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Meet the Team

About Us - Meet the Team!

Massage Therapists:

Trissa Pearson, LMT, Owner

Trissa founded Morning Sun Massage & Spa in 2016, fulfilling her dream of passing on the power of massage to others.

Modalities: Deep Tissue, Swedish, and Hot Stone

Massage philosophy: I believe in massage’s power to heal and fulfill the basic need for human touch. It relieves aches and pains, lessens symptoms of anxiety and depression, and many more benefits too long to list. Helping others reestablish balance in their lives brings me great satisfaction. In a massage with me, you can expect me to talk with you before your session to ensure I provide the massage you want and that your body needs.

How I got started: I grew up on an Iowa farm, just down the gravel road from my grandparents, where I spent a lot of time as a child. My first experience with massage was my grandma telling me stories while her fingers were massaging my face to the tune of her story. Even as a very young child, I could feel the healing and love her touch provided.

I returned home to Iowa and settled in North Liberty. I studied at Carlson College of Massage Therapy, received my Iowa licensure, and began to pass the power of healing touch to my clients.

In my free time: I have two children and two granddaughters and a grandson who light up my life. My eleven-year-old granddaughter loves massage, and every time I see her she’s ready to hop on the table for me. Seeing her joy makes me smile and think of my grandma, as the cycle begins again.

Allison Leer, LMT

Modalities: Swedish, Sports, Prenatal, Hot Stone, and Cupping.

Education: Graduated Carlson College of Massage, 2017.

How I got started: I’ve always wanted to help people, and after my first massage knew this is how I wanted to be of service to others.

In my free time: I spend my time cuddling my dogs, cat, and daughter. Hiking is always a great way to spend time as well!

Azza Malik, LMT

Azza joined Morning Sun in March 2021

Modalities: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Hot Stone, and Trigger Point Therapy.

Education: PCI Academy, Iowa City.

How I got started: I’ve always had an interest in massage therapy, and wholeheartedly believe in its healing capabilities.

In my free time: I enjoy exercising, listening to music, artwork, traveling, fine dining, watching movies and shows, to just name a few.

Lili Dalton, LMT, LE

Lili joined Morning Sun in November 2020

Modalities: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Infant massage, and Reflexology. Lili is also able to perform Craniosacral Therapy.

Education: La James College of Iowa City.

How I got started: I’ve been a massage therapist for over 16 years. I have always had a passion for helping and giving to others, and the gift of massage therapy allows me to share my love of caring for people with each of my clients.

In my free time: I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my children. I love yoga and all things health related, and I always enjoy learning new things and continuing my education.

Bonus: Lili is also an esthetician in specialized facial treatments, which means that she can make your face radiant and your skin glow! Book her for a facial today!

Melissa Gansemer, LMT

Melissa joined Morning Sun in April 2022

Modalities: Deep tissue, Swedish, hot stone, prenatal, cupping, and dry brushing. 

Education: Capri College, 2015 graduate. 

How I got started: I was seeking a line of work that would allow me to help others, but needed the right fit. Massage stood out to me. I could help people and complete my education faster than other options I considered. With two kids under age 4 at home, timing was important. I've been a massage therapist for 7 years now, and I have truly found my passion!

In my free time: I have four kids and we are a very close family. We love to go swimming in summer, and you can find me quilting in my spare time.

Kia Noibi, LMT

Kia joined Morning Sun in February of 2023.

Modalities: Hot Stones Massage, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point Therapy

Education: Studied at PCI Academy, Iowa City 

 

How I got started: I was getting my hair done about a year ago and my stylist had mentioned how he had a client who was a LMT and I thought “huh how interesting,” and later that month I visited PCI for a tour then decided that I was going to try it out. With this curiosity of the profession and expeditious education I discovered a new and empowering way to live my life while providing the same energy for everyone who lays on the table. 

 

In my free time: I do yoga to maintain flexibility and for meditation, I absolutely love fine dining and cooking, I started wire-wrapping jewelry, and I enjoy the comfort of a mind-bending movie. 

Joni Stidham, LMT

Joni joined Morning Sun in September 2022.

Modalities: Swedish massage, Lomi-Lomi (traditional Hawaiian massage), Deep Tissue, and Parasympathetic (which helps lower blood pressure). 

