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Press Release

Release Date: March 31, 2017

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

  • Sara Landreth, front, and her students, starting clockwise behind Landreth, Heather Kelty, Natalie Shirley, Perla Osornio, Carrie Jolley and Christiane Robinson, learn about myofascial release and trigger point therapy during one of Landreth’s classes.

ARDMORE, Okla. – For many, relaxing music, soft lighting and the scent of lavender set the ambience for a soothing massage. For Sara Landreth it’s just another day at the office.

Landreth keeps a busy schedule with her job as instructor and manager at the Body Business School of Massage Therapy in Ardmore, in addition to building manager at the Bradshaw Event Center; all while being a single mother to 6-year-old daughter, Payton.

“I’m the recruitment. I’m the advertising, I’m the instructor. I’m the pep talk. I’m the team motivator,” Landreth said with a laugh. “It’s a wonderful job.”

Through education grants provided by the Chickasaw Nation, Landreth was able to pursue her career in massage therapy. Eventually, it led her to the Body Business School of Massage Therapy.

The school first opened in Durant in 1998. The Ardmore branch opened in 2013 with Landreth’s assistance. She prepared the multi-room facility by setting up every massage room with a massage table, lighting and a radio. This helped to create a “real” working environment for students.

“That’s the cool part about it being a multi-room facility. When students arrive, they are actually practicing in a massage setting as opposed to cubicles,” Landreth said.

“It doesn’t even feel like work. If I didn’t have bills, I’d do it for free,” she said. “That’s how much I love it.”

Students are allowed to create their own schedule by working with Landreth on an individual basis. First, students must complete phase one and two of the program before graduating.

Phase one and two involves orientation, business ethics, massage sequence training, an internship, hot stones training, prenatal care training, myofascial trigger points and more.

After completing these steps, students may acquire licenses if they choose, or continue their education with phase three and four of the massage therapy program.

Chickasaw citizens are eligible for grants covering the cost of tuition. Other grants available to Native American students offer opportunities to fund tuition.

Landreth wants her students to be successful in everything they do. “I want them all to do well. The Chickasaw Nation allows that,” she said.

Landreth hopes her students get a positive experience from the program. Student feedback helps her to tailor the program precisely to what students need to learn and how to provide exceptional customer service. 
“It’s instant gratification,” Landreth said about her job. “If someone comes in with a stiff neck and they can’t turn their head, 15 minutes later they can function and they feel better through myofascial techniques.”

According to the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists, myofascial refers to muscle tissue in your body which can become agitated through stress or strain. When injured, the muscles form trigger points that cause pain.

“Trigger points often cause pain not only in the local area but also in surrounding connective tissue and muscle tissue, which is what makes up our myofascial system,” Landreth said.

Through myofascial trigger point techniques, pain is relieved by manipulating the tissue. Landreth is able to ease people of their pain by using these techniques to help sooth their tense muscles.

Many of her students have gone on to be successful in massage therapy. Some work in chiropractic or sports medicine, others in a traditional spa setting.

When she isn’t working at the school, Landreth is helping coordinate and host events at the Bradshaw Event Center, originally the historic YWCA building.

“We want to provide a place that is affordable for people to rent, “Landreth said. “We also have a prep kitchen available for rent. So, you can slice and dice your own food or we’ve got a caterer. if they don’t want to deal with the food preparation.”

From family reunions, weddings, baby showers, meetings, luncheons and more, the Bradshaw Event Center successfully caters to the needs of its patrons. Landreth attempts to accommodate the variety of events people request.

Landreth said success “just kind of happened. I’m more focused on people and students, so everything else just falls into place.

“I owe it to my mom. She’s been a huge part of my life,” she said. “She not only taught us what we needed for life, she taught us love. I think that’s a huge reason why I’m able to do what I do successfully, business-wise and also personally with the students.”

Landreth is appreciative of her family, co-workers and the Chickasaw Nation for helping her achieve her dreams. More importantly, she is grateful for the opportunity to help others accomplish their goals.

“I know hard work pays off, but I never knew that I would have such a fantastic support system with my tribe,” Landreth said. “I’m thankful that I feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives and that people trust me.”

Last Updated: 09/16/2016