Grandma, 70, finds new lease of life with Japanese hot stones therapy
Woman, 70, opens spa offering Japanese hot stone therapy
Work is the last thing on the minds of most women her age, but 70-year-old grandmother Greta Ng is just getting started.
Last year, the self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur came out of a 20-year retirement to launch her Japanese hot stone therapy business, Ganbanyoku Singapore.
Before retiring, the Myanmar-born Singaporean ran a raft of businesses in the 90s, including jewellery retail, dealing in antique furniture and food catering. This is her first venture into the health and wellness industry.
Madam Ng told The New Paper: "I am taking a risk, but I want to let Singaporeans experience the benefits of the therapy just as I did."
Ganbanyoku, also known as "rock bathing" in Japanese, is a treatment where customers lie on specially heated volcanic stone "beds".
The stones are heated to 45 deg C and this is said to release far infrared rays (FIR) and negative ions that help the body release toxins through perspiration.
During the treatment, the body's acupuncture points are stimulated, which help to alleviate joint, muscular and nerve pain.
Ganbanyoku is also said to improve blood circulation, aid digestion, ease constipation, treat sinusitis, boost the immune system and promote weight loss,
Madam Ng said the treatment is suitable for children from 12 years old to senior citizens and even individuals who are unable to visit the gym.
Prices range from $20 for one session, which lasts an hour, to $400 for 23 sessions.
According to Madam Ng, ganbanyoku cured her of chronic backache and arthritis.
She had tried various treatments such as acupuncture and physiotherapy in the past, but her ailments showed no signs of improvement until she tried ganbanyoku for the first time during a trip to Fukuoka in 2016.
Several rounds of the popular centuries-old form of holistic therapy relieved her backaches and allowed her to walk short distances unassisted, and she has become much less dependent on her wheelchair now.
Madam Ng was so happy with the results that she decided to open a spa at Far East Plaza in July last year.
She faced the challenge of adapting to new business styles, such as social media marketing and influencer engagement, but that did not stop her.
Said Madam Ng: "I felt that the therapy is suitable for the ageing population who have mobility issues and are looking for a way to detox and heal."
To ensure that customers enjoy the full ganbanyoku experience, she imported high-quality stones and heating systems from Japan.
Each of the 16 hot stone beds is made up of three volcanic slabs and costs $40,000.
According to Madam Ng, she has 2,000 customers and intends to expand overseas to colder countries like Canada.
She said: "Ganbanyoku has enabled me to be more mobile and independent in my daily activities. It has helped reduce the pain and stiffness throughout my body, and I have more strength and energy than before.
"I feel younger every day, and I hope my customers can experience this too."