instructor, Camp Director and Activities Facilitator,  Workshop leader, Substitute Teacher, Health Coach, and Gardener.   I have volunteered for local social work agencies and rehabilitation centers, garden groups, schools, churches and farms.  I have started ongoing Yoga programs at local colleges, youth learning and rehab centers, schools, camps and studios that continue to serve students and clients to this day.    I have passionately and dilligently maintained my own education and practice, incorporating it into my work as much as possible.  

My education began with the Foundation Year of Waldorf Teacher Training in 2003, a profound learning experience which I’ve drawn from in all my work with children. I completed Yoga Teacher Training with the Sivananda Organization in 2002 and started actively teaching Yoga after my first son turned one, in 2007. I have over 80 University Credits towards a degree in Social Work, which I have also actively applied in my work within my community.

The healing arts trainings I've completed include Doula Training (ToLabor, 2012), Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training (OmBirths, 2012), Trauma Sensitive Yoga Training (Justice Resource Institute, Kripaly 2012), Thai Yoga Body Work Training Levels 1 and 2 (Shiva Shakti School of Yoga, 2017.)  I have been studying Lymphatic Bodywork with My teacher and mentor Dr. Pam Halton for over a year now, and I am deeply inspired by the potential that a deeper understanding of our Lymphatic System within the larger context of anatomy and physiology holds for helping maintain and rejuvenate the immune system, and chronic and degenerative conditions specifically .  I am an ardent advocate of healthy living and practices, willing to preach and practice solutions from the mountaintops and street corners.  I am so excited about all of the in-depth physiological and health knowledge I will gain through Downeast that I will be able to directly apply in my healing work with people.

I have done all this while raising two young boys, mostly as the head of household, and without child support.  As anyone who has raised children knows, the simple arithmetic of trying to make ends meet while working for wages without a college degree (working on it) are wonderously challenging.   I am fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to be at least partially self- employed for a majority of my years as a mother.  Having a flexible schedule has allowed me to be available for my boys, to bring them to and from school and local activities (or stay home if they are not well), to connect with seasonal natural resources, garden and forage once in a while, and teach others to connect with nature as well.   I have helped facilitate canoe trips, mushroom hunts, fruit and berry jam- making parties, and Yoga on Horseback workshops.   I strive to raise my boys to be understanding of their inter-relatedness with our diverse ecosystem as well as the socio-cultural heritage we have inherited from our ancestors and need to preserve. 

Balancing ecological, social and personal value systems while raising a family in rural family has been a worthy task, and I am ready for the next step of continuing my education and licensing my skills so that I can rely on more steady employment, access to people who need healing support, and income for my family.

I am deeply appreciative and indebted to anyone who feels moved to donate to our cause.  As a token of my gratitude, I am offering a variety of gifts for different levels of support, below.  If you donate on a gift level, you will specify the gift and enter your address so I can send it to you.  Blessings and gratitude from the bottom of our hearts.
  • Maura 
    • $20 
    • 86 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 86 mos
  • Karin SPITFIRE 
    • $150 
    • 87 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 87 mos
  • Polina Orlova 
    • $50 
    • 87 mos
See all


Maria Orlova 
Belfast, ME
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