Spa for Him
The very history of spa treatments comes from the treatment of soldiers coming back from battles in ancient times,” explains Kumar Maharjan, chairman of the Heritage Spa in Sanepa. “So I just don’t see why spas with treatments inspired from this very period should be seen as a girly thing only,” he continues. Reena Shrestha, an aesthetician and therapist who received her international training in Singapore in collaboration with a Swiss school, admits that still more than 60% of the customers of this establishment are female and explains it simply: “I don’t think men are afraid to come and be judged, especially in a spa like ours, far from main roads, they simply don’t know what is there for them.” Stress, pollution, fatigue, these are some reasons men should also allow themselves a few hours of relaxation in a cosy environment with professionals. When asked if there are any specific treatments that would be more adapted to men, both Kumar and Reena answer quickly: “Honestly, every treatment can be for both, though we recommend the facial treatment for men during which we use a bit more pressure but the treatments depend on the individual rather than on his/her gender”.
Which treatment and for whom?
As in an exotic restaurant, a spa has a menu with dishes the novice might not understand. The best thing to do is to seek the professionals’ advice. “It’s very important for us to know our customers, so we can provide a truly friendly environment that will make them comfortable but mostly in order to know their needs; what treatment we can do using which type of products,” Kumar says. First, the treatment must be chosen according to the reason for the visit to the spa—whether it is to relax from a very tiring day or week, to prepare before an important interview or meeting, or to get the groom ready before meeting his bride on the D-Day. “For any special event, we recommend facial treatment with oils and natural products adapted to the skin type,” suggests Reena. “Facial and eye treatment using natural products and our knowledge of the lymphatic drainage system helps clients to feel fully relaxed, confident and have a certain glow that will just had up to the confidence.” Active men can be separated into two groups according to the nature of their stress. The mentally-stressed, who are usually working in stressful environments such as banks, big companies, international organisations, etc., must allow themselves at least 30 minutes of Shirodhara treatment or as the brochure of Heritage Spa states, “a therapy designed to eliminate mental exhaustion as well as relieve stress and any ill effects on the central nervous system.”
The concept is to let oil flow by gently pouring it on the forehead. For the physically stressed, it’s better to go for a full package starting with steam bath, scrub, then massage and foot reflexology or head and shoulder massage. Products are also important and only camphor oil can relieve stiff muscles. “Though it takes more time than a simple massage, it’s always better to go for a package that will allow the body to fully relax,” adds Reena. “The only difference in this between men and women is that we will use more easily body salt scrub for men who generally have stronger and thicker skin,” Kumar says.
Some treatments are prohibited for some medical conditions. For example, Thai massage is not recommended for people who have had injuries in the past (better to go for a simple deep tissue massage and then, after consulting the therapist, to move to Thai massage if possible). Similarly, sauna is not for people with high blood pressure. It’s always good to have a little of consulting with the therapist before going for a spa treatment, except of course for those already familiar with the treatments. At the Heritage Spa, everything is bio and natural; the Aloe Vera is freshly cut from the garden but still, Kumar and Reena warn, “Better check the products on a small portion of skin to be sure that the customer doesn’t have any allergy and try to avoid products with a high concentration of chemicals”.
What they say about the spa experience
Meeting men coming out of a spa is like meeting people who have reached another state of bliss; that is, if the experience was a successful one of course. “I travel a lot for my work, not only in the country but outside too; taking long tiring flights with the mind full of worries; so, whenever I can, I stop by a spa and go in for a sauna for 30 minutes and then get a deep tissue massage or simply oil on my forehead,” says businessman Manish. For others, the spa experience was not a regular thing but can surely turn out to be one: “I got a head and shoulder massage, but not the kind you get at the barber, a real one—deep, and with good products—my sister sort of forced me to go to the spa and she was more than right. I’m ready to go back to work!” says a banker, 35 year-old Rabin, enthusiastically. For Ben, 25, a French tourist, it was a need he had long felt. “I planned on going on a trek so I got the full treatment package before setting out to get my body ready and fresh, and now that I’m back, I will have another one to relieve the pain and relax the muscles I don’t use that much in my country.”
Surely, some treatments may take a bit more time to be accepted as masculine (manicure, pedicure, waxing…) but don’t get shy gentlemen, you too have the right to relax.