December Student of the Month: Cristal Pagliaro-Sabatini

With another year coming to a close, it’s time for us to nominate another excellent student who is now an alumni of Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage (OSTM). This month we wanted to highlight Cristal Pagliaro-Sabatini as our outstanding student of the month! Cristal recently completed our 6 month full-time program and graduated on December 7th, 2018. She is one of our incredibly bright students and we’re excited to see what she is able to do with her career!

Finding a Career to be Passionate About

Before taking the leap into massage therapy, Cristal worked in several different fields. Her jobs ranged from a position as district manager in big box retail all the way to owning her own restaurant. No matter what role she filled, she felt like they were simply jobs rather than a career. She wanted to find a career that she was passionate about and could stick with.

Christine decided to start on the path to becoming a licensed Massage therapist here at OSTM in Rochester. She felt like massage therapy was a field where she could build a career and feel passionate about what she does, and she’s never looked back. During her program, Cristal found enjoyed both the science-based classes and hands-on classes and sometimes found them challenging. She faces all of her challenges head-on and was unwavering in her pursuit of becoming a massage therapist.

An Example in Dedication

Cristal was nominated as student of the month for demonstrating her dedication to massage therapy daily. People could witness her dedication in everything, whether she was tutoring peers or in the way she worked with clients in the student clinic. One of her recent clients wrote:

“Cristal has a gift for making you instantly feel at ease when you are on her table. She constantly checks in with you during the massage and gets right to the source of what’s bothering you. After the massage, she has recommendations and exercises to help you stay healthy and not be in the same state you walked into her therapy room with. What else can I say other than she is a miracle worker!”

Cristal’s dedication to massage is even more evident because she chose to return to OSTM to become a graduate tutor. During this time she will work in our professional clinic to continue to see clients while she prepares for her licensure exam in late January 2019. It’s for these and many other reasons that Cristal was selected for this month’s student of the month!

Find Your Passion

Cristal was driven to find a career that she was passionate about and that she could continue to build upon. Does that sound like your situation? Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage is where you can get your massage therapy education to allow you to make a career of helping other people. Contact us to learn more about our massage therapy programs in Syracuse and Rochester. Don’t wait another day to pursue something you’re passionate about!

Student of the Month: Gene Brugnoni

We’re always excited to feature our talented students of the month and the amazing things they’re doing. This month the award goes to Gene Brugnoni, who is one of our students at the Rochester campus! Gene is currently enrolled in our 15-month day program, and he’s taking his education very seriously.

Learning at OSTM

Gene is currently enrolled in both Anatomy and Shiatsu at the same time, which has allowed him to complete what we call a 360° learning experience. This means that he is Incorporating all learning styles during his time here at OSTM, including auditory, visual, and kinesthetic to make his learning experience more robust. This sort of passion for learning and drive to develop himself is part of why Gene is a no-brainer for Rochester’s student of the month!

Why Massage Therapy

When Gene first came for his personal tour, he shared his goals with our director of admissions:

“My goal as a massage therapist is to professionally interact, heal, and help others. Promoting someone to have a better sense of well-being, while at the same time bettering myself learning the skill of massage.

This attitude of self-improvement is evident in everything Gene does. His motivation drives him to be his best self so that he can be better for others.

“[My goal as a massage therapist is to create] great rapport with clients to enable me to cater better to their needs and facilitate healing inside and out. That’s what this is all about, I am learning the skills to help and heal others while also doing the same for myself.”

This sort of selfless and self-improving attitude is what great massage therapists are made of, and we’re confident that Gene will do well because of it!

Why Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage

There are many schools out there that you can choose from to get your massage therapy education from, so why OSTM? Gene explains that many of the different massage modalities we teach appealed to him, and he is especially interested in taking our Massage Medical Treatment Techniques course. Massage has made a transition since 2012 from being a spa and luxury service to being a more medical treatment. Because of this, OSTM has been doing medical massage treatment classes since the school opened in 1997, pioneering the movement long before it began.

