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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




“The Only Obstacle is Yourself”

Success Story Featuring Susie Vought, LMT

by Dar Mikula

Often the seed for attending massage school gets planted years before a student actually makes it to our door. Take the case of Susie Vought, a 2012 graduate who said she kept putting off her desire to come to school here until finally getting overwhelmed with retail life. She didn’t have a plan, but she did have a sense of responsibility to herself. susie1

“In general in my life, I’ve found that when I take responsibility for myself and my actions and what I’m doing, then I tend to move forward more easily,” Vought said. “I become more confident in my power to change, and it then becomes about me making decisions for my life, and not other people dictating what’s happening to me.”

Recognizing this, Vought quit her job after 10 years at Earth Pets and started a cleaning company so she could set her own work hours around prioritizing school. The ground leading to massage school continued to magically blossom when the Florida School of Massage started to shop around for a “green” cleaning company and Vought’s “Squeaky Green” company won the bid.  

Running on Empty

by Karen Ball

KarenIf you ever questioned the effects of stress on your day-to-day life, read on.

If ignored, the chronic thoughts, situation and/or behavior patterns may lead to the following sequence of events, resulting in “running on empty”.

(And I’m not referring to that great Jackson Browne song!)

Follow the succession of events:

1. You think about something stressful: work, money, relationships, family, whatever’s occupying a lot of your mental real estate.

Jump Into Spring With Nourished Skin

christinaBy Christina Polnyj

Spring is bursting here in North Central Florida and it is almost impossible to stay indoors.  It’s time to visit the springs and enjoy our beloved outdoors.  The ocean is becoming more inviting everyday.  As we jump into spring and the great outdoors it is time to remember our skin, our largest organ.  It protects and connects us to the outside world and is composed of cell layers, nerves and glands.  It always makes me pause when I think everything we put on the outside of our body goes inside our body.

Put “Renewed” Into Your Continuing Education Renewal!

By Frank Merillat

frank staff photoI just completed my license renewal last week. It was relatively painless and easy. All was done online. First I went to and entered my user name and password. I had established this free account option awhile ago. Once in my account, I confirmed that all of my continuing education requirements were complete. I knew that I couldn’t renew until all my CE requirements were met.  I noticed that my account even had a little graph that showed the percentage of completion and then below were listed all the classes that had been recorded for my license number.

Graduate Uses FSM Foundation as Core of Peacebuilding Practice

best qualityGraduate Success Stories series, we chose this month to talk with Philip Hellmich, author of God and Conflict: A Search for Peace in a Time of Crisis (Published 2012, Spirit of Peace Press, Petaluma, CA,  Philip, known better to his Summer 1990 FSM classmates as “Phil-Bob”, said it was “coincidence” that brought him to the massage school 23 years ago. Philip goes into great detail about his exploration of peace, including his time at FSM, in his book God and Conflict.

Coming off of four years working with the Peace Corps in the Sierra Leone bush in West Africa, Philip said,

“I was trying to come to terms with the materialism and consumerism I encountered when I got back, and the impact it has on the world.  I was confused and upset.” 

Returning to Viet Nam: Healing the Past Through Touch

by Michael Broas

I am standing at my massage table, laying my hands on a man about my age, who is also a veteran of the same war that I was in, but with a very major difference; He was in the North Vietnamese Army, my former enemy, who I tried to kill and who tried to kill me.  I notice a scar near his scapula that looks as if it might be a bullet wound, so I Michael in VNcall over an interpreter to ask him about the scar. He laughs and says, yes, that is one of his scars and yes, he did get shot. I ask him where he was in Viet Nam when this happened and he replies that he was in Pleiku in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam, which happens to be where I served in 1969-70. I ask him when he was shot and he states that it was sometime around Christmas in 1969. I get a tingly sensation in my body, as I was in a large firefight, one that I will never forget, on December 22nd, 1969. I communicate this to this man, and he looks up with a huge smile and says “Isn’t that so funny, that both of us didn’t kill each other and are here now to be happy together? We can now love and make peace! “ In that moment for me, the past crashes into the present, bringing with it a soothing salve on a bitter and terrifying memory.

Returning to Viet Nam: Healing the Past Through Touch, Part 2

by Michael Broas

Clinic in Hoi AnAfter visiting Friendship Village near Hanoi, we next traveled south to the city of Hue, which was the site of one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Viet Nam war, lasting a total of 26 days in 1968. Hue is also near the DMZ, or Demilitarized Zone, where we visited several other famous battle sites. It is so interesting to go to those locations that I had only heard of and that were charged with such strong memories of a time so long ago. While in Hue, we also visited the Thien Mu Pagoda, one of Viet Nam’s oldest and most beautiful Buddhist Pagoda’s, located on the north side of the Perfume River. Lying in juxtaposition just across the river is the Citadel, where a large battle was fought during the war. It was interesting for me to think that while the battle raged at the Citadel, the monks continued to offer their prayers for peace just a short distance away.

First Comes Love…

By Dar Mikula

The Florida School of Massage has plenty of graduate success stories and our fair share of love stories too.  This is a success story and a LOVE story.  First comes Love…

Mike Megan bridgeMike Withee and Megan D’Andrea met in Micanopy. Megan was offering couple’s massages at the Herlong Mansion Bed & Breakfast and needed another therapist to work with.  Mike offered outcalls and also worked at the Old Florida Cafe across the street and had his cards around town, so Megan called him to see if he’d like to work as a team.  He said yes, but when the first opportunity to work together came, the scheduled couple at the Herlong ended up cancelling their session.  Since their time was already booked, Mike and Megan decided to trade with each other instead.  Megan gave Mike a session first, and then when it was Megan’s turn to receive a few days later, they ended up talking for almost eight hours after the session.