Healthy Living Program popular for massages and other free services

Katherine Del Rio/Staff Writer

For senior Jonathan Saint-Fort, the best way to start the day is by receiving a complimentary massage at the University’s Student Health Center.

“It was absolutely amazing. It was only 10 minutes so it was a little short, but I go almost every morning. It’s a great way to kick-start my day,” Saint-Fort said walking out of the center at the Modesto Maidique campus.  

This service, along with various other wellness services, are available on both the MMC and The Biscayne Bay Campus and are open to all students through the University’s Healthy Living Program.

The program offers personal consultations, fitness assessments, HIV testing, aromatherapy, massages, yoga, nutritional services, acupuncture, safer sex materials and a student food pantry.

“Everything is free for students, except extended services,” said Isabel Capella, the health educator at BBC’s Healthy Living Program. Extended services are only available for massages and acupuncture and prices range from $25 to $50.

However, the most popular service provided is the complimentary 10-minute massage.

Walk-ins are available for massages on both campuses but appointments are highly recommended as most massages for the day are booked within the first half hour of the day, according to Ebonie Parris, the wellness coordinator at MMC.

“I wake up early and am calling at 7:59 a.m. because they book up so quickly,” said Saint-Fort.

Saint-Fort is not the only regular at the Healthy Living Center. Carla Llora, MMC’s massage therapist, says she has many students who come in at least once a week.

“They relieve stress not only physically but mentally during the massage,” said Llora, who tries to talk to students to get their mind off of their school and work stresses to relax during their treatment.

Students struggling with stress management can schedule a personal consultation on either campus with a certified health educator.

“I help them see what behavior is causing them stress so we can prevent it,” said Capella.

Personal consultations are also available for students with questions regarding wellness, sexual health, asthma, tobacco and sleep behaviors.

Additionally, to help encourage healthy lifestyles, students can receive an individualized fitness assessment and meet with a registered dietitian.

The student food pantry is also a part of the Healthy Living Program at BBC and offers nonperishable food items to students free of charge.

The Healthy Living Program is located at the Wolfe University Center, room 307 in BBC and at SHC, room 180 in MMC. For more information, visit,

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