Founded in 2008 by UM grads Josie Ann Lee and Christin Draybuck, Balance Massage Therapy has one goal: making sure their clients leave happy. Since then, Balance has doubled its studio size and performed nearly 70,000 massages. They attribute their success to listening to the needs of their clients, matching them to expert therapists, providing extraordinarily friendly service and creating a business community that clients are excited and proud to be a part of.


“Building a business around the needs of people is a responsibility and privilege we take seriously,” says Lee. “We don’t want massage to be an exchange of money for service. We want it to be the best part of your day.” A lot has changed in the community and the industry; the number of massage studios in Ann Arbor has more than doubled and the state of Michigan has required licensing.


“We think both of these things are great for the massage therapy profession, as well as clients,” says Draybuck. “Any time more businesses are trying to educate the public about the benefits of massage, that’s a win for everyone.” She also believes that state regulation raises the standards and expectations of what people expect from massage as it is increasingly being recognized as an alternative medical treatment.


A recent survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association found that 77 percent of respondents said their primary reason for receiving massage was medical or stress-related.


Balance Massage Therapy has helped cultivate this shift in the mindset of their clients and have seen a 75 percent increase in the number of referrals they are getting from doctors, physical therapists and other clients.


One of the biggest benefits of massage is that each session can be tailored to the client’s current needs. Training in different modalities and techniques allow therapists to use their massage toolkit for the greatest positive impact on the client. Lee notes that in any given hour Balance


Massage Therapy is helping people navigate their way through cancer treatments, recover from surgery, celebrate a birthday, prepare for a race, find relief from working at a computer or enjoy a prenatal massage.


“We’ve had more of an impact on the lives of our clients than I ever could have imagined”, Lee said. “Balance is touching the lives of close to 100 people a day. Our responsibility is to make sure our clients, our team and our community leave Balance healthier, more mobile, less stressed, and of course, happier than when they arrived.”


Balance Massage Therapy announced the creation of the education wing in 2016. Balance Massage Therapy University (BMTU) is a part of our VISION 2020. BMTU offerings will include visiting instructors, pop up workshops, regular monthly trainings, online educational materials, instructor led classrooms, and team led workshops.

In 2017 Balance was honored at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala in Lansing as the Best Small Business in the Greater Washtenaw Region.