Massage is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension, according to the Mayo Clinic, and licensed massage therapist Sherri Michael told The Times-Gazette that the medical benefits extend far beyond just relaxation.
“Something happens between my hands and the friction that spreads over a person’s body,” she said. “It’s been clinically proven to help with high blood pressure, it helps with diabetes, there’s improvement in circulation, relief for muscle tension and just overall helps with getting rid of stress.”
She said the old image of “massage parlors” is a misnomer in today’s world, since LMTs like her are now licensed through the medical board instead of the cosmetology board, and that some insurance carriers now recognize the profession as an important wellness component of health care.
Michael said she brings passion to her salon — Escape to Relaxation — located inside the Magic Touch Beauty Salon on West Walnut Street in Hillsboro.She has been a licensed LMT for five years and is a hometown girl at heart that spent her childhood in the Belfast community before embarking on a new career path in 2013.
“It was the winter of 2013, the coldest winter in 25 years, and I was going to school in Blue Ash,” she said. “I would meet up with one of my classmates in New Vienna and we’d head down SR 28 so we could pick up the freeway to Blue Ash and we were never late one time.”
Professionalism wasn’t the only reason for being on time for class, she said, because arriving late meant not being able to take the test on exam day.
“There was one morning we were stuck in traffic on I-275 and I told the girl I was with that if she wanted to get out and walk, she might get to class on time since it was a test day,” she said. “But by the grace of God, our instructor was from Wilmington and she was stuck in the same traffic jam three cars behind us, so we got to take our exam.”
Micheal’s life came full circle with the opening of her salon inside Magic Touch, having left the Hillsboro area in 2015 to move to Williamsburg and then on to Day Heights near Milford in late 2016.
The drive back and forth from Day Heights to Hillsboro to allow her children to remain in Hillsboro City Schools began to take its toll on both her and her car, motivating her to move back to Hillsboro in the fall of 2018 when the new school year began.
“My kids are freshman and eighth graders at the high school,” she said. “I bought a new car last year, and this month with all the driving back and forth it’s got over 45,000 miles on it.”
If a person is planning to book an appointment, her advice is to either do it at the end of the work day or on a day that isn’t too demanding, because after a message, losing the stress will cause a great sense of relaxation which may prevent returning to work.
“At one of the salons I worked at, one of our clients rolled in the parking lot riding a big Harley,” Michael said. “And everybody there had been a patient of mine and they’re all thinking to themselves, ‘how’s this guy going to drive himself home — when she’s done with him he won’t be able to hold that bike up.’”
She has great respect and admiration for first responders, law enforcement and active and retired military, and offers a 50 percent discount on a one- or two-hour appointment as a way of expressing her gratitude to those that serve or have served.
Escape to Relaxation is open by appointment by calling Magic Touch at 937-393-4074 or by calling Michael direct at 937-763-3757.
Salon hours are Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday evenings by appointment, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the second Sunday of every month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.