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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014
Pampering retreat
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 08, 2013
First Published: 15:32 IST(8/10/2013)
Last Updated: 16:08 IST(8/10/2013)

The lowdown

From its nascent unstructured beginning in the early 90s, the wellness industry in India has evolved rapidly. Improved health awareness and exposure to global beauty and ­fashion trends are driving growth in the wellness space. The need to look and feel good has led to a growing demand for spa ­therapists. Spa therapy focuses on specific areas such as ­aromatherapy, which works on the senses of smell and touch, and ­reflexology, which works on acupressure points on tenzones. It attempts to bring about a balance of the mind, body and soul of the person who is being treated. In the 21st century, spa therapy encompasses holistic therapies, beauty therapy, ­fitness and nutrition. The job prospects are bright in both India as well as abroad. As per a FICCI-PWC 2011 report, the wellness services in India will require 600,000 additional skilled personnel over the next five years. There has been immense growth in the spa ­industry during the past decade. It is, therefore, not ­surprising that spas are facing shortage of skilled and trained personnel, especially trained aestheticians, technicians, cosmetologists, and other experts who ­specialise in beauty treatment

Clockwork
Full time spa therapists work between eight to 10 hours and will find themselves more busy in the evenings than in the ­mornings. Weekends are generally loaded with back-to-back ­therapies
8am: Exercise
9.30am: Head to the workplace
10am: Attend to clients
2.30pm: Lunch
3.00pm: Re-start work
6.30pm: Take a small break
7pm: Hectic work at hand
11pm: Leave for home

The ­payoff
Newly qualified spa therapists may earn around Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 14,000 per month. Therapists with a few years experience can earn between Rs. 14,000 and Rs. 20,000 per month. If they move into ­management, spa therapists may earn Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 80,000 per month or even more

Skills/TRAITS
* Tactful and being aware of the needs for client confidentiality
* One should dress and talk smart, be well-groomed and ­follow good personal hygiene 
* Time ­management skills

Getting there
While there are many ­qualifications that one can gain to became a qualified spa therapist/­aesthetician, there are nationally recognised training programmes that offer a good entry point into the spa industry

Institutes and URLs
* Ananda Spa Institute, Hyderabad;
www.anandaspainstitute.com/courses.asp
* Ispaa Spa Academy, Cochin;
www.ispaa.com
* Elite International School of Beauty and Spa Therapies, New Zealand;
www.elitebeautyschool.co.nz
* Laird Institute of Spa Therapy, United States;
ww.lairdinstitute.com

Pros and cons
* Great scope for growth and development
* Decent remuneration
* Flexible working hours
* Expectations are less compared to other professions in this sector
* Fussy clients and bad timings can be a pain

While the importance of professional spa therapists has increased, recruiting trained spa therapists and retaining them remains a challenge -----Divita Kanoria, chief wellness officer, The Vedic Collection


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