SOMA Massage School Success Stories
Upon leaving Soma Aline initially began practicing at a fitness center in the Chicago loop and at a chiropractic office. In 2010, she opened her own massage therapy business U Be Well 2 located at Clybourn and Racine and has continued to practice with the chiropractor as her business grows. I asked Aline about what she felt the main advantage of going to Soma has been and she told me the following, “The name Soma is well known and getting the Master Program has been very beneficial to me. People have been very impressed with the fact that I initially graduated from a 750 hour program and that I followed that up with an additional 300 hours of training in the Master Program. The techniques learned in courses such as Oriental Medicine and Ayurveda Head Massage in the Master Program have been a great addition to my client offerings.
“Soma has given me the foundation to build the most incredible career I could have ever imagined for myself."
“I like the fact that there are many different options in how you can apply massage into making a living. I like being able to work with people one-on-one and actually help them live with more ease and less pain. I love doing massage!"
After graduating from Soma, Barbara had a lot go on in her life that made her transition into massage take an interesting turn. She moved to Australia and got married and is now working as what is called a Remedial Massage Therapist for the Bodimind Center in North Hobart,Tasmania. She says that she loves the experience there. We, at Soma are proud of Barbara’s efforts and her quest to take the Soma brand of Clinical Massage Therapy across the world!!
New Leaf is exactly that for Owner and Lead Therapist Beth Mingledorff. After a 20+ year career in the entertainment lighting industry, Beth realized that the prolonged stress of a fast-paced, demanding work environment had taken an unacceptable toll on her personal life and relationships. It was clear that she needed a change that would bring her back in touch with her compassionate and nurturing nature, long suppressed by the need to “get the job done”. It didn’t take long to decide that massage therapy was the ideal path for her.
How has Soma helped your career? Soma has helped my career by being a well recognized and respected name in the massage world. When an employer sees the Soma Institute on a resume they know that they are looking at a quality applicant.
“Soma rounded out my education and gave me a full picture of what I wanted to do with massage. My time there really ignited my passion for helping people."
"I always receive positive compliments from my clients about the quality of my treatments. I feel that without Soma this would not have been possible.”
How has Soma helped your career? The Soma Institute has helped my career by providing me with a wide range of knowledge as a student massage therapist. Having touched upon a plethora of subject matter throughout the curriculum it allowed me to better understand which path in particular I would prefer to pursue within the world of massage therapy. There are countless approaches to massage, as everything in life is subjective, and knowing which one supports your strengths will provide longevity in this quite literally physical career. What Soma did was 'open the door,' and left me with the freedom to choose how far I would like to take it.
How has Soma helped your career? The training I received was a big bonus in my job search. Many of my clients are surprised to find out that I have had clinical training and am able to address specific injuries/problem rather than just providing a "feel good" massage experience.
How has Soma helped your career? Soma helped my career by giving me the training that I needed to put me in a position to succeed. The teachers and staff support that I received kept me encouraged even when I had a rough period. They were always there to push me forward and be there when I needed them.
How has Soma helped your career? Soma has given me the best quality education available, which is highly recognized by employers. Having talked to other therapists from different schools, their curriculum does not compare to Soma’s. Soma has a higher educational quality and a better focus on the conditions that I see in clients every day. Soma’s focus on technique and conditions has helped me set myself apart from other therapists. The staff at Soma is first class; they make sure you understand what was taught and that there is always help around if you need it. This support continues after you graduate the program.
How has Soma helped your career? Soma has helped me by giving me the foundational knowledge of massage necessary to succeed as a massage therapist. I still have so much to learn through continuing education, but Soma's purpose was to help me launch my career as a massage therapist, and in that they have succeeded! In talking with my colleagues who were educated elsewhere, I quickly realized that the level of detail taught in palpation, anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology far outweighs others. Additionally, the externship experience at Northwestern is something very unique to Soma.
