by Tal Carmel September 19, 2017
Marisa Merliss is a fitness and wellness professional living in NYC coming from a background as a professional dancer, fitness model and Registered Nurse. She has learned to weave her healthcare knowledge with her love for fitness to promote optimal physical performance, injury prevention and recovery. Marisa is the co-founder of REVIVE Restorative Retreats and teaches classes/workshops in NYC and around the world, specializing in training aspiring and professional dancers and Broadway performers. Go to www.marisamerliss.com to read more.
How did your fitness/wellness career begin?
When I was a kid, I used to make up workout routines in the living room and dream of having my own workout videos someday. I went on to major in Nursing in College and minored in Dance. Early in my dance career I had a traumatic fall that resulted in multiple surgeries and debilitating pain on and off for years. During the time I couldn't be on stage or on my feet for a 12 hours nursing shift, I found work as an actor and model. I quickly found a niche in fitness modeling and had the opportunity to try out a wide variety of workouts and was very fortunate to work with the top trainers in the fitness industry on workout video shoots, print shoots, and events. Inspired by all I was learning, I was in the process of developing my own workout when my orthopedic issues worsened. I explored alternative healing modalities and was introduced to the MELT Method by Sue Hitzmann (www.meltmethod.com) and bodyART Functional Training by Robert Steinbacher. The life changing healing I experienced through these methods led me to become a MELT Method, bodyART, and Pilates instructor, and an NASM certified personal trainer. Since then I've been teaching classes and workshops in NYC, hosting live streaming videos, and in early 2016 I partnered with fellow instructor, Becca Pace, to create REVIVE Restorative Retreats. BodyART and MELT are the classes we teach on retreats, creating an ideal balance of workout and recovery in beautiful destinations around the world (www.reviverestorativeretreats.com).
Why do you love to sweat?
I started going to Jazzercise classes with my Mom at the roller skating rink in my hometown when I was a toddler, so dancing and sweating my heart out are among my earliest memories. As an athlete and dancer, I find that I express myself most deeply through dance and physical movement. I equate sweat with self-expression, physical freedom, the gratitude that comes along with being healthy enough to work out and the endorphin high that goes along with it. It feels like a complete physical and emotional detox to sweat head to toe. After spending years struggling with chronic pain and orthopedic issues, it is so liberating to have the ability to move my body and sweat.
Why are you passionate about what you do?
I love helping people stay healthy, pain free and physically fit. As I was transitioning out of my dance career, I was at a crossroads of whether to go into nursing full time or fitness and wellness. When I experienced profound healing through the MELT Method and bodyART Functional Training, it became very clear to me which path to choose. Sharing these techniques, especially the MELT Method (which is focused on rehydrating the fascia), with dancers, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts, brings greater purpose to the many years of pain and suffering I experienced. Thanks to Sue Hitzmann and other movement experts I've had the pleasure of working with, I'm beyond grateful to have a unique skill set to help people prevent injuries and improve the longevity of their livelihood and careers.
Are you involved in any social or environmental causes that you would like to share with the FRÉ community?
I volunteer with Operation Smile as a Pediatric RN and have been on medical missions to Jordan and the Philippines, helping children from impoverished communities receive free cleft lip and palate surgeries. I've also worked with a charity called Promethean Spark, teaching life skills through dance to orphans in Nairobi and Western Kenya. I do my best to be environmentally conscious with my diet and lifestyle, and love that FRÉ gives back to the environment by planting an Argan Tree (The Tree of Life) for every skincare set sold. If you are looking to give back, I strongly recommend getting involved with any of the above organizations.
Can you share an inspirational tip about wellness/fitness/beauty that really helps you?
Invest in REST!!! Quality sleep, time to relax, and self-care are so important. The more you take care of you, the better you'll feel, function, and look AND the more you'll have to give. Also, no matter how tired you are, don't forget to wash your face before you go to bed. One of the great things about FRÉ is how simple and quick it is to use. My face has never felt as consistently clean and clear as it has since I started using the FRÉ123 products.
Is there anything else you would like to share with FRÉ's community?
Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you. As women we have a grand opportunity to empower each other to do great things in the world and to remind each other to take good care of ourselves in the process. Also, we're excited to partner with FRÉ for our next REVIVE Restorative Retreat in Ubud, Bali, November 3rd - 9th and we have a few spots left. If you want to join us, go to www.reviverestorativeretreats.com and look out for our 2018 Retreat Calendar.
What FRÉ enthusiasts say about our products:
*****Alice said: Great product that empowers women
This product empowers women in a way that makes them be in charge and well prepared for the weathers condition when being active. The body is made to move and this product adapts rather than restrict the womens movement. Now I can continue my outdoor lifestyle and at the same time take care of my skin in a simple and easy way!
*****Nikki Nadi said: I feel beautiful
I am so happy I took the chance to change my skincare program and tried something new. I'm so happy with FRÉ. It's soft finish is a great base for cosmetics of you wear them. It's amazing for after yoga. I use for my face and neck just as I wake up. It's really a game changer.
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