Q: When and why did you decide to start Northern Wellness Massage?
A: I wanted to stay in my profession. I moved up here just to be closer to family again due to the pandemic, but why I’m doing massage therapy still is that I like to help people and I think I’m pretty good at my trade. I’ve had pretty good results, and I knew that Grand Forks had a need. There are massage therapists here, but there’s not a ton, so I saw an opportunity to bring my skill and my trade up here and see some of the people that I’ve left over the last six years to help them out.
Q: What experience did you have with massage therapy before starting Northern Wellness Massage?
A: For the last six years, I actually haven’t lived in Grand Forks. Before that, I was here. I went to UND and Red River High School, but I left, and I actually went to massage school up in Anchorage, Alaska in 2015, and then right after I graduated from their massage program. I went to Grand Junction, Colo. and worked for a chiropractor for a few years as their lead massage therapist and I did the massage side of the business. After I did that for a while, I branched off on my own and opened up a very similar practice in Grand Junction for the last two years before I moved up here, so it was just me there, and it was called school Choice Therapy Massage. When I moved up here, I changed it. So, I have been practicing massage therapy since 2015.
Q: Did you have any reservations about continuing to work during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: When the pandemic started, I was still in Colorado working as a massage therapist, so they closed my business for six weeks, and I believe it was a similar situation here. There were a lot of ups and downs about it because obviously I’m in a trade where you touch people you’re in close one-on-one contact in a small room, so I was a little worried that people wouldn’t even want to come back in, and maybe I would be afraid of going back to the trade.
Q: How did your business operate differently during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what has it been like as it hopefully winds down?
A: Once they allowed me to reopen in Colorado, and then I came back here and everything was open here as well, then I could start practicing like normal, besides the need to wear a mask and other sanitary precautions. But overall, my trade already is already pretty sanitary. We clean, we change our sheets and linens between every client, and the only thing different was basically the mask wearing and making sure people don’t come in if they’re sick or in contact with someone who was sick.
Q: What should people know about Northern Wellness Massage if they’re thinking about booking a session, but they aren’t sure what to expect?
A: It’s a professional massage place. I always like people to know that I do take it very seriously. It’s a professional place to come in and heal. It’s a safe place to come into, too. I know some people have insecurities about coming and there’s so many questions that go through their brain before they come in for massage because it is more of a personal experience for people. It’s very professional, very safe and clean.