by Lee Gutowski

“Riverwest has been a lovely place to be for all these years. The community has been very supportive,” Wanda Beals says about running her massage school and clinic in this neighborhood for the past 16 years. She started the Milwaukee School of Massage in 1995, originally renting space in a building on Water Street. In 1999 she bought a stately brick building on the northwest corner of Chambers and Bremen, 830 E. Chambers Street. Beals moved the MSM in there and has operated the school and clinic there ever since.

Class offerings included Swedish massage, lymphatic massage, foot reflexology, craniosacral therapy, benevolent touch, aromatherapy, and many others. Students could prepare to take their state and national boards through the curriculum offered at the school, as well as get commissioned work and build a clientele base through the clinic in the same building.milwSchoolOfMassage color 3 16  bldg

Thirty classes worth of students have graduated from the Milwaukee School of Massage and gone on to get their Wisconsin Licensed Massage Therapist (WLMT) degrees and practice their trade. But in 2013, Beals had open heart surgery, and although it was successful, she’s had to slow down considerably. She’s retiring this year, and has sold the massage school business and the building to separate entities. The school will reopen in a new location with new owners in Brookfield, and an artist will be moving into the Chambers St. location.

The clinic will continue taking customers until March 19. Any gift certificates will be honored, and you can even make appointments for after the 19th—just call the clinic at 414.263.1179. In the meantime, everything must go from the big old building that housed the school and clinic all this time. Wanda and her sister, Janet, are hosting a huge “everything must go” sale throughout the month of March. There’s a treasure trove of stuff available for great prices, from vintage jewelry to dining room tables and other furniture, to massage school supplies, upcycled craft items and wall art.