Gene was nominated for student of the month for his compassionate and positive personality. He is an exemplary representative of our mission and he demonstrates what it really means to be a massage therapist. We’re very proud of the work he has done!

Join The OSTM Family

Are you looking for an opportunity to help and heal other people throughout your life? Massage therapy can allow you to do just that! Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage is dedicated to educating well-rounded massage therapists who can offer a wide diversity of treatments so that students can better market themselves. Contact us at our Rochester or Syracuse campus to learn more about what an education at Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage can do for you!

2018 Back to School Donation Drive Recap

Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage isn’t just a massage therapy school, it is a community of passionate people with a desire to help others. Helping others not only comes through our craft of massage therapy, it also comes through the acts of service we perform for others. Giving back to the community is a responsibility for us as a school. This year we had the privilege of holding our Back to School Donation Drive again, and we had tremendous support!

What is The Back to School Drive?

With the new school year winding up, we wanted to help children who didn’t quite have everything they needed to be successful. Equipping kids with all the tools they need in the classroom helps them to build confidence and be excited for school. Education is important at all stages of life, so OSTM wanted to get involved with helping kids have a successful year!

How We Got Involved

To get the community as involved as possible, we held school supply drives at each of our campuses in Rochester and Syracuse. Clients with scheduled massages were invited to bring school supplies to donate in exchange for discounts on their services. We were in search of items such as:

  • Pens & pencils
  • Glue
  • Highlighters
  • Backpacks
  • Notebooks
  • Paper
  • Markers
  • And more

All of these supplies are things that students are able to easily make use of regardless of what grade they are in.

Our Partnership

For our school supply drive this year, the Rochester campus was able to partner with Ibero-American Action League, and the Syracuse campus was able to partner with Vera House.

Rochester campus was able to work together with Ibero-American Action League to support over 600 families from Puerto Rico that were displaced by Hurricane Maria. The supplies that we were able to collect are being used to help those families during the 2018-2019 school year. These supplies will also help students in their English as a second language courses as well as employment training for their parents. This year we were able to collect over 1,800 pounds of school supplies and provided over 900 hours of massage for the cause!

The Syracuse campus partnered with Vera House, which works to prevent, respond to and partner to end domestic and sexual violence and other forms of abuse. They offer services and programs to help people from all walks of life get the help they need in situations of violence or abuse. All of the items that we collected were donated to help the children of families assisted by the Vera House.

Both of the schools were able to reach their donation goals, and Syracuse was able to double the amount of supplies collected compared to last year!

Get Involved With OSTM

Are you interested in building a career centered on helping other people? Consider a future in massage therapy! Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage offers four different schedules to help accommodate your needs. Schedule a tour of our Syracuse or Rochester campuses to learn more about the OSTM experience!

Student of the Month: James Frier

James Frier is the student of the month for the Syracuse campus, and was nominated for his positive, upbeat attitude. He is extremely hard-working and it shows in everything he does! He even has perfect attendance, and all of these things together are why we felt he earned student of the month for October. Students like James are why we love training massage therapists.

Why Massage Therapy

James currently works as a bartender to pay his way through school, but he always wanted to do something different with his life. Contributing to society is important to him, and he always had an interest in health and wellness. James injured his back while competing in MMA, so he started getting massage therapy treatments to help him recover. He was blown away by how helpful and healing massage therapy was for him. After that he decided he wanted to learn massage therapy for his career!

Why Choose OSTM

James was initially drawn to Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage (OSTM) because of the way the campus made him feel. He describes his tour experience like this:

“When I toured OSTM I knew it was right for me. I was impressed by all the programs OSTM offers to set their students up for success, and I got positive vibes from all of the staff.”

OSTM strives to provide learning and practice opportunities for students, and that’s one of the things that James identified that told him that he would be a great fit at the school. The positive vibes he also felt just come from working in a place we want to work in!

