Spotlight on a Massage Therapist

Massage Therapy is an amazing occupation with a variety of career paths available. We feature interviews with graduates of Irene’s Myomassology Institute sharing their successes, challenges, rewards, and advice.


Cheryl Dodge Graduated February 2007 


Irene’s – Where do you work? 

Cheryl – I work with franchises and self-employed.

Irene’s – What are your specialties? 

Cheryl – I don’t specialize in any one thing. However, I am a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist certified by Liddle Kidz. My services include chair and table massage, Yoga, and Assisted Stretching.

Irene’s – What are your favorite modalities, or what techniques do you find most effective?

Cheryl – I have 12 years of continuing education and I continue to look for modalities that can provide results on a case by case basis. I check my work for effectiveness frequently.  I use combinations of Swedish, MFR, compressions, trigger point, orthopedic, sports techniques or bodywork. I also add on services such as aromatherapy and heat as needed.

Irene’s – What was your greatest success with a client?

Cheryl – Any time a client gets positive results then I have success every day.  There isn’t one greatest success but the volume of bodies I’ve touched has been of great help in developing expectations, communication, palpation, and clinical reasoning skills.

Irene’s – Where is the first place you worked?  

Cheryl – I worked at the Ora Oxygen Spa at McNamara terminal Detroit Metro Airport for almost exactly one year after I graduated. It was primarily chair massage with aromatherapy services. 

Irene’s – To what do you attribute your success? 

 Cheryl – Using variety and continuing education provide an opportunity to go from day spa to physical therapy to auto injury all in the same day.  I’ve been improving my own body awareness through my yoga practice.  I’ve been teaching yoga for 10 years.  I’m frequently able to help clients understand how daily habits like sleep, gait pattern, moving and carrying heavy objects, previous injuries, and surgeries can contribute to muscular imbalances. By treating everybody as if we are all the same. Empowering self-care by making holistic recommendations or referring to other healthcare professionals that can do so.  This way, as a consumer, my client knows what they are paying for by seeing results and understanding the value of a monthly reset with regular massage.

Irene’s – What do you do for self-care? 

Cheryl – This whole career was about learning how to heal me. I was an unlikely candidate for giving or receiving massage therapy due to health concerns. So I said, “If I have to make a career out of taking care of myself I mid as well get paid for it”. Now I get massage regularly, teach yoga and of course practice consistently on many levels as I continue to learn new methods.  I also use good body mechanics and table height. I use traction devices as needed in my home office.

Irene’s – What marketing do you feel has worked best?  

Cheryl – Word of mouth and referrals. I sell prepaid punch cards, these are broken down into 10 – 1/2 hour sessions or 5 – hour sessions at a discount for prepaying. This keeps my clients coming in regularly so they understand how the benefits of massage are cumulative. This spotlight is also great marketing, I’m always happy to work on other therapists!

Irene’s – Do you have any advice for a new therapist?  

Cheryl – Use sound judgment and business skills to analyze any offers of employment.  Franchises can offer a successful career option. Just because a job says it pays $50 per hour doesn’t mean you make $50 per hour, nor is it a measure of your success. I’ve learned something from all the jobs I’ve done. Also develop your confidence, ethics, and understanding of boundaries. Find what makes you unique and showcase your strong points. Refrain from making negative comments about competition.

Irene’s – What is the best way for clients to contact you?

Cheryl – They can visit my website at for more information about my locations, services offered, pricing and payment options. I look forward to hearing from you.


Irene’s Myomassology Institute is a nationally accredited massage therapy school located in Southfield, Michigan.  Scholarships and Financial Aid are available for qualified students to help them pay school tuition.  Our students graduate with a state license prepared for a successful career as a massage therapist.  Irene’s lifetime job placement services maintain an abundance of massage career opportunities for our alumni.  Irene’s student massage clinic provides affordable massage to the public with discounted prices for seniors and veterans. Irene’s massage supply store equips massage therapists with the necessities to manage a successful career.