Once frequent massage recipients to heal ailments caused by rough workweeks, Stephanie and Marc Oliva are set to bring that healing power to Smithtown with LaVida Massage.
The workload from Stephanie’s former career, a district manager with Nine West in New York City, caused her significant neck and lower back pain.
“Four days a week I was on that railroad, hustling in with a 30-pound bag on my shoulder with my laptop and all my files, office on the run … it was so taxing on me physically,” she said.
Because of the workload she would often get massages – a key factor in deciding to open the massage center.
The situation was similar with her husband Marc, a former police detective in New York City.
“I used to have a bad back, I never got a massage,” he said. “I started getting massages, I feel so much better, I like to get one every month now. Just maintenance alone, it works.”
With LaVida Massage, the couple hopes to bring their personal wants and thoughts on massages to Smithtown – an open environment where the client is not rushed and could speak to the therapist about what exactly ails them.
Marc said LaVida is the “anti spa,” and focuses on healing with massage therapy to provide necessary maintenance to the body.
LaVida, open to the public Friday, boasts eight regular massage rooms and one couples room. In addition to the rooms, chair massages will be performed in the lobby, and the couple hopes to have the facials room with licensed esthetician open by late December. The center will perform numerous types of massages, from relaxation massages to deep tissue, hot stone, prenatal and more.
Currently the massage center has 10 licensed and self-insured massage therapists on staff. Keeping the comfort of the client in mind, Marc said there is a good balance between male and female therapists.
Massage appointments could be made online, and specific massage therapists can be requested. Marc said once an appointment is made they will confirm it with a phone call the day before. Walk-ins will also be accepted, and for businesses the center could send therapists to the workplace to perform massages on the staff.
For Stephanie, the purpose of opening the massage center is simple.
“It’s all about health and wellness and maintenance,” she said. “La Vida itself means ‘the life,’ and it’s about living a better life.”
LaVida Massage is located at 87 Route 111 in Smithtown, and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.