If you were so inclined, you could define “health tourism” by breaking it down into two categories: medical tourism and wellness tourism. In broad terms, the former is more “serious” and usually involves traditional treatments in hospitals and doctors’ offices for existing health issues, while the latter is generally about health promotion and prevention, is meant to be rejuvenating, and incorporates holistic and alternative treatments which conjure images of relaxing spas and immaculate health resorts.
Now, I understand that there’s no accounting for taste, and you are free to disagree, but I’d like to propose what I believe to be the ultimate wellness-tourism treatment. To me nothing quite says “invigorating” like a traditional Thai massage.
Nuat Thai, as it’s known in the Land of Smiles, is the 2,500 year-old healing art which involves a wide range of deep-pressure and stretching techniques, and has its roots in Buddhist spiritual practices. It is delivered by expert therapists with a fundamental appreciation of the nuances of their craft, largely due to an abiding respect for people’s well-being, which is of major importance in Thai culture. Nuat Thai is part of the heritage that has been passed down for generations and it’s unique to the Thai wellness tourism experience. You’re not going to find anything quite like it anywhere else, and that’s a big deal for people who choose their health tourism destinations in part because they’re looking for authenticity.
In Thailand, wellness spas abound, and so does Thai Massage. It’s easy to find great spa facilities in any of the wellness and spa tourism hotspots like Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, and Phuket; and even Bangkok, despite its big-city environs, is full of excellent wellness centers. The traditional Thai massage experience is great in a variety of ways, but mainly because the facilities deliver excellent health benefits in such a soothing way. A drill in your mouth, or a needle in your arm, this is not.
One of their greatest features is the way they establish a mood. Relaxing and soothing from the moment you walk in the door, soft sounds like babbling brooks and frothing fountains, sweet smells of jasmine and therapeutic herbs, hushed voices and lilting traditional Thai music all set the tone. And it carries right over to the gentle touch and whispers…and more soothing sounds and smells….during your massage, which really prime your body and mind for the many health benefits delivered by the treatment.
And those benefits – in addition to making you feel relaxed, restored, and rejuvenated – include relief from a laundry list of ailments like fibromyalgia, asthma, and migraines. It provides cures via stimulation of pressure points throughout the body which opens pathways and allows healing energy to flow freely. The body is essentially prompted to heal itself by the touch of your masseuse. It can improve circulation, stimulate sensory nerves, strengthen the immune system, help with digestive problems, and relieve stress.
So for people who need a boost to their health, who are interested in taking some preventive measures against sickness, or who simply want to treat themselves to a rejuvenation vacation and want to feel great, it just doesn’t get any better than Nuat Thai. Thai wellness spas, traditional Thai massage, and a vacation in Amazing Thailand: it’s the ultimate in wellness tourism.