Genevra Cardoso, Zama Massage
Why did you start your career?
In 2003, I was working at Fisher Communications/KOMO-TV in Seattle, caught up in my highly focused and competitive dream of becoming a TV News Anchor. A significant car accident derailed that track, and I started down the path that became my passion for healing through bodywork. After my accident, I found life-changing pain relief through a range of massage therapies. I was so amazed at the prospect of helping people this way that I started taking night classes to become a therapist myself. I realized this was my future! Once I finished school, I left the dog-eat-dog news industry to start my own massage and Reiki practice near family in Walla Walla in 2006. After a few years, I met my soul mate, Daniel Cardoso (30+ year Founder of Maya’s, Santa Fe, and Aztec Willie’s restaurants). We married and I moved to Portland and found my way to Zama Massage. I worked as a therapist for a couple of years, then purchased the business. There, I found a place that aligned with my vision to deliver freedom from pain combined with spa services and created a luxurious setting for these offerings.
What’s special about Zama massage?
The word Zama means ‘Peace of Mind’ in Sanskrit. When your body is in pain, whether from car accidents, sports, the day-to-day pains of working at a desk, it’s hard to have peace of mind. I created a place where you can get the pain relief you need and the pampering you crave under one roof. We offer an incredible range of massage services, along with other treatments such as Hydrafacial, Far infrared heat wraps, manicures and pedicures, all aimed at providing our clients with a full range of options designed to make them feel better physically – as well as mentally. And we never stop seeking new alternatives for healing pain. We opened the first Halotherapy Salt Caves in Oregon; clients can have massages in that space while breathing in the restorative salt air. We have almost 50 employees, nearly all women, who have been trained in a wide variety of modalities to give our clients a broad range of services.
What are you most proud of?
I’m so grateful to have the intuitive and technical knowledge to help others heal from tragic accidents and living with pain. I’m also proud of the incredible team of people who work at Zama and dedicate their careers to transforming pain to healing. I love owning a business that supports healing the body physically, emotionally and spiritually. I value being able to share that gift with the city of Portland and beyond.