What makes these rejuvenating treatments so refreshing is that many of the spa treatments, including therapeutic massage, are actually rooted in thousand-year old traditions that are highly spiritual, and often taught in Buddhist or Hindu temples far off in the misty mountainside regions of Southeast Asia. It is not just massaging a knot out of your shoulder-the spa treatments you will find here are for both body and mind. A few treatments really can change your whole outlook on life. It will make you want to quit your job and move to a tropical island.
A shock to the senses
If there were truly a Fountain of Youth, it would be in a place like Thailand, Bali, or Maldives, where exotic facial treatments bring out an inner glow and youthfulness that is like none other. Before you walk in the door though, you have to be prepared for what is to come. You will go from relaxation to shock, and maybe even a little pain, and then back to relaxation, and finally, bliss. In Thailand for example, traditional music, the washing of feet, and some soothing ginger tea usually accompany the traditional Thai massage. The massage starts out gentle but quickly goes deep-and do not let the little 90-pound woman administering the massage fool you. She possesses great strength that seems almost impossible for someone her size. Your masseuse will quickly sense exactly where your tense spots are and will go to work on them, and just when you think you cannot take it anymore, you will discover that you feel better than you ever have in your life.
The Balinese approach is quite different, but no less jarring. You will find a wide array of exfoliation treatments that use seaweed, coconut husks, sandalwood, and other abrasive materials, with techniques that often incorporate Eastern and Western techniques.
The Spa Experience
Your Asian vacation is all about you getting a little me time. Naturally, you will want to take time to sightsee, to shop, and to take in the local culture, but vacations can be frenzied. A week of unfettered tourism, however exciting, can be physically draining. There is no better way to balance that hectic activity with a weekend devoted to wellness, rejuvenation, meditation, and pampering.
The Asian approach to the spa experience is one of well-being. It is all about restoring balance in your life physically and mentally. What is more important is that your transformation need not stop when you go back home. When your vacation is over, you will retain a sense of well-being. During your stay, you will have glimpsed into a less stressful way of life that you can carry with you forever-or at least until your next trip to Asia. The spa treatment goes beyond the physical-you will learn something too, about healthy living and minimizing stress and you will get an opportunity to truly focus on what is most important in your life.
You are what you eat
A big part of any vacation is food, and the spa practitioners understand very well that what you eat will have a big impact on how you feel. Most Asian spa resorts will have a heavy focus on healthful and delicious foods. Even the smaller massage spots will highlight your experience with a hot cup of ginger tea, which has a remarkably healthful effect and is quite soothing. The weekend spas will delight your palate with a wide array of local fresh foods, tropical fruits, and expertly prepared meals designed not only to taste good, but also to enhance the healthful and rejuvenating experience. After all, enjoying the healthful spa treatments and following it up with a big fat fast-food burger defeats the point of the whole experience.
The foods will cleanse you and restore a healthful balance, and maybe even give you a few menu items to take back home. The exotic tropical fruits are a special treat-take time to savor the delicate, sweet flavors of the lichi, jackfruit, rambutan, and mangosteen. Many of these fruits have been used locally for hundreds of years for cleansing and healing. Even fruits that you are used to in the west, like pineapple, take on a completely different character in tropical Asia. A fresh pineapple, picked that day at the peak of ripeness, is sheer delight. You will never want a supermarket pineapple again.
A spa weekend in Asia is by design self-indulgent, but it can be self-indulgent for the entire family. Large and comfortable family suites are widely available, many of the spas in prime resort towns feature plenty of family-friendly activities, and treatments designed especially for children and teens.
Take it home with you
Your Asian spa experience is not just, for the weekend-it can last you a lifetime. The treatments, massages, meditations, and organic foods you will be presented with will rejuvenate you, and you will walk away feeling more alive than ever. However, beyond that, when you go home you will have learned some things, too. Many of the spas also incorporate optional classes, so you can learn some of the basics of various meditation techniques, yoga, and healthful cooking. When you return home, you will be a different person-more relaxed, more knowledgeable, and less stressful. In addition, you can share a little bit of that with your friends.
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