It was a relationship formed via the Lincoln Theatre Guild that morphed into an “all you need” massage and bodywork cooperative in Lincolnton. All You Knead Massage and Bodywork opened to the public on Monday.
Paula Micol, who was operating Massage Therapy by Paula Micol, and Ash Wirth met while performing in the “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” They discovered through this production that in addition to their mutual love for community theater, they were both message therapists.
“I was a massage therapist when I lived in Florida,” Wirth said. “When I moved up here I took a break from it. Paula came to me and asked how I felt about going into business together.”
The space that Micol was working in was too small for her needs and she kept having people coming to her asking to share the space.
“I tried it but I didn’t like not being able to go there whenever I wanted to and use the room so I decided to find a bigger place,” she said. “While I was looking for a bigger place, I had Brandon (Murphy) in the massage therapy class I was teaching at Maiden School of Massage.”
Micol knew Murphy lived in Lincolnton and they already had a connection through Stacey Smith at Gallery 27, an art gallery in Lincolnton. It all came together and fit perfectly well for Micol and the others. Murphy had become good friends with Mikaela Hatcher while they were both working at Court Street Grille.
Murphy said it took him a while to find his place in life. He was enrolled in art school, then went to film school in Wilmington, and it was going well until he ran out of money and started to get homesick. He decided to return to Lincolnton to attend massage school in Maiden with his good friend from Court Street, Hatcher.
The cooperative will be offering Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, prenatal massage and manual lymphatic drainage. Wirth and Murphy are both certified Reiki masters. The salon can also accommodate couples massages or bridal parties.
Wirth is certified in manual lymphatic drainage, which is a form of detox massage useful for post-cancer and trauma patients who develop lymphoedema in their arms or extremities due to breast cancer surgeries, diabetes and other conditions.
“I want to get on board with some of the surrounding oncology departments to offer my services,” he said.
The community response to this cooperative has been extraordinary, Wirth said. People have helped with painting and donating furniture. In addition to the services that the four will be offering at the studio, they are working with other healthcare practitioners in the area.
“We started this group online called the Lincolnton Wellness Group,” Micol said. “We have therapists, a few psychologists and an acupuncturist. We try to meet up every couple of months to refer people out to each other. If someone is busy and they have a client who really needs to get in for, say, a neck massage or they have a frozen shoulder and need relief for it, instead of sending them to a doctor to get pain meds, we’ll try to accommodate them that day. I’ve had several of my clients who say how great it is that the people around here network. Half of my clients have come in through referrals.”
All You Knead Massage and Bodywork opened to clients on Monday. They will have a grand opening reception on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. There will be live demonstrations, drawings, light refreshments and chair massages. The salon is located below Drum Florist at 221 East Sycamore Street in Lincolnton. The telephone number is (704) 240-9996.