Massages

Sabai Massage has found a niche through serving veterans – Bitterroot Star

Summary

Rachel Smead, Certified Massage Therapist and owner of Sabai in Stevensville, caters to the needs of veterans through her massage business. The Veterans Administration has added massage therapy to the list of covered services. Photo by Victoria Howell.

According to Rachel Smead, owner of Sabai Massage in Stevensville, “sabai” is a Thai word that means “happy, comfortable, relaxed.”

Smead has been a certified massage therapist for the past 17 years. In 2020, she opened her Main S…….

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Rachel Smead, Certified Massage Therapist and owner of Sabai in Stevensville, caters to the needs of veterans through her massage business. The Veterans Administration has added massage therapy to the list of covered services. Photo by Victoria Howell.

According to Rachel Smead, owner of Sabai Massage in Stevensville, “sabai” is a Thai word that means “happy, comfortable, relaxed.”

Smead has been a certified massage therapist for the past 17 years. In 2020, she opened her Main Street business. She had come to the realization that it was time to either quit or expand, and she chose the latter. She says the valley had a need for “immediately available massage” and she aimed to fill that need. Since then, her business has expanded to seven massage therapists, as well as a craniosacral therapist and an esthetician. 

“We are really growing,” said Rachel. “The support from the community is amazing.”

Smead said that before coming to Stevensville, for the first six years of her career she provided massage services to active duty military personnel, for four years at bases in Germany and then three years at Little Rock Air Force Base. She’s always had a soft spot for veterans.

In March of 2020, she got a phone call letting her know that the Veterans Administration was now covering the cost of massage. Smead decided to become credentialed and approved by the VA. But, she says, nobody knew then that massage was a covered cost.

Smead started seeing veterans with VA coverage last year. By now people know about this option. Smead said the VA has been really generous in the amount of massages they allow to be covered.

Now two of her other practitioners are 

credentialed, and three others are currently going through the process to be certified. Soon there will be six therapists at Sabai that can provide covered services to veterans.

“I really want the veteran community to know this is an option that is available to them,” said Smead. She said having so many therapists that can offer this is a really big deal. She said all of the therapists at Sabai have a special connection to veterans.

“Kristin’s dad is retired Navy, Marnie worked for years in VA mental health and Sara is a natural patriot,” said Smead. “We feel honored to be able to give back this way.”

Veterans who would like to schedule a massage at Sabai need a referral from their primary care physician who will contact the VA. 

Smead said she is not sure who else in the area is doing this VA-covered massage. She said she would love to know so they could collaborate. 

Smead is looking into the possibility of a yoga program for veterans as well. “I want to take part in their …….

Source: https://bitterrootstar.com/2021/11/sabai-massage-has-found-a-niche-through-serving-veterans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sabai-massage-has-found-a-niche-through-serving-veterans