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Tue 3 Oct 2006 04:00 AM

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Thai influences at the Burj Al Arab

Experts from Chiva-Som teach the team at Assawan about herbal healing

The Assawan Spa at the Burj Al Arab played host to two therapists from the Chiva-Som Health Resort in Thailand last month. During their residency, the Chiva-Som team shared their expertise in the field of naturopathic healing with clients and staff at the Burj Al Arab.

It is hoped the event will lead to further collaboration between the two spas, according to Tina Phillips, manager of the Assawan Spa.

“As a hotel spa, Assawan is not the right environment in which to offer the full Chiva-Som-style experience, but a resort concept like that of Chiva-Som may well be something the Jumeirah Group will consider in the future,” she said.

“We have noticed that the frenetic pace of life here in Dubai is leading spa guests to favour rituals over single treatments, so there is a great deal of demand for a product like this, which offers in-depth consultations and personalised therapies.”

The experts performed a select range of treatments based around the concept of mind, body and spirit. A traditional Thai massage was on the menu, alongside an Invigorating Massage, which uses a combination of Western, Swedish and Eastern techniques, as well as the Chiva-Som Signature Massage.

“The client profiles for Chiva-Som and for the Burj are quite similar, so it’s great that people in Dubai have the opportunity to experience these treatments. But the massages are just part of what we do at Chiva-Som,” said Sue Davis, health and vitality development manager at Chiva-Som International Health Resorts.

“I truly believe that a lot of health issues stem from an emotional cause. We go to the root cause of why someone’s not living at their optimum. A lot of it is counselling, and we have a fitness programme, although it’s not a boot camp.”

According to Phillips, Dubai residents’ ongoing struggle to balance health and fitness with the demands of hectic work lives means that a growing number are now becoming spa regulars.

“Nowadays guests are well educated, and [in Dubai] spa treatments on the whole are affordable for most people,” she explained.

“We all know what we should be doing — eating healthily and exercising regularly — but too often life gets in the way. A lot of people feel they need spa treatments just to redress the balance.”

Davis has found that the stressful day-to-day life in cities around the region means the Middle East has become a key market for Chiva-Som.

“We get a lot of people from Dubai, and many who come become regulars. The average stay in our resort is about a week, but people from the Middle East predominantly will come for a whole month,” Davis said.

Phillips is keen to bring some of the Thai resort’s practices to Assawan.

“We will definitely try to add some Chiva-Som elements to our spa menu,” she confirmed.

“I have learned a great deal from the Chiva-Som team and find the subject of naturopathic healing fascinating. I’m sure Chiva-Som’s visit will have a positive influence on Assawan.”

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