Thailand has a longstanding tradition of wellness techniques. The country’s $40 billion wellness industry attracts countless travellers every year, who are tempted by lower costs, shorter wait times, and levels of expertise that they cannot find at home.
Thai wellness specialties include an array of traditional treatments that make the country’s spas and destination spas so special. Expert therapists have an innate understanding of the centuries-old techniques that they use, partly due to the overall connection to well-being that is part of Thai culture.
The most well-known wellness-spa treatment is traditional Thai massage, a healing art that is thousands of years old and was once associated to spirituality in Buddhist temples. Another famous therapy that’s unique to Thailand involves the use fragrant therapeutic herbs wrapped in soft cotton, steamed, and then gently pressed on the body. It is commonly referred to as Thai herbal compress which, when applied to the body, transfers essential oils and heat for healing. Another time-honoured Thai wellness spa therapy is Thai foot massage, through which a heightened state of relaxation is achieved as varying amounts of pressure are applied not only to the feet, but also calves, thighs and sometimes even the head and shoulders.
There are a million ways to be pampered in Thailand and the treatment choices are countless, but if you prefer verdant forests, higher elevations and cool streams as a backdrop, Chiang Mai is for you. If you prefer being close to all the action in Bangkok, but far enough away to have a white-sand experience, make your way to a spa in Hua Hin. And if you want to experience a spa in an all-out island paradise, Koh Samui is for you.
1. The Ayurvedic Center, Chiang Mai
This centre combines ancient Ayurvedic techniques with modern detoxification treatments. Ayurveda is an ancient holistic system of medicine that understands health that manifests a mixture of each of the three constitutional energetic forces – or ‘doshas’. The centre offers techniques that are designed to gently detox and cleanse harmful toxins from the body.
2. Jirung Health Village, Chiang Mai
Known as “The Ultimate Life Retreat”, Jirung Health Village has a modern approach to yoga, meditation, and nutritional balancing. The Emotion Detoxification program cleanses toxins under the philosophy of Jirung Triology, which combines all three disciplines of the natural sciences together for healing and restoration. Therapists from around the world have acknowledged that the village has a strong rehabilitating energy surrounding it.
3. Tao Garden Health Spa & Resort, Chaing Mai
Created by world renowned Qi Gong and Taoist Inner Alchemy Master Mantak Chia, Tao Garden Health Spa & Resort is an oasis for the body, mind and spirit, where the senses are soothed and the heart encouraged to open. The therapists use Allopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and Energy medicine in combinations appropriate to the individual and condition, and an array of diagnostics are of offer, ranging from bioenergetic modalities to more traditional medical assessments to determine the root cause of problems.
4. Aleenta’s, Hua Hin,
This boutique luxury resort and spa features 22 unique residences, most with a private pool. Each suite is located within steps of the beach and offers commanding views of the Gulf of Thailand. Aleenta’s “Wellness Retreat Package” rebalances the body’s energy by removing toxins through three days of wellness activities and detoxification therapies.
5. Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Hua Hin
On arrival at Chiva-Som, you are offered a complimentary health and wellness consultation. This is designed around your goals and objectives, your current state of health and your ability to achieve those goals. Your advisor will help you achieve the most out of your stay by devising a personal program of treatments and services. These include diet, exercise, activity, rest and relaxation, physical ailments, emotional issues and your inner self. Located in lush gardens with stunning views of the ocean, Chiva-Som is a big hit with celebrities.
6. Health Oasis Resort, Koh Samui
This spa retreat offers world-class detox programs and personalized cleansing and fasting regimens depending on your needs. It has been offering detoxes since 1997, when it was one of only seven detox centres worldwide. It has since serves 10,000 guests. Health Oasis hosts a selection of healing packages and fasting and colon detox programs, as well as workshops.
7. Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui
Located on the hills of Cheong Mon, this is a stunning, Moroccan-inspired boutique resort that acts as a haven to those seeking a journey back to balance, rejuvenation and a healthy lifestyle. A range of lifestyle, yoga, spa and detox programs are available. It is especially well known for its yoga retreats.