Travis Olson was never one to embrace massage therapy. But the owner of Be One Wellness found himself turning to the practice when nagging sports injuries, including a fractured lower back, wouldn’t let up.
“It was the only thing after doing other stuff that felt really, really good,” said Olson, who began receiving massages around 2015.
He’s among the more than 50% of individuals who “got their last massage for health and wellness reasons,” according to the American Massage Therapy Association’s 2021 community survey.
When Olson turned 30, he came across a podcast that “just clicked” and led him to slowly transition into a healthier lifestyle, of which kick boxing became a key part.
At the time he found massage, he had been self-employed with his father for about 20 years and was looking for a career he was more interested in. So he went for it, completing a massage therapy program in 2020 with Body Wisdom in Des Moines.
Though Olson lives in Guttenberg, Iowa, he knew the man selling what would become the site of Be One Wellness in downtown Dubuque. Aside from the brick-and-mortar building, Olson said population was “the big thing” that brought his business to Dubuque.
“I was also bringing cryotherapy … A lot of things kind of fell in line,” he said, noting the treatment in which an individual sits in a near-freezing tank for three to five minutes to alleviate muscle pain and other ailments.
After securing the building, he said, they remodeled the inside, giving Olson the space to offer massage, cryotherapy, personal training, cupping, infrared saunas and kickboxing.
Olson said he offers so many services because of his belief in a “more holistic approach.”
“I believe in working out, diet(ing) for lifestyle and trying to live a healthier lifestyle,” he said. “Massage ties in with that.”
The most popular services at Be One are massage. Olson provides several types, including deep tissue, Swedish, myofascial and pregnancy.
Pain relief/management and stress reduction are the top two reasons that people seek out massage therapy, the AMTA community survey found.
Personal training is available on a limited basis and maxes out at 14 people per week.
“I do a lot of different stuff here, but I’m seeing a very positive turnout with all that,” Olson said. “The cryo especially.”
Women, according to Olson, are the “most nervous” to get in the cryo tank beforehand, but once inside, it’s the men who are asking how much time is left.
“Women have higher pain tolerances, and I don’t think they realize it ’til they get in there,” Olson said.
Olson said he believes Be One is the only business in the Dubuque area that offers cryotherapy. He also has a “pretty decent return rate” among customers.
What makes Be One Wellness stand out, according Olson, is the vibe it gives off at its location on Central Avenue.
“When (clients) walk in here, they say they forget where they’re at,” Olson said.
Olson said he loves working with new clients – for example, a farmer whose wife booked the massage for him – and getting across to them the benefits of massage.
“(He) gets out of here and he’s like, ‘(Wow) I can move,” Olson said. “It’s really cool getting across and getting those kind of people.”
For more information, or to book an appointment, visit be-one-wellness.myshopify.com/.