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James L. - Pleasanton, CA


Hands down Michelle is the best massage therapist you can find! Any friends or family who I have referred her too and said the same thing; extremely thoughtful and generally concerned as to what you need and how to go about correcting your issues. What a treasure! You must give them a call and see for yourself.

Karen A. - Livermore, CA

Michelle has been my masseuse for many years, and it has been a great help that she has trained in lymphedema therapy, and cancer massage.  I have been battling cancer since August 2004, for both breast and ovarian.   I’m not having to do chemo, nor am I having problems with swelling of lymph nodes in my leg from a tumor at this time but if I was, Michelle would work her magic hands on my leg and the rest of my body.  Massage helps to get my lymph nodes to drain and flush out the toxins from the chemo drugs.  It also help me to relax a bit more after sitting in a chair hooked up to I V bags of different chemo drugs for hours at a time.

Candace Chapman

Canadian National Team

Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) LEAGUE:  (WPS CHAMPION 2010, 2011)


Finding Michelle was one of my highlights while living and playing professional soccer in the Bay Area. She is a true professional and works extremely hard. I scheduled appointments with Michelle twice,sometimes 3 times a week and I know that without her I would not have been able to recover as well as i did from practices or feel as ready as possible for games. Along with proper nutrition and stretching consistently Michelle was an added benefit for my body. I would recommend Michelle and Healthy Necessity to anyone who asked me for a quality massage therapist in the Bay Area. I wish I could take her with me where ever I play!! Thanks Michelle!


Michelle was an extraordinary partner in my recovery from breast cancer.  She supported me through post mastectomy, post radiation, pre reconstruction and post reconstruction.  All of these stages come with different challenges and each time I was able to discuss with Michelle the best approach to achieve my goals and maintain my spirit.  She is an excellent listener and collaborator and constantly adjusted to my needs as I navigated through all the changes to my body. During this time, I was very fortunate to receive a grant for cancer support services but Michelle was not available on the grant organization network.  She was such a key part of my recovery that I choose to pay her out of pocket to continue her services. I would highly recommend her to anyone, especially those dealing with a challenging illness. She is very special.

J.C. - Dublin, CA

About two years ago, I had somehow acquired a hamstring injury that rendered me incapable of running long distances.  I even tried running on a treadmill and could barely do so.  I am really into running, as it helps me to keep my weight down.  In the absence of running, I tried other options such as the elliptical.  However, I really wanted to get back into running because it was my first love.  I somehow (online search or recommendation, I’m not sure…) found out about Michelle Pena at Healthy Necessity Massage and I made an appointment to see her.  I figured that I would try sports/deep tissue massages to see if that would be my path back to healthy hamstrings and legs.    

My decision to go to Healthy Necessity Massage in Pleasanton, CA was one of the best decisions I have ever made!  I have never regretted going to see Michelle Pena at the Pleasanton location. 

In no time at all, and after a few sessions of sports massages with Michelle, I was back to running.  Now, when I first met Michelle, I had my reservations about how much good she could do me, given her small size and stature.  I am a pretty big guy and I wondered how such a small woman could give me the deep tissue sports massages that I felt I needed to get my hamstrings back in order.  Thankfully, I was wrong about her.  At times, during our sessions, it felt like she would push me through the table and onto the floor!  But, it was all necessary because, as I previously stated, I was back to running in no time.   Additionally, because I sustain tight muscles, etc. from training in combat jujitsu and from heavy weightlifting, I realized additional benefits from the massages I received at Healthy Necessity Massage. 

Michelle Pena is knowledgeable, professional and friendly.  She knows what she is doing and is able to tell the client what is going on with his/her body using knowledge she gains through the massage process.  In my case, she was able to tell me where the areas of tightness in my body were located and describe to me what areas needed additional work, and she did this with pinpoint accuracy.

Today, I, a man in my 50s, am running at 8:30 mile paces; I am training in jujitsu; I am lifting heavy weights in the gym; and, more importantly, I feel good!!

Unfortunately, because my job has transferred me across the country, I won’t be able to come back to Healthy Necessity Massage.  That is one of my regrets about leaving the Tri-Valley area. 

