Spotlight on a Massage Therapist

Massage Therapy is an amazing occupation with a variety of career paths available. We feature interviews with professionals in the field and share their successes, challenges, rewards, and advice.


Rob Kelly –  Health Enrichment Center 1995

Irene’s – When did you graduate from school?

Rob – I graduated from Health Enrichment Center in 1995.

Irene’s – Why did you choose massage therapy as a career?

Rob – My experience with massage therapy started out by receiving massage to help me relax and decrease general tightness. I was driving a delivery truck at the time and that job definitely took its toll on my body. My massage therapist helped relieve the job-related pain and tightness so much I referred some of my coworkers to get a professional massage. A few years after I started receiving massage I had a sports-related shoulder injury. My massage therapist helped to rehabilitate my shoulder injury in just a few short months.  I was so impressed by the results I asked where she went to school to learn massage and three months later I was enrolled in massage therapy school. Twenty-two years later I am still loving it.  

Irene’s – Where do you practice massage?

Rob – I have my own practice in downtown Ypsilanti, MI.  

Irene’s – Where do you teach massage education?

Rob – I have been teaching massage therapy for over 20 years, at a number of massage therapy schools in the metro Detroit area.  My classes include Lymphatic Drainage, Sports Massage, Orthopedic Massage, and Palpation to name a few.  I have always had a passion for teaching and love to help people learn.  My goal is to see massage therapy education continue to progress and improve. I also offer MBLEx tutoring. 

Classes can be held at your office with as few as four students.  Prices reduced by hosting classes at your office or location. MBLEx review classes or study sessions can be done at your office, my office or online sources such as Skype or FaceTime. Rob Kelly Seminars are approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider.

Irene’s – What do you find to be the most rewarding part of your massage career? 

Rob –  I love helping people feel better.

Irene’s – Do you have any massage specialties that you incorporate into your massage practice?

Rob – Lymphatic drainage is my specialty. Clients come to me with specific issues like headaches, lymphedema, sports injuries and some come for relaxation. No matter what the issue is, I will utilize all of my training and skills to help them feel better.

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

Rob – I utilize a number of different massage techniques such as CranioSacral Therapy, Neuromuscular Therapy, relaxation massage, and fascial mobilization techniques.  As a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, I utilize lymphatic drainage techniques to help reduce edema and some of the symptoms of severe edemas or lymphedema. But, if I had to pick some lymphatic drainage, trigger point deactivation and relaxation massage would be up there.  

Irene’s – What has been your greatest success with a massage client?

Rob – Providing massage to a client that was going to die within a few weeks.  I was able to help them feel a bit better, laugh a bit and die with grace. 

Irene’s – Where is the first place you worked after you graduated from school?

Rob – I did outcalls for a few years after graduation.

Irene’s – What do you do for self-care to provide longevity of your massage career?

Rob – Good body mechanics and continuing to get massage myself.

Irene’s – To what do you attribute your success as a massage therapist?

Rob – I have been a massage therapist for over twenty-two years because I care about other people. 

Irene’s – What marketing do you feel has worked best to promote your massage practice?

Rob – A good website and getting out into the community. 

Irene’s – What do you feel was the biggest mistake you made as a massage therapist and how did you address it?

Rob – Thinking I knew more about the client’s body than they did. I have learned to be a better listener and try to meet their goals. I am a big believer in “what goes around, comes around” so my goal is to help my clients in whatever way I can.  

Irene’s – Do you have any advice for new massage therapists?

Rob – Get a massage on a regular basis and you are constantly learning with this career. 

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

Rob – My phone number is (734) 480-8536 and my website is

Irene’s – What is the best way to contact you for tutoring or to teach a class?

Rob – My phone number is (734) 480-8536 and my website is