After a long Saturday, we received a tweet about chair massages a few miles away from our downtown location. Five minutes later, we were interviewing Nichole Velez, founder of Massage Móvil, at the San Antonio Running Company. Read about how Velez got started, who should get a massage and what a day in the life of a masseuse is like.
Twenty Something SA: How did you get started?
Nichole Velez: I used to be a performer, (actor, singer, dancer) and after a tough dance rehearsal a lot of people were like, “I’m sore; I’m so tired.” And I’d give them a quick massage. I started hearing that I had really strong hands and it inspired me to change my path. I ended up changing careers, and started working for a massage establishment as a receptionist. I thought about going to massage therapy school, and I did! I went to Academy for Massage and now I’m massaging, two years later.
20SA: What is your favorite part about your job?
NV: I really like being able to help somebody, especially when they are in pain or stressed out. Sometimes they even feel like that session is therapy in itself, not the muscular part of it, but the conversation about anything and everything. It’s a chance for them to escape their world for an hour, which is nice. I also like being able to help athletes. For example, I have a client that recently had a competition and I massaged him before the competition, and he got a silver medal! I was so proud. Not that I did any of that, but they see a difference.
20SA: When do people need to get massages?
NV: At least once a month is beneficial. It depends what they are going through. Everybody is going to have stress, it doesn’t matter what you are doing. But think about it – our whole lives are in front of us. Everybody’s shoulders are rotated inward so people are going to be a little tight here and they have shoulder pain. Also, we are always on our phones and we are looking down, so our necks are going to be pulled in weird directions. Or we are on the computer all of the time so your wrist hurts. If you can get a massage once a month, that is awesome. If you can get it at least twice a month, so like every two weeks, that is even better.
20SA: We’ve always wondered, when you are giving a massage, do people usually talk?
NV: Honestly, it is up to them. Yesterday I had someone ask, “Is it okay if I talk?” Of course! This is your time. I’ve also had people say please just be quiet I don’t want to talk. I want to accommodate every client because it is their time away from being stressed out in their everyday life.
20SA: Can you walk us through a typical routine when you go to someones house for a massage?
NV: When I arrive, I have them fill out a standard intake form just to make sure that I can give the massage. Afterwards I set up the table, put on relaxing music and I have aromatherapy so after they finish filling out the intake form, I go through the different aromatherapy I have and they can pick one. After that I do my thing and start to get their relaxation on.
Since I am mobile I can go wherever. I am currently partnering with Core Personal Fitness in Alamo Heights. So if someone doesn’t feel comfortable with a stranger coming into their house, there is a room over there that I have. But if someone wants it at their home or office, that is where I will go.
20SA: What’s the price for an hour massage and what types of techniques do you practice?
NV: $60 an hour and the first time I do complimentary aromatherapy. I can do hot stones and I am well versed in different techniques such as sports massage, deep tissue, trigger point, prenatal for all those mamas out there, and Swedish.
After the interview, Alyssa and I received an amazing chair massage and I overheard Alyssa booking an appointment with Nichole next week. That’s the beauty of massage therapy!