I just hope I can find a massage therapist as competent, professional, and pleasant as Michelle Pena at my new home on the East Coast.  I highly recommend Healthy Necessity Massage as the place “go-to” place for massages in the Tri-Valley area.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Coleen H. - San ramon, ca

I found Michelle my first day in tears from extreme pain. Michelle  took me in immediately for a short massage which helped diminish my terrible neck and shoulder pain. After that, I continued with a weekly massage just so I could get through each week of working. Prior to my cervical fusion and during my long recovery, Michelle went out of her way to give me all the care possible. She is a skilled technician and a charming, dedicated and compassionate person. I have moved on from needing Michelle's services (after 3years)  but we still keep in touch. I have recommended her to many friends, who also rave of her talents...she is THE BEST.

5 Star Rating

Suzi K. - Aurora, CO

I have been going to Michelle for massages for a few years now.  She has done a great job of helping me with my vertigo that is caused by stiff muscles in my neck and at the base of my skull.  She has also worked a lot on my upper back and shoulders, as I retain my stress in my neck, back and shoulders.  I leave her table feeling like a new woman and my vertigo is practically nil.  I recently moved to CO but it has not stopped me from getting a massage from Michelle.  I am able to work in both CO and CA and when I’m in CA, I always make sure I have an appointment with Michelle. No one can take the place of Michelle and I will fly 2.5 hours to see her when I can. 

W. - Pleasanton, CA

I have been going to Healthy Necessity Massage since January.  My husband bought a gift certificate for me for Christmas.  They are THE best!  I have been to several massage therapists for many years.  Michelle Pena is by far the best.  She is well educated and very intuitive.  She customizes your massage based on your current physical needs.  I always leave feeling relaxed.  Her prices are fair and she is very professional.  You know she cares about your physical well being.  If you've never been to Healthy Necessity Massage in Pleasanton, you need to call for an appointment soon!  You will be glad you did!!

R.T. - Livermore, CA

My wife found Michelle several years ago when she was working at a different location.
I come to Michelle on a fairly regular basis because of pain in my arm and other areas due to old injuries and some arthritis.
The help and education I receive from Michelle allows me to feel more healthy and have much more movement of muscles after a treatment.
I cannot put into words how much better I feel after receiving treatment from a Healthy Necessity Massage.
Other places I have visited do not seem to treat the problem or speak to you about how to help yourself.
I have referred Healthy Necessity to many of my friends and have always received positive comments.
Michelle's sunny disposition and upbeat attitude along with her expertise has a positive effect on me both physically and mentally.

N. P. - San Ramon

After going to several professional massage therapist I can absolutely attest that Michelle is the best. On my first appointment she had delivered the most extraordinary massage  I've ever had. She tackles the knots throughout that will leave you feel so good and relax afterwards. Try Michelle , you'll be glad you did.

Marlene B.

I have been going to Healthy Necessity for the past year to help relieve stress. I always look forward to going as I know when the massage is done I feel fantastic! A few months ago I pulled a muscle in my left ankle while running. I came to see Michelle to see if she could somehow help with the pain. Not only did Michelle pin point where the pain was she helped me on how to treat it. After 4 weeks I came back to see Michelle, my leg was feeling so much better (at least I thought it was) but she found an area that was still causing pain. Michelle rubbed the affected area and actually massaged a knot to come out. Five days later, my leg was feeling great and I am back to running - my leg has never felt better!"

San Ramon, CA - Christina G.

I found Healthy Necessity by getting facials next door and mentioning some shoulder pain. Plus my husband loves massage so I always look for gift ideas for him. I have a shoulder injury from long hours on the computer and fatigue from holding a little one! Michelle has literally made it so that I do not need to be on prescription pain meds. She has given me stretches to do at home as well to help in keeping me comfortable. I have gone to Michelle for 4 years now, through various injuries and pregnancy. It is different then other places I've been because Michelle really listens to your problem and then helps you find comfort. She also makes the visit very fun and positive, even if you are talking ab out pain the whole time! I would refer all friends and family to Healthy Necessity for both pain relief and for relaxation.