An Interview with Soma Graduate, Heather Rudin: “Coming to Soma was a happy accident for me. I was severely underemployed and about to confront student loans from my undergrad degree that I couldn't afford. A friend of mine at the time told me she had enrolled in massage school, and before I knew it I was enrolled too--and starting in two weeks! The experience created an incredible transformation in my life. She realized massage wasn't for her, left the school, and we lost contact. I stayed at Soma and loved all of it. There's a tremendous amount of information to learn, and at times it was difficult, but extremely rewarding. As a graduate, Soma has taught me a clinical skill set that I can take to any environment and that has acted as a key to massage positions in chiropractic and rehab environments. Soma has also taught me a higher level of professionalism, and that's something that shows every time I go on an interview or introduce myself to a potential new client.
“I enjoy possessing a skill that enables me to facilitate healing in others--- and being able to practice my skill anywhere, anytime."
How has Soma helped your career? Soma has helped my career in many ways, starting with confidence. Before actually starting school, hearing things like “Going to Soma will make you stand out to employers” or “People will see Soma on your resume and already know that you are a step ahead of most therapists” was a bit intimidating. But now that I have been through it all, it is so true. I am able to not only provide a thorough, therapeutic massage, but I can educate my client as to why I’m doing what I’m doing. Client education is very important!
Kevin has worked primarily in a chiropractic setting since leaving Soma and this has been an excellent forum in his pursuit of treating clients with clinical issues. He had one client visit the office suffering from ‘trigger thumb’ caused by the repetitive stress of working on computers for long periods of time. She had, in the past, taken cortisone shots for the problem. Kevin looked it up on the internet and found that a massage protocol existed which helped treat this condition. After a few weeks of treatment the client found that the pain was subsiding and Kevin hopes that over time he can help to keep the pain from recurring as often.
“I like massage therapy because I continue to learn. In this profession, there are limitless opportunities to further your education.”
Since leaving Soma, Kimberly has worked in a Massage Clinic setting and at this time has also built her Private Practice to the point where she is starting to become very comfortable. At the clinic and also with her private clients, there is one particular issue that has come up time and time again. Kimberly finds that many of the clients she treats that are driving a lot have an issue with pain in their lower back and into their glutes. Initially the clients were telling her that they thought that it was a sciatica issue but Kimberly was able to figure out that it was in fact, an issue with the piriformis muscle. After treating this she was able to successfully develop a treatment plan which took care of the pain and assisted the client in getting back to their day-to-day activity. This is only one example of the many ways Kimberly has been able to utilize her clinical training.
“Being a massage therapist for Professional Poker Players is a tough but rewarding career. Had it not been for the top education and relationships built during my time at The Soma Institute, this venture would have been very difficult for me. One must have complete confidence in their massage capabilities in order to stand strong in a room full of poker players that are trained to read people and their body language. Soma has given this to me and I am reaping the rewards.
How has Soma helped your career? Soma helped me finally pursue something I’ve waited entirely too long to do. I really liked the fact that there was always someone there to answer any questions I had. I feel confident in the education I received from Soma and absolutely loved the clinical aspect of the program. I think that in itself makes me stand out from other massage therapists.
Lindsay has been working at one of the higher profile spas in Illinois for the last few years and has thrived there. She recently became the second most requested therapist at her location. I asked Lindsay about what she thought Soma had done to help her career and she said, “Soma put me way above standards as a clinical massage therapist. The industry I work in is more focused on just the relaxing aspect of a massage, but I can show my clients just how important massage really is for the body. It is more than just "relaxing", it is improving the performance of a body through every day life. Pains that people thought they would have to suffer through, whether it be a little back ache or an injury that's been prolonged due to fascial adhesions or whatever the case may be, we as massage therapists- especially with the clinical knowledge gained through the Soma Institute- have the chance to truly make a huge difference in someone's life by helping relieve pain.
“Soma has given me the credibility of being from Chicago's most successful school for clinical massage therapy."
How has Soma helped your career? Soma gave me a nice “palette” to work with. I can choose from the “colors” of myofascial release, trigger point therapy, sports massage, etc. I know how to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, how to calm a muscle cramp, and how to treat whiplash. I can perform a relaxation massage and also ease pain. I like the flexibility that my education has given me. I don’t have to perform “paint by number” massages.
