Spa Gaining Popularity

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Kathmandu, Jan 31, 2015: The society in Nepal still remains bogged down with a negative perspective towards the trend of practicing massage for healthy physiognomy and mentality.

The society has not been able to separate the truth from false notions that massage centres have always meant sex trade.

Amid such skepticism Bhavi Sharma from Baglung has been successful in mitigating the spread of negative information over massage centres by showing that the massage treatment is a necessity of the society for mental peace and for much needed relaxation after a tiresome work.

Sharma took up the profession of running Spa for trekkers at the Jomsom area – the renowned Annapurna Trek route – after studying the massage techniques a decade ago in Thailand and Indonesia. Sharma launched a mobile massage centre service simultaneously at Ghorepani, Dhandruk, Lukla including six other locations. The enthusiastic entrepreneur started the business professionally after opening Real Therapy and Beauty Point at tourist sector Thamel 12 years ago.

“The Spa that I started became an example for the tourists who were eager for at least one hour’s massage after trekking for months,” Sharma said. Sharma has also arranged for providing massage to all members of a single family.

Massage is viewed as a therapy technique for sound mental and physical health and to counter the growing stress of the modern society. When Sharma arrived at Thamel in Kathmandu for the first time he noticed the prevalent negative viewpoint regarding massage therapy. But the budding entrepreneur knew it was most essential from tourism perspective.

The history of Spa profession in Nepal is not so long. Entrepreneurs feel that if this profession can be well managed it would contribute hugely in the country’s economy.

Thamel Tourism Development Board Chairman Ramsharan Thapaliya said the Spa profession had become a great attraction among domestic and foreign tourists alike. “The Board is also initiating steps to promote the market of this profession,” Thapaliya added. The upgradation of the Spa profession in the international standard will not only increase the flow of tourists to the country but become one of the staples of tourism economy.

“At the initial phase there were widespread negative opinions regarding Spa, it was hard to gather manpower but now it has developed as an opportunity for employment,” Sharma said. Nowadays people seek training in Spa before heading to Europe and the US. The students and people winning DV lottery usually train in Spa.

The Real Therapy which started with an investment of Rs 5 million now employs 40 capable staffs. It is usually flooded with foreign tourists. The foreigners are required to pay Rs 5000 whereas a Nepali citizen can pay Rs 2000 to avail of all facilities. At least 90 domestic and foreign tourists visit the Real Therapy. Even famous leaders, business tycoons and prominent individuals visit Real Therapy.

Pashmina entrepreneur Prakash Agrawal, restaurant owner Binod Shrestha and trekking entrepreneur Hari Gharel have been regular visitors to Real Therapy to avail of a myriad of techniques for physical and mental fitness.

There are many sorts of treatment techniques of Spa which is considered vital for attractive physiognomy, beauty and health. It holds a special importance in the tourism sector. Spa therapy segments the different body parts as per a person’s age and many people use the treatment for enhancing external beauty. Hair Spa, Face Spa, Neck Spa, Eye Spa, Foot Spa, Nail Spa, Skin Spa are some of the most widely used treatments.

The Real Spa Therapy provides Sauna Bath, Steam Bath, Ayurvedic Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Joint Pain Relief Massage, Relaxation Massage, Ocupuncture Therapy, Stretching Therapy and all services provided in Beauty Parlour and Saloon.

For the first time in Nepal Hot Spring fountain has been started which helps in the treatment of back pain, joint pain, sugar, uric acid, weight loss and muscular pain among others.

Of the many Spa centres in the market not all are genuine. “So there are no other Spa centres that can be compared with Real Therapy and Beauty Point,” entrepreneur Sharma claims.

With the surge in the number of customers seeking Spa therapies, ‘Wellness Organic Club’ is being established with an aim to provide service to many under a single shelter.

Sharma said the Wellness Organic Club will be run at the upscale Lainchaur- based Metro Park Complex at an investment of Rs 110 million with an aim to provide all sorts of services of massage therapy including the high-end therapies provided only at five star luxury hotels.

After being practiced in the US, Canada, Spain Spa therapy has percolated to Asia through Thailand, China and Indonesia. Spa cannot only be viewed as a part of tourism business; it has proven equally effective for people carrying out daily chores.

Spa business has already taken up the stature of an industry. The Spa is gradually fanning its impact in deluxe hotels outside of the capital city. It is estimated that Thamel alone has more than a dozen Spa centres and 60 massage centres in operation today.

Source: RSS (Translated by Sandesh Shrestha)

(Surya Chandra Basnet/CB Adhikary)

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