Laz & Szilvia Bazals – From Hungary to Fort Hunt
By Lori Welch Brown
Laz & Szilvia Bazals – From Hungary to Fort Hunt
Typically this column is about the personality of a single person, but it’s hard to choose between the personalities of Laz or Szilvia when you have the unique and special personality of the spa they own and operate itself to consider. It’s a lovefest! First—it’s is overwhelmingly clear that Laz and Szilvia truly clearly care about the wellness of their clients—there are no shortage of hugs and/or special offers for those who enter. Second—their mission of wellness translates over into the space they have worked so hard to renovate and put their own signature on. Chip and Johanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame have nothing on them! Laz has a passion for doing physical work—not only using his hands for massage, but for building and renovating. It has paid off because he has done a fantastic job in the spa’s make over. Szilvia’s talent for decorating proves that they are a terrific complement to each other’s skills. What little spare time they have is spent renovating their home in the Shenandoah Mountains—they are turning it into a log cabin.
Don’t ya’ just love a good spa day? All that girly-girl pampering and blissing out feels like just what the doctor ordered. Paint my nails passion pink, please! Other days, you actually feel like you need doctor’s orders to cure those little aches and pains that often come with a maturing body (who, me?), fatigue, strained muscles, illness, injury and plain ol’ everyday stress, wear and tear. I need a massage stat! Code blue! That’s where my pals at Ft. Hunt Massage and Spa come in. I can get all blissed out and get the kinks worked out at the same time thanks to Laz and Szilvia. The husband and wife team originate from Hungary and bring their knowledge of European spas to the Ft. Hunt/Mt. Vernon area. They grew up in a culture of hot springs and hydra therapy. Szilvia lived next to Hungary’s biggest thermal hot spring and grew up visiting it often as a family. It was not only therapeutic, but a place for socializing—often gathering for a game of chess while relaxing in the medicinal waters.
Szilvia and Laz each made their journey to the U.S. and met while pursuing different endeavors. Laz was a personal trainer for many years while also participating in body building competitions. His interest in muscle performance led him to study anatomy (“just for fun,” he adds). The more he studied, the more his interest grew which led him to apply to a registered nursing program to which he got accepted. While he was waiting for the term to start, a course in medical massage caught his attention so he enrolled. He was initially drawn to the medical piece of the training vs. the massage—he had no intention of being a massage therapist. After he completed the course, he started working with clients to help pay for his nursing tuition, and soon had a loyal following. Two years into his nursing training, he decided to devote himself full-time to his medical massage work as he realized he could help people without the use of pharmaceutical drugs and/or surgery which greatly appealed to him.
I started booking massages with Laz at the spa (then under different management/ownership) when I was suffering from severe arthritis in my hips about three years ago. Those sessions not only provided me with relief, but Laz also educated me on what was going on with my muscles, tendons and the surrounding tissue. The opportunity presented itself for him to purchase the business located at 1300 Lafayette Drive in Alexandria in June of 2017 (Laz originally had another business partner who has since left).
While I was visiting for this article, I had the good fortune to test out a couple of their unique offerings. First, I went into the Red Light Therapy bed for 15 minutes. (It is UVA-free, by the way). I’m told NASA used a version of it in space to grow plants and then the astronauts started using it to help their wounds heal faster. It is said to strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammation while boosting the production of collagen. Sounds like a win/win to me. Next I spent 20 minutes in the Aqua Cocoon which is from Estonia. There are only four in the U.S.—one in Miami, another in New York, and we are lucky enough to have one right here in our back yard. It simulates the benefits of a natural hot spring by infusing your body with vitamins and minerals. I came out feeling relaxed and rejuvenated—it felt like every cell in my body was treated to a really healthy meal.
Other offerings include the Steamy Wonder spa—a personal steam pod infused with essential oils and herbs which is terrific for people suffering from upper respiratory issues and/or headaches. They have a master esthetician on board, a nail technician (who is trained in medical pedicures), five massage therapists, as well as energy healing sound bath immersion. Last, but far from least, they have a terrific acupuncturist, Dr. Chung Park, who is trained in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Japanese acupuncture, five elements acupuncture and Korean four needle acupuncture.
Oh—and they’ve installed tablets in every treatment room so clients can choose their own soothing sounds as well as being able to adjust the volume. Genius! You’ll find upgrades and special touches at every turn and table at Ft. Hunt Massage and Spa. (Hint: The Mom in your life might love the special treatment!).