You’ve heard of oil massages, dry massages, even chocolate wraps. Now how about a bubble massage? The newest entrant into the city’s spa circuit, Kallista Spa and Salon has revived the ancient form of Turkish baths, albeit in a new avatar. Designed by actor Sohail Khan’s wife Seema Khan, the spa
A Balinese woman receives a message at a traditional spa centre in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
has already received endorsement from its many celebrity patrons. And while Mumbai is no stranger to the concept of hamams, with many formerly existing in the city’s Iranian pockets, they were usually restricted to male followers of Islam.
“The Turkish bath is an intense full body massage, but it’s done as a water ritual,” explains masseuse Natasha Massey, who was trained in Delhi by Turkish national Master Mahir. “The guest starts the process in the steam room, where we alternate between pouring hot and cold water over the body.”
The rest of the massage is then carried out on the white marble hamam table, where the guest receives a soap massage, with jasmine and olive soap. “Using cotton or leather bags, we create bubbles with the soap, until the guest is covered with a bubble blanket,” adds Massey. What comes next might seem more like a Guantanamo Bay torture technique than soothing massage. “We start pouring hot and cold water continuously over the person for 15 minutes without a break. Then we pour lukewarm water over all the chakras (energy zones) and joints to calm the person and bring the body back to normal temperature,” reveals Massey.
After the guest is finished with the voluntary waterboarding, he is forced to sit in the hamam room till his body temperature returns to normal. “The treatment improves blood circulation and helps exfoliate the skin,” insists Massey, adding, “It is also beneficial to people suffering from body aches as it helps soothe the joints.”
Available at Kallista Spa and Salon, Bandra.
Cost Rs. 6,000 for one hour.