‘The days of lettuce leaves, austere environments and gruelling regimes are over; today’s wellness resorts are a lot more creative and sophisticated.”
What you seek is seeking you – Rumi.
Wellness Tourism is no longer a niche market, fact. It is a burgeoning industry and south-east Asian destinations such as Thailand are at the forefront of the mind, body, spirit retreat revolution. How you define ‘wellness’ is largely up to the individual, suffice to say it is an experience that ideally makes you feel good, happier, healthier and above all relaxed.
It is no surprise that in today’s consumer driven era that people are increasingly busier in their everyday lives. The need to over achieve in a working environment is a daily reality for the majority of people in the western world. Often this mentality ensures a certain degree of financial security but at what cost to the spiritual self? No wonder more people are looking to strike a harmonious balance between holiday and health. Enter the Wellness Tourism sector. Nowadays you can find a myriad of ‘retreats’ to cater for your needs, including but not limited to; clean eating programs, fitness activities, relaxing techniques, spa treatments, holistic massage, life coaching, meditation classes and hypnotherapy.
A holistic style holiday can offer the individual a chance to not only reconnect with nature but also with themselves. We would confidently argue that ‘slowing down is perhaps the greatest luxury unto itself’ when one considers how sped-up western society is. Sure a work/life balance can be achieved but let’s face it, most of us are driven by the digital revolution that seems, quite frankly near impossible to catch up let alone maintain 24-7. Hence having a break from it all is the one of the best ways to reset, restructure, refuel and of course remind yourself what is important in life. The old adage ‘if you don’t have your health what do you have?’ could easily be the key message that Wellness Tourism promotes.
Overall Thailand is a visually stunning country that offers visitors a diverse cultural experience. Being largely a Buddhist nation an almost automatic Zen like element to your holiday cannot be discounted. The majority of wellness resorts offer up dreamy landscapes, rainforest vistas and an abundance of idyllic beaches. Their locations were aptly removed (although not too far) from typical tourism hot spots but still within easy access of international airports. Select properties incorporated an integrated health regime that could be tailored to suit the guest’s needs. Please note; there’s no overt pressure to experience all the resorts have to offer by way of wellness activities and guests are simply encouraged to do what feels best. If for you that is sleeping in and maybe reading a book by the pool then so be it. Perhaps it is a morning yoga session followed by a traditional cooking class with a world-class chef. For some it could be cranial-sacral therapy and a full afternoon being pampered in the day spa. What about a high impact cardio work out (Muay-Thai anyone?) followed by an expert in-depth analysis of your fitness levels. Whatever experience you chose will no doubt lead to a host of positive health benefits. Ideally some of the wellness strategies learned can be applied at home, well after you have returned from your holiday haven.
Samantha Foster, president of the International Health & Wellness Alliance (IHAW) sums up the current trend for wellness holidays best ‘The days of lettuce leaves, austere environments and gruelling regimes are over; today’s wellness resorts are a lot more creative and sophisticated. Travellers can enjoy all the elements of a traditional holiday – relaxation, amazing food, fun and activities – and still look, feel and function better at the end of it”.
We wholeheartedly agree and cannot wait to reveal the TOP 5 WELLNESS RESORTS in Thailand in our upcoming travel guide.
This article was written by Roxanne Williams of @luxesurfstyle.