Introducing ancient healing rituals in luxurious city hotel spas is no easy task, but for Sabina Mallanalli Visarraga, whose nature is to pass on her wisdom, drawing from years of experience, it’s simply a walk in the park.
Visarraga has been surrounded by healers all her life. Born in Mexico and stemming from the curandera lineage (Native American shamans), her vast knowledge of wellness and healing has always been something instinctive and an inherent quality that has guided her on her path.
Growing up as a child, she never went to see a doctor. Instead, her mother and grandmother would take care of her and prepare herbs and other necessary concoctions.
But despite the strong lineage of healers, Visarraga always felt that she couldn’t just be a curandera and went on to learn acupuncture, got herself a degree in TCM and started practising in a clinic, until one day, when she received a Polynesian lomi lomi massage from a practitioner who was working in the same centre. “Once I had that treatment, I knew that that was my work and that I needed to learn it,” she says convinced. “With lomi lomi you bring all of who you are forward. You are working seven generations back and seven forward. So if you have healers in your lineage, all that information is going to flow a little easier for you.”
With lomi lomi in her repertoire, Visarraga is now able to tap into her ancestral knowledge and include it in her daily practice, as well as introduce it to five-star establishments, such as the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, which has brought her on as a freelance consultant to train the therapists to perform lomi lomi massages as part of the spa’s new Botanical Cure package, a three-hour treatment that also includes a herb-infused detox wrap, scrub and spiritual bath.