A Future in Massage Therapy

When asked what his favorite part of massage therapy is, James answered that he loves having a valuable skill set that can improve the life and health of others. Being able to help others feel better and heal faster is a huge motivator for many massage students. For James, he loves having massage skills because he is inspired by people who are passionate about bettering mankind, and he feels that massage can help him make a similar difference.

James sees himself eventually becoming a businessman. He wants to own a business at some point, but he hasn’t decided on a specific area or modality he would like to focus on. Regardless of what he chooses, he says he wants to continue to learn and grow no matter where his career leads him. That attitude of always wanting to learn is a large part of why he was selected as our student of the month!

Join The OSTM Family

Are you looking to make a change in your own life? Massage therapy can be a great opportunity for you to find yourself and a career that you love! Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage offers massage therapy courses at both our Syracuse and Rochester campuses. Schedule a tour to learn more about what OSTM can do for you!

Learn Basic Holistic Massage at OSTM

At Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage (OSTM), we believe that it’s important for our students to have the opportunity to learn a wide breadth of massage and wellness techniques. Everyone comes to massage school with different interests and goals, so teaching a wide array of techniques can allow students to explore new and different methodologies they may not have considered before. This is why we offer Energy Class as a part of the OSTM curriculum, as well as many other extra-curricular classes for students and alumni to attend outside of regularly-scheduled class time.

What Is Energy Class?

The energy class at OSTM is a section of our massage therapy program that can introduce students to many different energy work techniques. Energy work, referred to by many as a holistic massage technique, is the practice clearing clients of negative energy while protecting yourself from absorbing that negative energy. Everyone has positive and negative energy that they carry within themselves, so energy work can allow people to be purged of negative energy buildup. We bring practitioners in as much as possible to help expose students to some of the following techniques:

Chakra Healing

The human body has seven main energy centers throughout it called “chakras.” Each chakra has different physiological associations with illness, dysfunction, as well as strengths. Chakra healing is the technique of releasing stale energy from the related chakras to alleviate maladies and improve overall well being.

Polarity Therapy

Polarity therapy is another form of energy work that focuses on bringing energy into balance throughout the body. The technique is inspired by the Indian Ayurvedic health practices, and is designed to bring the mind and body together in harmony.


Reiki is another energy work technique, though this one originates from Japan. It is focused on the different qi located throughout the body. Reiki practitioners use a technique called “palm healing” or “hands-on healing” to transfer energy into the client to promote wellbeing. Shiatsu, another Japanese holistic massage modality, is also typically introduced in our massage therapy program.


Reflexology, also referred to as zone therapy, is a practice where pressure is applied to the feet and hands of clients with specialized techniques to release energy points in the body to improve wellbeing.

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is another alternative wellness practice that is designed to relieve pain, release tension, and improve wellness throughout the body. The technique includes palpating, or touching and applying pressure to different parts of the cranium to promote flow.


These are just a few of the many techniques that can be touched on in the massage therapy program. We enjoy reviewing this broad spectrum of topics because it allows students to explore their interests and look at further specialization options after graduation.

Extracurricular Learning

At OSTM, learning doesn’t end when class gets out! We offer many extracurricular classes that are open to current and former students alike. We cover many different techniques, ranging from the ever-popular “cupping” practice to more obscure techniques like Indian head massage. Visit our Facebook events page to see our full schedule of upcoming classes.

Learn With OSTM

There’s no reason for you to settle for an ordinary massage therapy program. OSTM strives to bring a wide variety of techniques and modalities so that our students can feel confident and prepared after graduation. Contact us at our Syracuse or Rochester campuses to schedule your tour today.

Students of The Month: Jamie Brittany

Meet Jamie Minguez

Jamie Minguez is the September student of the month for the Rochester Campus. Jamie was nominated for her incredible passion for helping other people and her diligent work ethic! She is in the 12-month massage therapy program and on track to graduate this coming December. She plans to work in a more medical-based practice, but is still exploring her options for employment. Jamie currently works as a histologist for a local medical center, and has always had a love for science and enjoys working with people.

