For some, wellness is just a retail concept of pampering and sampling different treatments in order to feel good. For me, wellness is an integral part of daily living, a lifestyle that enables us to be more conscious of ourselves, our bodies, our environment and our world. It is an absolute necessity in our stressed out, demanding lives.
Today most people are familiar with wellness and holistic living. However, in 1999 when I first embarked on starting a shiatsu practice it was a different world. There was a mindset that massage could only be done with using oils and behind closed curtains. My aim was to change this rigid mindset, expose people to shiatsu massage, to make them aware of their bodies, their emotions and the impact that stress has on oneself. I wanted to illustrate that there is an alternative, the holistic lifestyle, the wellness approach. That was the drive that motivated me to become a shiatsu therapist. I had to be in the public eye. I participated in holistic fairs, outdoor and indoor markets and exhibitions. Whenever I had an opportunity to showcase Shiatsu I took it with both hands. The Waterfront Craft Market was the perfect platform to interact with the public and to demonstrate that shiatsu massage is for all and can be carried out anywhere. Being in the public eye gives me an opportunity to showcase my therapy and explain the benefits of shiatsu.
The Waterfront gave me in March 2000 the opportunity to create this mind shift and add value to people’s lives. In the beginning there were only two holistic/Wellness stalls and I was one of them. I take great delight in being one of the pioneers at Waterfront Wellness Centre which had grown to 15 stalls, making a density trade of 15% – 20% of the entire Craft Market in 2013. A lot changed after that, sadly a few businesses could not survive the lack of footfall from 2014 to 2016. However, we continued to march forward.
At first, I also offered my services as a freelance travelling therapist to several hotels and spas. Table Bay Hotel, Romney Park, the President Hotel and the Ellerman House were some of my clients, who called me whenever a guest requested a shiatsu massage. By the end of 2004 I stopped travelling and concentrated fulltime on building my practice at the Waterfront Wellness Centre. We do not travel to private clients, but we do offer Corporate packages to companies willing to treat their staff, host wellness days or reward personnel with massage vouchers. We currently service three big companies with corporate massage days monthly, quarterly and bio-annually depending on demand.
Shiatsu at the Waterfront (previously Dhillon Shiatsu Centre) has been at the Waterfront for 18 years. Shiatsu was the first modality that became a permanent tenant in the Wellness Centre which was an integral part of the Waterfront Craft Market. I have a long established clientele who refers to me and promotes me as the Shiatsu guy at the Waterfront. It is the prime reason why we changed the trade name from “Dhillon Shiatsu Centre” to “Shiatsu at the Waterfront”.
My theme, my brand and my reputation is Shiatsu at the Waterfront. The convenient location of the Waterfront and the affordability of our treatments contribute to growing clientele.
I believe in my service and product. We at Shiatsu at the Waterfront strive to be the best in service, customer care and customer satisfaction. Many of the Waterfront personnel are our clients as well as persons from Allan Gray, Shimansky, people working in the BOE building, Safmarine staff, BP head office and two firms from Mind Pearl next to the Cape Grace Hotel. Several residents of Marina residential V& A Hotel staff, Vaughn Johnson, San Marco and Carlos at BAIA are some of our regulars, One and Only spa buys incense from us.
I started Shiatsu therapy as a one man show. Over the years I have employed several people. I have personally sponsored four persons to study shiatsu at the Academy of Shiatsu. I, at times assist with facilitating workshops and events at the Academy of Shiatsu. I am a permanent member of the South African Association of Shiatsu Practitioners as well a registered member of the Natural Healers Association. I mentor students by allowing them to work under me, gain experience and build up their own clientele. I currently employ four permanent staff and two casual staff. Job creation and customer care are two mottos of my business. I strive to have satisfied customers that will utilise our services throughout the year and promote our business. I have participated in numerous exhibitions, trade shows, fairs and markets. Parliament of World Religions in 1999 and the Cape Argus Cycle Expo in 2000 and 2004 have been memorable expos.
I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, all walks of life which resulted in expanding my consciousness and making a difference to their lives. I have featured in several magazines such as Cape Etc., Odyssey, Namaste, and Renaissance, an article in the Renaissance Magazine, dated September 2006 which was narrated by Shannon Clarke and sponsored by the Waterfront Craft Market. I was interviewed on Top Billing in 2000 and Cape Talk Radio in 2001 as regards shiatsu. In 2007 I was interviewed by the Voice of the Cape. I promoted my services through KFM Community Diary and Clarence Ford at Heart Radio often mentioned Shiatsu at the Waterfront on his talk show.
I continuously aim to represent the Waterfront Wellness Centre. In 2013 we attended a presentation to the Italian Tourism Group at the Radisson Hotel as a Waterfront Wellness representative. In October 2013 I represented the Wellness Centre at the Commodore Hotel to the V&A Waterfront top management and decision makers to create awareness about the need of a wellness centre.
Each day we are excited to grow in experience and clientele at the Watershed Wellness Centre, being a well-known destination of the wellness community in Cape Town. We are a small service company, but we have served clients from all corners of the earth, 19 years in practice offering wellness to visitors from Fiji to Peru and every country in between. I believe that Shiatsu at the Waterfront offers the best accessible, affordable, entertaining and caring wellness experience. The passion and commitment that the staff, management and our loyal clients have shown to make wellness a key part of the Watershed is commendable.
We invite you to experience Shiatsu and Reflexology. Find out for yourself as to how we are making a difference to the lives of many in providing a unique wellness experience at the Shiatsu at the Waterfront.