Registered massage therapist Michael Sokalski just opened his own business – Atwater Massage Therapy – in downtown Fruitvale.

Registered massage therapist Michael Sokalski just opened his own business – Atwater Massage Therapy – in downtown Fruitvale.

Bizz Buzz – Massage therapist sets up shop

A new Fruitvale business owner said it’s being close to his family that led him to opening up a massage therapy clinic in the village.

A new Fruitvale business owner said it’s being close to his family that led him to opening up a massage therapy clinic in the village.

But registered massage therapist Michael Sokalski can’t deny the opportunity to set up a business in Greater Trail.

He recently opened up Atwater Massage Therapy on Main Street and can’t believe the response he’s getting from the community.

“I notice here in a smaller centre we’re almost like frontline health care workers, where as in the city where there is a lot more options and hospitals and doctors we get simple head, neck shoulder work,” said Sokalski, who just moved to Trail from Ottawa.

“But here I’ve seen people who are recovering from strokes, hemiplegia and neuropathies – things that we’re taught but that you never see in Ottawa or Vancouver – it’s very cool.”

Sokalski offers everything from mild relaxation, lymph drainage to deep tissue massage and scar rehabilitation work.

His office has a 1920s feel with vintage furniture really tying the look together and is large enough to eventually expand.

The 32-year-old studied at West Coast College of Massage Therapy in New Westminster prior to completing his studies at Algonquin College in Ottawa.

The career choice was initially appealing due to the low level of stress on the job, but nowadays it’s a passion.

“I get to see people get better,” he said. “They come to me and they’re sore, and maybe a little skeptical because they’ve never had massage before, and after they experience it they’re so happy and excited and grateful, and that’s what keeps me going.”

Atwater is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but appointments can be requested as early as 8 a.m. to as late as 8 p.m.

Sokalski also offers home treatments and would like to start doing corporate massage at offices throughout Greater Trail.

For more information, call 231-9517.