Traditional

A prescription for Chinese health tourism

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From the home of acupuncture and herbal medicine, a specialist UK tour operator is prescribing a dose of medical tourism with health tours to China.

Wendy Wu Tours has partnered with China’s Shaanxi Provincial Tourism Development Commission which is in the northwest of the country, home to the start of the Silk Road and ancient capital Xi’an as well as the location of the famous Terracotta Warriors.

Those suffering with complaints such as insomnia and even hair loss will be able to combine a holiday tour around parts of China with specialist help and traditional cures from experts.

Wendy Wu explained, “We are working with experts in China to offer medical & health products for a range of common illnesses. The Chinese are renowned for effective cures. We want to harness these as part of a holiday itinerary.”

Direct flights between Gatwick and Xi’an with Tianjin Airlines are to be launched.

www.wendywutours.co.uk

A revival of the Ancient Hamman Ritual

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In times gone by hammams were used by Kings and Queens of the Ottoman Empire who would host their key social engagements within these ornate bathhouses.

Today, hammams are back in fashion with many resorts adding them to their wellness offerings and treatment menus.
Also known as a Turkish bath, a hammam is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, or a wet relative of the sauna. Although the first ones originated in Arabia, bath culture was a central part of Roman life, Turkey popularized the tradition by making hammams available to people of all statuses.

The advent of the modern spa and the convenience of baths at home have defeated this old concept. Modern-day hammams often reflect the rich design features of the original bathhouses and continue the tradition of water, air and heat-based body treatments. The treatment benefits include removing dead skin cells, deeply cleansing the skin, ridding it of impurities while stimulating blood circulation and the lymphatic system in remedial heat.

Various resorts and hotels such as The Anantara Spa group offer a number of hammams in various destinations with treatments that follow the traditional ritual procedure.

The Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Desert, houses the Royal Moroccan Hammam and offers the traditional journey in the ritual experiences – first steam which purifies the skin, followed by lying on a heated marble bed for a cleansing and polishing ritual using traditional black olive soap and a kessa mitt. The skin soaks up the natural goodness of a mineral-rich rhassoul mask, followed by a hair treatment and mini facial. After time in the heated jacuzzi and ice room, a back massage completes the ritual.

Other hammams include Banana Island Resort in Doha and the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa close to Abu Dhabi City which offers both Turkish and Moroccan Hammam Experiences.

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas www.anantara.com.

Connect with the cosmic energy of ancient Peru

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From healing spa treatments using indigenous Andean plants and herbs, to cleansing ceremonies bathed in nature and mystical culture, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is offering its guests the opportunity to awaken and nourish mind, body and soul.

The hotel’s Aqlla spa uses treatments using local ingredients and curative Peruvian traditions. These include the Sabai Massage for Body & Face; a 60-minute pinda-style massage that uses warmed compresses loaded with 32 natural medicinal herbs. The Incas have used pink salt from Maras, a town near Cusco, for centuries for its energy boosting, high-mineral content and is used in the Maras Body Massage as a therapeutic natural scrub. The 90-minute treatment begins with an exfoliating salt scrub, followed by a body mask of papaya, lemon and lettuce that leaves a prolonged refreshing sensation. The treatment concludes with a relaxing massage with Andean herbal oils with medicinal attributes, including chamomile, eucalyptus and lemon grass.

Other treatments using indigenous ingredients include the Body Massage with Coca and Muña Essential Oils, which uses two time-honoured healing plants of Peru’s ancient Inca culture; Muña, renowned for being a digestive aid, as well as its soothing and calming effects on aches, pains and arthritis; and Coca leaves, loaded with vitamins, protein, calcium, iron and fibre that help to counter the effects of high altitude in the Andes. The Deep-Hydration Cleansing Facial with Quinoa taps the nutritional benefits of the quinoa to prevent premature aging of sensitive and dehydrated skin.

Beyond the spa, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel offers spiritual and wellness experiences that connect with the cosmic energy of ancient Peruvian civilisations, while touring nearby natural and cultural sites. During the full day Machu Picchu Mystical Tour, guests can visit the historic sanctuary with a local shaman who uses his natural gifts to help them discover the spiritual and natural energy side of Machu Picchu, as well as its magical connections to Pachamama or Mother Earth. During the visit, the shaman will lead a cleansing session, while back at the hotel in the evening; travellers will participate in a private coca leaf reading.

Guests can participate in a one-hour Payment to the Earth Ritual on the hotel’s private terrace. This traditional practice of making offerings to Pachamama, or Mother Earth, has been passed down from the time of the Incas, as Ancient Peruvians held Pachamama sacred. This ritual remains a part of daily life for many locals in surrounding regions of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. With a shaman and private interpreter as guides, guests can discover a realm beyond the physical world and become more open to emotional and spiritual healing. Coca, which is a traditional Peruvian symbol of community and respect, plays a significant role in the ceremony.