Education: The International College of Holistic Studies, San Diego, CA. 

How I got started: I’ve always been a healer, and I loved essential oils when I was a kid. I've been on a path of self-discovery my whole life, and decided to go into a field that revolved around what I loved: helping people.

In my free time: I'm pretty active. I like hiking and mountain biking, and working out in general. When it's time to relax, I hang out with my dog and cat.

Jennifer Sackett, LMT

Jennifer joined Morning Sun in February of 2023.

 

Modalities: I do Swedish and deep tissue massage, and most massages I do are a mix of relaxation with focus on a client’s areas of concern (such as shoulder, low back, and/or neck issues).  I also offer prenatal, hot stone, and bamboo massage at Morning Sun.  I have taken a wide range of continuing education classes, including craniosacral therapy, lymphatic drainage, sports massage, massage cupping, and trigger point therapy. I’ve taken several Reiki classes, so I also offer Reiki sessions and a Reiki/massage combo for those who are looking for energy work.

 

Education: I graduated from Carlson College of Massage Therapy in August 2015.

 

How I got started: Several years ago, I had started searching for a more meaningful career.  I had been getting regular massages for relaxation and to deal with regular migraines, and one day I thought, “Why not try massage therapy school?”  I haven’t looked back since. 

 

In my free time: I spend a lot of my free time with my cat, Queen.  I love watching sports (and I am usually sad when football season is over).  When the weather is nicer, you may see me buzzing around town on my electric bicycle.

Tracy Jo Sherman, LMT, MED INTUITIVE

Tracy Jo graduated from The International Professional School of Bodywork in San Diego, California.  Her passion for the healing arts led her to study on the West Coast, East Coast, and Australia. She has studied Australian Bush remedies, sound massage, and medical intuition and has advanced training in Craniosacral Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage. 

Tracy Jo brings over 20 years of massage experience to Morning Sun Massage & Spa. She loves to weave several modalities together to create a unique experience for each guest she sees.  She embraces the opportunity to connect, serve and share from her heart the wisdom of her experience and studies.

Estheticians:

Marie Etten, Licensed Esthetician

Marie joined Morning Sun in 2017 as the spa’s first esthetician.

Services: Specialized facials, microdermabrasion, sugaring, and body treatments. I specialize in Brazilian sugars, sugaring, and treating problematic skin.

Education and experience: I’m a graduate of Capri College in Cedar Rapids, where I focused on esthetics.

How I got started: I started my career in personal care as a massage therapist 13 years ago, wanting to help and heal through massage. I decided to transition into skin care to help people not just feel amazing, but look great, too.

In my free time: I like anything outdoors—my family likes to fish, dance, and listen to music. I’m also interested in continuing education in esthetics and learning new techniques and treatments.

Madison Williamson, Licensed Esthetician

Madison joined Morning Sun in 2022 as our second esthetician.

Services: Custom blend facials, microdermabrasion, waxing, lash lift and tint, and brow lamination and tint.

Education and experience: I’m a graduate of the PCI Academy Esthetics program.

How I got started: I have always loved to help others so I started out in the medical field. I enjoyed taking care of others but I wanted to do it in a more positive way so I chose esthetics.

In my free time: I love to do nails, especially nail art. I like to read books and spend time with my family.

Lili Dalton, Licensed Esthetician

Lili joined Morning Sun in November 2020

Services: Customized Facials, Back Facials, and Dry Brushing. Specializing in caring for the skin with a healing touch through Reflexology Facials, Gua Sha Facials, Lymphatic Drainage, and Acupressure.

Education: I graduated from the La James International College of Esthetics Program.

How I got started: I have been working, in some form of healthcare, for over 30 years. I believe in a well rounded approach to skin care, rooted in overall wellness. I'm passionate about educating clients on the close connection between good health and a proper skin care regimen.

In my free time: I enjoy finding more ways to improve my skills and learning new things. I love yoga, trying fun new recipes, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and all things health and wellness.

About Us - Meet the Team!

Massage Therapists:

Trissa Pearson, LMT, Owner

Trissa founded Morning Sun Massage & Spa in 2016, fulfilling her dream of passing on the power of massage to others.

