SOHMAR has relocated! Our new address is
3051 Oak Grove Road, Suite 104, Downers Grove, IL 60515

We moved

APPROVal to operate
The School of Holistic Massage and Reflexology has been approved to operate by Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education since 2000. Website: The School is dedicated to teaching holistic massage and reflexology by utilizing A HOLISTIC APPROACH incorporating body, mind and spiriT. We offer a variety of solid programs including massage Therapy, reflexology and Continued education programs. our 100% Mblex passing rate for the last 3 years confirm that our school is top in the nation!
Learn from a leader
our lead instructor/director, Michael McAleese was inducted into the massage therapy hall of fame by a group of his peers in 2016!
This is quite a feat, being that there are over 350,000 Massage Therapists and 23,000 private Massage Schools in the US alone.
Choosing SOHMAR for your education means that you will be taught by a documented leading expert in the field!!

to see testimonials click here

LOCATED 25 MINUTES FROM CHICAGO/minutes from downers grove train station and a Pace bus stop right across the street from our school
SOHMAR is conveniently located 25 minutes from downtown Chicago, at 3051 Oak Grove Road, Suite 104, Downers Grove, IL 60515 (as of March 1, 2018) Phone: 630-968-7827

Our Philosophy

The School of Holistic Massage and Reflexology is dedicated to teaching holistic massage and reflexology by utilizing natural techniques that allow the body to heal itself. The school offers affordable training in the growing field of massage therapy, reflexology and the alternative health care field.

The School combines a variety of techniques which embrace physical, mental and spiritual healing. Our goal is to incorporate these techniques in a friendly, non-threatening environment. Class size remains small so we can work individually with each student.

Mike's story
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! 


Your Director
Michael McAleese



Michaels passion is to share with others the arts and science of massage and movement.
(Mike and his dog Koda pictured above...checkout the Arrrooo Blog)

Michaels mantra:
helping People to move better, to feel better, and to breathe better!

Click for more

Facebook testimonials
Jennifer Slevin - 5 stars
SOHMAR's instructors are OUTSTANDING!! They make learning anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology interesting and fun, and are incredible massage therapists themselves who teach you great massage therapy techniques. Not to mention, the instructors prepare you for real-world, business experience. It was the fastest, best year of my life! I couldn't be happier with my decision to attend SOHMAR and am going to miss classes each week. Anyone considering going to school for massage therapy should consider SOHMAR if you want a great education!

Elizabeth Gindt - 5 stars
Mike is an awesome teacher! Not only did they teach me Reflexology, but also had the resources to help me figure out how to set up my business. SOHMAR is able to expose you to different resources outside of the regular classroom setting.

Sarah Eckstein - 5 stars
Small class sizes, intuitive teaching and a truly rewarding experience. I just celebrated 8 years since graduating from this great program that gave me the tools and real world experience to succeed in this industry. (Sarah is a former SOHMAR instructor and teaches the Mblex study group class) Watch for class listing.

Dolores Matel - 5 stars
I learned my gentle reflexology techniques through SOHMAR and they have changed my life and those whom I've assisted on their wellness journey. Thanks Mike McAleese for offering such a wonderful program and learning environment.

Sherry Thompson-Yates - 5 stars
I am a former student of SOHMAR. I took a course in Reflexology and I must say that Mike and Joy Klein are the best!!! Their knowledge and skill sets that they brought to the classroom was awesome. I am proud to say that I have my own business. It is truly a blessing to be able to bless someone else. I will definitely be back for Reflexology Part II. this upcoming September. Thank you again for helping me to step out the box and venture out to infinite possibilities!!!

Kathy Lewandowski - 5 stars
MIKE IS A GREAT TEACHER. He loves what he does and it shows.


How do I get started?

massage Certification - 44 weeks

reflexologY Level #1-10 weeks
Reflexology Level #2 - 3 wks

request an appointment today!
EMAIL US AT: [email protected]
CALL 630-968-7827

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have no prior criminal record
Because our classes meet 1 times a week for Reflexology Certification and 3-4 times a week for our Massage Certification, our students can maintain their jobs while earning their certificates! Better yet our students pay as they go and graduate debt free (this depends on payment arrangements). Our flexible schedule is the reason working adults and those wanting to make a career change choose SOHMAR.

Respected by the community


students at MarathonS/SPORTING EVENTS

Michael McAleese is well known in the community as a business man, Triathlete and Ironman. His involvement in the community has enabled SOHMAR to participate at a variety of events including the Chicago Marathon, races and indoor triathlons.

How are we different?

SOHMAR'S courses are based on clock hours. There are no pre-requisites to complete beforehand and hands-on instruction begins on day one! Our classes are intergraded which means business, ethics and anatomy are discussed throughout the program and not in modules or semesters. Students practise hands on skills in client clinics and a variety of other outside events throughout their education to provide students with with "real world" experience.

enrollment starts every 3 months. When you are ready we are ready!
Classes meet 1-4 times a week
finance / payment programs