C.P.S - Pleasanton, CA

I was introduced to Michelle through a client, immediately liked her, and decided to give her a try.  At the time, it was just a casual, R&R massage, but she found some "knots" and so it turned out to be therapeutic.  Since then, I've had significant shoulder and hip issues which Michelle has addressed, at times helping me escape a condition which was becoming chronic and really limiting me, helping me to get back to normal.  Michelle learns her clients' bodies and issues  - starting with a little "how are you doing" at the beginning of a session, but then exploring the upper body to find any knots, spasms or other tightness, moving to the lower body for the same in Phase 2 of the massage, addressing what needs attention.  I don't ever see Michelle take a note, but she remembers the issues and always asks the right questions, finds the tight spots, and then tailors her work to provide optimal relief given the length of the agreed session.

As a result of Healthy Necessity's therapeutic massage, I have gotten past all sorts of pain and tightness, learned useful "self help" stretches and exercises I can do at home, learned how to mix in ice and hot baths, etc.  I don't have any confidence I will ever be continuously free of the tightness, aches and pains which I cause with over-activity or stress, but Michelle is always there to help me get past them.

Michelle's the best.

P.W. - Pleasanton, CA

I found Healthy Necessity through Simply Nails…who shares an office suite.  I came to Healthy Necessity primarily for neck and back work…lots of tension, very tight, and a lot of neck pain.  Over time I've also had other issues that Michelle has helped to address including knee issues and tendonitis in my foot.  Massage has most definitely makes a huge difference in how I feel.  At each massage, my neck is loosened up and I can walk much better.  I've begun working out and overall just feel better!

I love going to Michelle at Healthy Necessity.  My only regret is that I can't go more often!  I've been to many other massage practitioners and Michelle is one of a kind.  She is thorough, explains what I can do differently to prevent issues, and is about as nice as anyone can be.  This is not just a "job" for her…it is a calling and she is great at what she does.  I have referred several friends to Michelle who love her work just as much as I do.

N.T. - Brentwood, CA

After my physical therapy was over, I needed a massage to loosen the tight neck and shoulder muscles that were a direct result after my surgery for a torn rotator cuff.  The spa I usually used had gone out of business, so as I was waiting to get my nails done, I noticed a brochure for Michelle’s Massage that was located in the same building.  I booked an appointment immediately and NEVER regretted it.  When I came in for my first appointment, she took down all my issues that I had, in particular my neck, shoulder, and lower back as a result, and then she proceeded over the next 90 minutes to work out EVERY ache, pain, tension, knot, soreness that I possessed.  Afterwards, she applied a wonderful soothing menthol balm on those spots that I could feel permeate my body, and afterwards she gave me wonderful easy ways to alleviate my trouble spots with some stretches, a tennis ball, certain postures, etc. to use in between my massage treatments.   I have never slept so good or felt so good for so long and as a result I have continued to see her every month for the last 3 years.  ( I have since moved to  Brentwood , and I still do the drive just to have Michelle work on me).  I have also been to other masseuses in my travels around the globe, but they never seem to do anything other than their robotic routine that they are familiar with, even though I explain that certain areas need more work.  I always leave just needing to hurry back and see Michelle again. She ALWAYS meets my needs, and if new ones pop up, she addresses those too.  She is always professional, her studio is soothing and relaxing the minute you walk into it, she always asks if any new problems exist and what I specifically want done that day, and then she does it.  My 3 daughters use her now, and my girlfriends have all switched over to her (and some husbands as well).  After just one massage,  anyone will find themselves truly blessed to have discovered this miracle worker and I never would hesitate to recommend her.  She is truly your body’s saving grace and your body will thank you. 

Michelle & Joseph, Pleasanton

My son is 9 years old and in his second year of competitive soccer.  In the Spring, he began experiencing severe heel/foot pain.  We were not sure what the cause was and I was reluctant to have his pediatrician evaluate since their diagnosis would probably have been Plantar Fasciitis.  I would not have believed that my 9 year old would have this at such an early age.  So, I brought him to you for evaluation and treatment.  I trust your judgment completely since you have been treating both of us for back pain for quite some time now.  After seeing his feet, you believed that his muscles were tightening and recommended icing and stretching using a tennis size ball and to come back for treatment on a periodic basis.  Since then, the pain has decreased from daily to just weekends when he plays several games in a row.  However, when he consistently applies ice before and after and stretches with the ball the pain decreases to almost nothing.  Now, getting a 9 year old to take care of his feet is a challenge on its own!  You know how to talk to kids, listen and motivate them to take care of their bodies.  Joseph’s soccer friends are beginning to experience the same type of heel/foot pain and we are always recommending you.  I am confident that your treatment has prevented his pain from increasing and possibly turning into something more severe.  As always, thanks again for being so attentive to our bodies and recommending the right course of treatment.


