By Nihar Ranjan Beura
According to the world famous massage expert Irene Smith, “Touch was never meant to be a luxury. It is a basic human need. It is an action that validates life and gives hope to both the receiver and the giver.” How apt. Irene who has contributed significantly to the care of the persons with HIV/AIDS worldwide, through her massage projects could be the best person to inquire about the need of massage for all. Moreover, today hectic life schedule has made massage an integral part of life for every denizen and people opt for several mode of it. Some visit beauty salons, some throng to massage parlors, some others choose Spa to relax and rejuvenate them. But recently the capital city of Odisha has witnessed a new trend which keeps growing side by side with the mushrooming Spas and massage parlors in Bhubaneswar, and that is people opting for Mall Massage Chairs. If you have ever visited Forum Mart housing Big Bazar and Bhawani Mall housing Inox and the Brand Factory you might have come across these hi-tech machines.
Currently, massage chairs are available inside Forum Mart near Ram Mandir square and Bhawani Mall located at Sahid Nagar. Let’s start with the Forum Mart, which is considered as Bhubaneswar’s first metro-style mall with Big Bazar operating inside it. One can witness two eye-candy technical pieces installed just right to the Big Bazar baggage counter after getting in through the mall entrance. One is Deemark body massage chair and the other is GangDu foot massage unit. One can come across a standee sign board near it with an operator seating beside. During the pick hours of the mall people make a beeline over here to experience “body and foot massage” tells the operator present near the unit.
“We are a Kolkata-based company with massage chair unit chains spreading across 16 cities in Odisha and the neighboring state West Bengal”, said the In charge of the Forum Mart unit Mr Bittu Majhi. Bittu who otherwise hails from Midnapur in West Bengal is working over here since last 4 years claims that the business growing year by year with more people showing interest in taking massage through these branded chairs.
“Our company ‘Cezy Fitness’ launched the massage chair facility at Bhubaneswar in the year 2012. The owner of the company Mr Debasish Sen launched it with a vision to provide city people, a suitable and affordable option for massage against the traditional Massage Parlour and Spa visiting, which are sometimes risky due to some unscrupulous and non-professional operators,” added Majhi. He said Sen launched it simultaneously at Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Durgapur but initially people were reluctant to take massage through these machines in fear of getting hurt or developing an injury, which was absolutely baseless. Some people even had a wrong notion that these chairs operate on a robotic kind of technology, he further added.
Since then these massage chair operators have come a long way. If to believe them every day around 100 mall visitor come to them to inquire about the facility and as many as 60 of them take the service.
As far as the massage chair unit of Bhawani Mall is concerned, the In-Charge of this unit claims everyday around 50 people take massage over here.
“Our business volume is a little lesser than the Forum Mart unit just because that mall is an old one and more people visit there due to the presence of the Big Bazar. But all other things are the same and we use the same set of branded chairs,” said Rahul Jha who optimism.
To go by the claims of the operators of these massage chair units Deemark and GangDu chairs have no side effects. While Deemark massage chairs cost around Rs 1 lakh, the China made GangDu foot massage units cost around Rs 40,000. The massage technology of these chairs are very soothing with a combination of technology of water and a series of air bags. These air bags squeezes the muscles and water eases the stress on the muscles. Without going deep into the technicality for a lay man it simply means using natural technique to evaporate your strain of the day’s work. It is just similar to the hand massage. The Deemark made body massage chair works through three-stage kneading, pounding and massage process. Which meaning rubbing, beating and pressing. As it is a natural technique there is no side-effect. But yes, there are some restrictions and those are pregnant women and children below 7 years of age are not allowed on massage chairs.
As far as the price of the chair massage is concerned it starts from as less as Rs 50, which is a trial pack for 5 minutes duration. Special pack costs Rs 100 for 10 minutes duration and Silver, Gold and Platinum packs cost Rs 150, Rs 200 and Rs 250 for more duration, the maximum duration being 25 minutes. As far as the age group is concerned a good number of persons in the age of 40-60 take massage in their unit, informed the operators.
Being queried upon the chair massage advantages Gokul Chandra Das, a retired bank officer said, the facility is really profitable and he felt rejuvenated each time he took the service.
“I visit the Big Bazar and take massage over here three to four times a month. The effect is really amazing. At first I was scared of the machine but now everything is ok. My doctor also allowed me for this facility, there is no side effect,” said Das.
Similarly, another person, a lady aged around 50 Rita Mohanty said, chair massage is ok for persons like us who cannot spend much in visiting Spas. Moreover she dubbed the massage parlour and Spas as a bit insecure.
Whatever be the case, it is clear now that the massage chairs have made their way into the lives of people, at least in the urban areas where people desperately need massage to relieve their tension to get prepared for the next day’s job. It is a suitable option too. Is not it?