"We're very close-knit here, and the community is close-knit, too. I really appreciate that," says Charity Mendoza, owner of Greenleaf Bodywork on E. 9 Mile Road in Ferndale, Michigan.
Trained in massage therapy at Irene's Myomassology Institute in 2005, Charity Mendoza has experienced "steady stepping stones of growth" since starting her first practice in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Her friend and massage therapist decided to move on and handed over her entire practice to Mendoza. As her practice grew, she moved to Ferndale, Royal Oak, and most recently back to Ferndale into the serene store-front space on E. 9 Mile Road.
“I love being in Ferndale. I’m the biggest Ferndale fan, ever! People support the local economy. They care about the success of the independent, local businesses,” Mendoza says.
In fact, Mendoza is active in the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of the Ferndale Downtown Development Association. She enjoys her Ferndale location because it’s accessible, surrounded by ample parking, and situated near other like-minded businesses. Often you will see Greenleaf Bodywork performing massages at many of the downtown events like Green Cruise, Green Week, and Pride Fest.
Serving the Ferndale and surrounding communities is certainly top priority, but she couldn’t do that without her team of dedicated, nationally certified massage therapists. “[The therapists] treat my business as their own. There is a team approach here and everyone comes to the table with a lot of massage "tools" to get the job done.” Mendoza notes that there are two full-time therapists in addition to herself, as well as one part-time therapist.
“We’re just the right size for our model. We’re not like Pottery Barn when you walk in. We’re not staged to perfection, but we provide a peaceful atmosphere and have the skills to achieve the client’s desired outcome,” says Mendoza.
Indeed, what Greenleaf Bodywork offers in the way of massage modalities is one thing that sets them apart in Metro Detroit. Aside from offering traditional Swedish massage, Greenleaf Bodywork offers deep tissue massage, hot stone therapy, reflexology, Reiki healing, and, most notably, Ashiatsu massage—a type of Thai massage done with the therapist on the table, standing over the client with overhead bars for support. This allows the use of the width of the feet to give a deep yet gentle pressure. Mendoza notes that there are very few therapists in Michigan practicing Ashiatsu massage.
Blending multiple massage techniques, including Swedish, deep tissue, stretches, muscle mechanics, and movement offer the precise blend that many Ferndale-area residents are after. “Charity has depth. She adapts techniques from session to session depending on what my body needs,” says Laurie, a six-year client of Mendoza’s. “I work out every day and my mother has degenerative arthritis, and she is able to work with both of us because of the breadth of her techniques.”
You can experience Greenleaf Bodywork for yourself at 251 E. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, Michigan, or via their website GreenleafBodywork.com. A full menu of services is available on the website.