I really liked the massage you gave me on Friday. Your intuitive hands knew where the pain was in my body. And the pressure you used was perfect to unlock those knots.  The hot towel on over my shoulders helped to relax the scar tissue as well.  And the heated table made the experience more relaxing.  The warmth of your personality made me feel cared about.   And the real test is how I felt the next day.  There is nothing better than great feeling of a lasting excellent massage.  Thank you. 

Suzi K., Dublin, CA

If I could stand on a mountain top and tell everyone how wonderful Michelle Pena is as a massage therapist and a person, I would.  Getting a massage is a personal thing and Michelle makes you feel so comfortable.  Michelle also takes the time to listen to you and will personalize your massage for what you need.  I have ongoing issues with my neck and Michelle has helped to relieve the tension and she has given me exercises to do between massages.  I have referred Michelle to many people and they all agree – she is THE BEST!  Thank you Michelle for being the greatest massage therapist a woman could want and a terrific friend!

Rachel Buehler

US Professional Soccer Player

Michelle is an exceptional massage therapist.  As a professional soccer player I have very specific points of tension in my muscles, and Michelle is always able to quickly find my knots and apply the perfect amount of pressure.  Her work helps keep me healthy and performing at my best. Michelle is extremely knowledgeable and professional and she is also one of the nicest people I have ever met. My body and sprit feel completely rejuvenated after I have a massage with her.

Michelle L.

I have been suffering from severe neck and upper back pain for the last year due to a car accident.  I have been receiving regular massage treatments from Michelle since the accident alleviating the pain and discomfort. 
After my first treatment session with Michelle, I was thoroughly impressed.  I had never experienced such relief in my symptoms after only one treatment.   I still have occasional flare-ups, but I know I will feel relief after my next session. 
Michelle is an extremely skilled and experienced massage therapist, who is dedicated to her profession and takes pride in     helping others feel better and live healthier lives.  Not only has she gone the extra mile to obtain education above and beyond what is required in her field, but she has an intuitive and skillful touch which is rare to find.  Michelle cares about finding the source of the pain and doing the necessary work to resolve it.  Michelle is the very best and I look forward to every session!


Michelle Pena is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet, and her warmth exudes right into her work as a massage therapist. I've had many massages, but never before have I felt so loved and relaxed all at once during a session. I could already tell in my e-mails with her that she was a special person, and I knew the moment I met her that I would thoroughly enjoy my massage.

Aside from her soothing but strong hands, Michelle is very knowledgeable. She took time to tell me which parts of my body were tight and even recommended some stretches to do at home. Additionally, she explained that pregnancy massages aren't as deep to ensure that toxins aren't released to the baby. (I was 35 weeks pregnant when I had my first massage with her, and I immediately scheduled one more three weeks later.)

I highly recommend Michelle and give her five-plus stars all the way. It's no wonder that Healthy Necessity won Best Massage in Pleasanton Weekly's Readers' Choice awards!

Christine O.

I have been going to Healthy Necessity for about one year.  Michelle is fantastic!  She's always there to greet you with a smile.  The perfect way to begin an hour (or more) of stress relief!  She listens to your needs and preferences to make sure you are comfortable and relaxed while in her care. I carry a LOT of tension in my neck and shoulders and she is able to make it disappear in one session.  Michelle has also provided me tips on preventing the tension at home.  A massage with Michelle has become a regular part of my life and can't wait for the next time I see her!

Dawn B.

I feel so blessed to be under Michelle Pena's care.  Her positive energy and therapeutic expertise has made a dramatic difference in my rehabilitation from a     back injury in October 2008.  I look forward to my deep tissue massage sessions every month!

Gayleen, Livermore CA

"Healthy Necessity massage rings true to its name. It leaves me felling invigorated, yet calm, healthy and strong. It has become a necessary way to deal with life's little problems your won't be disappointed!"

Heidi F.

