subbanna varanasi

Massage Par Excellence is new at 3839 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines. It was set up by Subbanna Varanasi, a licensed massage therapist.

He offers deep tissue massage as well as Indian Head Massage, also called Champi, that focuses on the upper back and arm, shoulders, head, neck and face. It is performed on clients seated in a chair. Varanasi described the technique as focusing on �the areas that classically collect tension in the upper body.� It is based on Ayurvedic practice and is beneficial to the head, scalp and face, he said.

Varansai is from India, and he goes by the nickname Subbu. He has practiced massage therapy since 1981 in India and in the Sultanate of Oman in the Persian Gulf. He arrived in the United States in 1990 and attended the College of Massage in Des Moines in 2007.

He charges $45 for 60 minutes of deep tissue Swedish massage. The cost for Indian Head Massage, or Champissage, is $30 for 30 minutes.

Massages are offered daily by appointment. Visit or call 515-450-7052.

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Boeckman, J. (2010, February 22). Two New Massage Therapists Have Set up Practice in Metro. Des Moines Register . Des Moines, Iowa.

You should get to know … Subbanna Varanasi

Des Moines Register

January 16, 2012


Job description or business description: Massage Par Excellence. I give a deep tissue massage and specialize in Indian head massage.

Background: I was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, and went to university in Hyderabad. I have a bachelor’s degree in commerce, and later, while working in a hotel in the Sultanate of Oman, went to school and earned an advanced diploma in French and on my return to India in 2000 earned an advanced diploma in Spanish. From working as a health club manager in a hotel in Oman, as a journalist in Hyderabad, working on oil rigs in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates, bartending on Carnival Cruise Lines sailing in Mexico and the Caribbean and driving a cab in New York City, I probably did more than a dozen jobs. Besides giving massages at my clinic and doing translation, interpretation and voiceovers, I work in the BOS restaurant, in the Renaissance Savery Hotel downtown. After returning to the U.S. in 2007 I studied massage therapy and became a licensed massage therapist.

Notable achievements: I speak five languages fluently and meet and greet in another five. Becoming a citizen of the greatest country in the world was a long-cherished dream that became a reality in September.

Why I do what I do: I am a people person and love to know people wherever I travel and live. The very first year I arrived in Des Moines I sold corn Indian style, roasting them on hot coals and rubbing Indian spices on them, in the downtown farmers market. I realized Iowans are warm and friendly and quite a few of them encouraged me to start my own Indian restaurant. But since the time I started as a masseur in the Sheraton Hotel in Bombay back in 1980, I wanted to pursue massage as a profession. On my return to Des Moines from India in 2007, I went back to school and got my certificate and license and started Massage Par Excellence. There is absolutely nothing like helping people de-stress with a relaxing and rejuvenating massage. I educate people (especially women, who constitute 90 percent of my clientele) that as much as a manicure and pedicure is vital, massage does magic to stressed minds and bodies.

What I do to get away from work: I love to travel (I’ve been to 30 countries), and I believe travel does not have to be to other countries. My wife, Brenda, and I drive an hour from Des Moines and eat lunch in a small town and just totally unwind. I listen to music, and I try meeting new people and keep myself updated by talking to my friends around the world on Skype.

How I give back to the community: I volunteer, especially by participating in free chair massage clinics to aid food pantries and other worthy causes. I have been a tour guide at Terrace Hill. I actively participate in the Merle Hay Neighborhood Association activities. As stated on my website, on my massage clients’ request, a percentage of the massage fee is donated to the charity of their choice.

Words to live by: “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” — George Edward Woodberry.

Best business book I’ve read lately: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. The story of the charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution is truly gripping and inspiring.

The best place in central Iowa to entertain clients or colleagues: I visit quite often the India Star at 55th and Douglas Avenue. The close proximity to my home and clinic makes it easy for me to introduce Indian cuisine to my American friends and clients.

One thing I would change about the Des Moines area: I would like to see more shops and establishments on the street level in the downtown area. Except for the East Village (and that just in the past few years), the rest of the downtown is deserted during afternoons and simply a ghost town during evenings. The skywalk system may be a great boon for office workers to reach the food courts, but it has literally killed any chance of opening a business on the street level. More people would frequent the shops and restaurants at all times of the day if they spent time on the streets.

What Iowa can do to attract more people like me: I know that Iowa has been great to immigrants, and we need to keep on opening our doors to immigrants from around the world to continue to contribute to the colorful mosaic that is Iowa.

My mentor: My mother raised five kids and she started going to school when I, the last kid, was 15. She did teacher training and went on to get a Ph.D. She taught college until she retired. By her own example she taught me that learning has no age limit.

What I would do if I could do something else: I would love to write travel guides. I would like to describe not just the tourist sites and the restaurants and shopping but the people and their way of life and culture.

Contact information: Massage Par Excellence, 3839 Merle Hay Road, suite 210. (515) 450-7052, or