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Saltwater Wellness celebrates first year

Nancy Osmond has enjoyed a successful first year of business. — Submitted photo

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter PORT AUX BASQUES — Saltwater Wellness just celebrated a huge milestone, celebrating its one-year anniversary on Sept. 6. Owner Nancy Osmond couldn’t be happier with the decision she made to move home to Port aux Basques and become an entrepreneur. Her background as a Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant made it a natural progression for her to move into the Massage Therapy Program and become a Registered Massage Therapist. “I worked at a nursing home, and I also worked at a hospital. My husband is military, so when he retired from the military, I decided that I wanted to do something to come home with. We just wanted to be closer to family. So I went back to school when I was 40,” said Osmond. “I’m a fairly new therapist, but I have so much experience dealing with mental health and dealing with the public that this all kind of goes together.” A friend who was a massage therapist encouraged Osmond. “Every time I would see him, he would tell me, ‘I do the same thing that you do, except for I get to work for myself’,” said Osmond. “I decided to go back to school, and we were in Halifax living and to work in Newfoundland as a massage therapist, you had to write board exams and they’re quite expensive and quite hard. So I did those and I passed and we came home last March, my whole family, my husband and two kids and I’m like, ‘I think I’m homesick.’ So we went back, and we sold our house and within three months we were coming home. I moved home last July, and I opened my business in September.” The CBDC (Canadian Business Development Corporation) proved to be a key resource for Osmond. “They helped me write a business plan and helped me figure out what I need to do to make sure everything was good, and I kind of bought things on the whim when I first said I was coming home because I didn’t know what I needed. So I bought a table, and that was expensive, and I bought some stuff, but they helped me figure out the ins and outs, getting me set up with business numbers and my taxes and all the legal side of things and helped me with trying to sort out find a place to go,” said Osmond. “So they kind of helped me get started, and once I got started, I pretty much just ran with it. I’m a little bit of a go getter once I get my mind set on something.” Osmond saw quick results with her new venture. “I’m a registered massage therapist for Newfoundland, so a lot of stuff that I do treat is chronic pain. So we’re talking head, neck, shoulders, sore backs, any posture conditions,” said Osmond. “I used to teach for the Mental Health Commission in Canada. So a lot of that stuff kind of helped me when helping people with mental health disorders or anxiety, PTSD. Being in a military family, I’ve been around that a lot myself, and by having that background, I have compassion and compassion is everything. I think everything I do has to do with compassion. I get people of all ages. Today I had an 87-year-old on my table, said she never felt better, and as soon as I touched her, she just felt better. I mean, you have to touch with your heart.” Saltwater Wellness also offers discounts to serving military members, veterans, first responders, and seniors. Osmond has experience in numerous areas including sciatica, nerve dysfunctions, fibromyalgia, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. Additional modalities can also be added to a treatment at no extra cost. These can include heat and cold, hot stones, Thai foot massage with reflexology, and deep tissue. With the services she has been able to provide the community, Osmond has been able to surpass all of her expectations in just the first year of business. “I’m floored. I mean, when I came home, I came home in July. I started my business September the 6th and then Hurricane Fiona happened on September 24th, and it was chaos, complete chaos, but I managed to still have people on my table. I took some time off to help with the hurricane stuff, but the people who are referrals that’s coming through my door is crazy. People would see me and then they book ahead because right now I’m booked up till December. I’m not going to lie, there’s no break,’ said Osmond. “I didn’t expect the support. It’s been completely — I don’t even know how to describe it — overwhelming and humbling. It’s been an honour just to have everybody help me when everybody’s going through their own thing and just like, knowing that I came home and I just started from scratch. I never ran my own business before. I gave up my job and gave everything up just to come home and be with my family, and the support has been great.” Osmond has grown so fast that she’s actually looking to hire. “I treat five to six people a day, anywhere between four to six. Today I have five. Tomorrow I’ll have five, and yesterday I had six. So, I’m looking for help and if anyone knows any massage therapists, hook me up,” said Osmond. Keeping busy suits Osmond just fine, and the bonus to her personal life is immeasurable. “I definitely don’t have any regrets,” said Osmond. “I’m close to my parents. I’m close to my grandmother. My sister lives in Corner Brook. My husband’s family are all here. We’re close to them. I’m tired, but that’s it. It is totally hard. Some days I just go home and get in the tub because I’m so tired, but it’s worth it.”

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