Now enjoy herbal massages in Kashmir Valley

February 26th, 2008 - 10:27 am ICT by admin  

By Sarwar Kashani
Srinagar, Feb 26 (IANS) The next time you visit Jammu and Kashmir on a holiday, don’t miss out on a herbal massage. Lie on a table and feel the nimble fingers of a masseur undoing the knots in your muscles with some Himalayan herbs. Kashmir, which has been a hot tourist destination for its scenic beauty, is set to attract more high spending visitors with massage parlours. The first massage bar in the valley has been set up in the Royal Springs Golf Course here on the eastern bank of the Dal Lake. It will provide tourists herbal spa treatments, including messages, with the valley’s famous medicinal plants.

The massage bar in Srinagar, Panchakarma Regimental Centre, a joint venture of the Management Royal Springs Golf Course and the Directorate of Indian Systems of Medicine, draws inspiration from Kerala’s efforts to promote herbal tourism.

“Kerala is a glaring example for us where herbal massage is a tourism USP. We want to emulate that model to offer an added attraction to our guests,” said Farooq Ahmed Shah, Tourism Department director.

“Keeping in view the vast potential of herbal wealth in Kashmir, we expect that such facilities will attract crowds of domestic and foreign tourists to the valley,” Shah told IANS.

Besides, Jammu and Kashmir also has several ayurvedic and unani medical specialists, and talent would be roped in to boost the idea of starting similar therapy centres in other tourist resorts of the state.

“Such health clubs will be set up at Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Patnitop, Katra, Kishtwar, Mansar and other famous tourist resorts in the near future,” said another tourist official.

The health clubs in Kashmir, an effort to attract tourists suffering from lifestyle diseases, are expected to offer a range of therapies including rejuvenation therapy, body sudation, body immunisation and longevity treatment, mental therapies and beauty treatments.

“Herbal therapies have proved very effective in treating various lifestyle related and other chronic diseases such as anxiety disorders, depression, insomnia, loss of memory, neurological disorders, hypertension, arthritis, backaches and muscular disorders…and we will offer all these therapies,” said Shaheen Ahmad Mir, a panchkarma specialist at the centre.

“The herbal massage therapy is a five-fold purification treatment that corrects imbalances in the body’s bio-energies and maintains inner equilibrium. It’s of course difficult to turn down the offer particularly when it comes to the ‘paradise on earth’,” Mir said.

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