Why Massage Therapy

Like many other people who work in healthcare, Jamie liked her job but wanted a more personal connection with her clients and patients. She had been considering a career in massage for several years, but as the mother of 4 small children, the time never felt right. In January 2018, Jamie took the leap and started in our 12-month program. This time allowed Jamie to work on her education and training part-time in the mornings while still being able balance work and family commitments between her classes. Nine months later, Jamie has become a confident and knowledgeable student massage therapist!

Life at OSTM

When asked what her favorite class is, she responded:

“I think my favorite class is the Student Public Clinic because it allows me to meet new people, use the techniques and knowledge I have learned in the program, and apply it to address the concerns my clients have when they come in for a massage.”

Jamie also joined the school’s peer tutoring program where she supports other students who may find the science curriculum challenging. Jamie’s dedication to her education and future career can best be summed up by feedback she received from a client in public clinic:

“I re-booked my next massage appointment with Jamie because I have been getting massages for over 10 years and hers is by far the best I have ever received. You can tell by the expression on her face that she loves what she is doing. I mentioned to her that I had been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome on my first visit. When I returned, she not only remembered me, but also remembered my condition and showed research she had done on massage techniques I could receive to help with my condition. She also went above and beyond my expectations and recommended some stretching exercises to try to help! Her technique, attention to detail, and her fluid and rhythmical flow is truly top-notch. This was better than massages I paid over $200 for at a resort by a seasoned massage therapist.”

Jamie’s passion for helping other people and her attention to individual needs and concerns are inspiring to us! These are just some of the reasons that Jamie Minguez was selected as OSTM’s student of the month for September.

Meet Brittany Marsh

Brittany Marsh is a 12-month massage therapy student at the Syracuse campus who is only a few months away from graduating! Brittany was nominated for student of the month due to her amazing sense of professionalism, kindness, and for truly being a role model for everyone she comes in contact with. Brittany not only excels academically, she also consistently receives great feedback from her clients in massage clinic who regularly rebook with her. She brings a sense of calm to all who meet her or receive a massage from her.

Life Before Massage

Before finding her interest in massage, Brittany went into the world as an esthetician. She currently works as an esthetician at Elan Therapeutic Massage, in addition to working as a bartender and server at a local restaurant. Massage therapy is something she thought about pursuing for a long time. She loves helping people and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others!

The OSTM Experience

Brittany took the plunge and decided to tour Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage, and after visiting the school for the first time, she felt very welcome. She knows several alumni from the school who have had nothing but good things to say about the program. Since joining the OSTM family, Brittany has experienced an overwhelming feeling of happiness in knowing that she made the right decision to go to massage school. She loves each massage she performs because she knows that she helped someone feel better.

Life After School

Brittany’s favorite part of the massage industry is the amount of different routes and continuing education classes she can take. After graduation, her goal is to put herself out there to gain as many new massage clients as possible. She also wants to start taking continuing education classes right away to keep expanding her knowledge in different areas. Brittany’s long term goal is to have a thriving business with clients who have faith in her to help them become their best selves. We asked her what she thinks her life would be like without massage therapy, and she told us:

”If I never came to school here I would probably feel lost about my future. I would be wondering what my passion is and how to find it. I’m happy that’s not the case because I did choose to come to OSTM, and I did find my passion, and I am so excited and eager to start this next chapter!”

That passion and drive to help others is a large part of why Brittany is our student of the month at the Syracuse campus!

Join The OSTM Family

Great massage therapists have a passion for helping other people feel and be their best selves. Does that sound like something you share a passion for? Consider a future in massage therapy! The Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage offers different program schedules to help accommodate your scheduling needs so you can pursue a career you are passionate about. Contact us to learn more about our program options, or schedule a tour to see the school for yourself!

