From beauty to wellness, salons and spas get a ‘healthy’ makeover
Once simple grooming destinations to keep your nails in perfect shape, hair shining and skin glowing, salons and spas are getting a makeover in these days of increasingly stressful urban lives.
In towns big and small and targeting those with varying degrees of disposable incomes, beauty junctions are evolving to become health and wellness centres for people to also relax and rejuvenate.
From simple massages and back rubs at home to luxurious “me time” hours spent at high-end spas, the market caters to clients with pockets shallow and deep, going from several hundred rupees to many thousands.
According to Dr Madhurima Gupta of the centre for wellness at Delhi’s Sarvodaya Hospital and Research Centre here, visits to spas and salons help one reconnect mind, body and spirit.
She recommends such sessions weekly, as well as on vacations. “Today’s lifestyle is such that people have money but no time for themselves. In such situations, spas and salons are becoming extremely popular because these are places where people can get away from their phones and work, de-stress and relax,” Gupta told PTI.
A 2018 global survey by Cigna TTK Health Insurance conducted across 23 markets noted that nine out of 10 Indians are stressed, with 95% of them being millennials. The study also cited work as one of the major triggers for shooting stress levels. A nice back rub or a foot massage does the trick for city-based Sharad Agarwal, leaving him refreshed for an all-consuming month at work. Every month, he spends about 5% of his earnings at spas and salons, getting head and neck massages, pedicures and sometimes even full body spas if he is in a mood to splurge.
“The massages facilitate better blood circulation, relieving me of body aches due to the long hours of sitting at work,” the 27-year-old said. The range of services offered at the spas and salons are varied and often are a combination of beauty and health. Hair spas are combined with head, neck, shoulder and back massages, pedicures and manicures come with complimentary arm and leg massages, and body spas usually involve the use of ayurvedic and essential oils and scrubs that give the skin a renewed glow. Full body spas like Thai massage, hot stone massage, deep tissue therapy, aromatherapy, ayurvedic massage among others can be enjoyed by spending anything between Rs 2,000 and Rs 4,000.
A combination of massages can cost up to Rs 7,000. Vibha Rastogi, director of the Sawadhee Traditional Thai Spa in Vasant Kunj, said spas provide the “me time” most of her clients are looking for.
“Our guests are usually looking for relaxation and to de-stress from their everyday life. Seeking a kind of ‘me time’ or ‘time to pamper oneself’ is gaining great importance,” she said.
The wellness programmes at the spa are aimed at balancing as well as rejuvenating the mind, body and spirit, with their treatments being a blend of traditional spa rituals and modern therapies.
“We put great emphasis on the overall wellness of an individual. The therapies focus on relaxation and de-stressing, general well-being, fitness and anti-aging,” Rastogi said.
She added that many visitors also look to relieve aches and pains after the gym. Other benefits of such spas include improved circulation and firming of the skin. “Me time” is sought also by the visitors of NEU Salonz, which has multiple outlets across NCR. “A salon visit is an emotional experience and they go to salons for their ‘me’ time which is rare nowadays. After a good salon visit, they walk out not only looking beautiful but also rejuvenated and relaxed,” said Vibhoar, CEO of the salon franchise.
Doorstep delivery of this much sought after ‘me time’ is being made possible with apps like UrbanClap. At the touch of a button one can schedule an appointment with a trained therapist, who will bring the spa home. From a spa bed, essential oils, disposable bedsheets and towels, to scented diffuser, oil warmer, candles and speaker for music, the therapist will have everything to relieve you of all stress. Massages on UrbanClap start at Rs 1,199 and go up to Rs 1,799. A popular package is the 100-minute long ‘Top to Toe Relaxation’ that includes 60 minutes of Swedish massage, 20 minutes of head and shoulder massage and 20 minutes of foot reflexology.
They also have a dedicated 80-minute ‘de-stress treatment’, including a 60-minute Swedish Massage and 20-minute head and shoulder massage. In Gupta’s view, regulated spa and salon sessions are necessary in addition to the daily health routine that one might follow to maintain “functional efficiency”.
“Good health is achieved not only through your daily habits including a healthy diet, moderate exercise, quality sleep and preventive care, but also by giving your mind and body a chance to reconnect, which is why I would recommend visiting spas and salons,” she said.
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