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Finding A Way: Three Women Share Their Night Class Odysseys

By Dar Mikula

thumb_Dar Linked in 3_1024Kelley Gonzalez was 16 when she got pregnant. A teenager out on her own, she moved to West Palm Beach, got her GED, and never worked less than three jobs. However, before she left Gainesville, Gonzalez drove by the Florida School of Massage and saw the hands. She did a u-turn and did a walk-through with a staff member. She knew she wanted to attend the school, but it was not the time.

Autumn Blu Genaro’s mother, Casper, attended the day program in the summer of 1994 when Autumn Blu was only three. A few years later, her mother also got a job as a receptionist at the school.  The little Genaro was attending grade school at Expressions up the road, so the young girl spent a lot of time at the school and among the staff. Now in her mid-20s, Genaro wanted to do something different with her life and thought maybe following in the footsteps of her mom would satisfy her maturing curiosity.  

Sports Massage Therapy

It can be a common misconception that massage therapists solely work with over-stressed clients in spa settings. The trained hands of a massage therapist are needed in a variety of settings, one of them being the facilities and events of athletic teams and institutions. 

Did You Know?

Massage therapists are tasked with acquiring not only an impressive amount of information on the human body, but also passing rigorous tests and requirements in order to become licensed. Massage therapy is a complex and varied discipline. Check out some of these facts about the practice that you may not have known. 

What Lights Your Fire?

by Frank Merillat

frank staff photo

While sitting listening to music this morning I happened across the Door’s recording of Light My Fire. Later while out walking my dogs I got to thinking about life, education and what lights my fire. I thought about how my interests and work have changed over the 20 plus years I have been learning about the body and practicing my craft. I realized how blessed I have been to have FSM here and all the wonderful opportunities available to study and grow with the work.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

By Dar Mikula

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”  – From “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Suess

One of the many blessings of my job is that I get to reach out to graduates and find outdar how they are doing once they’ve graduated.  In my recent cycle of calls, my attention was drawn to the diversity of paths each one of us is on, even though we all share the same qualification as “licensed massage therapists”.  In talking with graduates of our October 2014 massage program, I learned the stories of two fascinating women, both of whom share the same name and both graduates of the same program. Here is the story of the variance and intrigue of the two directions they went in after completing their training here.

Protection for the Bodyworker

by Ariela Grodner

Ariela Grodner


Protecting oneself from taking on the symptoms of dis-ease that a client exhibits is a consistent and recurring issue for practitioners across the entire spectrum of massage modalities. How does one cultivate the necessary empathy and awareness to consciously address whatever the physical issue is, without making themselves vulnerable to the very symptoms they are trying to treat?

It’s a common issue for many students of the healing arts, and one that is generally indicative of a practitioner’s underlying empathic abilities, as well as one that almost everyone determined to explore this path will have to address at some point. How do we open enough to another individual’s experience, to be able to correctly diagnose the source of their particular issue, without also opening ourselves to the risk of taking on the symptoms of that issue?

Curiosity and Passion

Reflexology training certificationby Karen Ball

I’m sure you’ve heard this before: Follow your passion.

Well, I have to admit that I don’t buy into that statement. My passion is not “out there” to be followed like some puppy chasing a ball.

My passion is inside me. And it’s something that developed from following my curiosity. I wasn’t born with the many passions that propel me through my day; they matured by my paying attention to what interested me and then checking those interests out.

But it wasn’t always that way for me.

Process or Technique?

by Frank Merillatfrank staff photo

I just finished assisting in the latest version of Deane Juhan’s Resistance/Release approach. Deane has been coming regularly to our school and offering this course for approximately five years now and I enjoy how I keep learning, going deeper in the work, and am thus able to offer this to my clients.

During this last class a participant asked if they could have a handout on hand placement and the order of the moves involved in this technique. This question caught my attention.

Words of Wisdom


unnamed-3The Florida School of Massage instructors, team, and alumni have some words of wisdom they’d like to share. Some come from their favorite author and others from mom but all are shared from their heart to yours. 

“Get out of your own way, and love yourself and watch.”

– Frank Merillat