How Massage Therapy Improves Mental Health

Massage therapy can help people of all ages with many different kinds of pains and problems. One of the common issues that people handle is mental health, and massage therapy can help! Massage isn’t just about alleviating pain in muscles or limbs, but it’s about helping someone to feel their best as well. People with stress, anxiety, depression, and even disorders like autism can experience some relief from their condition when they receive regular massages.

Stress Management

Stress is a common element in the lives of nearly everyone across the globe. Many things in life can cause stress, from work or school to family and friend situations. Regardless of the source of stress, it can be alleviated for many people with massage therapy. Stress typically results in increased heart rate, quickened breathing, tightened muscles, and risen blood pressure. Massage therapy combats each of those symptoms directly. Massage relaxed muscles, slows the heart rate and breathing, and decreases blood pressure, allowing people to feel more peaceful and relaxed.


Anxiety disorders are surprisingly common with an estimated 40 million Americans who suffer from them. Anxiety comes in many forms, and often exhibits itself in similar ways that stress does. Research suggests that massage can reduce anxiety in the following people:

  • Patients before or after medical procedures
  • People with chronic pain
  • People with general anxiety
  • The elderly
  • and more

With how prevalent anxiety is in people around the country, it’s easy to come up with countless ways to help them. Massage therapy helps to ease pain that may be causing anxiety, or reduce the symptoms of the anxiety itself.


Depression can be described as feeling general emotional dejection and withdrawal, or even as having prolonged periods of intense sadness that goes beyond what would be warranted. Depression can cause or spring from a myriad of symptoms, so there are a number of ways that massage therapy can help. Depression is frequently associated with brain chemical imbalances, and massage therapy can increase output of positive, balancing brain chemicals. Oxytocin is the most frequent chemical that is released during massage, and can work to reduce stress-inducing chemicals and increase mood and mentality.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that occurs when someone experiences a traumatic experience that triggers a “fight or flight” response in the body. The PTSD occurs when that individual is unable to resolve or act on that “fight or flight” adrenaline response, which can result in a condition where the individual experiences flashbacks, sleep irregularity, anger, stress, depression, anxiety, irritability, pain, fatigue, and in some cases, even more serious symptoms. PTSD can be a complex and difficult condition to handle for many people, so massage therapy can be a good option to assist with recovery.

Massage therapy has a unique ability to assist with PTSD recovery. Massage therapy sessions can focus on muscle groups, tendons, and soft tissues to loosen up stress and tightness. Massage can also target trigger points and work out knots. The touch of the massage therapist can also help release feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins in the client. These hormones can help them to relax, put their guard down, and to feel more secure. These are just a couple ways massage can be an excellent supplement to help people recover from difficult life experiences.

Learn Massage With OSTM

Massage therapy isn’t just about helping people to have a relaxing and enjoyable time, it’s about improving the quality of life for the clients you meet. It can help some people manage difficult conditions or disorders. If you’re interested in playing that role in the lives of others, contact us or schedule a tour of our campus to learn more about our massage therapy program.

Students of The Month: Christie & Gina

Meet Christie Brown

Meet Christie Brown! Christie is a student in our 6 month accelerated program. She is a student who has shown great resolve since she started in July and always comes to school with a smile on her face, even on test days!

Christie is currently Pizza Team Leader at Wegmans, where she has worked for some time. In spite of her current occupation, she has always been interested in health and holistic medicine. Health and wellness are true passions of hers, and she has always wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.

Learning Massage

Christie chose OSTM because it was recommended to her by a good friend of hers that is a massage therapist and a graduate from our Syracuse Campus! She loves everything about massage therapy, and she especially enjoys the focus on the mind and body connection, which she feels is very important.

Her favorite part of the massage industry is that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a client or a massage therapist, you can find your niche! Christie is inspired by others who live and breathe what they believe in – people with a passion for life.

Life After School

With how many options there are out there, Christie has said she is not yet sure if she wants to focus on a specific group or modality when she gets her license. She does know that she wants to continue to learn all that she can about massage therapy and grow her skills so that she can help as many people as she possibly can.

