Office workers choose spas to get a health boost

Going to spas amid their busy schedules is one of the ways that Jakartans choose to work on their tired muscles.

The scent of aromatherapy oils and soothing music fill the rooms at spas, which offer both traditional and modern treatments proven to be effective in helping urbanites to regain a sense of well-being.

"I don't have a fixed schedule for going to a spa, but anytime I feel tired and need some relaxation, a spa is definitely my first choice," Sabrina Anastasya, 27, said.

The marketing officer at an information technology (IT) company said that beside having a massage, her favourite treatment was having a therapist apply green tea lulur on her skin.

"I like the cool sensation it gives and the feeling of the lulur when it seeps into my skin," she said.

Lulur is a scrub massage paste made of rice powder mixed with other herbs.

Once the lulur is dry and the therapist has finished scrubbing it off, Sabrina then indulges in a hot milk bath.

"I always feel fresh, fit and pretty when I complete my spa treatment," Sabrina said.

Another spa-goer, Fitri Nursania, 29, said that going to spas had become a routine not to be missed since it was a way to keep balance between her body and mind.

For the past five years, she has escaped at least once a month to her favourite spa to have her body treated.

Fitri believes that a spa massage with the right pressure can relieve muscle knots, alleviate tension and helps increase flow blood.

"All I want is to ease my stiff and tired muscles after the accumulation of workplace stress. And my body deserves the treatment; it's like a reward," Fitri said.

She usually spends around Rp 300,000 (S$39.3) for a complete spa package, which includes head to toe treatment; from body and facial massages to a cream bath for her hair and a manicure and pedicure.

The need for Jakartans to stay fit in Jakarta's hectic life and unhealthy environment has led to an increasing number of spas in the capital.

Ade Saputra, the manager of Bale-Bale Spa in Gandaria, South Jakarta, said that since it was established 12 years ago, his spa had seen growth in customer numbers and profits of between 20 and 30 per cent each year.

"The market is growing and demand is also very high. I can see that more young women now come here to have various spa treatments that we offer," he said.

Ade said that their Indonesian massage style combined with their own lulur concoction were two of the secrets that made women come back for more.

"Some of our loyal customers even request their favourite therapists when they come here," he said, adding that Bale-bale held regular trainings for their therapists to maintain service standards.

The high demand for spa treatments has prompted Bale-Bale to open more branches in South Jakarta.

Similar steady growth is also being experienced by other spas.

Since it was established last year, the Zen Family Spa in Gunawarman, South Jakarta, has seen a steady increase in the number of customers seeking various treatments to release tension.

Zen's operational manager, Isa Syahidi, said the centre's busiest days were the weekends. Indeed, for some, reserving a room at a spa on a Saturday or Sunday can be a tough job.

"We're sometimes a bit overwhelmed with the number of customers during weekends. But the fact that a lot of customers are coming here means that more people have become aware of the importance of staying healthy," he said.

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