NORFOLK, Va. - After a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Soulscape Massage & Bodywork on the corner of W. Bute and Dunmore Streets in Norfolk is back open and ready for clients.
Massage therapist Cierra Wilson has been able to adapt in a way that can make the job safer and more sustainable for everyone.
“It wasn’t as treacherous or stressful as I thought it was going to be,” Wilson said.
The massage therapy business, like so many other nonessential shops, went into a mandatory shutdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even as the industry got the go-ahead from the state to reopen in May, Wilson chose to keep her doors closed.
“I felt like the information as far as how to go about reopening…the FSMTB, which is one of our governing bodies for massage therapists, they hadn’t quite come out with anything solid,” Wilson said.
Also weighing heavily on her decision was the fact that some family members are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19, and the stepfather of Wilson’s business partner, Chris, was battling the illness.
“He is doing better,” said Wilson. “He recovered pretty well.”
Shortly after Wilson reopened her doors to Soulscape Massage & Bodywork, she moved into a new space. She relocated from Ghent to the Freemason neighborhood of Norfolk a little more than a week ago, and despite some COVID-19 setbacks, she said business is going well.
“Opening up a new studio in the midst of a pandemic was kind of a leap of faith, but it was one of those 'here’s your opportunity, better take it,'” she said.
As new guidelines on how to reopen massage therapy safely come into focus, Wilson is ready and excited to welcome clients back.
The massage therapist is taking every measure to make sure clients are safe by disinfecting the table and doubling up on sheets - and mask wearing is a must.
“All my clients have been really gracious about wearing masks during the session,” said Wilson.
To give clients a break from wearing their masks as they lie face down on the table, Wilson came up with a new strategy.
“I’ll take the pillowcase and turn it inside out so it almost makes a cone, or an elongated mask so they got a little bit of a break when they go face down,” she said.
Wilson recommends making an appointment to not only rejuvenate your body, but also your mind.
Soulscape Massage & Bodywork is open for appointments Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.