In just two years, Killarney-born Nicole Van Damme has already made a name for herself as a top-ranked massage practitioner on Canada’s west coast.
Van Damme opened her own studio in downtown Vancouver in 2010, after she decided to change her career path and follow in her mother’s footsteps.
“It’s actually funny. I used to say I never wanted to do it,” Van Damme said. “I moved to Vancouver to become a professional counsellor and coach, so I have that degree … and then I ended up in massage quite by accident.”
Van Damme got a job at a small, one-studio spa and soon realized the passion she felt for massage therapy.
“I thought helping people in this way was just way more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done,” she said. “So I just never stopped. I ended up getting my certification in Vancouver, was taught by two different people, and the rest is history.”
Van Damme’s mother, Lorraine Bisson, is a certified massage therapist of 17 years.
Over the years, she has built up a large client base through her work in Killarney, at Elkhorn Ranch and now at her own Light Body Studios in Brandon.
“Most people come in really for a physical condition, but even during the massage they understand that there’s a connection between their emotions as well as mental state,” Bisson said.
“As they go through the experience of healing, they also understand there’s a spiritual part.”
Bisson is proud to see her daughter pursue her passion.
“I’m just so impressed with how she has been able to not only follow her dream, but also be such a success at it,” Bisson said.
While Van Damme is home for a visit, the mother and daughter duo are joining forces to offer massages for couples, friends, mother/daughter pairs, etc.
“I’ve always known we’d work together,” Van Damme said, adding she hopes to build a client base in Brandon.
“If there is a demand out here, then I’ll be doing it in Vancouver and (Brandon) … plus I get to see my family every time I’m here,” she said. “It’s a win-win situation.”
Nicole Van Damme’s Massage Studio has a five-star rating on yelp.ca, a customer review website.
The couples massage, which includes aromatherapy, is being offered for one week, Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
One-hour massages are $70 per person, and 90-minute massages are $95 per person.
To book a time call 761-1014 or visit www.lightbodystudios.ca.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 9, 2012