Letters

Do you have a strong opinion, or disagree with somebody else’s point of view on topics related to the spa industry? If so, Spa Business would love to hear from you. Email your letters, thoughts and suggestions to [email protected]



WHY NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT AFRICAN MASSAGE… AND WHY THEY SHOULD

 

Julie Lombe
 
Julie Lombe Founder panafricanbeauty.com

Africa has so much more to offer spa culture than just hammams, including ancient massage techniques based on native healing philosophies, shamanism, original accessories, natural products and music.

Such techniques are being brought alive by modern practitioners. Wellness coach Amy Beke has developed the Digui from the north-west. Historically, this massage is given by a mother to a child after birth to relieve muscle pain and nervous tension. Beke’s interpretation includes swathing the body in African shea butter and performing long stretching and enveloping movements, vibrations and deep pressure massage in an invigorating rhythm with a backdrop of traditional music and rooibos tea to finish.

Since 1998 Carol Mathebula has been teaching the Vunkuwa healing massage from central Africa. Inspired by her grandmother and shaman rituals, it combines vigorous rocking from head to foot, plus fast and intense rubbing, stretching and kneading of the legs and back to recirculate energy and unlock areas of imbalance and tension. Massage oils sourced from native medicinal plants – such as immune-boosting lemon bush and stimulating green wood – are also used.

I am both Belgian (working as a trainer for Sothys) and Congolese and my own Congo Massage® is a holistic treatment to relax, detoxify and energise. It starts with a long reflexology session using baobab oil and follows with a whole body massage first by hand and then with accessories to loosen the muscles more deeply and help with drainage. Accessories include wooden rungu sticks, traditionally used by Maasai warriors, and manefaing handles, like a poultice made of sacred red earth, used by Cameroon healers. The treatment tempo varies from frenetic to calm according to the beat of the djembe drum.

Due to the lack of massage schools, scientific validation of treatments and the continent’s negative image, African massage has struggled to expand internationally. Yet tourism development has spurred some countries such as South Africa and Namibia to offer traditional therapies. And as local practitioners such as Beke and Mathebula travel globally with their own creations, they’re slowly spreading the word… African massage is a trend to catch.

Contact Julie Lombe
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +32 483 028 050


"As local practitioners travel globally, they’re slowly spreading the word... African massage is a trend to catch "

 


Andrey_Popov/shutterstock

Massage techniques can be based on natural products, music and native healing philosophies

ARE SPA AUDITS MISSING THE POINT?

 

Anne Bramham
 
Anne Bramham Founder Advanced Spa Therapy & Education Certification Council 

While our industry is busy rebranding itself from spa to wellness, there’s still little evidence of a shift in focus. Therapeutic intent remains largely ignored and many traditional disciplines are frequently tailored to maximise retail sales or to compensate for a lack of training. 

Aromatherapy, for example, is widely practiced as a pleasant massage with an essential oil but barely resembles the alchemic, highly personalised experience of the original method. Reflexology is often a glorified foot massage with a few pressure points thrown in for good measure. Hot and cold water circuits are commonly misused with little or no awareness of therapeutic application while contraindications and other disciplines are equally compromised. 

Forbes and other accrediting/auditing agencies focus on everything from cleanliness to handling of guests, but none of them question whether a modality meets specific standards or competency. No one asks whether hot and cold facilities follow a therapeutic regimen, or if it’s safe to drink alcohol in thermal experiences. I often wonder about the qualifications of those who are judging. What’s their background? Do they really understand therapies? If the global spa industry hopes to realise its wellness potential, the guidance of experts is critically important. 

Treatments generate up to 70 per cent of all spa revenue and the quality and integrity of those services are the single most important component of successful spa operations. It’s this discerning value that will build and retain a loyal clientele and serious minded practitioners. 

Contact Anne Bramham
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +1 561 802 3855


"I often wonder about the qualifications of those who are judging... Do they really understand therapies?"

 


Photographee.eu/shutterstock

Reflexology is often a glorified foot massage says Bramham

NUTRITION, LIFESTYLE AND EMOTIONS AFFECT SKIN TOO

 

Dr Howard Murad
 
Dr Howard Murad Founder Murad and board certified dermatologist

I absolutely agree with the article in Spa Business (see SB16/2 p54) which suggests that skincare should be more than just about products. We’ve been taking this approach for the last 10 years.

You need to look beyond the surface of the skin and remember that it’s connected to the rest of the body. When you have sunburn, for example, it can be accompanied by a headache and nausea, indicating that the body, as well as the skin, needs rest. I earned the title of ‘father of internal skincare’ many years ago by reducing sun damage and improving acne and wrinkles with supplements alone, demonstrating the importance of nutrition.

I’ve spent years studying how the lack of water in our cells affects the ageing process as a result of environmental, food and stress factors. More recently, I’ve researched how cultural stress affects the body emotionally as well as visibly with sings of fine lines and wrinkles.

All of this is taken into account in my Inclusive Health Philosophy and new Murad Method Facial which takes a holistic approach to wellness and looks at the importance of diet and nutrition alongside emotional self-care and topical skincare, in helping people look, live and feel younger.