Rooms at the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel start from USD 602.80 per room per night (from GBP 427) based on double occupancy and including buffet breakfast, lunch or dinner, luggage assistance between the hotel and Aguas Calientes train station

UNIQUE THERAPY: “Song of the Rainforest” Ritual Langkawi, Malaysia

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The Andaman Resort is tucked between a 10 million-year-old rainforest and the tranquil Datai Bay on Malaysia’s Langkawi Island. Styled in a Malaysian contemporary design are 178 rooms and suites which enjoy sweeping views over the Andaman Sea and ancient rainforest.

The Resort’s V Botanical Spa is set within the natural surroundings of the rainforest hillside, offering a number of unique treatments and rituals.

The “Chi Nei Tsang” treatment is rooted in the ancient Taoist tradition. It aspires to heal the body from within by removing unprocessed emotions that manifest themselves in the form of energy blockages. Blockages impair the body’s vital functions and constrict the flow of the life-force Chi. Upon reading the navel, the therapist works on the knots (carefully) and tangles in the abdomen, stimulates the intestines, abolishing toxins, improving digestion and metabolism and revitalising the entire body.

Its signature “Song of the Malay Rainforest “Ritual is designed to evoke the rainforest spirits with a unique ritual that focuses on a sensory journey. It aims to revive the body mind and spirit into a deep meditative state. It uses villages remedies, blended with traditional home-made treatments and herbal remedies potent for purification, balancing and regeneration. It draws inspiration from the Malay healing practices and uses ingredients from the rainforest to capture the healing powers of plants and medicinal herbs.

“The Holistic Gemstone Facial” uses selected gems for specific purposes. Jade drains toxins from the facial tissues, Jasper improves microcirculation, Aventurine calms the skin, Obsidian balances uneven skin tone and Unakite regenerates skin affected by free radicals. When heated these precious stones relax the jaw area, open the pores to allow antioxidants and organic essential oils to penetrate and nourish the underlying tissue.

 

UNIQUE THERAPY: Five-day Ayurvedic Programme, Maldives

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa has launched its new five-day Ayurvedic programme at CHI, The Spa, which invites guests to rejuvenate body, mind and soul, through Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old system of Indian healing.

Located in the Maldives’ southernmost atoll on the island of Villingili, this wellness retreat is set within 12 hectares of untouched natural environment.

The resort’s practicing Ayurvedic Consultant has developed a holistic Ayurvedic programme aimed at enhancing and restoring physical, mental, social and spiritual harmony by embracing every aspect of Ayurveda including treatments, yoga and meditation

Treatments include Udwarthanam Massage, a therapeutic deep tissue massage with medicated herbal powders designed to tone skin, improve digestion and alleviate sluggishness. Herbs and vegetables are grown on island in the Chef’s Garden.

CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, is a secluded sanctuary located in its own spa village within the resort.

UNIQUE THERAPY: Native Mayan Treatments

Chinese medicine services, native Mayan treatments and Mayan healing practices are available at Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya in Mexico. Tucked between a mangrove forest and a secluded white sand beach is the 22,000-squarefoot ocean front Thalasso Center & Spa which is the only certified Thalassotherapycenter in North America and described by some as a true temple of healing. The centre  boasts its ancient concept of ‘Sanitas per Aqua’ (SPA), Latin for ‘health through water.

UNIQUE THERAPY: Age Reducing Acupuncture

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At Lake Garda in Gargano, Italy, the Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda is a luxury eco spa resort that aspires to enhance the wellbeing of its guests by using the preventative approach of classical Chinese medicine with modern Western techniques. Two new acupuncture treatments have recently been introduced.

Farfalla di Seta is a new aculifting and face massage using the ancient Gua Sha method, which aims to reduce signs of aging through non-invasive and non-toxic treatment.

Il Fluire del Ruscello is a newly developed anti-cellulite body treatment applied through acupuncture and massage, also using the Gua Sha method.

UNIQUE THERAPY: Floating therapy in ancient caves, Tuscany Italy

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Travel underground to the ancient thermal caves in Tuscany to relieve pain, combat stress and float to a happier state of mind!

This 130-million year old natural cave with its thermal underground hot spring lake acts as a natural steam room and venue for a floating therapy to aid relaxation and detox.

The cave has been hidden for most of its long history but today, the nineteenth-century villa of the poet Giuseppe Giusti, guards what he regarded as the “eighth wonder of the world”

Research consistently demonstrates that floating therapy has a significant impact on mood enhancement from the deep meditative state achieved and the resulting increase in the levels of dopamine and endorphins.

Surrounded by pictureseque parks, the Grotta Giusti Hotel has maintained its historical air and natural charm. It offers 64 lavish rooms with marble bathrooms and thermal water on tap.