If you’re selling the concept of bliss, Rachel Smith figures it doesn’t make much sense to rush clients through the experience.
So the owner of massage therapy business Holistic Nirvana WV makes sure to give the handful of customers she books on any given day plenty of time to relax.
“When I was in school and different places, I saw how everyone else did things. And I saw a lot of how clients tend to get rushed in and out, and it’s just not very relaxing,” Smith said. “It’s relaxing during the massage, and then it’s kind of like, hurry up and get out, go get back in your car and you’re right back into whatever you were doing. I want to be able to do things my own way.”
It’s why she opened Holistic Nirvana in March. And one of her top priorities is making sure she spaces out her schedule so that each person who comes in for a massage gets time to savor the experience.
“I didn’t want to cram a ton of clients in a day. ... I usually do no more than four clients in a day, so each person gets the individual attention and care. There’s no rushing here.”
Smith often makes a cup of tea and enjoys it with the client, which she said is a great way to improve the massage.
“They can tell me how they feel, if anything is still bothering them, if there’s anything I missed that they’d like me to get next time.”
And if someone is particularly tired, Smith will instead let him or her take a 15-minute nap.
“She’s so good at making you feel relaxed,” said Theresa Bailey, a friend-turned-client. “I’ve been to other massage places, and you think you’re going in for an hour. But it’s 50 minutes and you have 5 minutes beforehand to get ready and 5 minutes after too. So with Rachel, the thing I noticed right away is that she gives you that full hour.”
Smith offers Swedish and deep-tissue massage, for 60 or 90 minutes. The hour sessions are ideal for minor issues and relaxation. And the 90-minute time slots allow Smith to work out more aggravating problems, while still having time left over so that one area of the body doesn’t get all the attention.
Hour massages cost $55, while 90-minutes massages run $85. There are also package deals that knock $5 off each massage, if you buy three at a time.
“My goal is to be the least expensive I could be and still cover everything, make a living,” Smith said. “I don’t want to get rich off of this, I want to help people.”
And Bailey, who has mild scoliosis, can attest that Smith has, in fact, helped her.
“When I went to her the first time, it was such a relief, a weight lifted off of my shoulders,” she said. “I didn’t realize that this is how I’m supposed to feel.”
Open seven days a week, Smith is available by appointment only.
“I will come in as early as someone needs me. And sometimes I’m in here until 8 at night.”
While she only offers two types of massage now, in the future she hopes to add more, such as a version of a hot stone massage that, instead, uses handmade ceramic tools.
“[They] are designed to offer a very deep-tissue, therapeutic massage, which you can’t usually get with normal hot stone therapy,” Smith said.
The licensed massage therapist, who graduated from Morgantown Beauty College’s massage program, said she likes to meld techniques, taking what she believes is the best from each.
“I love what I get to do,” Smith said. “Someone comes in here, and they’re hurting so bad they can’t hardly walk right, and they leave here smiling. ... I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Address: 160 Fayette St.
Hours: By appointment only, seven days a week
Website: holisticnirvanawv.com or facebook.com/holisticnirvanawv