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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.

Why SOMA?

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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