You might want to take Spanish or an Ayurvedic massage therapy. Type ‘massage parlours in Pune’ and you will be taken aback. Your search engine will give you the result you have not asked for. ‘Body to body happy ending massage’, ‘sexy young chinki to fulfil all your expectations’, and ‘19 year young girl offering massage at great discounts’
In the first week of January this year, the Pune police raided a ‘spa’ which was operating in Viman Nagar area of the city. In November, last year similar such raids were carried out and few agents and some women were arrested.
Police have stated that many illegal activities take place in these ‘massage parlours’, ‘spa centres’ and ‘health centres’, which has sprung up in recent years in the city.
A critical look beyond the doors of these centres which claim to be offering many health and wellness related benefit is therefore necessary. The whole gamut of commercial sex industry working out of the purview of law, under the garb massage parlours!
These centres are not governed by any specific rules. A senior police officer, requesting anonymity, said, “These centres are opened under shops act, but there they carry out activities like prostitution. But there are also many spas which offer genuine service to their customers and they have trained and certified staff.”
Modern wellness industry no longer allows chest thumping on Ayurveda. Thai massages, Aromatherapy, Mexican massages, Hawaiian massages are equally becoming popular and thus competitive to assert their ‘wellness’ claims.
But experts point out that many a times these massages are offered without proper examination by doctor.
“Consumers with some physical pain must be more cautious because no spa centre has doctors to regulate the treatment and many Ayurvedic massage centres have occasional doctors visit. Blindly taking the treatment without doctor’s advice worsens the pain many times over,” said Dr Mrs. Saroj V. Patil of the Tilak Ayurvedic Mahavidyalay, Pune.
But young IT professionals are still attracted to these centres. “When you sit in front of computer screen for more than 12 hours a day and you have project deadlines to meet, you need some relaxation. After visiting a spa once in a month I get recharged for the next month,” said Abhijeet Iyer, working with Infosys Pune, who had come to take spa therapy at O2 spa centre in Pune.
The healing power of human touch with skilled hands promises relaxation, improvement in blood circulation and detoxification. Serotonin hormone released after the massage enhances the body and mind’s ‘feel good’ state. But experts are pointing out a need to regulate this industry.