Guest, Michael McAleese

Guest Name: 
Michael McAleese
Michael McAleese
Guest Occupation: 
Owner/Instructor of the School of Holistic Massage & Reflexology
Guest Biography: 

Owner/Instructor of the School of Holistic Massage & Reflexology and was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame on August 8, 2016.

I started in Massage and Reflexology industry at 35 years old. I was a single dad of 2 and worked a 12 hour shift in the printing industry working 4 days on 3 days off. I was burnt out. However, I knew my calling was to help people. I heard about reflexology and felt it was my calling. My wife Star, who is a graphic designer woke up one morning with a very stiff neck and started calling around to find a massage therapist. On her appointment she starting talking to the therapist and it turned out they were a brand new massage school that offered reflexology and massage classes. We really did not have the money for tuition, so she asked if they needed business materials? We were able to barter with her Graphic design skills and my printing skills to pay for the first the 10 week reflexology class. After that class I decided to take the Massage program, and we struck up the same deal. The owner of the school I attended saw leadership skills in me and asked me to teach part time and I loved it! While still working my printing job and teaching, I started my own business: "The Holistic Massage and Reflexology Center at a chiropractic office in Downers Grove. My space was literally the size of a closet. My business really started taking off, but I was not sure how I was going to be able to quit my dead end job. I had developed a very good clientele in a short time. Two of my very dedicated clients, believed in me so much, they became what I refer to as my "angel investors". This start up money enabled me to quit my printing job and start the real work of building my business and getting my name out there.

Anything worth while comes with a lot of hard work. I succesfully bulit my business through networking, pounding the pavement, and doing a lot of "free" massage at local events, high schools, non for profit organizations.

Through this hard work my business grew in leaps and bounds. A while later I wanted to share what I learned with others and it developed into SOHMAR, the School of Holistic Massage and Reflexology. That was over 20 years ago! I do still have a private practice since I love working one on one with my clients, but love teaching too! 

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