Local therapist finds her Peaceful Strength in everyday work
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018, Sarah Wolfe decided to opt for a more holistic approach in treating her symptoms. And so far, it’s worked.
That’s why offering Peaceful Strength to everyone from every walk of life is important to her. The business she runs at 131 S. Second St. offers personalized strength training in the front part of the suite and massage therapy in the back.
“I felt like I survived (her sickness) with a peaceful strength — the peaceful being the massage part, and the strength being the training part,” Wolfe says from inside the massage room.
However at the end of the month, Wolfe will be moving the massage part of her business, keeping the Peaceful Strength name, over to Central Kentucky Hemp in an upstairs office. The strength training business will stay on South Second.
Part of the reason Wolfe says she is able to continue working through her diagnosis is due to CBD oil, which she buys from Central Kentucky Hemp owned by Mary Noelker. She says it treats her anxiety and stress, a huge trigger to MS symptoms. Through her own treatment — which includes vitamins and supplements — Wolfe says she was able to push her body even harder to workout, and put herself on a strict diet to avoid other triggers, such as sugar.
Wolfe has actually owned her business since 2013, but had to take a year off when the MS hit her hard; when she reopened, she decided to do so with a new name for a fresh start. “I’ve been blessed to have the most amazing clients — they stuck with me when I got sick, prayed and supported me. When I came back, they made all this possible.” She says her business is even better now than it was before.
Wolfe says since her massage business has picked up so heavily, it has become the main part of what she does. She’s not only a certified massage therapist, but a corrective exercise specialist — including youth and senior, and a specialist of weight loss and fitness nutrition. She often works with massage clients on developing exercises they can do on their own to avoid further damage to their body that causes the pain.
Her many certifications line the wall of her massage room, and she’s currently in school obtaining more. Wolfe surveyed her clients asking what modalities they’d like her to get her education in, and they chose craniosacral — which is the manipulation of spinal fluid in the spinal cord and brain — and lymphatic work.
Although Wolfe loves her job — “This is what I was meant to do; I help people so much …” — she says for anyone who wants to go into massage work, it’s a lot of focus and requires much flexibility. “You have to be available when your clients are,” so she works a lot of evenings and weekends.
“The most satisfying part of my job is when people come in who are desperate, they have tried medicines and everything else. And all it takes is working out one little knot, hiding up underneath something somewhere we can get to and release it, and problem solved.”
The most unsatisfying part, Wolfe says without missing a beat, “Laundry! Oh my gosh. So much laundry. But you have to keep your overhead down as a massage therapist, so my family helps with me that part.”
Soon Wolfe says she will have another instructor coming on who will teach natural human movement classes. “I’m kind of getting ready to reinvent the wheel … We’ll have more of a variety here …”
Wolfe is usually in the office by 9:30 every morning, depending on when her first appointment is. She normally stays until 7:30 or so at night. “Scheduling can be a little wild,” she says, reminding that she’s there for the clients, and has to be available.
When she provides strength training, she begins with a consultation which can take up to two hours. That includes taking measurements and putting new clients through physical assessments. “Then we talk about the hard stuff,” she says, like why they’ve sought help, what their goals are and what they’re currently doing at home.
“I build corrective exercise programs to begin with, working with core and balance. A huge part of people’s issues is because they have a weak core, or jumped back into working out” when they weren’t ready, performing certain exercises wrong or ones their body isn’t capable of handling.
Her training programs are designed to break “that cumulative injury cycle” that people get caught up in all too often.
Wolfe decided to move her massage initiative into Noelker’s business because she’s been working with Central Kentucky Hemp for about a year. “I refer people down there anyway for the CBD oil for anxiety issues, muscle aches and stress. And she carries my essential oil brand — so it’ll just make sense as the company grows, and I need to use her commercial kitchen. Also, the ambiance of the place will be really nice. It will be like a holistic center.”
Plus, when people think massage, Wolfe says, “they don’t walk in here and get that feeling. It’s all calm and relaxing over there. If I’m in here massaging and they’re trying to train, they can’t have loud music or be loud with weights.”
One of Wolfe’s main mantras is creating a non-judgemental, welcoming place. She’s heard horror stories from clients about other therapy practices, how comments are made on someone’s body, even about a massage therapist who had an aversion to feet.
“Absolutely everyone is welcome here and should feel as comfortable on my table as if they were home. If you can’t make all people of all walks of life feel that way, you shouldn’t be a therapist.”
She also giggles about women who come in fretting over “they forgot to shave their legs. We don’t care about that. I’ve never had a man come in and say he shaved for me — I’m totally used to hair. I work on men, too.”
Her business model is simple, Wolfe says. “As silly as this sounds, I always think about a great quote from ‘Phoebe’ on the show ‘Friends.’ She said happy bodies don’t make war, they make peace. I do believe that. We can change the world one happy person at a time, and get people out of pain and suffering. It makes a huge difference on your life.”
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