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.


Nikki Chmielewski Graduated June 2018

Irene’s – Where do you work?

Nikki – Hiller Chiropractic and I own my own LLC, Tranquil Vitality Massage

Irene’s – What are your specialties?

Nikki – I have a wide range right of specialties right now. I am still settling into how and where I want to focus. Currently, I am helping many athletes, dancers, and gymnasts. I’m utilizing my knowledge of sports massage and my method of Deep Tissue massage. These techniques have been helping many of my clients. My method of Deep Tissue massage incorporates working through all the layers of tissues individually, which I have found to be incredibly successful. My clients have also told me they find success with this method and they are not as sore afterward.

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

Nikki – I actually love all aspects of massage! The best part of Irene’s is that I was given the opportunity to dabble in so many different modalities. That has proven to be the most amazing part of my growth in the last year. As for what techniques I find most effective, I listen to the client’s needs. I assess them when they walk through the door, as they are filling out paperwork, as they walk back to my room, and the assessment continues while they are on the table. I listen to the body as I am working. There have been many times I change technique in the middle of a massage because the body responds in a more positive way. I tell my clients they will never receive the same massage from me twice because our bodies are always changing.

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

Nikki – My greatest success was with a patient that had been suffering from sciatica for many years. After 4 sessions of work, starting with his piriformis and working all the way down to his plantar fascia, he started feeling the relief. I also gave him homework for stretches and the use of a tennis ball. He came in one day and embraced me in one of the biggest hugs ever and told me “Thank you”. He told me that he travels every weekend with his grandsons for travel baseball, and for the first time ever he was able to travel pain-free.

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

Nikki – My first job was at Hiller Chiropractic in West Bloomfield and I am still there over one year later. I am committed to the patients there and having a boss that looks after me and cares about my well-being is of utmost importance to me.

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

Nikki – Ultimately, I attribute my success to everything I learned at Irene’s. The teachers and staff are the best of the best! The environment there promotes everything you need to be successful.

I also attribute my success to my burning passion to help others. This is my third career at 40 years old. First, I was a teacher, then I was in the medical field for 20+ years. Three months after I lost my job, the VA told my husband (even though he is 100% disabled), they would no longer cover his massage therapy. I knew at that moment why I had lost my job. There was a higher purpose for me. I am finally in a profession where I can say this is my joy, not my job.

Irene’s – What is your favorite aspect of your career?

Nikki – My favorite aspect of being a massage therapist is that I get to help others on a daily basis. My philosophy is, every day that I wake up, I have the opportunity to make a change.  If I help to make a positive change in just one person, then I have done my job.

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

Nikki – I have started to work on my nutritional habits and sleep habits so that I can be the best version of myself each and every day. I have also been working on getting massages more regularly. Self-care is important yet one of the hardest things to embrace.

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

Nikki – I have tried so many different marketing tactics and for me “Word of Mouth” is what works best. However, this will be different for each and every person based on the type of work and clients being sought and availability.

Irene’s – What do you feel the biggest mistake you’ve made, and how did you address it?  

Nikki – I do not look at life or experiences as mistakes. I look at everything as an opportunity to learn and grow. If something did not work with a client as expected, then I have open communication with them about the outcome and future outcomes.

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

Nikki – Never stop learning. Follow your instincts. Ground yourself. No matter what, do what makes you happy.

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

Nikki – I can be reached by cell phone, Ph: 810-623-9966 Facebook at Tranquil Vitality Massage or  Email:




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.