Stress is a fact of life, but has become all the more part of our days since COVID struck. I spoke to Anastasia Dorosh, massage therapist, about her love for Montenegro, and the stress-busting benefits of massage.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What brought you to Montenegro?
I’m a massage therapist and have been living in Montenegro for six years. It's funny, but before moving to Montenegro I didn't know anything about the country. A move from Ukraine to live in Montenegro wasn't part of my plan at all. I first came to Montenegro, as I say, 6 years ago, for seasonal work in a hotel, and my employer offered to extend my stay to a full year. For the first two years I was still considering a move to another country, but I started to get used to the Montenegrin lifestyle and local mentality. And now I can't imagine myself anywhere else.
What do you like most about where you live, and about Montenegro in general?
First of all, I am in love with the natural beauty of Montenegro, really the Montenegrin landscapes are amazing. I love travelling and discovering the country.
But the main reason I’m happy in Montenegro is my new lifestyle. The rhythm of my life has changed a lot here. I was born and lived 23 years in a capital city, and I became really tired of big city life. I always dreamed of living in a small cozy town with a sea view. And I found this perfect place in Montenegro - Tivat. As is the case for many other people, I wanted to be self-employed, and here I successfully achieved my goal. And here I also met my husband, he also moved to Montenegro from another country.
How did your massage therapy business come about? Where did you train and where have you worked previously?
I loved doing massage from my childhood, I often gave massages to my family and I really liked it. I took my first steps into massage training in 2011 at the Medical Centre «Alternative medicine» in Kiev, where I completed a programme «Health massage with bases of anatomy». The same year I began to practice in a spa that was owned by the biggest hotel chain in Greece. Then I began working as a massage therapist in a Spa at a Greek 5 star resort hotel, and was there for three seasons.
My first two years in Montenegro I worked in the hotel industry. I dreamed of returning to the massage sphere, but I was sure that there would be plenty of massage therapists in such a small town as Tivat. I was very surprised, and of course very pleased, when I was offered a massage partnership with a major resort here. Later I registered my own company as a private entrepreneur. Now I have my own customer base as well.
I regularly develop my massage skills to improve as a professional. As some of my clients were asking me about anticellulite massage, I decided to attend a master class in anticellulite massage techniques. In 2018 I went to Thailand to study Traditional Thai Massage. In 2019 I completed a course in facial massage in Kiev.
Where do you usually work? Do you have your own premises, or are you mobile?
Really, I am very flexible in my business. There is a cozy massage room at the resort, and I also do massage in my own home. I can come to a client's place, and I’ve also had experience of doing massage on yachts. This year also I started to do massage at a hotel spa, for their hotel guests.
Do you have a particular massage therapy you specialize in, or that you enjoy practising most?
I like to combine different massage techniques to achieve better results. I do various types of massage, such as classical, Thai, anticellulite, face massage. Depending on the client's problems and requirements I try to find the best combination for each case individually.
Describe your work routine, in non-COVID times.
Usually I am very busy in high season (from April to October). Normally I have all types of clients in this period: tourists, yacht crew, foreigners who own real estate here. In high season clients have to book appointments in advance, if they plan to have a full massage course during their stay in Montenegro.
How have you managed to adapt your work to the pandemic?
I can't say that my working routine has changed a lot. As in my sphere hygiene standards must always be followed, I continue to follow them as I always have. I always use clean towels for each client; wash my hands before and after the procedure and ask about the client's health before and after the massage. One addition is that I have started to use hand disinfectant as well. If you come for a massage at the resort, the administrator will check your temperature too.
How do you see your work developing and evolving in the next few months?
Unfortunately I have fewer clients this year because of COVID. To attract new clients I’ve started special offers with lower prices for the COVID period. This idea has been quite successful; I now have new clients, people who are living in Montenegro. My plan is to continue to work with special prices until the pandemic ends.
What does your business have to offer people in the current climate, in terms of the importance of wellness in general?
Because of Covid many people have started to work online, and this has led to different physical health problems, especially in the neck and back area, as people have to sit more. School pupils have the same problem, and after quarantine I’ve seen more teenagers than usual. I believe that massage helps people not only physically, but also influences general well-being. Massage has a positive influence on the immune system and on the metabolism, as well. It’s a great anti-stress therapy, and that’s what lots of people really need now.
Sounds great! And how do we access this wonderful, stress-busting therapy?!
The best way to contact me is to text me on Viber or Whatsapp +38268744861.