left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Metro Beijing

Kocoon Spa offers real soul revival

Updated: 2010-08-03 09:53
By Laura Morgan ( China Daily)

Kocoon Spa offers real soul revival

Clockwise from top: Spa owner Maika Endo examines her selection of teas; a couple relax in front of a large bay window; a woman undergoes a soothing face massage. [Photos Provided to China Daily]

Nestled into a corner of the Mediterranean-style Nali Patio is Kocoon spa; sunshine filters in through the large windows and tree leaves flutter gently against the windowpanes. The French-Japanese founder and owner, Maika Endo, sits sipping green tea on a large, comfy sofa.

"Taking care of someone's wellness involves taking care of both the outside and inside. We wanted to offer a platform for health, well-being and support," explained Endo.

The concept of Kocoon was created by Endo and her mother, who shared a passion to set a new spa standard. The spa operates with a holistic approach to beauty that aims to treat people from within.

"We wanted to create our own concept, because we felt that chain spas did not really appeal to us as they tend not to focus on the needs of the individual," said Endo.

Besides offering specialist massages, facials, manicures, organic beauty products and hair removal treatment, the bright and airy spa also acts as sanctuary from the busy Beijing streets and offers holistic lifestyle workshops and seminars.

Naturally drawn to caring for people and with a lifelong interest in nutrition and wellness, Endo decided to set up a spa with her mother following bereavement in the family. But first, however, the pair set off on a holistic enlightenment voyage that took them around the world.

They visited Thailand and Canada in search of inspiration and undertook interactive spa management training. Later, they hopped over to Japan and sought out a revered Shiatsu master in Tokyo to learn about the hands on healing art. Translated literally as "finger pressure", Shiatsu massage is all about body rebalance.

"The logic of Shiatsu is that pain is believed to be caused by an imbalance - you have to rebalance the whole body, not focusing on that painful area, but massaging the body as a whole."

Chinese massage also follows the idea of rebalance, but the masseuse will focus more on massaging that area in an attempt to massage the pain out the body.

Kocoon Spa offers real soul revival

"I believe more in the shiatsu. If I have a pain and I get a Chinese massage, it's still there the next day! Shiatsu is more soothing," said Endo, when explaining why she chose Shiatsu over Chinese TCM massage.

Continuing her journey of discovery, Endo traveled to France, studying aromatherapy massage with the pioneering figurehead of Institut Phytomedicale, Pierre Franchomme. Aromatherapy massage combines gentle Western techniques with an Eastern logic of rebalance, along with using essential oils, meaning it combines well with Shiatsu.

Then, back on Chinese soil, the discovery continued still, as Endo learned the art of tea making from a renowned tea expert. "She transmitted her passion to me," she said, sweeping her arm toward her large tea cabinet, with jars of herbal and green tea clustered into the cubbyholes.

Endo is constantly striving to learn more and also offers her clients a chance to learn about holistic therapy methods and lifestyle choices via seminars that she holds at the spa. This is where the concept of the spa helping people - both inside and out - comes into being.

"The mind and the body are connected and the spiritual dimension is important in life. These seminars provide a way to help people think differently in a way that will impact on their life."

With her penchant for world travel and interest in uncovering mystical remedies, such as Triangular Meditation and Egyptian Living Light Healing, Endo embodies a delicate bohemian spirit living in a bustling metropolis.

"I'm just a hippie who learned how to be reasonable and deal with city life," she said with a giggle. "But my inner hippie is still very much there and is the one talking about love, peace and energy; the spa is its platform."