Much more than a leisure activity, Spa treatments have the ability to unlock the complete mental and physical potential of clients.
A few years ago, a client with high blood pressure and muscle pain visited Tranquility Spa, Lazimpat. After undergoing regular massage sessions, the client felt the blood pressure was slowly dropping to normal. Massage sessions also relieved the pain of the client. After discovering the health benefits of Spa, the client was a regular member of the spa, shares Bandana Gurung Pun, director of sales and marketing at Tranquility Spa.
Spa baths can rejuvenate and enhance mental and physical health. The combination of massage, mineral-rich water and Ayurvedic techniques helps reduce stress, pain, blood pressure, among other psychological and physical problems, shares Pun.
The word spa is an acronym for the Latin phrase salus per aquae or ‘health from water’. The technique has been practised since ancient times. The advancement of spa centres in the country has helped raise awareness among the people about the benefits of spa treatment. While there is a misconception that spa services are only for the upper-class segment, spa centres operating in the capital have different packages targeting clients from all walks of life.
Tranquility Spa has a Day Spa package targeted towards economically conscious customers. The Day Spa package is 20-25 Rs cheaper than Hotel Spa Package. Tranquility Spa provides Day Spa packages from its branch in Kupondole, Lazimpat and Thamel. The spa has 15 outlets in Nepal, and two outlets in Malaysia.
Various services fall under the spa umbrella, namely Jacuzzi, hot steam bath, among others. Meanwhile, massages also fall under the spa umbrella as mineral-rich water is used to clean and refresh the body. Sirodhara – one of the methods of Panchakarma – helps to open blocked sinuses and treats insomnia and migraine as the liquid poured on the forehead normalises brain function.
Likewise, soaking the body in a hot water tub with rich minerals relaxes the muscles and reduces joint pain, resulting in better performance in the gym and physical activities. In addition, massage and warm water bath help release endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller. Likewise, hot water and oils used during massages help relax muscles and raise the temperature of the body, which helps to get better sleep.
According to Laxmi Ghising, executive director at Ayatna Spa, Hotel Shambala, highly trained therapists perform a range of massages inspired from Swedish, Aromatherapy, Thai, and Ayurvedic body massage methodologies to relax, recharge, rejuvenate and re-energise the mental and physical health of the customers.
“Ayatana Spa offers an experience in re-discovery and rejuvenation of the six senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and mind. We believe that it is only through the rejuvenation of body and mind that we can enjoy true tranquillity of physical, mental and spiritual harmony,” she says, adding the spa has incorporated the methods of Ayurveda in its services.
“Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems. We focus on individual symptoms for treatment, which is the mission of Ayatana Spa - to provide a holistic healing experience to the clients. All the products used and the treatments offered in the spa are inspired form Ayurveda,” Ghising adds. “Besides spa therapy, Ayatana also provides facial, body and foot beauty treatments.”
According to Amrit Thokar, executive director of Nectar Spa, clients who are depressed and anxious have felt the changes in their behaviour after several massage sessions. “Spas treat people in a holistic approach, which helps the clients to relieve and relax. Apart from mental health benefits, trekkers also come to enjoy different services at the spa to relax after tiring treks,” he says, adding lactic acid ambulates in the joints after physical activities, which can be reduced through massage and hot steam sauna.
Things to Consider
Despite several health benefits, spas are not for everyone. “People with diabetes need to take extra cautions when getting foot treatments. Any break in the skin, potentially from the aggressive trimming of a callous or cuticle, can increase the risk of foot infections called cellulites,” shares Ghising. Likewise, pregnant women need to avoid massages that involve long strokes along the legs or pressure between the ankle and heels. Also, the people with a cold, respiratory infection or asthma should be cautious before a sauna treatment. Dry heat from saunas can make it uncomfortable to breathe.
It is necessary for the service seekers to know that if the therapists in the spas are well trained or not. “We at Tranquility Spa have properly trained therapists so that clients with health conditions can also enjoy different spa services,” Pun shares, adding there are no risks associated with spa treatments if the service is used correctly under the supervision of properly trained therapists.
Thokar says not having a wellness course is a challenge for the spas. “As there are no academic courses on spas, therapists are trained in-house before being placed for the job,” Thokar says, adding the government-operated technical and vocational education centres like Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) can introduce courses on wellness. Currently, Nectar Spa trains therapists for three to four months before they begin their jobs.
“The government should not ignore the fact that spa centres have created job opportunities in Nepal. If properly monitored and promoted, Nepal can be a perfect destination for Spa tourism like Thailand; we don’t take lack of awareness of the health benefit of spas as a challenge,” expresses Thokar.
Meanwhile, Tranquility Spa has its own training centre named Tranquility International Beauty and Spa Academy (TIBSA) in Lazimpat. According to Pun, the therapists are adequately trained before joining the jobs at the spa.
According to Ghising, Ayatna Spa welcomes all customer queries about its services and explains the benefits of spa treatments and how it influences mental and physical health.
The Importance of Sanitation
Spas need to be thoroughly cleaned regularly as customers leave germs, bacteria, and dead cells in every visit. Clients may have health conditions, and contact with germs and bacteria may have severe consequences. Therefore, it is a must for the spas to look after the sanitation to protect the health of the clients.
Ayatana Spa has deployed strict sanitary standards to maintain hygiene. “The therapists wash hands before a massage and sanitise the hand before touching the client. The towels and equipment used during the session are also washed and cleaned after every use. The clients are provided fine cotton robes, slippers and disposable undergarments for a hygienic and comfortable experience,” Ghising shares.
Likewise, Pun also shares that hygiene is the priority of the spa. “We make sure that the clients are also clean. The massage room is always cleaned after the session,” she says.