Editor’s note: This business no longer exists.
CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – A central Indiana woman is getting up close and personal with how she provides therapy for her clients and she hopes more people warm up to the idea.
The comfort of a bed can be hard to leave behind in the morning. Luckily for Lisa Kelly, in order for her to go to work, she simply needs to get right back in bed.
On Monday, Kelly showed 24-Hour News 8 the “catch up” position, where she sits up on her bed with her client’s head resting on her thigh.
“He can do whatever he wants with his feet but this just lets me like rub his upper body and can talk to him about his recent trip,” she said.
Kelly is a cuddle therapist and the owner of Indy Cuddles.
Through light conversation and gentle touch, the goal is the help her clients like Cam Awesome unwind and let the stress melt away.
“I expect to leave a little more relaxed and it’s more of a spiritual therapy session than anything else,” Awesome said.
Kelly demonstrated the session for us in her home, but normally she meets clients where they live for safety reasons. She also charges based on the distance she has to drive in order to meet them.
Clients pay for a session ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, weaving their bodies into several different positions.
“It’s not out of the norm, it’s just that our culture hasn’t really picked up on the power of touch just yet,” she said.
Rules are established before Kelly lies beside anybody. She first meets with them in public and learns their comfort level.
She also has them sign a waiver, copies their driver’s license and makes sure a third party knows when a session is supposed to begin and end.
“There’s no touching anywhere a bathing suit would be, that’s kind of how the rule is,” she added.
Getting that close to a stranger could rub people the wrong way, but Awesome says with time, that can change.
“I guess like a chiropractor, the more you go, the more comfortable you get, the better you feel and then the more you can’t do without it,” he said.
“Especially if you don’t have someone special in your life, sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you finally get it,” said Kelly.
Similar businesses in other states have raised concerns with police. They worry that it could be a front for prostitution.
24-Hour News 8 reached out to Carmel police who said they have no reason to be concerned about the cuddling business. But they did say the same advice applies to every business owner, just be careful.