As we’re aware, Asia is big on spa and wellness. From onsen to flotation therapy, here is a list of seven exotic spa and wellness treatments to explore in Asia.
Imagine sitting in a calm place while your mind and body are in sync with the surroundings. Doesn’t that just feel relaxing? Such are the effects of aromatic wellness spa treatments that help you de-stress your body and mind to create one of the most serene and heavenly experiences.
Though a periodic trip to the spa or a wellness retreat is quite common these days, what adds to the whole experience is the luxurious and exotic way we get these spa therapies. Exclusive and tailor-made options, which were once available only at high-end treatment centres and wellness retreats, are becoming increasingly common.
The concept of a wellness sanctuary that sets customised wellness goals and promotes a healthy lifestyle is what many are looking for. Availing luxurious massages through holistic programmes by professional therapists, who not only provide beauty treatments but also aim at establishing emotional balance while appealing to all the senses, is what defines a modern-day luxurious spa.
While there is an array of services in many international markets, those found in Asia have become quite popular with their unique rejuvenation and spa treatments. While some of these might be new, others are ancient practices. From authentic hammams, Onsen and crystal massages to floatation and chocolate therapies, the endless options are as luxurious and exotic as they get.
7 Must-visit Spa and Wellness Treatments in Asia:
The method of Toji bathing or the ancient Japanese practice of onsen is one of the most surreal experiences where you bathe in a hot spring. The term onsen literally translates into ‘hot water cure’ and refers to the medicinal values involved in this balneotherapy.
Prolonged stay in a relaxing hot water spring at a ryokan, or a Japanese inn, enables the body to absorb the healing properties from the mineral-rich water. Medicinal benefits include relieving joint pains, relaxing tired muscles, improving skin quality and blood circulation as well as inducing better sleep.
In today’s time, a ryokan setup consists of onsen, along with rooms for guests to stay and unwind for a couple of days.
Sound baths, or the use of your auditory senses, as a medium to stimulate or relax your mind and body is becoming extremely popular among urban dwellers. It may come across as a modern therapy, but reports suggest it goes back to over 2,000 years.
To answer the most basic question of whether there is water involved in the therapy, the answer is ‘no’. This is because a sound bath cleanses your mind using sound notes.
The soothing vibrations produced by instruments, like Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, windchimes and crystal bowls, will not only calm your senses but also enable better stress management.
As the sound waves and vibrations pass through the body, you will feel serene and completely relaxed. Sound bathing is also considered to be a wellness journey that has a lightening effect on the body.
Close your eyes and immerse yourself in the vibrations in the dimly lit relaxing studio and feel the stress leave your body and mind. You will be one with yourself and the environment.
Enjoy a sound bath individually or in a group, but consciously absorb all the goodness of the spa treatment. Typically, an individual session goes on for an hour, depending on the routine or session you opt for.
Medicinal benefits of this treatment include reduced stress and anxiety. According to a 2014 study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, regular sound bathing can also reduce systolic blood pressure.
A sound and lightproof pod, floating without feeling the body weight and relaxing in complete silence, with very little light, make up this therapy. Although this might sound like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, floatation therapy is one of the most extravagant body treatments.
Float on your back on about 12-inches-high Epsom salt-saturated water inside a pod, which is set at a skin surface temperature, and feel the surroundings fade away. Feeling weightless and focusing on your heartbeat and breathing characterise this new-age wellness therapy.
The sauna-like feeling of floatation therapy is great for relieving stress, anxiety, hypertension, soothing your senses and relaxing your mind. It also helps in nervous stimulation, brain synchronisation and much more.
Experts are of the view that such a heightened state of total relaxation doesn’t kick in until the first 30 minutes, but the effects can stay for over a day. Thus, Dr Justin Feinstein, clinical neuropsychologist and director of the Float Clinic and Research Center at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, suggests this as a short term remedy for anxiety and depression.
Traditional Arabian style of cleansing the body, having deep tissue massages and taking your mind off in a humid sauna room sums up a typical hammam bath. Originating in the Middle East, the roots of this spa therapy can be traced to Turkey and Morocco where people visit local hammams for periodic cleansing.
In the steam sauna room or Hammam, a tellak or an attendant will first pour water on you before applying a black soap and exfoliating your skin with a kessa glove.
The treatment detans your skin and opens up the pores, releasing accumulated dirt. The massage exfoliates dead cells to give a healthy glow to your skin.
The nourishing elements of the exfoliator, often combined with a mud bath, enrich the body with minerals and the massage relieves joint pains and stressed muscles for an overall soothing effect.
Cannot resist the rich, decadent aroma of cocoa? Then this spa and wellness treatment is for you. Lathering rich cocoa butter and chocolate all over your body, a spa treatment couldn’t get more delicious than this.
Soak in the rich essence of chocolate therapy and embrace its calming effect on your body and mind. With its rich exfoliating, deep nourishing and moisturising elements, chocolate and products infused with chocolate become the most sought-after choice for services like body massage, pedicure, manicure, facials and hair removal.
The immensely popular spa treatment is one of the most luxurious and premium wellness programmes.
Using crystals, precious and semi-precious stones help in attaining inner balance, as well as reducing stress and anxiety.
Although the practice of using crystals has been around for ages, it’s been gaining prominence again, with celebrities, like Victoria Beckham and Kate Hudson, speaking about them.
Solely targeted at mental well-being and providing tranquillity, crystals and gemstones promote healing energies when used to align various aspects of life. Placing crystals on pressure points and getting a deep massage relieves stress and joint pains.
Different kinds of crystals have various roles to play. For instance, rose quartz helps in promoting self-love, benevolence, happiness and compassion, while Lapis Lazuli is beneficial in truly knowing yourself and thereby feeling free, as well as improving immunity.
Those looking for a more holistic wellness approach to health and mental wellbeing may choose crystal healing.
This therapy finds its roots in ancient Chinese medicine. An alternative medical treatment, acupuncture helps to provide cranial relief and healing wounds by inserting thin needles into the area that needs to be treated.
Acupuncture experts examine the area and insert tiny needles into the skin, the number depending on the body part and the intensity of the pain. These pricked needles send a signal to the body that the area is affected and the immune cells must act upon it.
The wellness treatment has had several positive effects in helping those with chronic pain, insomnia and migraine, among other ailments.
However, it is advised to consult a licensed practitioner before choosing this treatment.
[Hero image credit: The Anam/ @theanamcxr/ Unsplash; featured image credit: RODNAE Productions/Pexels]
This story first appeared on Prestige Malaysia.