Chetana Adelskamp outside her wellness centre Bodhana. | Vicki McLeod

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"After the pandemic I wasn’t sure if anyone would still want to have a massage.” Chetana Adelskamp and I are sitting in Ramshackle, the cafe next door to her massage business Bodhana. “But as soon as I reopened we were busy.” Do clients come with similar problems, I ask her as we eat some lunch together. “Anxiety and stress are the biggest, but they often manifest themselves as pain in the neck, head and lower back,” Chetana tells me. It’s an interesting way to ‘take the temperature’ as it were of our community, and it looks like we could all do with a bit more Ahhh and a lot less Arrrgh!

“People are really craving more touch, we were separated from each other, and we need to reconnect to ourselves and other people,” she tells me. Do you think they are consciously aware of their need to be touched? I ask. She shakes head, “No, I don’t think so, but they are asking for longer treatments as well. Where an hour massage used to be enough, now more and more people are asking for 90 minutes or even two hour long sessions.” The image of massage has had a makeover in the past years and more and more people understand the benefits of a regular treatment.

It’s common knowledge that massage reduces stress and pain, lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, and improves circulation, energy, and immune levels. But when Chetana started her business 24 years ago she was breaking ground. “Hardly any of the hotels in Mallorca had a spa so there wasn’t the access to massage like there is now. We would set up tented areas on the lawns of the hotels, and on beaches and offer massages for their clients. As the idea grew and became more popular, so did Bodhana’s staffing levels until we grew to a team of fifty.” How did the business grow?

“I just said Yes to as many things as I could, and we found a way.” To my ears, that translates to ‘I worked my butt off’, Chetana laughs, but she really does feel that her business and how it operates is an extension of herself and her life.

Lunchtime for Chetana is when she is most likely to socialise, “I don’t cook much at home and I like to meet friends for lunch when I can, I try to combine my work with play whenever I can.” You have to find the balance between the two, I say. She agrees, “It’s vital, but it’s not always easy to do it”. Over the years of running Bodhana she has reduced her staff down to 25, although she says she could probably do with a couple more therapists this year because the island is so busy, but like every other business finding the right staff can be difficult.

You will find Bodhana with its distinctive orange branding at its base in Portals opposite the entrance to the Port, and on the beach in Illetes, as well as onboard superyachts, at home visits, and at events.

You can see more about at www.bodhana.com

“We are being asked to do more and more events, such as going to the villa of a bride on the morning of her wedding and giving her and her maids massages. It’s great that so many people are open to the idea now.”

Before starting Bodhana Chetana worked in hotels in Ibiza and then in PalmaNova. “When I first moved to Ibiza when I was 17 I didn’t speak any Spanish at all.” Now she is fluent in Spanish and English, as well as her native German, a vital skill to have on Mallorca. Chetana was originally named Anette by her parents, but she was given the name Chetana on a visit to India.

What does it mean?

“Consciousness. I try to live up to my name by being aware. Sometimes I use it as a mantra to meditate on it.” Chetana lives in the Calvia countryside, which she says is a revelation. “I only have to drive for 7 minutes and I am in nature. It is so refreshing to me, I love where I live. It is like merging into another world.” As you can imagine, with so many requests for appointments and the 100 or so calls and messages she receives every day, it is important to have some peace and quiet.

What does it take to grow a business from a tent on a lawn to what it is today? An encyclopedic memory, management skills, patience, vision and a mission. “What’s your purpose?” I ask Chetana. She smiles, and looks up and away, thinking intensely about how to reply. “I think my mission, my purpose, is to connect people.

So many clients become friends after they have been to Bodhana, and after they have had a massage they often want to sit and relax for a few moments and chat to me, I get to know them very well. And over the years I have introduced people to each other who needed to know each other. And I get something from that as well, the connection makes me feel good, it gives me energy as well. I think my personal mission is to learn, we are always learning either from a relationship we are in, or from a business that we are running. We will all learn what we need to know, one way or the other.”