Cleo Skouras was born in South Africa and lived there for the first 25 years of her life. Her first job was selling cosmetics in a department store, and she went on to study fashion marketing and public relations. By her own admission she loves anything to do with clothing. In fact she says she would call herself a real ‘girly girl.’ Probably the main example of this passion for fashion is her collection of stiletto heel shoes. I ask her how many pairs she possesses, and she has no idea. It seems that we are in Imelda Marcos territory here. One thing she does know for sure is that when she moved recently, she decided to bag some of these shoes and give them to friends and also to the local Hospice Charity Shop. There were so many pairs in the bags that many of them thought it must be Christmas. The last word on this episode comes from her patient husband Dimitris, the owner of Paphos Computers. With a resigned attitude he comments that his wife only got rid of these shoes in order to make room for more new ones.

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Cleo and Dimitris met and married in South Africa, but the political situation there was changing fast. As they both had Cypriot heritage, they considered that Cyprus would offer a better future. They have now been here for about 15 years in Paphos.

Cleo Skouras looks for a challenge in life with the same enthusiasm she shows for shoes. She loves to do different things, especially something which other people have not tried. A good example of this is her current business Dry-water Massage Spa, which is located on Tomb of the Kings Road in Kissonerga, next to Paphos Computers. A dry-water massage is a concept which is new to many, namely that you have a massage, but you are not touched by anyone’s hands. It’s the machine itself which does the massaging to relax your body and to stimulate your blood circulation. You simply lie on the bed fully clothed and the machine does the rest.

I have to admit that this idea of a dry massage is new to me. I ask Cleo where she had found it. She explains that she loves a massage herself, and when on holiday in Mauritius, she arranged to have a couples massage in a spa with husband Dimitris. He was also keen as he had been experiencing some back pain and thought that it would help. But for him at least, it turned out to be a complete disaster. The masseuse seemed to have a cold and kept on coughing into her hands and then touching his face. On top of that, he just felt so uncomfortable with all the oil on his body, and he couldn’t wait to have a shower to wash it all off.

So any time after this when Cleo suggested a couples’ massage, Dimitris would be seen heading for the exit. That is until one day when the two of them were visiting a hotel with a recently renovated spa from Germany. The receptionist asked them whether they would like to try a massage, and then qualified her question with this statement, “It’s a new type of massage. You are not touched by anyone’s hands.” This was music to Dimitris’ ears and he wasted no time in trying it out. And it was even better than he had imagined. There was no rough handling, just a smooth relaxing back-massage from two water jets at the perfect temperature. And there was no oil, so no feeling sticky and uncomfortable. His immediate thought was that we have got to have this available in Cyprus.

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Cleo describes this kind of massage as leaving her really energised, a not insignificant benefit because of her heavy schedule of both work and acting as driver to her two daughters, Mikaela 16, and Angelina 14, who are always needing to be ferried to tuition and dance classes. Talking of dancing, this is one of Cleo’s other main interests apart from collecting shoes. When young she studied and trained as a ballerina, and she claims that it is the balance and technique that she learned as a young ballerina which enabled her to successfully wear those stiletto heels. This might well be worth knowing if you are a young lady contemplating wearing this sort of shoes.

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Finally, let us get back to the subject of the dry massage. Having now experienced it I can personally vouch for it, and it’s amazing how rejuvenated you can feel after just lying there for 20 minutes. I think it’s a wonderful concept. I ask Cleo what her plans are for the future. She tells me that the spa is still in its infant stages and she and her husband are currently considering the best way to expand. One idea is to have more spas in various locations, and another is to sell the dry-water massage beds to hotels, gyms and also to private homes as an alternative to having jacuzzis. The future of this business is a challenge, but Cleo retains the same enthusiasm and will surely rise to meet it.

To learn more,  click on The Dry Water Massage Spa Facebook page:     https://www.facebook.com/dreamwaterloungecyprus/

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