Massage Schools - Florida - The Only Way to Make Change in the World - Florida School of Massage

The Only Way to Make Change in the World

“Nothing stops me. I keep working hard at what I do; it’s the only way to make change in the world”


Ariela Grodner did not plan to attend FSM. However, in 2002 Ariela convinced a good friend that she had to check out “this cool massage school” in Gainesville (with the ulterior motive of getting said friend to move to Florida). She did such a thorough job that Ariela “sold” the school to herself as well.

At the time, Ariela was a new mom looking to find herself again. From teaching Shivananda Yoga in India, to owning a punk rock store in Ybor City, to living on a farm in the Berkshire Mountains, she had always lived life on her terms. In her application, Ariela wrote of wanting to heal people and needing a livelihood that would increase her ability to grow in compassion and love for her fellow humanity.

Excerpt from Ariela’s FSM application, 2002


Ariela spent many years cultivating the Buddhist meditation technique known as Vipassana.  Later in following her Tao she discovered the joys of improvisational contact dance. After graduating from Florida School of Massage she discovered Thai Massage the perfect fusion of these techniques and practices.

Now Ariela runs a successful practice and has taught Thai massage to hundreds of students. She owns the Shala, a “paradise/Thai Massage hippy school in the woods.”

“A year ago, I decided I wanted a space where I can share my work, where students can come and stay, where we can have a garden and grow herbs. Within a year it happened. I keep teaching Thai and everything else falls into place. I feel like the environment wants me to and I keep getting what I need and it all just develops in time like a garden.”

Ariela loves the lineage of her practice, and hopes to see her students travel to Thailand to learn from her teachers.

When asked how satisfied she is with her work, she responded with “2 million percent.”


Ariela’s next cycle of Thai Massage starts April 29-30. You can learn more about her classes and register here. Thai classes are NCMTMB and FL CE approved.

Ariela is also a talented artist who will be featured at the upcoming Evening of Art and Music.


To Learn more about the Florida School of Massage click here.