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Massage therapists offer healing touch

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Facial cleansing and massage are among the holistic services offered at Touch of Health.
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A serious injury led Christina Benumea to switch career paths to help others through massage therapy. She’s owned Touch of Health in Shelbyville since 2009.
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Christina Benumea emphasizes that Touch of Health is the result of a group effort.
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Touch of Health massage therapy is located on Amos Road just behind the vacant Marsh Supermarket building.

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

No, it’s not a massage parlor.

Christina Benumea wants to be clear about the services available at Touch of Health, her business in Shelbyville.

“That” kind of massage isn’t one of them.

“There was a very negative connotation to it,” said Benumea, who took over the business in 2009. 

Public education has been the key to clearing up the stigma associated with massage therapy; a lot of client referrals to Touch of Health come from the medical community, she added.

Benumea herself was one of them.

In 2004, she was going to school to study musical theater and telecommunications when she was in a bad car accident resulting in back problems and migraines.

Massage therapy helped cure those medical issues, and it also set her on a new path.

“I realized I needed to be a healer,” said Benumea, who grew up in Waldron.

Now, she and four associates, all licensed, offer several kinds of different services at Touch of Health, 510 Amos Road, located just behind the former Marsh Supermarket building.

The most common complaints clients have, Benumea said, are migraine headaches, neck and back aches, and sciatic pain which goes down the legs from the lower back.

Stress, “the number one killer,” is often the root cause of the problems, she added.

To address those problems, Touch of Health has a variety of therapies. The most popular is probably Swedish massage to work out minor aches and pains. 

Deep tissue and medical massage therapies are more vigorous treatments for more serious issues.

In addition, they offer classes on alternative health practices including yoga and PiYo which is kind of a Pilates yoga, said Benumea, and includes strengthening, stretching and some cardio as well.

And following action by the state legislature earlier this year to clarify legal questions, Touch of Health will have a new therapy.

“We’ll be offering CBD oil massage in May,” Benumea said. 

CBD, or cannabidiol, oil is derived from hemp, also known as marijuana. The new law limits the THC content of the oil to no more than 0.3 percent. THC is the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana. 

As people have learned more, they’ve become more willing to embrace different medical therapies, but really things like massage go back to the beginnings of healing, she noted.

“Alternative health care is actually the way things have been done for thousands of years. The first thing we humans experience is touch,” Benumea said.