Soma has helped my career by giving me the confidence to do well in the field and know that I had the proper training to do so. Having the confidence in my work is what I found to be the most helpful since I started in the field, and has gotten me where I am now. The Career Services Office offered me the contact at The Canyon Ranch Spa Club, at The Venitian/Palazzo in Las Vegas. It is one of the top rated Spas here and as far as I know in the country at its many locations. It’s very intimidating to work in such an environment, but I am so blessed to have gotten the opportunity. Since Canyon Ranch knew that I came from Soma, I believe it helped tremendously in getting me the job I have now and for my future success as a therapist.
Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin, best known as Nina Cherie, PhD, is a proud graduate of The Soma Institute, Class of 2004. She is a researcher, educator, and advocate for lifestyle medicine with over 15 years of experience in the fields of health, fitness, and nutrition. Dr. Franklin’s blog entitled “You, Your Body & Your Health” is a primary means by which she shares her expert perspective on a diverse range of issues pertaining to personal health and physical wellness. Through her blog and other media channels, Dr. Franklin has published over 500 articles, expert blogs, and videos.
Rebecca began her career working at a chiropractic office and while at school was working at therapeutic pre-school. At the center Rebecca has been able to integrate her clinical massage training in order to benefit the children. She took continuing education courses with the Liddle Kidz Foundation in pediatric and infant massage and became an infant massage instructor. In 2010 she joined Liddle Kidz in an outreach trip to Vietnam where they visited a number of child care centers and taught their caregivers infant and pediatric techniques to help them assist children with special needs.The scope of pathologies treated included Autism, Cerebral Palsy, neurological disorders caused by Agent Orange exposure and Down’s syndrome.This was a great experience for Rebecca as she knows that she was not only able to help these children while on the trip but knows that the caregivers they taught will be able to continue to help them long afterwards.
How has Soma helped your career? I really need to credit the instructors at Soma for providing a solid knowledge base. Understanding the anatomy and physiology has been essential, but developing communication skills has been invaluable. Soma helped me to understand the efficacy of massage therapy, and its role in pain and stress management. After graduation, the staff at Soma has always helped me whenever I needed them. They’ve been quick to respond to all my questions. I value and appreciate that type of attention.
Ruby Botello: “Soma has helped my career by giving me the tools and resources that a successful therapist needs to grow their career and really stand out from the rest. Because of all the clinical knowledge taught at Soma, Being a Soma Graduate gave me the skills that I needed to fully understand the human body. Taking classes like anatomy palpation, kinesiology and focusing on the clinical aspects of massage gave me the confidence to be able to apply in any and every field of massage not just spas, including hospitals, alongside chiropractors and other clinical environments. It was up to me to decide where I was going to take my career because I was not limited. The opportunities are endless by going to a clinical massage therapy school like Soma.
“What I like most about my career is that it my passion and not my work. I enjoy every moment of owning my own business; the flexibility I have and the freedom it provides me. It is very gratifying to be able to touch a life, a body, and a person making a difference in how their body and mind feel.”
"I thank Soma for giving me the knowledge and skill to help my clients-- and the confidence to search for answers outside that knowledge base to assist them.”
From Soma Graduate, Shelbi Fowler: Upon entering Soma’s core program for clinical massage therapy, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had always had a curiosity about massage therapy and was in the right time and place in my life to just go for it. During my education at Soma I really got an understanding for all that massage therapy could do, and all that I could do. I realized that massage was not just a way to make people feel good, but that massage therapists were healers in every sense of the word. The knowledge Soma has given me is an amazing foundation to build upon. I realized how much I knew and how much I wanted to learn more. Being able to physically change someone has been a blessing and given me a purpose in life. I could not imagine a more satisfying career than being a massage therapist.
When she first graduated from Soma, Tarra was treating private clients only and did some travelling back and forth to Los Angeles and New York working primarily within the entertainment and sports industry. Soma’s training in Kinesiology along with the Clinical Training she received helped her understand the body’s movement and how to develop a treatment plan that would help athletes function more efficiently and overcome their injuries. Last year she started working at the Elysian hotel in Chicago as well as taking care of her private clients and has really enjoyed the atmosphere at their spa.