Wellness in Thailand: a unique combination of tradition and innovation
Pretty much everyone who goes to Thailand falls in love with the place. Which isn’t surprising, because it offers everything you need to live healthily and happily: kilometres of white sandy beach, a tropical climate, fantastic food, hospitable people, unspoiled nature, spirituality and a rich history.
In search of unspoiled beauty
Really, the only down-side to Thailand is the fact that it’s so popular. Luckily, it’s a large country. Stay clear of the over-crowded beaches and opt instead for a wellness holiday, and you’ll discover the peace and beauty of traditional Thailand, which, married with modern influences, makes for an exciting cultural mix.
Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation
Thailand has a huge wellness tradition. Wellness is a way of life for Thais. And that is in a large part thanks to Theravada Buddhism, to which 90% of the population subscribes. Buddhism believes that mindfulness and meditation lead to freedom, and that happiness comes from within. This spirituality and wisdom is deeply engrained in the psyche of Thai people, and is reflected at the modern wellness resorts in Thailand where professional therapists still practice Thai traditional medicine (TTM) as part of the wellness programmes. When combined with modern findings, these therapies draw on centuries-old knowledge and techniques to effectively address modern western issues, such as stress, burnouts and obesity.
Holistic Traditional Thai Medicine
Traditional Thai medicine is influenced by Ayurveda, yoga, and western medicine and addresses the internal battle between chaos and harmony. TTM takes a holistic approach to wellbeing, incorporating nutritional recommendations, physical exercise, herbal treatments, massage, yoga and a spiritual perspective on life.
Wellness experts and professionals
Not just anyone can call themselves a Thai wellness expert. TTM doctors study for 3-4 years to earn their diploma. Qualifying as a traditional Thai massage therapist demands no less than 800 hours of training. Indeed, a Thai massage offers more than physical wellbeing alone; it is also a spiritual exercise in mindfulness, kindness and compassion.
Healthy eating with Thai cuisine, fruit and herbs
Thai food not only tastes delicious, it’s really healthy, too. Meals are based on a variety of fresh and local ingredients, with plenty of fruit and vegetables. It will take you a while to eat your way through the long list of delicious exotic fruit that grows here. The curries, too, are bursting with herbs that also feature in TTM. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and aids digestion; garlic is cleansing and fresh chills are an abundant source of vitamins A and C. Providing you steer clear of the fried options, Thai food is a tasty and healthy treat for the body.
Thai haute cuisine
A new generation of chefs has arisen, offering a modern take on traditional dishes and taking them to a new level. In the higher-end restaurants and luxury wellness resorts in Thailand, creative chefs are keeping the traditions and old cooking techniques alive, complementing them with bold, modern flavours in innovative dishes. Thai haute cuisine won’t fail to disappoint even the most demanding of foodies.
“When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.” Louis Armstrong was right. Thailand is the land of smiles. And all that smiling is both infectious and relaxing. The Buddhist concept of Metta has a strong influence on Thai culture. Roughly translated, Metta stands for ‘unconditional love and best intentions and wishes for all beings in the universe.’ This is reflected at the wellness resorts through the sweet, attentive care and respectful nature of Thai people.
Nature is the best form of relaxation. Thailand’s wellness resorts are located in stunning nature areas with enormously diverse flora and fauna. Swim or dive in a turquoise sea with brightly coloured reefs full of tropical fish; walk through a tropical rainforest spotting unique bird species and native wild animals; trek through one of the 100 national parks and swim by a waterfall; or simply breathe in the pure sea air by the coast.
Once you’ve visited Thailand, you’re likely to be a fan for life and return again and again, creating your very own holiday tradition. There’s so much to discover, you’ll never need to do the same thing twice. Traditional and modern, ancient wisdom and new experiences, relaxation and exertion fuse together to create memories to cherish for life.
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