Posts Tagged ‘Soma Institute’

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

The other day I stopped by one of the Working Well Massage booths to get a much needed massage. As a massage therapist myself, I try to get regular massages including chair massages. As manager of the WWM massage stations, I also like to get massages from my staff. Why, because I know how good they are. In this case, I got a fantastic massage from Mysti Cobb. Mysti has been with WWM for the past few months and she is a whiz at finding knots and working them out. Mysti is also a  personal trainer and just finished training in Pilates. But best of all, Mysti is a SOMA Institute graduate.

Over the past ten years, I’ve had the great fortune to interview a lot of massage therapists. And field questions from people wondering which massage school to attend. I used to tell them, go to WMTI, my alma mater, the Wellness Massage Training Institute. I was very lucky to have attended WMTI in the late 1990’s. I had some of the best teachers and learned a lot about going beyond Swedish massage to really help people feel better and releases chronic muscle tension areas. I’ve also taught workshops and classes at WMTI. Now, sadly, my old school has been sold to another company and it’s curriculum has been gutted. Most of the best teachers at WMTI have long gone. WMTI turned out some fantastic massage therapists while it was in operation, but now in Chicago, my top pick for people looking to go to massage school is the SOMA Institute.


SOMA’s curriculum is geared toward therapeutic massage, not spa massage. Spa massage is great for relaxation. And stress relief is an important benefit of massage therapy. But I am so glad I learned  in depth techniques for helping people with chronic muscular pain. When I interview students from SOMA, I tend to see this same attention to chronic areas of muscle tension. SOMA graduates tend to have greater clinical skills than recent graduates of the other schools in the area. SOMA’s continuing education classes also tend to be a cut above the others I see offered in the Chicago area.

With teachers like Mike Hovi and Michael Jones, SOMA provides students with a wide range of massage training by working professionals that are top in their field.

SOMA also has a great career placement office. As a business owner, I regularly get emails from SOMA”s Career Services Department asking if I have any openings. SOMA has a 98% placement rate! And SOMA’s been expanding their Professional Services Division, offering high quality classes to graduates and other professional massage therapists looking for continuing education credits. (The state of Illinois requires us to obtain at least 24 CE credits every 2 years to maintain a masage therapy license).

SOMA isn’t the only massage school in town. And I have a number of fantastic massage therapists that did not attend SOMA. But if you are looking for  a massage school to attend or know someone that is, I recommend the SOMA Institute above all others at this time.

Note: Neither Working Well Massage nor Sue Shekut is affiliated with the SOMA Institute in any way. We do not receive any fee for this post nor do we benefit financially in any way from our endorsement. SOMA is simply a great school and we want to tell our local readers about it and about SOMA graduates.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I’ve been performing chair massages in the Chicago area for the past 10 years or so. In 2001, I opened my first chair massage station in Whole Foods Gold Coast. Since then I’ve opened several chair massage stations in and around the Chicago area. As a massage therapist and former corporate trainer and writer, I had a number of different “bosses” and I’ve learned from each of them.  I’ve learned to select good team members and treat them with respect, provide them with good working conditions and give them the opportunity to promote themselves.

The Working Well Massage chair stations provide an excellent opportunity for good massage therapists to meet new clients. The in store massage stations also give massage clients a chance to meet and sample the work of a variety of talented massage therapists at a reasonable rate.

Who are these talented massage therapists at Working Well chair massage stations?

In the coming weeks, I will be introducing some of them to you. This week, I am introducing Dennis Frymire, a recent addition to our Lincoln Park team.

Dennis gives  a really powerful deep tissue massage and can also scale back his pressure to give a nice relaxing massage. For those that want deep pressure and a skilled therapeutic massage, I highly recommend Dennis!

Dennis Frymire, Licensed Massage Therapist, Actor

I interviewed Dennis about his interest in massage, his style and his education. Read on for Dennis’ story:

Dennis Frymire

I came into a massage therapy as part of a lifestyle overhaul I realized I needed after my mom passed away in March of 2008. My dad passed away in 2002, and both of them leaving us at such relatively young ages made me realize that I needed make some changes in how I was living, and massage therapy came along with that. At the time I was considering different massage schools, a co-worker in my office had just graduated from The Soma Institute, and she highly recommended the school.

Having trained at Soma, I approach massage more from a clinical and therapeutic aspect. I give a great wellness massage, but I love helping clients with specific knots and stresses that they need to have worked out. One of the reasons I love giving chair massages is that they often have that specific focus on a problem area for the client. As I continue to grow and hone my skills, I am very interested in exploring sports massage further.

I currently massage with Working Well Massage at the Lincoln Park location at 1550 N. Kingsbury.
My hours at the chair massage station are:

Thursdays from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
Saturdays from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

I also give chair massages to club members at West Loop Athletic Club. I also make outcalls to private clients under my own business, Better Life Massage & Bodywork.

I am also an actor, director, and performer around Chicago. As part of a way of giving back to the Chicago theater community, I offer my massage services to fellow actors and performers at a heavily discounted rate.

Note: Although Dennis looks very serious in his professional headshot, he’s a very laid back, easy-going guy. If you meet him in person, he will likely be smiling! Stop by and try a massage with Dennis on Thursdays or Saturdays from 12 noon to 4p.m. at the Lincoln Park chair massage location at 1550 N. Kingsbury.

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