Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Lifestyle Reporter
Ask the rich and famous to name their favourite relaxation antics and you are sure to hear of lying on a white leather couch while watching a movie, reading a book or even stretching out by the pool side, chugging expensive wine. Of, course there is the spa for massage!
Juxtapose this with the ghetto, famed forever with roadside gossip, sniffing hard drugs, stealing fruits and watching TV in gangs, as stress relief. But the ghetto is no longer “The Ghetto”, the spas now abound, albeit not in splendiferous fashion.
After all, are the couches not manufactured in the ghetto and exported to affluent suburbs? Glen View and Budiriro are furniture hubs but hardly consume their best products. Their beautiful couches find their way somewhere else.
But ways of relaxing have been evolving over time. Some of the ways are expensive, but people are eager to part with that extra cost to cool off. A survey conducted by Saturday Herald Lifestyle revealed that men and women now frequent spas.
What comes to one’s mind when you hear of a spa? Is it a place for gossiping or we have professional spas where one can enjoy the value of their money?
There is a mushrooming of spas in the ghetto too, of course, with the fashion, the esteem, the flamboyancy and indeed the aura in different classes.
The ghetto spa is cheap and at times unorthodox as the extra that goes with the message often ends with indulging in sex. It hardly ends as mere massage.
In professional massage spa upmarket, men are fined $100 if their blood runs hot, but in the ghetto all you need is an extra $5 and you are serviced.
While in the upmarket suburbs, professional spas have on their menu, a massage, waxing, laser, facial, manicure, pedicure, e2 sublime and sublime compo, among others. They even have treatment packages which include perfect spa pampering, day dream spa couple, spa heaven on earth, full spirit, spa trio and natural beauty relaxation among others.
This costs between $25 to $420 per session, while in the ghetto the total package is $30.
In a professional spa, each of the functions normally have a room with a dedicated therapist but in the ghetto, it is a single room for everything from manicure and pedicure, barber, massage, facials.
In fact, in the ghetto one can mistake it for a salon.
Some go to the spa for association by nature – class, or because they are rich can afford such lifestyle while others would have been referred by the doctor.
A visit at one of the professional spas in the country, The Spa Borrowdale, shows that what is said about these spas is true, from the treatment, heaven-on-earth style to the soothing melodious music, one can forget everything including the internet which some think they can live without.
In an interview, The Spa Borrowdale manager Tsitsi Maziwisa said they offer a variety of relaxation methods catering for men and women. She said one needs to understand the deep aspect of relaxation and what really happens at spas, hence their goal is make everyone happy, free and relaxed.
“The kind of deep relaxation recommended by physicians is essential for your body to recover from the damaging effects of stress — and let’s face it: our modern lives are increasingly stressful.
Your body releases stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin). Many of the common ailments that affect our quality of life, such as constant headaches, digestive problems, sleep difficulties and muscle aches, can be linked to this constant state of heightened stress.
“Our bodies are simply not designed to function in a permanent state of ‘fight or flight’. That’s why you need to make time in your schedule to unwind, do nothing and yes —s imply relax,” she said.
Maziwisa said the business is growing day in and day out as their clientele ranges from 20-85-year-olds who come to relax, but for a fee.
“Our price ranges from $20 to $150 depending on preference. We are professional and we dispute all those myths and stories about sexual desires. We do what we have advertised and the good thing is that we have so far acquired some of the machines in China, United Kingdom, United States and Italy,” she said.
Maziwisa said they have six qualified therapists and many people know only about the massage therapy but there is more to that on offer.
“Massage therapy is continuously becoming a more integral component of treatment for a large variety of medical conditions and accident injuries. We have a menu guide which has treats like massages, waxing, laser, facial, manicure, pedicure, e2 sublime and sublime compo, among others,” she said.
She said that before your first session begins, your therapist will ask you a series of questions to learn more about your condition and the symptoms you’re experiencing.
“They will ask you about your personal and family medical history, what your goals are for massage therapy, and explain to you the type of techniques they will apply. Lastly, your therapist will conduct an examination to identify which areas of your body are painful or tense to determine the amount of pressure they should use,” she said.
One local man interviewed said spas are for everyone and a necessity, once in a while.
“It is therapeutic, it’s soothing and at times it is medicinal. I don’t believe in the theory of going beyond a massage unless you have an agenda with the therapist. I have enjoyed the full body exfoliation and Swedish massage. I usually come for my foot and ankle after two weeks,” said 37-year-old stock broker Ivan Davids of Arundel.
However the case is not the same in the ghetto suburbs such as Mbare, Mabvuku, Highfield, Chitungwiza and Glen Norah among others as they are not left out in the cost of relaxation.
Unfortunately in some ghetto areas, they can’t afford to own big space for a nail bar, massage room, laser and waxing room among others but all happens in one place at a cost from $10 to $30.
“I started working in the spa six years ago. I work at Mambokadzi beauty spa in Machipisa, Highfield. What you enjoy most in those flashy spas in the uptown, we too have it. Did you know some of our customers come from the leafy suburbs, it is about our ‘touching’ – service? Yes it is also true what you hear about us but there is nothing I can do about it. We call it salon but generally it is a spa.
“We are yet to do laser and waxing because we are still acquiring the machines,” said Aunty Beauler “Mamoyo” Pasigare.
Another man from Greendale identified as Richmond Nyanguwo said the issue of spas is a borrowed phenomenon. “I am typical African man, when a woman touches me, she must know what she is touching, because naturally my blood runs hot. I am like a cock, I leave no hen playing around me, untouched,” said Nyanguwo.