Contact Dr Howard Murad
Tel: +1 310 726 0600
Twitter: @MuradSkincare


"You need to look beyond the surface of the skin and remember that it’s connected to the rest of the body"

 



A new Murad facial combines nutrition and emotional self-care tips
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Spa Business
2016 issue 3

View issue contents

Leisure Management -



Letters


Do you have a strong opinion, or disagree with somebody else’s point of view on topics related to the spa industry? If so, Spa Business would love to hear from you. Email your letters, thoughts and suggestions to [email protected]


WHY NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT AFRICAN MASSAGE… AND WHY THEY SHOULD

 

Julie Lombe
 
Julie Lombe Founder panafricanbeauty.com

Africa has so much more to offer spa culture than just hammams, including ancient massage techniques based on native healing philosophies, shamanism, original accessories, natural products and music.

Such techniques are being brought alive by modern practitioners. Wellness coach Amy Beke has developed the Digui from the north-west. Historically, this massage is given by a mother to a child after birth to relieve muscle pain and nervous tension. Beke’s interpretation includes swathing the body in African shea butter and performing long stretching and enveloping movements, vibrations and deep pressure massage in an invigorating rhythm with a backdrop of traditional music and rooibos tea to finish.

Since 1998 Carol Mathebula has been teaching the Vunkuwa healing massage from central Africa. Inspired by her grandmother and shaman rituals, it combines vigorous rocking from head to foot, plus fast and intense rubbing, stretching and kneading of the legs and back to recirculate energy and unlock areas of imbalance and tension. Massage oils sourced from native medicinal plants – such as immune-boosting lemon bush and stimulating green wood – are also used.

I am both Belgian (working as a trainer for Sothys) and Congolese and my own Congo Massage® is a holistic treatment to relax, detoxify and energise. It starts with a long reflexology session using baobab oil and follows with a whole body massage first by hand and then with accessories to loosen the muscles more deeply and help with drainage. Accessories include wooden rungu sticks, traditionally used by Maasai warriors, and manefaing handles, like a poultice made of sacred red earth, used by Cameroon healers. The treatment tempo varies from frenetic to calm according to the beat of the djembe drum.

Due to the lack of massage schools, scientific validation of treatments and the continent’s negative image, African massage has struggled to expand internationally. Yet tourism development has spurred some countries such as South Africa and Namibia to offer traditional therapies. And as local practitioners such as Beke and Mathebula travel globally with their own creations, they’re slowly spreading the word… African massage is a trend to catch.

Contact Julie Lombe
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +32 483 028 050


"As local practitioners travel globally, they’re slowly spreading the word... African massage is a trend to catch "

 


Andrey_Popov/shutterstock

Massage techniques can be based on natural products, music and native healing philosophies

ARE SPA AUDITS MISSING THE POINT?

 

Anne Bramham
 
Anne Bramham Founder Advanced Spa Therapy & Education Certification Council 

While our industry is busy rebranding itself from spa to wellness, there’s still little evidence of a shift in focus. Therapeutic intent remains largely ignored and many traditional disciplines are frequently tailored to maximise retail sales or to compensate for a lack of training. 

Aromatherapy, for example, is widely practiced as a pleasant massage with an essential oil but barely resembles the alchemic, highly personalised experience of the original method. Reflexology is often a glorified foot massage with a few pressure points thrown in for good measure. Hot and cold water circuits are commonly misused with little or no awareness of therapeutic application while contraindications and other disciplines are equally compromised. 

Forbes and other accrediting/auditing agencies focus on everything from cleanliness to handling of guests, but none of them question whether a modality meets specific standards or competency. No one asks whether hot and cold facilities follow a therapeutic regimen, or if it’s safe to drink alcohol in thermal experiences. I often wonder about the qualifications of those who are judging. What’s their background? Do they really understand therapies? If the global spa industry hopes to realise its wellness potential, the guidance of experts is critically important. 

Treatments generate up to 70 per cent of all spa revenue and the quality and integrity of those services are the single most important component of successful spa operations. It’s this discerning value that will build and retain a loyal clientele and serious minded practitioners. 

Contact Anne Bramham
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +1 561 802 3855


"I often wonder about the qualifications of those who are judging... Do they really understand therapies?"

 


Photographee.eu/shutterstock

Reflexology is often a glorified foot massage says Bramham

NUTRITION, LIFESTYLE AND EMOTIONS AFFECT SKIN TOO

 

Dr Howard Murad
 
Dr Howard Murad Founder Murad and board certified dermatologist

I absolutely agree with the article in Spa Business (see SB16/2 p54) which suggests that skincare should be more than just about products. We’ve been taking this approach for the last 10 years.

You need to look beyond the surface of the skin and remember that it’s connected to the rest of the body. When you have sunburn, for example, it can be accompanied by a headache and nausea, indicating that the body, as well as the skin, needs rest. I earned the title of ‘father of internal skincare’ many years ago by reducing sun damage and improving acne and wrinkles with supplements alone, demonstrating the importance of nutrition.

I’ve spent years studying how the lack of water in our cells affects the ageing process as a result of environmental, food and stress factors. More recently, I’ve researched how cultural stress affects the body emotionally as well as visibly with sings of fine lines and wrinkles.

All of this is taken into account in my Inclusive Health Philosophy and new Murad Method Facial which takes a holistic approach to wellness and looks at the importance of diet and nutrition alongside emotional self-care and topical skincare, in helping people look, live and feel younger.

Contact Dr Howard Murad
Tel: +1 310 726 0600
Twitter: @MuradSkincare


"You need to look beyond the surface of the skin and remember that it’s connected to the rest of the body"

 



A new Murad facial combines nutrition and emotional self-care tips

Originally published in Spa Business 2016 issue 3

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