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A masseur from the Bank House Hotel's Malvern View Spa has won at the prestigious National Massage Championships 2019.
Bandara Pathmasiri, who joined the Malvern View Spa last month, competed in the SPA/Wellness category and was named the outright winner by a panel of industry judges in the national event at Olympia London last weekend (29-30 September). The winning treatment was a combination of Shirodhara and Ayurveda therapy, which involves gently pouring warm oil over forehead. Originally used for alternative medicinal purposes, Shirodhara is known for its calming effects – an effect renowned to be similar to that obtained with meditation. The treatment is considered to work by relaxing the brain and can normalise the functions of hormones that regulate sleep and emotions.
On winning the competition, Bandara said: "It's an amazing feeling to have won this competition, especially as I was competing against some incredibly talented massage therapists. "I have complete confidence in the treatments that I practice and the benefits to the recipient, but to know that industry experts have judged my work and have said it was worthy of winning the entire competition is a bit surreal."
Judging is divided into three main sections, with category-specific judges awarding each competitor marks based on the massage treatment (maximum 40 points), body mechanics during treatment (maximum 20 points) and interaction with model during competition (maximum 10 points).
Having competed at the World Massage Championships in June in Copenhagen, Bandara felt prepared going into the UK Championships. He added: “After only narrowly missing out on a medal at the World Massage Championships in June, I felt confident going into this event, but I still never really expected to win.
“While individual recognition is fantastic, my passion is giving great treatments and seeing my clients benefiting from them. I can’t wait to get back to work at the Malvern View Spa and show everyone how great this particular massage is.”
Born to a Buddhist family in Sri Lanka and spending time as a Buddhist monk before completing various hair, beauty and body qualifications, Bandara has worked in some of the best spas around the world, including Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Thailand and in the UK. He was recruited to the Worcestershire-based spa at the Bank House Hotel by Spa Manager, Tracy Whelan, who has long known of his abilities.
Clearly proud of Bandara’s success, Tracy said: “I’m so pleased for Bandara as I know how hard he works and just how good he is. “It’s great for him personally but also amazing for us at the Malvern View Spa to have one of the best massage therapists in the country working for us. We’re planning on adding his winning treatment to our menu so anybody who wants to receive a National Massage Championship winning treatment can do so right here at the Malvern View Spa.”