It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
Karl Irani is a Mumbai-based spa owner with a law degree from the U.K. An avid spa-goer, he recognized the need for a top-notch stand-alone day spa in India and soon, his concept became a reality with the opening of 'The Palms Spa' in Colaba, Mumbai. Guylife spoke to him about his business, spas for men, and basic spa etiquette everyone should know.
Guylife – What health benefits do massages have?
Karl Irani: I think massage benefits on three levels: physical, physiological and psychological.
Physical: Pressure on the skin can loosen stiff muscles and connective tissues while heat too has the same effect. Some of our massage techniques use heated herbal compresses and rapid hand friction to heat the muscles and thereby loosen them.
Physiological: Massage therapy can help the body release certain chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals help us relax, improve blood circulation and get rid of toxic substances that build up in our muscles. Massage also stimulates the body's lympatic system.
Psychological: Many people who get massages feel better taken care of because of the expert touch of the therapist.
Relaxation with massage may even indirectly improve the immune system. The body’s immune system fights off germs and sickness, and when the body is stressed, the immune system is less equipped to fight off disease.
Massages also help to relax and loosen stiff, sore muscles. Massage therapy can also improve the circulation of blood and lymph, and since lymph is a substance that moves waste products out of body tissues, this is something that we all could do with. Since a massage stretches and relaxes muscles as well as the joints, the joints become easier to move and the range of motion is increased. It also promotes the recovery from fatigue and reduces minor pains.
Guylife - How do regular massages aid in recovery from strenuous workouts?
Karl Irani: A strenuous workout can cause muscles and connective tissue to become stiff and sore. Strictly speaking, massage is the manipulation of muscles and their tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue by applying pressure to the body. A deep tissue massage post a workout will loosen stiff muscles and connective tissue.
Guylife - Do you think only metrosexual men go to spas for facials? Or are you seeing any noteworthy changes in these trends?
Karl Irani: That is not the case anymore and it is for that reason alone that 'The Palms Spa' has created packages. So if a man wasn’t used to getting facials we've made it easier for him by allowing him the opportunity to get a massage as well as a facial. We've designed facials especially for men, so a man who was thinking about it but wasn’t too sure, can be comfortable knowing that we've devised what is best for him. We have a lot of men try facials as part of our packages; they see the results on their skin, and come back for the same package or even just facials as well. So no--try a facial at a spa near you; you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results!
Guylife - What are the different benefits of different styles of massage?
Karl Irani: I’ll try to explain this with an individual break-down of different types of massages and their specific benefits. These massages are all offered on the Palms Spa menu.
The Thai Massage: Through a series of yoga-inspired stretches, this specialized treatment relieves muscular and joint tension, increases flexibility and stimulates circulation, thus improving overall energy levels.
Sports or Deep Tissue Massage: This massage is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, lower back tightness, and sore shoulders. The movement is slower and the pressure is deeper, focusing on relieving stiffness and treating deep knots.
The Balinese Massage: This massage involves a blend of deep tissue massage, acupressure, reflexology, gentle stretching, and aromatherapy. It is designed to stimulate circulation, ease muscular and joint pain, and bring about a sense of wellbeing, calm, and deep relaxation.
The Reflexology Foot Massage: Based upon the principle that every area of the body is linked to a corresponding zone in the feet, Reflexology is a combination of gentle massage and pressure on specific points, enhancing the circulation and leaving the body detoxified and de-stressed.
The Detox Herbal Compress Massage: Incorporating an ancient Thai and Indian healing remedy for deep muscle aches and spasms, this massage stimulates circulation while increasing the flow of energy. Using a steamed herbal compress, toxins are drawn out of the body leaving the muscles relaxed.
Guylife - What are 5 spa etiquette basics you think all men should know?
Karl Irani: I know you asked for 5, but I’m going to give you one extra for good measure. Here goes:
1. Book in advance.
2. Be on time.
3. A massage therapy session is a time to relax. When you schedule a massage, arrange it so you are not interrupted by a cell phone.
4. Tell the therapist what you prefer. If you do not like the music, ask to have it changed or turned off. If the room is too cold or warm, the temperature can be adjusted. It's all about you!
5. The therapist will leave the room while you undress and change into the disposable underwear supplied by the spa. People are usually massaged in this disposable underwear, while covered with a sheet. You should always be appropriately covered during a massage.
6. Treat your therapist the same way you would your physio, they're there to make you feel better. Tell them what part of your body has aches or pains and they will focus there.
Guylife - What prompted you to get into this business?
Karl Irani: In the last couple of years, I’ve travelled a lot in South East Asia, and very simply put, I have always loved to experience a great spa. I found in India, it was either a sub standard spa that I just didn’t feel comfortable in or a five star hotel which was far too inaccessible to the common man. I simply created the five star experience in an affordable stand-alone day spa.
Guylife - What's your background?
Karl Irani: I did my masters in law in the UK and then worked with a law firm specializing in intellectual property law. I found my interests gradually changing, drawing ever closer to my clients' business achievements rather than to their legal issues. My fledging entrepreneurial spirit had started to spread its wings and when the idea for this venture came about, I jumped at it!
Guylife - What's the experience of starting a business in the health & fitness field been like?
Karl Irani: The industry is growing exponentially, not just worldwide but in India as well. There are several large brands and chains that are growing at a phenomenal rate, but my goal is simply to provide the best therapies at affordable prices. I am confident that 'The Palms Spa' has the best therapists and it is this that is defining us today, and bringing our clients back to us, again and again.
you might also like
With Skyfall, director Sam Mendes mixes the old an...
If Bollywood ever went down the 007 agent route, w...