"The first time Michelle told me about the Lava shell treatment, I thought I was hearing things.  How could anything be better than Hot Stones?  Well, she proved to me that there was something better.  The lava shell treatment allows Michelle to give a thorough massage without disconnecting so many times like the Hot Stones.  There is no water involved so there is no uncomfortable drips that become cold and damp.
The shells keep their warmth throughout the entire treatment (for me, 2 hours!) without cooling down, allowing the heat to penetrate the muscles even deeper and faster.  Since Michelle was able to spend less time on my problem muscles (they loosened up much more quickly than normal), she was able to give a more complete full body massage. 
The best part - no tenderness from the deep tissue massage the next day!!!  I definitely recommend the Lava Shell treatment for everyone, regardless of how intense of a massage you need.  It works great from the lightest touch all the way to the deepest sports massage you can imagine."

Seana, Livermore CA

I really enjoyed it much more than the hot stone for several reasons:

    1.  the lava shells retained the heat much better than thestones and the temperature stayed nice and warm throughout the massage

    2.  I really believe that the sea salt and sea mineral
combination inside the shell penetrated into my muscles and I feel that it made for a deeper massage.

    3.  The lava shells were so smooth - not abrasive at all like the stones can get once they start cooling down.

The bottom line is:  I will always ask for the lava shell treatment from now on - I love, love, love it!

Kimberly P, 39

Six-year breast cancer survivor

After a bi-lateral mastectomy for breast cancer, I was soon diagnosed with lymphedema in my right arm (the affected side). Although treated by my doctor and a lymphedema specialist, I still frequently felt uncomfortable pressure, like someone was blowing up a balloon inside my arm, but with no measurable swelling the doctor did not know what to tell me - except to do the self lymph-drainage massage I had been 
taught. Tension in my neck and shoulders brought me to Michelle but her miraculous work with my affected arm and lymphedema symptoms have inspired me to encourage other women to go to her. I had numbness, hardened subcutaneous tissue, and a constant “awareness” of my arm before Michelle began working with me. Her gentle technique of encouraging blood flow to my arm has re-awakened feeling, softened the 
tissue, and allowed me to “forget” about my  arm. I cannot express what a huge difference this has made in my life. Now I only use my compression garment when exercising or flying - no more daily wear! I sleep better, I’m able to lift weights, and do everyday things again like, carry a laundry basket and wash my car, and have a totally normal life with my arm. It truly feels no different than my left one and I never thought this would be possible. I highly recommend Michelle for 
anyone with lymphedema issues - she understands the mechanics, knows how to improve your situation, and with great care, will educate you along the way. If you have any hesitation or concerns, she will consult with you beforehand and ease your fears. Her massage therapy is truly amazing and I encourage you to call her today!

Gregory P - Engineer - Pleasanton CA

"I am an elite level competitive cyclist. Over the last few years, I have experienced debilitating numbness and pain in my legs during competition. Since beginning regular sessions with Michelle, the fatigue and heaviness in my legs has diminished. The pain and numbness that has prevented my competitive success has been greatly reduced. Michelle's specific care and knowledge of my condition has played a
major role in my successful return to competitive cycling."

Al & Jen - Livermore, CA

"I have been receiving massages from Michelle since February 2007 and she has done wonders for the tension in my neck and back, caused from work.  She is not only extremely talented, but constantly takes the time to learn new techniques to broaden her knowledge and offerings.  Her style is very calming and she genuinely cares that I'm feeling better.  I recommend Healthy Necessity Massage to anyone looking for a quality massage therapist with a wide variety of spa services."

Shirley - Dublin, CA

"I am a fairly new patient of Michelle’s.  She was referred to me by my acupuncturist who has been treating me for a sciatica problem I have had for three years.  I have been to many doctors and even had two epidurals to help ease my discomfort, to no avail.  I did not want to have back surgery and decided to pursue other holistic treatments.

After a couple of appointments with Michelle, I have significant 
relief.  Michelle is very caring and makes her patient’s well being her top priority.  She has provided me with information for stretching and other exercises which are beneficial.

I look forward to continued improvement, thanks to Michelle."

Jackie D - Bay Area, CA

Before I started going to Healthy Massage I was having trouble with foot cramps especially at night.  After just a short time my cramps have disappeared and I feel better than I ever have. As a golfer my flexibility has improved which of course means my game has also improved.