Heal­ing touch of Hi­malayas

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - BOBBI LEE HITCHON

THE heal­ing and ther­a­peu­tic prop­er­ties reach fur­ther than skin deep at Port Dou­glas Day Spa.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with Hi­malayan Heal­ers, a char­ity-based heal­ing arts school lo­cated in Nepal that trains peo­ple from the har­i­jan caste oth­er­wise known as the Untouchables, the day spa will soon wel­come three Nepalese ther­a­pists to work in the spa.

“I re­ally want there to be an aware­ness of who they are, where they came and what they’ve been through,” spa di­rec­tor Lisa Loed said of the in­com­ing work­ers.

Loed says she fears peo­ple will as­sume this is just a case of get­ting cheap labour from the east, but she ex­plained the spon­sor­ship process and ex­penses make that not at all the case.

An op­por­tu­nity years in the mak­ing, the town’s new ar­rivals are highly-trained in spa ser­vices and man­age­ment, each op­er­at­ing their own spa in Nepal, and have been care­fully se­lected for their abil­ity to take on a move so far away from their own cul­ture, com­mu­nity and in some cases fam­ily.

“This is the first group trained by Hi­malayan Heal­ers cho­sen to work over­seas,” Loed said.

The heal­ers have been trained to prac­tice med­i­cal spa ser­vices pop­u­lar in western so­ci­ety as well as an­cient prac­tices tra­di­tional in their own so­ci­ety.

Ms Loed said the or­gan­i­sa­tion suc­ceeds in teach­ing peo­ple to heal, while heal­ing and bet­ter­ing them­selves at the same time.

Cre­at­ing op­por­tu­nity in the lo­cal com­mu­nity as well, the spa is also cre­at­ing a schol­ar­ship in a TAFE ther­apy course open to in­dige­nous youths in­ter­ested in a ca­reer in spas, which is set to launch in Fe­bru­ary 2011.

Ms Loed says while col­lege may not be for ev­ery­one, there are sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties in spa ser­vices and she hopes this schol­ar­ship will cre­ate an op­por­tu­nity for those in­ter­ested in some­thing dif­fer­ent. The six-month course is de­signed so that stu­dents can man­age it with their reg­u­lar school sched­ule and will have a job in the spa af­ter com­ple­tion.

“It’s just a vast in­dus­try of cre­ative ca­reer op­tions for peo­ple who just don’t have other choices,” Ms Loed said.

Ms Loed says the spa’s new staff mem­bers will be ar­riv­ing in one to three months as the im­mi­gra­tion process is fin­ished up. Any­one in­ter­ested in ap­ply­ing the spa’s schol­ar­ship should visit www. port­dou­glas­dayspa.com.

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