Soul of 78: Karen Guthrie Woodruff

“I am a licensed massage therapist and co-owner at Rastore Day Spa and Salon here in Jasper. I’ve been doing massage therapy for 13 years.

I was working a lot of office jobs where I sat a lot and I just felt terrible. Growing up, I was always athletic and moving, and because I was sitting, I just started hurting.

So I just asked the Lord to please give me something to do where I can move and help people and make people feel better. Having a background in sports, I understood muscle but I never thought I’d do massage therapy.

A girl I was going to church with was around my age and she went into this profession. I really prayed about it and the Lord just opened the door completely.

It was scary because I didn’t like feet and my family was like, ‘what are you going to do when you have to massage feet?’ and I was like “I don’t know!” Now, that’s one of my favorite things to massage.

To become a massage therapist, you have to go to school for a year; there’s a part-time program or a year program. You have to pass a national board before you can practice. Then you get licensed through the state of Alabama.

I started doing massage when I lived in Mobile. I worked three jobs just to make it: massage and two other jobs.

The Lord told me to move back to Townley in 2011. I started working (at Rastore) in June of 2011. In May 2012, Bennett Boylen and I were able to buy it. We became owners then.

I do Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, fire cupping, hot stone, and I do neuromuscular therapy. Most people want the Swedish or deep tissue. The deep tissue addresses knots, tingling, or numbness.

Massage is a “feel good,” but it’s also about wellness. It helps circulation, helps with stress level. It can help with weight loss because of the stress—people are so stressed that they overeat! This gets the body relaxed and helps with any kind of lactic acid buildup in muscles. That’s what causes the knots. I concentrate on getting those out. The release of that will just relax the body.

I do a lot of sciatic nerve treatment as well. There’s a piriformis muscle that lays on the sciatic nerve that runs down the leg. When the muscle releases, the pain goes immediately. As soon as that releases, you will not hurt!

I asked the Lord what to do, what profession He wanted me to be in, what His plan was for me…and this is what He showed me to do. I just obeyed him.

The Lord has just blessed me tremendously.” 78

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