“If I didn’t start this program, I think I wouldn’t be as fulfilled as I am now. Before starting, I felt directionless and segmented, but I feel as though this program is helping me piece who I am and who I want to be together.”

That drive to help other people and that sense of purpose is only a part of why Christie has earned student of the month!

Meet Gina Mattice

From an early age, Gina Mattice knew she wanted a job where she could help others. When looking into career options in the healthcare field, she considered nursing. After learning more about it, she felt a career in nursing wouldn’t allow her the one-on-one relationship she desired when working with others. It wasn’t until Gina accepted a position as a receptionist in a massage spa that she started to consider massage therapy.

Gina’s School Experience

Gina researched her options for completing her education in massage therapy, and chose the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage in Rochester, NY.  Gina was drawn to the school’s small class size and to being around a group of like-minded classmates who were all working together. Gina also loves that OSTM offers a 15-month program that allows her some flexibility in her schedule. This gives her the time to complete her studies while still working a full-time job to support herself.

Goals After School

Gina took the first step to fulfilling her dream of becoming a licensed massage therapist in October 2017, and is scheduled to graduate this coming December. Gina credits her instructors for challenging her to believe in herself and not give up when there were bumps in the road. When Gina graduates this December, she sees herself working in a franchise spa environment, and eventually would like to start her own business. She wants to provide more medically-based massage to oncology and palliative care patients.

Why Gina Loves OSTM

Gina is a strong student academically, and when asked what her favorite class has been so far, she replied:

“I think every class I have taken at OSTM has been a building block for  my foundation as a massage therapist, but if I had to choose it would be Student Clinic. I love using all the skills I have learned in all my classes and putting the knowledge I have learned into practice working on the public. I love seeing my clients rebook and come back week after week to feel better in their daily lives.”

We believe this passion for other people is just one of the many reasons that Gina is an excellent student, and will also be an incredible massage therapist!

Join Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage

Have you been considering a career change? Enrollment for our fall 2018 program is underway! To learn more about what sets OSTM apart from other schools, schedule a personal tour with one on our admissions representatives today.

What is Medical Massage?

Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage takes pride in being a school that provides students a well-balanced curriculum to provide student’s exposure to a multitude of modalities. One of
the most unique of those modalities is. Massage therapy provides many different career opportunities, and we strive to train our students to be ready for anything. Medical massage continues to increase in popularity and can provide job security for massage therapists for many years to come.

What is Medical Massage?

Medical massage is any massage treatments that are performed to alleviate conditions that have been diagnosed and prescribed by a physician. An example of this would be if someone was seeing a psychiatrist for anxiety, and that psychiatrist wrote a prescription for massage to reduce stress in their patient. The massage therapist could then perform massage services to treat a specific condition. Medical massage therapists can use a variety of modalities or techniques during the treatment, but the focus remains on treating the prescribed condition. Medical massage sessions are also often shorter than relaxation massage, taking as little as 15 minutes, which can help clients save both time and money.

What Can Massage Therapists Treat?

Anyone that works in a trade or profession, especially in the medical world, has what is called a “scope of practice.” A scope of practice describes all the things a professional can do. For example, providing relaxing massage, deep tissue massage, and therapeutic massage with a prescription are all things that are within a massage therapist’s scope of practice. Massage therapists, however, cannot diagnose illness or injury, administer medication, or write prescriptions. This is why massage therapists and medical professionals often work together to provide the best healing solutions for their clients. A doctor, chiropractor, or other licensed medical professional can write a prescription for massage, and then a massage therapist can give the prescribed treatments to help heal patients.

Why is a Prescription Necessary For Medical Massage?

A prescription is needed for medical massage to protect everyone involved. The patient needs the prescription so that they can show that their doctor approves of the treatments. Massage therapists need the prescription because it protects them from from negative consequences of treating something that wasn’t approved by a medical doctor. It helps protect the massage therapist in case the client’s symptoms do not improve or worsen, and it can help them preserve their massage therapy license.

