By Sharukh Vazifdar October 2010 The spa culture with its connotations of luxurious pampering has taken the country by storm. A compilation of spas in the western zone The soft and relaxing ambience at Areopagus With a wealth of traditional remedies, therapies, and massages, India has had a spa culture long before the word became popular in the west. Oil baths, brides scrubbed with turmeric and gram flour to force a bashful glow, and new mothers pampered with luxurious herbal massages are nothing but spa treatments. Added to this bountiful knowledge of natural treatments is the level of spiritual awareness. Many spas have jumped on to the growing trend of combining holistic treatments with spiritual well being, combining yoga, acupressure and similar faculties into their treatments. In today’s fast-paced individualistic world, one crucial lesson is often forgotten that humans need touch, a powerful healing method, which has been practried for millennia across many cultures. Research shows us that touch can help reduce stress hormones, alleviate depression, boost the immune system and diminish pain. Here we bring you some of the spas in the western region of India. Mumbai Antara SpaThe spa’s location next to the swimming pool of The Club that houses it, makes it an ideal location for relaxation and rejuvenation. Situated right in the heart of Mumbai’s suburbs, it is nestled amidst an expansive landscape making it peaceful and serene. It has six therapy suites, including an ayurveda room, dry flotation room, and couple’s suite. The spa offers an extensive range of massages, body polishes, facials, body wraps, baths; treatments are designed to serve different purposes such as detoxifying or balancing. Antara-on-Wheels is a mobile spa service that is available to those who can’t make it there.Andheri (6693 9999) Clarins Skin SpaThe facial and body treatments at this spa use specialist plant extracts from various countries. There are some 11 treatments along those lines with plant extracts right from Bavaria to New Zealand, which promise youth, whitening and extra-firming.Breach Candy (2364 3685) Aroma Thai Foot SpaAn attractive feature of this spa is the Sukhothai Silver and Gold therapies which use pure silver and gold in the massage. With an ambience of dark wood, silk pillows, and soft lighting, the spa promises the essence of Thailand and special Thai herbs, used to liven up tired feet and hands.Mahalaxmi (2353 6600), Bandra (2605 6871) Bamboo Tree SpaThis spa is the first of its kind to offer the fish therapy and bamboo massage in Mumbai. A shoal of toothless Garra Rufa fish, imported all the way from Turkey, nibble dead skin off your feet helping in exfoliation, making your feet shiny, smooth and unearthing the glow beneath your dead skin. The Bamboo Fusion massage is a new and innovative style of massage where the unique properties of bamboo are passed onto the body to create healing, restoration and balance. It enhances blood circulation and aids in deep tissue healing, as well as elimination of toxins. The Candle therapy involves a soy candle, which combines the potent smell of a candle with the comfort of essential massage oil, melting into a wonderful body lotion for skin care.Bandra (3222 1861) Massaging out back pain at Areopagus Aikya Wellness When a few hours at a spa away from a hectic life isn’t enough to unwind, Aikya offers you a retreat to completely let go and forget about your worries. Located at Panvel, the locale is abundant in greenery and wildlife, allowing one to feel at home in nature. Delicately prepared body treatments offer a seemingly limitless range of specialised massage, polishes, and wraps, along with their range of facial treatments which rehydrate, rejuvenate, and clarify your skin.Panvel, outskirts of Mumbai (4021 1702) Cosmic Mandala With a rustic cream and brown decor, this spa also has an outdoor section made of cane and bamboo sticks. All customers are treated to a quick stress-relieving foot soak before the therapy begins. The red clay and coconut body polish is very popular. It begins with a full body scrub with a coarse mixture of coconut and butter, followed by a mixture of red clay and coconut water; one is then wrapped in a layer of muslin till the mud dries. This helps release all muscle tension and exfoliates the skin, leaving it tender, moisturised and nourished.Fort (2204 3737) Birla Kerala Vaidyashala Kerala massages hope to revive the prana in various points of the body, through activation of the marma or energy points. The effects can be from just tranquillity to curative powers for various ailments. The Birla Kerala Vaidyashala is an authentic ayurvedic treatment and rejuvenation centre which practices the 5000 year old ayurvedic therapies as per the ancient texts. Among a variety of treatments they offer is the Shiro Dhara, where a stream of medicated oil is poured onto the forehead. Ayushman Bhava, which involves