What is the best thing to do if you want to improve your well-being and boost your immune system? Plan a self-care day: relax at Prana SPA Prana SPA Premium and Thao Thai centres and get a massage which will relax your body and mind. Following the Oriental philosophy, keeping the body and mind in harmony with nature, give us the chance to enjoy the good health and maintain a sufficient level of energy every single day.
Marta Nicgorska: Thao Thai and Prana SPA are brands which are well-known in Tricity. Where did the idea for the chain of SPA centres come from?
Sabina Wielgoszewska: Mostly from the feedback we got from our customers. Nowadays, in the times of many lifestyle-generated diseases, we only start to be concerned with our health, when some problems appear and we feel unwell. That is why we wanted to create a place, where, on the one hand, one would be able to find a relief instantly, on the other hand, be able to get certain guidelines and tips on how to keep good health in the daily life.
Does the name Prana SPA have a special meaning?
In India the word „Prana” means “breath”. It is the life energy, known in China as Qi, and Ki -in Japan. According to Far Eastern beliefs, it is a foundation of our health condition. It is the source of our existence, and its disturbed flow may lead to many diseases. The way we use this energy depends on our lifestyle – our eating habits, activities, emotions. Unbalanced diet, lack of physical activity or suppressing negative emotions may disrupt the harmony in our system and cause the symptoms of illness. The name Prana SPA refers to Eastern medicine, where the holistic approach to good health condition and energy maintenance is vital.
Prana SPA was created out of passion and conviction that Ayurveda is a powerful force. All types of Oriental massage are deeply rooted in Ayurveda, which derives its principles from the five elements. What exactly is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian holistic healing system, with nature as its basic source of knowledge. It was developed more than 5000 years ago and since then it has been guiding people on how to maintain good health by keeping their body, mind and spirit in a perfect harmony with nature. Ayurveda can cure illnesses by means of unconventional methods, but it can also, or should we say, first and foremost, teach us how to prevent illnesses and how to improve our life balance. Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. When we learn which dosha is our dominant one, in other words – which element is our main one, we can understand what lifestyle would be best for us. Then we can properly look after our body and mind in order to gain happiness, good health and balance.
Could you say that the inspiration for opening SPA centres were your trips to South-East Asia: to India and Bali?
Yes, our first inspiration was a month spent in Bali, where we had the opportunity to visit many magical places, in which we lost the sense of passing time and forgot about reality. There is more to Balinese massage than just an exceptional technique, relaxation and the sense of relief. The additional factor is the empathy of Balinese masseuses. In Balinese culture the human being is in the centre of attention. Other, equally important elements are: spirituality, kindness and devotion to what you do. That is what makes our Balinese massages and our Therapists so unique. Another trip, to Sri Lanka, taught us more there was to know about the secrets of Ayurvedic therapy. From there, without second thoughts, we headed for the cradle of Ayurveda – Kerala, in the south of India. And so the Ayurvedic universe totally absorbed us. Now we want to inspire others with this amazing and wise philosophy of healthy life.
In your SPA centres you employ therapists from Bali, India or Indonesia. How do you manage to get them to come to Poland? Do you train them here or do they arrive already trained?
We always cooperate with reliable and qualified staff. For years we have been cooperating with several training centres in each country where we employ our staff. Thanks to this long-standing cooperation new employees know that they are invited to the workplace where they will be properly taken care of. Each candidate, apart from completing specialist courses and trainings must have at least several years of experience and take a special test of competences. The only thing we teach the masseuses here, after they arrive, is how to perform the massages designed by us.
You offer a journey into the world of relaxation, rejuvenation, well-being and health. In your SPA centres visitors can consult a medical practitioner, too.
Our guests visit the SPA for various reasons. Some of them seek relaxation, some want to loosen the tense muscles, others look for alternatives for Western medicine that can help them with certain ailments. Hence the wide range of offered services. To meet the needs of our customers, we added Ayurvedic consultations to the range of our SPA services. During such consultation a personalised plan is developed, including the guidelines on Ayurvedic diet, daily routine and lifestyle, breathing techniques and many more. It helps our guests to better understand themselves and the needs of their bodies.
The services offered at Prana SPA are based on the holistic approach to the human being. How would you explain such approach?
The holistic approach assumes that a human being is a whole, consisting of body, soul and mind. If one of those elements is affected, the balance of the remaining two is distorted. In the holistic healing system it is not only the physical symptoms, but also emotions and experiences which affect our well-being and inner balance. The attitude of a patient is extremely important in the course of the healing process, as well: they need to, if advised to do so, change their eating habits, routines, lifestyle and continuously observe their bodies.
What do you specialize in? What is the difference between Balinese or Thai massage and The Ayurvedic one?
All Oriental massages offered in our SPA centres have one aim in common – to free the body from tension and negative emotions as well as to support the body in the pursuit of inner balance, which helps in pain relief and reduction of any other negative symptoms. The distinguishing features of all the types of massage are the techniques and the specific purpose of their performance. Thai massage, one of the most effective types of massage in the world, is quite intensive and employs stretching and pulling techniques as well as acupressure. It is performed in many different positions and the therapist, apart from the hands, uses different parts of the body (the forearms, elbows, knees and even feet). This type of massage positively affects the deep tissue, thanks to that after just one hour of undergoing the massage the patient may feel the evident relief that they need. Another massage that is very hard not to fall in love with is Balinese massage. Unlike the energetic and more active Thai massage, this type will transfer you to the universe of blissful relaxation. The techniques employed in this type of massage include stroking, stretching, pressure-point stimulation and kneading. They are quite intense yet, at the same time, relaxing, aimed at relieving strained muscles and deep tissue regeneration. Balinese massage is a wonderful, holistic ritual, which results in the regeneration of body and spirit. Ayurvedic massages are considered to be the oldest technique of pain relief and tissue regeneration. They were developed in order to prevent illnesses, that is why the method of their performance may be associated with a certain form of therapy or a healing procedure. A good example is the Shirodhara massage, consisting in pouring warm oil on the vital spot on the forehead (referred to as “the third eye”). Its aim is to stimulate our senses, calm down the nervous system and boost our creativity. Shirodhara is particularly recommended for those who suffer from permanent stress or insomnia. Ayurvedic massages are incredibly relaxing, and each of them is performed with the use of essential oils imported from India.Such wide range of available types is meant to satisfy the needs of each visitor, so that they can choose the massage best suited to their mood and condition.
Some of your SPA centres are located in luxurious hotels. Does that mean that only the hotel guests can access the SPA zone or are they open also for visitors from outside the hotel, like the local inhabitants or tourists staying in the neighbourhood?
Everyone is welcome in our SPA centres and can book a massage, whether they are a hotel guest or not. Our receptionists will help you to arrange the most convenient date and time for a massage, so please contact us and check the availability beforehand.
You organize events called Oriental Evenings. What does such evening look like?
The Oriental Evening begins with a chosen type of massage, after which the guests are invited to Shanti restaurant, where authentic dishes of Indian cuisine are served – aromatic, well-seasoned, slightly spicy and very colourful. The Oriental Evening is an exceptional, comprehensive experience which can make you feel like embarking on a sensual journey to India.