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Spa therapy in country to be standardised

Instead of helping her de-stress, an Ayurvedic massage at a Khar-based spa last year left 32-year-old Kiran More (name changed to protect identity) with a pain under her shoulder.

mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2012 02:04 IST
Menaka Rao

Instead of helping her de-stress, an Ayurvedic massage at a Khar-based spa last year left 32-year-old Kiran More (name changed to protect identity) with a pain under her shoulder.

"The pain lasted for two days. The masseur, presumably with no knowledge of English or Hindi, didn't understand when I told her to exert less pressure on my body," said More, who works in a multinational company and was in the city on vacation.

Such instances have prompted the National Accreditation Board of Hospitals and Healthcare (NABH) to standardise spa therapy in the country. The NABH, with the Ministry of Tourism, will plan a uniform syllabus for twelve major spa-training institutes. "There are no standards for training spa therapists in India. We want to bridge this gap. The tourism ministry has promised to fund the initiative," said Dr Bhawana Gulati, assistant director, NABH.

Many major institutes in the country are affiliated to two major spa-training institutes, at London and Zurich respectively. The Ayurveda treatment is taught in schools at Kerala. Only those spas that are accredited by the NABH are promoted by the tourism ministry. In Mumbai, only the Peddar Road and Juhu branches of Kaya clinic are NABH accredited.

"Spa therapy is very technical and hands-on. There are spa therapy schools in every nook and corner, but everyone who steps out of them isn't a professional therapist," said Kamal Singh Rana, a professional therapist, who assists the spa manager at the Four Seasons Hotel, Worli.

He said many clients complain of complications such as skin ailments, burns, muscle or bone injury, after dissatisfactory treatment. "The brand and people's perception towards the industry is affected. Standardisation could help the industry in a big way," said Rana.