SPA VILNIUS Awarded the Best Massage Therapists
On Monday, March 4, SPA VILNIUS hosted a special event – the Massage Championship – in which the best SPA therapists from SPA VILNIUS Druskininkai, Anykščiai and Vilnius competed together.
‘We believe that a new generation of massage therapists has grown up, so we wanted to find out who are the best ones. Also, the championship and the preparation process encouraged the participants to share their knowledge and boosted their creativity,’ said Eglė Kavaraciejienė, director of the SPA centre in SPA VILNIUS Druskininkai.
Although SPA VILNIUS specialists regularly enter national and international massage competitions, this was the first time when they competed with each other – their colleagues. Feedback from SPA VILNIUS clients shows that the massage therapists here truly have ‘golden’ hands, and the championship gave them an opportunity to show what they are capable of.
‘This is the first massage championship in the massage history of Lithuania and its SPA industry in general,’ said Rūta Stratkauskienė, one of the judges.
Three SPA beauty therapists competed in the face massage category, one from each city (Druskininkai, Anykščiai and Vilnius).
Nine SPA VILNIUS massage therapists fought for the title of the best body massage therapist.
The championship followed the traditional rules of such competitions. The first event was the same for all participants (so that it is possible to compare their performance objectively) – the classic SPA VILNIUS massage. Rūta Stratkauskienė notes that this event is especially difficult for the judges: all participants perform the massage according to the same methodology, so the judges must notice even the smallest of details and nuances according to which the best therapist is selected.
Rūta Stratkauskienė, who is an experienced judge, lecturer, a great massage therapist and founder of the studio Holistinis aš, judged together with an international team of judges. Kimberly Saunders, ESPA massage trainer, from the United Kingdom. Elena Gavrilash, lecturer at international congresses and dermato-cosmetologist, from Russia. Asta Kasmauskienė, doctor and beautician, and Rasa Malakauskienė, lecturer at Utena College who teaches a medical course, both from Lithuania.
‘We gathered an experienced team of judges with different expertise, because we wanted our massage therapists to feel as if they were competing in an international SPA massage championship. This is how we promote their development. SPA VILNIUS constantly invests in the development of our massage specialists and encourages them to improve,’ said Eglė Kavaraciejienė, director of the SPA centre in SPA VILNIUS Druskininkai.
The second part of the contest was the so-called ‘free program’, which allowed every massage specialist to reveal their mastery and creativity within 40 minutes and stand out from the rest.
‘We saw a Swedish massage, an aromatherapy massage and a lymphatic drainage massage – the traditional range offered at SPA VILNIUS, but some contestants introduced their own massages,’ said the judge Rūta Stratkauskienė.
But how does one judge at a championship like this one? First of all, each participant describes in detail his/her massage methodology and what he/she wants to achieve, and the judges monitor it in practice. Innovation, unexpected solutions and the ability to create a relaxing SPA environment get the most points.
Sandra Baranauskienė from SPA VILNIUS Druskininkai won the first place in the face massage event, while Laurynas Zurza performed the best in the body massage event. Vaida Saulėnaitė from SPA VILNIUS Druskininkai got the second place, while Nerijus Malijonis ranked third. First and second prize winners will get the opportunity to take part in the prestigious ESPA training courses in the UK.
Tadas Stonkus, Vaida Saulėnaitė and Sandra Baranauskienė from Druskininkai were the most loved by the audience.
In the category of the most creative massage, Tautvydas Žėkas from Druskininkai was the best, while the most beautiful SPA environment was created by Marina Guptor from Vilnius.
ESPA massage trainer awarded Vaiva Skripkaitė with an individual prize.
After the championship, a round table discussion was held between the judges and the participants, summarizing the experience of the day: what went well, went wrong and where to improve. Both the participants and the audience agreed that events like this one create a cosy atmosphere and encourage one to do more, grow and improve.
SPA VILNIUS team is considering to make this an annual event.