Modalities: Deep Tissue, Swedish, and Hot Stone

Massage philosophy: I believe in massage’s power to heal and fulfill the basic need for human touch. It relieves aches and pains, lessens symptoms of anxiety and depression, and many more benefits too long to list. Helping others reestablish balance in their lives brings me great satisfaction. In a massage with me, you can expect me to talk with you before your session to ensure I provide the massage you want and that your body needs.

How I got started: I grew up on an Iowa farm, just down the gravel road from my grandparents, where I spent a lot of time as a child. My first experience with massage was my grandma telling me stories while her fingers were massaging my face to the tune of her story. Even as a very young child, I could feel the healing and love her touch provided.

I returned home to Iowa and settled in North Liberty. I studied at Carlson College of Massage Therapy, received my Iowa licensure, and began to pass the power of healing touch to my clients.

In my free time: I have two children and two granddaughters and a grandson who light up my life. My eleven-year-old granddaughter loves massage, and every time I see her she’s ready to hop on the table for me. Seeing her joy makes me smile and think of my grandma, as the cycle begins again.

Victoria Gress, LMT

Victoria joined Morning Sun in April 2018.

Modalities: Energy massage, Deep Tissue, Zero Balancing, Cupping and Thai Table Massage.

Training: I studied massage at Windermere in Decorah, Iowa, and received an Eastern Healing Arts certificate in 1999.

Areas of Study: Tuina (Chinese Medical massage), shiatsu, QiGong, Thai massage, aromatherapy, Reiki Master-Teacher, Tumo Energy training, Swedish, and deep tissue.

My motto in practice: “Massage is about taking the time to have a very private and deep conversation with your body and your soul. It’s about choosing to drop the distractions and listen to your oldest and dearest friend—your Self. My goal as a therapist is to assist you in this process.”

In my free time: Take me outside to play! Biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and gardening. Spending time with my kids and grandchildren rank highest in interests as well.

Allison Leer, LMT

Modalities: Swedish, Sports, Prenatal, Hot Stone, and Cupping.

Education: Graduated Carlson College of Massage, 2017.

How I got started: I’ve always wanted to help people, and after my first massage knew this is how I wanted to be of service to others.

In my free time: I spend my time cuddling my dogs, cat, and daughter. Hiking is always a great way to spend time as well!

Azza Malik, LMT

Azza joined Morning Sun in March 2021

Modalities: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Hot Stone, and Trigger Point Therapy.

Education: PCI Academy, Iowa City.

How I got started: I’ve always had an interest in massage therapy, and wholeheartedly believe in its healing capabilities.

In my free time: I enjoy exercising, listening to music, artwork, traveling, fine dining, watching movies and shows, to just name a few.

Keith Simmonds, LMT

Keith joined Morning Sun in September 2023

Modalities: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Hot Stone, Thai Yoga Massage/Table Thai,  and Manual Lymphatic Drainage.

Education: Carlson College of Massage Therapy.

How I got started: I've been a flooring contractor for 20 years. 10 years ago, I hurt my shoulder through work, and a massage/sports therapist eased the pain and made work bearable again. Over the last 10 years, massage therapists have kept my body going in my very physical job. One jovial therapist even helped me deal with my depression. I needed a change of career, and massage therapy seemed perfect for me. I'd still be working with my hands, and I could give back some of those awesome massages I had received. I have developed a very intuitive style where I draw on my own experience of body pain and the techniques that have helped me alleviate that pain.

In my free timeI practice yoga occasionally. I enjoy cooking for my family and snuggling with my rescue cat, Skye. I am an active member of the Five Seasons Waterski team in Cedar Rapids, where I do my own stunts (not always successfully). My pain is your gain.

Melissa Gansemer, LMT

Melissa joined Morning Sun in April 2022

Modalities: Deep tissue, Swedish, Hot Stone, Heated Bamboo Stick,  Prenatal, and Cupping.  

Education: Capri College, 2015 graduate. 

How I got started: I was seeking a line of work that would allow me to help others, but needed the right fit. Massage stood out to me. I could help people and complete my education faster than other options I considered. With two kids under age 4 at home, timing was important. I've been a massage therapist for 7 years now, and I have truly found my passion!

In my free time: I have four kids and we are a very close family. We love to go swimming in summer, and you can find me quilting in my spare time.

Kia Noibi, LMT

Kia joined Morning Sun in February of 2023.