What Types of Massage Are Considered Medical Massage?

All types of massage can be considered therapeutic when used by a trained massage therapist as directed by a medical professional. This means that medical massage isn’t limited to any types of techniques or treatments. As long as the massage therapist has a prescription to treat the patient, it counts as medical massage.

What Are Common Medical Massage Treatments?

Medical massage therapists can work in nearly any medical field or specialty. Here are just a few of the medical professionals they can perform massage for:

  • Chiropractor’s offices
  • Physical therapist offices
  • Orthopedics offices
  • Sports medicine & rehabilitation centers
  • Senior care/ residence centers
  • Psychiatric care facilities
  • Addiction treatment centers
  • and many more

These facilities can prescribe massage as a treatment to their patients, so massage therapists can choose the exact setting they want to work in utilizing their massage training. Some of these offices and centers will hire their own massage therapists to work in-house because of the demand for massage services. Massage therapists even have the option of switching between medical massage specializations at any time, because their license allows them to perform massage for any specification.

Learn Massage With OSTM

Onondaga School of Massage Therapy can help you get your start in a flexible and fulfilling career as a professional massage therapist. If you’ve always had a passion for helping other people and want to work in a medical setting, massage therapy can give you the freedom you’re looking for. Learn about our different massage therapy programs and how they can help you prepare for your career. Schedule a tour to see what we’re all about, or contact our admissions staff at our Syracuse or Rochester locations to learn more today!

Student of the Month: Justin Rochniak

Meet Justin Rochniak

July’s student of the month at the Rochester campus is Justin Rochniak. Justin is one of our 15-month students enrolled in our evening program. Before finding massage therapy, Justin was stuck in a job where he felt unfulfilled. He always enjoyed working with his hands so after considering massage therapy for over a year, he scheduled a tour with our admissions team here at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage. Justin says that he immediately felt at home after touring the school and loved the format of the evening program. The program allowed him to attend class four nights a week from 6:00pm-9:30pm. This gave Justin time to continue to work and support himself and his family, keep his personal commitments on the weekend, and have time to study.

Another feature that Justin liked about the evening program is that it allowed him to take two nights of science classes and two nights of hands-on massage classes.

“Having hands-on classes with my science classes allowed me as a hands-on learner to learn muscle groups and identify the structure and function of specific regions and systems of the human body.


Justin chose OSTM over other schools in the area because of the sole focus on massage.

“At other schools I went to there were students just going to college because they thought that’s what they were supposed to do. At OSTM, all the students there were studying the same thing as me, and we all wanted a new career in a profession we love.”

Justin was selected as student of the month for Rochester because of his positive attitude, solid attendance, and strong academics. When Justin graduates in December 2018 he hopes to start working for a more seasoned licensed massage therapist in a wellness center.

Goals After School

After a few years of experience Justin sees himself opening his own business and helping others with massage and bodywork. Justin believes that the opportunities in massage therapy are endless:

“I have friends who graduated the class before me who are working in hospitals with cancer and hospice patients, others are working in schools with students with sensory and attention deficits, others are working in high-end salons and spas, and others are working in rehabilitation centers, physical therapy, chiropractic offices, and other health care settings”.

Justin wants to combine those endless options with his own business to create a unique opportunity to help others with massage and bodywork.

Always Something New

Justin loves that there is always something to learn with massage therapy. If you get tired of one thing, you can try something new!

“One of the best things about massage is that if you get bored with one setting or modality, there are so many other possibilities and settings to experience.”

Justin’s outlook on life and his positivity is just one way that he makes Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage great!

Join the OSTM Family!

Want to learn more about OSTM’s flexible program options, including out 15-month program designed for working adults? Schedule your own personal tour and meetings with our admissions and financial aid representatives today! The enrollment deadline for our next 15-month evening program is Friday, August 17th, so there’s no time to waste!