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The holidays are over, the decorations are stored away for another year, and it’s time to relax. If you’re having trouble shaking off the stress from 2015, think about a massage to start the New Year.
When driving back and forth on Rutherford, going to and from grocery stores and gas stations, you probably noticed an attractive sign announcing Be Well Massage. Today I’m stopping in to meet Lael Dann, the licensed massage therapist who has opened her business here in Landrum. And my first question is, “Where did your parents find the name ‘Lael’? ”
“It’s a Hebrew name,” she tells me. “In fact, a male Hebrew name. It was one of those things where they opened the Bible and pointed and their finger landed on ‘Lael,’ and that became my name.”
Lael grew up in Landrum and after some difficult early years, she found herself trying to decide what she wanted to do. “I did landscaping for awhile and then I had an unpleasant job stripping and staining wood. I had a child to support and did whatever it took,” she remembers.
“I prayed a lot, asking God to give me some direction, to help me discover where my life belonged. One day I was at the ATM and had a conversation with a woman, a stranger, at the bank. She asked me what I did, and when I told her I was trying to figure that out, she said I should be a massage therapist. I had worked at the Grove Park Inn for a while as a receptionist in their spa, and the more I thought about massage therapy, it sounded right. I really believe it was God’s message that led me to this career. It’s His master plan for me.”
Lael attended Spartanburg Community College where she was at the top of her class. “I realized I wanted to have my own business and not just work at a spa. So, I knew I had to be good,” she relates. “And I was fortunate to have an excellent instructor who had been trained at the Esselin Institute in California at Big Sur. Her methods taught me to go slow with the massage and soften up the muscle. The slower you go, the deeper you can go and target the areas that are stuck or knotted.”
The décor in the massage room is attractive and restful. Colors are calming, sheets are soft, and towels appear thick and absorbent. Her father designed and constructed shelves out of barn wood. Peaceful music adds to the relaxing atmosphere.
“This is just the beginning for me. My plan is for a full service spa with manicures, pedicures, and more than one therapist. I know the time will come when my hands won’t be able to do this anymore. It’s hard work and sometimes at night my hands freeze up and are painful. So I need to think about the future,” she ponders.We talk about posture and how slouching or a poor position at a computer can create problems. Ninety percent of her customers seek her out for therapeutic massage. The have shoulder pain or back pain, sometimes hip pain.
Lael has had her own problems with severe hip pain so can easily relate to how pain can affect daily life. “I’m like a detective. When people tell me where it hurts, when it hurts, what kind of pain it is, I can usually guess what they do for a living,” she laughs.
More schooling will be in her future, particularly learning more about the business end of things. I mention how her sign on the highway had caught my attention. Her husband helped her with the design and it’s been effective in developing her business.
I notice that she offers gift certificates. What a wonderful gift for a friend or husband or wife who is dealing with pain or stress. Or do you need to give yourself some time out? I had a friend tell me once, “A massage is a present I give myself every month.” Maybe that should be our New Year’s resolution!
Lael is getting her website set up and soon will be able to provide on-line booking.
Until then she can be reached at 864-357-4719.