Modalities: Hot Stones Massage, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point Therapy

Education: Studied at PCI Academy, Iowa City 

 

How I got started: I was getting my hair done about a year ago and my stylist had mentioned how he had a client who was a LMT and I thought “huh how interesting,” and later that month I visited PCI for a tour then decided that I was going to try it out. With this curiosity of the profession and expeditious education I discovered a new and empowering way to live my life while providing the same energy for everyone who lays on the table. 

 

In my free time: I do yoga to maintain flexibility and for meditation, I absolutely love fine dining and cooking, I started wire-wrapping jewelry, and I enjoy the comfort of a mind-bending movie. 

Joni Stidham, LMT

Joni joined Morning Sun in September 2022.

Modalities: Swedish massage, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone, and Cupping. 

Education: The International College of Holistic Studies, San Diego, CA. 

How I got started: I’ve always been a healer, and I loved essential oils when I was a kid. I've been on a path of self-discovery my whole life, and decided to go into a field that revolved around what I loved: helping people.

In my free time: I'm pretty active. I like hiking and mountain biking, and working out in general. When it's time to relax, I hang out with my dogs and cat.

Jennifer Sackett, LMT

Jennifer joined Morning Sun in February of 2023.

 

Modalities: I do Swedish and deep tissue massage, and most massages I do are a mix of relaxation with focus on a client’s areas of concern (such as shoulder, low back, and/or neck issues).  I also offer prenatal, hot stone, and heated bamboo stick massage at Morning Sun.  I have taken a wide range of continuing education classes, including craniosacral therapy, lymphatic drainage, sports massage, massage cupping, and trigger point therapy. I’ve taken several Reiki classes, so I also offer Reiki sessions and a Reiki/massage combo for those who are looking for energy work.

 

Education: I graduated from Carlson College of Massage Therapy in August 2015.

 

How I got started: Several years ago, I had started searching for a more meaningful career.  I had been getting regular massages for relaxation and to deal with regular migraines, and one day I thought, “Why not try massage therapy school?”  I haven’t looked back since. 

 

In my free time: I spend a lot of my free time with my cat, Queen.  I love watching sports (and I am usually sad when football season is over).  When the weather is nicer, you may see me buzzing around town on my electric bicycle.

Tracy Jo Sherman, LMT, MED INTUITIVE

Tracy joined Morning Sun in July of 2023.

Modalities: Medical Lymphatic Drainage Therapy and Cranial Sacral Therapy.

Education: Tracy Jo Sherman graduated from the International Professional School of Bodywork in San Diego, California, and has completed advanced training with leading institutions including The Chikly Health Institute and The Upledger Institute. Her holistic studies have taken her across the U.S. and internationally, enriching her practice with diverse healing modalities. Tracy Jo is not only a therapist but a lifelong learner and teacher, dedicated to weaving her skills into a cohesive approach for health and wellness at Morning Sun Massage & Spa.

Tracy Jo brings over 20 years of massage experience to Morning Sun Massage & Spa. She loves to weave several modalities together to create a unique experience for each guest she sees.  She embraces the opportunity to connect, serve and share from her heart the wisdom of her experience and studies.

Estheticians:

Marie Etten, Licensed Esthetician

Marie joined Morning Sun in 2017 as the spa’s first esthetician.

Services: I specialize in Facials, Microdermabrasion, Sugaring, body treatments, and treating problematic skin.

Education and experience: I’m a graduate of Capri College in Cedar Rapids, where I focused on esthetics.

How I got started: I started my career in personal care as a massage therapist 13 years ago, wanting to help and heal through massage. I decided to transition into skin care to help people not just feel amazing, but look great, too.

In my free time: I like anything outdoors—my family likes to fish, dance, and listen to music. I’m also interested in continuing education in esthetics and learning new techniques and treatments.

Madison Williamson, Licensed Esthetician

Madison joined Morning Sun in 2022 as an esthetician.

Services: Custom Blend Facials, Microdermabrasion, Waxing, Lash Lift and Tint, and Brow Lamination and Tint.

Education and experience: I’m a graduate of the PCI Academy Esthetics program.

How I got started: I have always loved to help others so I started out in the medical field. I enjoyed taking care of others but I wanted to do it in a more positive way so I chose esthetics.

In my free time: I love to do nails, especially nail art. I like to read books and spend time with my family.

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