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Beyond the surface

Are spa treatments really beneficial or are they just a clever marketing gimmick?

india Updated: Jul 15, 2010 13:57 IST
Vidya Balachander

If you are looking to combat ageing, relieve stress or simply indulge your need for luxury, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Mumbai. You’ll find medi spas that offer cutting-edge technology, day spas that offer treatments with uber luxe ingredients and any number of classes promoting wellness. But are these treatments really beneficial or are they just packaged cleverly? We speak to some therapists and spa owners to find out.

Non-invasive botox

According to Minal Potnis, facial yoga is the all-natural, non-invasive equivalent of a botox shot. "It is a well-researched science that tones your facial muscles using dynamic muscle resistance," she says. Facial yoga involves stretching the 57 muscles of your neck and scalp and massaging them with your fingertips.



SpaAccording to Potnis, just ten minutes of these exercises every day can "give you an instant facelift". But doesn’t it take more than just surface changes to revitalise your body? "When you do facial yoga, your muscles are working out," she says. "Your skin becomes smooth and wrinkle-free."

Carressa Day Spa in Juhu has many innovative treatments, including a “rope massage”. “It is a completely unique massage that is not available in any other spa in the city,” says Rekha Chaudhari, proprietor of the spa. “The therapist walks on the client’s body, balancing with the help of a rope,” she says. According to Chaudhari, the specialised technique involved in the massage ensures that only the right amount of pressure is exerted.

Only a fad?
There are other treatments that sound good enough to eat; literally. How else would you explain using caviar on your face? Myrah spa in Juhu offers facials using exotic — and pricey — ingredients like caviar and even gold shavings. But according to Lovina Gidwani Jha, director of operations of Myrah, these treatments have legitimate benefits. “Caviar has moisturising and anti-ageing properties,” she says. “Gold firms and lifts the skin. We don’t use anything because it is a fad. These treatments are tried and tested.”

While one-time treatments may yield temporary results, experts say you can’t expect them to work wonders on your overall health. “For long-term benefits, you need to increase your immunity,” says Dr Priya Peethambar, national manager of day spas for the Core Wellness group that owns Sohum spa in Juhu. “You need to make diet and lifestyle adjustments and combine them with spa treatments to make long-lasting gains.