Shiro Dhara and a sandalwood face pack, is a very popular treatment. Their ayurvedic doctor suggests recommended treatment as per your dosha and ailment.Prabhadevi (2430 2336) Franck Provost Simple, elegant and modern, this spa offers an array of treatments including aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, acupressure, sports massage, deep tissue, maternity massage and steam. The most sought-after massage is the Swedish massage, which improves circulation, flushing wastes and toxins, stretching the ligaments, with strokes of this massage following the flow of blood as it goes back to the heart.Bandra (6703 6971) Jiva Spa This spa has all its ayurveda and aromatherapy oils exclusively hand blended for them. Among their options of treatments are Pehlwan Malish, a powerful Indian oil massage, Champi, an authentic Indian head massage, Ventoz, an Indian cupping therapy, Pada Mardana, an Indian foot massage, and Garshana and Ubtans, Indian scrubs and wraps. Weaving in yoga techniques and asanas into their massages, the level of relaxation and rejuvenation reached are very high.Gateway of India (6665 3366) Unwinding at the rustic Cosmic Mandala Mudd Spa and SalonIn addition to the full body treatments that most spas offer, they specialise in hair spa treatments like protein masks and deep conditioning for stressed or damaged hair. The hair mask has ingredients such as amla, shikakai, neem and pudina. The treatment promises to cleanse, exfoliate, and release fatigue leaving anyone who enters completely stress-free.Bandstand (2645 3309) RudraTheir signature treatments emphasise traditional Tibetan and ayurvedic techniques. The Himalayan Herb Scrub is a two-hour treatment involving application of an exfoliating and moisturising blend of turmeric, sandalwood and cinnamon, followed by an hour-long massage with ayurvedic oil.Kemps Corner (2387 2530) SabaiCalling themselves India’s first authentic Thai foot spa, all the therapists are from Thailand. The foot reflexology begins with a petal-laden warm foot bath, followed by a few stretches and then reflexology. Each knee is turned out and pushed down firmly upto the pelvic bone, giving a sense of painless, effortless yoga, followed by the head and spine massage. Bandra (6623 3888) Nail SpaA floor-to-ceiling sized mural of the Buddha overlooks customers as they enter this hand and foot spa, to ensure they attain a zen-like calm through their treatment. A thorough exfoliation is followed by a relaxing massage with blended oils. They combine the treatments done in a parlour with the pampering of a spa.Andheri (6524 1704) Shen ReflexologyAnother spa that focuses on treatment rather than decor, this spa is small, but contains all that is required to send you to foot heaven. The hand and leg massages, aimed at the right pressure points, ease out all the tension, soreness and stiffness in the body. They have specialised treatments to meet the growing needs of highly stressed individuals, to match up to their fast-paced lives.Bandra (2605 5578) Treating spondilitis at the Birla Kerala Vaidyashala TahaaThis spa specialises in Swedish massages and the oil-free Thai style which combines yoga, acupressure and reflexology. The Balinese massage involves acupressure, stretching, reflexology and a variety of kneading and rolling to balance the flow of energy in the body.Malabar Hill (2368 1001) The Thai SpaSitting back in the spa’s lemongrass-scented rooms you can have your feet washed, worked upon and rejuvenated. While traditional Thai massage is a form of passive yoga, the spa has restructured it so that the client needs to contribute much less, but still gets to experience the high point without any exertion. Descended from the ancient traditions of Buddhism, the massages claim to rejuvenate, repair and re-energise one’s soul and balance the elements.Lower Parel (3040 4528) Dhanwantri Kerala AyurvedPractising ayurvedic massages in their true unadulterated form, it is seen not only as a form of relaxation, but also as an essential part of treatment for ailments. A whole new dimension of spa opens up as the treatment is such that it honours the patient’s uniqueness and body type. The spa experience then becomes a context where his/her true nature can blossom and unfold. Their wide range of luxurious face and body treatments are tailor-made through an ayurvedic diagnosis to further customise product selection and treatment as per the patient’s body nature. It is the most natural way to refresh you, eliminate all toxic imbalances from the body, and regain resistance and good health. It concentrates on the mental, physical and spiritual harmony of an individual as a whole and also of the universe. Andheri (2820 4295) AreopagusTaking the best of different systems of healing such as Japanese, Chinese and Greek, they have come up with a unique form of therapy considered to be as effect
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