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Herbal spa opens on Bell Boulevard

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That's the motto of Rani Thukral, founder of Rani Organic 7 Ayurvedic Spa, a chain of 18 spas across the city.She opened up her first spa in Floral Park in 1992, and now with help from her son and business partner, Anuj Rani, she has set up her latest shop on Bell Boulevard in Bayside.Unlike some competitors, the spa offers a full-service treatment --including ayurvedic therapy, a system of treatment common in the Indian subcontinent that employs a holistic approach through herbal concoctions.It is this method of treatment that is at the center of Thukral's passion for enhancing beauty.A graduate of Boston University who earned her degree in the specialty of ayurvedic treatment, Thukral said that when she first started her business, few people understood the field of ayurvedic therapy. "Now these days most people know what it is," she said while seated on a couch next to a spa station at her newest location.Thukral is a strong believer in the treatment and said she prioritizes it over cosmetic and commercial considerations."My main concern was to heal people's skins, not for it to be commercial as it is now," she said of the variety of herbs she employs, some of them imported from Asia.She recalled seeing one Indian man at a barber's shop some years ago who suffered from old scars. She approached him and asked about his condition; he responded that conventional treatments had mostly failed him."He had not tried any kind of alternative because in that culture it is not viewed as the manly thing to do," she noted. But after undergoing Thukral's treatment, she said, he saw better progress than ever before, with the scars blending in better with the rest of the skin.Thukral said she leaves most of the business and accounting work to her son --he had picked out the Bayside location -to focus on one-on-one treatment with some patients. She said spends one day at a time in each of her facilities, "diagnosing" the pulse, skin type and diet to get an idea of what will produce the best skin and hair results."I still have some of the same clients who would come from Stonybrook, Staten Island and Long Island," the owner said. "They still come to us because they have become like family to us."Reach reporter M. Junaid Alam by e-mail at malam@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext 174.

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