For 5 Questions this week, the Herald speaks to Erin Mack, who owns Lotus Massage Therapy & Wellness, at 1407 24th Ave S., Door H, in Grand Forks.
Q: Tell us about yourself and why you went into this business.
A: I actually worked for a chiropractor's office and a physical therapist’s office as an office assistant, and I was also working out at the time at a gym and kind of molding the bones and the muscles together. It naturally worked into becoming a massage therapist.
Q: How have clients adapted to COVID?
A: Most people are masking once they get into the room. They have the choice to wear one or not. We have to sanitize per client anyways because of the massage board. We have new sheets and sanitize the seating area. It's up to them really once they get into the room, if they want to wear it while they're getting a massage.
Q: Do you get a lot of first timers? Are they nervous?
A: I do, we actually really enjoy first timers. (My employee) Heather and I, we get excited because we're their first person with their first experience. It's a little bit of a cherished person because we get to explain everything and make sure they're comfortable. I go with a little bit of a chitchat in the beginning, just because they are kind of vulnerable; I'm a stranger to them, they're a stranger to me. So I like to get to know them just a little bit and give some general information about myself while we're getting ready, and it actually seems to alleviate some of the first-timer nerves.
Q: In addition to full body massages, you offer hot stone and couples massages. Can you tell us about those services?
A: We have a warmer that looks like a CrockPot really, and we have stones going from large stones to small stones. The largest is kind of a circle as big as a softball, and we placed these stones on the spine. The smaller ones we use in our hands while we're massaging, so it's kind of like a heated massage. It's relaxing, and the thought behind it is warming up the muscles while we're relaxing the muscles at the same time -- kind of a dual effect. The couple's massages are really great because it could be for sisters, brothers, friends and spouses, it really doesn't matter, it’s whoever you want to come with. You're in the same room at the same time and both of us therapists come in. We do a lot of couples massages over Valentine's Day, or even Christmas; people like to do couples massages as Christmas gifts.
Q: You're involved with the football team the MinnDak Titans. What can you tell us about that?
A: They are a huge part of my summer. I do a little bit of sideline training when somebody is bumped or bruised in the middle of the game, but I also go to practices and work out people's aches and pains and make sure that they're loose. I monitor when they all do team stretching to make sure that people are actually getting the full stretch to make sure their muscles are getting warm enough. Last year my husband joined me, and he would do Facebook live broadcasts of our home and away games so people could watch them. The semi-pro football team in town was kind of a quiet thing for a while, but we're trying our hardest to make it more of a recognized team in Grand Forks.