World’s Most Exotic Spa Treatments
Wellness tourism is booming, with more people combining their annual vacation with exotic destinations and itineraries that will serve to overhaul their health, wellbeing and put a renewed spring in their step and outlook at the same time.
The term “wellness tourism” may evoke images of old-style health retreats that traded on draconian detox diets or fasts, boot camp style regimens and where the extent of pampering was a no-nonsense massage or hot bath after all the exertion.
How things have changed! If you’re planning your next holiday and want to make it something really special, Denise Teh, PR and marketing executive of Health and Fitness Travel, experts in tailor-made wellness holidays worldwide, has compiled a mouth-watering bucket list of the world’s most exotic spa treatments for SPA+CLINIC readers.
From colour vibration therapy in Malaysia to pepper lipolysis in Greece, these unconventional therapies will titillate the imaginations of even the most adventurous spa aficionado.
Even if these aren’t on the horizon for you right now, they may provide great ideas for your own salon, spa or clinic.
In today’s ever-evolving wellness scene, it’s simply not enough to be mainstream.
Spas must constantly be one step ahead to cater for discerning Millennials (and to continue to excite loyal and discerning Baby Boomers) who demand treatments that give them a spa experience like no other.
Try Moxibustion Chinese Therapy in Italy: Lefay SPA
Indulge in the East-meets-West wellness philosophy of this luxury spa retreat overlooking Lake Garda, where you can encounter moxibustion, a Chinese therapeutic technique meaning “burning herb”.
This therapy, however, has nothing to do with smoking recreational “herbs”; rather, the burning of mugwort, a small, spongey medicinal herb, on various acupuncture points and energy pathways around the body.
For those concerned about combustion, after the “moxa” is placed on the body and lit, it is extinguished and removed before it burns the skin, producing a pleasant heating sensation.
This treatment strengthens the blood, stimulates energy levels and boosts the results of other therapies. Once you’ve had your pyromania fix, unwind in Lefay’s salt water lake.
Try Red and Black Pepper Lipolysis in Greece: Porto Elounda Detox
Offering stunning views across Mirabello Bay in the north-eastern corner of Crete, Porto Elounda is home to the award-winning Six Senses Spa, where you can experience a detoxifying treatment like no other.
Using the medicinal properties of red and black pepper to stimulate the breakdown of fatty tissue, this dinner table staple delivers a deeply moisturising and refreshing treatment.
A combination of warm and cool techniques is used to tone the skin, followed by a firming massage to increase blood and lymph circulation which stimulates detoxification, to further enhance the treatment’s slimming properties.
Finish off with a spirulina wrap and a dip in the thalassotherapy pool to feel thoroughly cleansed, toned and well-seasoned.
Try Himalayan Heart Stone Massage in Vietnam: Fusion Maia
Discover a tropical spa paradise on Vietnam’s east coast, where you’ll experience a true sense of tranquillity with Fusion Maia and its range of healing therapies.
For a massage with a heartfelt difference, try the Himalayan Heart Stone Massage, a gentle, alkalising therapy using warm heart-shaped salt stones and pomelo oil to promote inner peace.
The warmth from the stones will ease tense muscles and soothe aches and pains, while the stones’ positive ions are believed to rid your body of harmful vibrations and clear the air around you.
Combine spa treatments with yoga and meditation for a complete mind, body and soul experience at this tropical hideaway.
Try Green Coffee Sculpting in Oman: Zighy Bay Sense of De-stress
Discover a whole new world on the Arabian Peninsula of Oman, in a secluded bay surrounded by mountains where the world-class Six Senses Spa awaits with a plethora of top-notch spa offerings.
Wake up and smell the green coffee with an energising body treatment focusing on the thighs, waist, tummy and derriere, aimed at breaking down fat cells, stimulating circulation and boosting metabolism.
The treatment begins with dry skin brushing, before being massaged with the thermogenic, salon-strength chilli and coffee oil for a caffeine hit to rival your morning java.
Put your newfound energy to use as you take part in a variety of outdoor activities available nearby, including mountain biking, diving and paragliding.
Try Nasal Treatment in India: SwaSwara Ayurveda
Rediscover the simplicity of the earth at this holistic healing retreat nestled in the secluded, unspoilt Indian countryside.
The spa focuses on the power of Ayurveda, with an extensive list of internal and external therapies that are not to be sniffed at.
One of which is Nasya, an ancient Ayurvedic practice that encourages nasal administration of medicinal herbs, decoctions and oils, to clear sinus congestion and expel toxins from the head and neck region.
With the nose being the gateway to the brain, you’ll breathe easy knowing you’re healing your mind as well as your body, as you make the most of the holistic cuisine and advanced Ayurvedic treatments at this inspiring health retreat.
Try Colour Therapy in Malaysia: The Banjaran Rejuvenation
Set amongst tropical jungle and limestone hills, the Banjaran is an acclaimed 5-star hideaway, famed for its extensive wellness offerings.
Here you can experience Chromotherapy, a technique using colours to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that encourage greater health and harmony.
By cultivating the frequencies of individual colours to balance and re-shape the energy in our bodies, a greater level of physical and spiritual healing can be achieved.
A blue light can promote relaxation and calm whilst aiding the recurrence of headaches and nervous tension, whilst pink eliminates impurities in the blood.
Once you’ve discovered your favourite colour, head for the green, with luscious jungle, Japanese gardens and a world-class golf course all nearby.
Try Chavutti Thirumal Massage in St Lucia: BodyHoliday De-Stress
Find your bliss at this leading St Lucian wellness retreat in the West Indies designed to maximise well-being and improve health.
While having someone walk all over you may not seem like therapy, this ancient Indian massage technique releases muscular tension, stretches the body and improves circulation and energy flow, and is perfect for those who enjoy deep tissue massage.
Also known as Indian rope massage, the therapist holds onto a rope above their head for balance and to adjust pressure, while using their feet to deliver a stronger, deeper massage.
Take a step in the right direction to finding calm, with a range of holistic therapies and activities, including Reiki, craniosacral therapy and sunset meditation.
Try Farm-to-Facial in Italy: Borgo Egnazia Spa
Escape to the untouched region of Puglia and this majestic 5-star wellness haven that takes relaxation to another level.
A tantalising spa menu awaits, including their signature Abbel Bel treatment (translating to “slowly slowly”), that features fresh herbs harvested in Borgo’s kitchen garden.
With an ingredients list that reads more like a salad dressing, this “sentimental” treatment for the face combines lemon, mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, almond milk, camellia oil and olive oil to create a facial treatment that nurtures the skin, relaxes the senses, and promotes an overall sense of well-being.
Unleash your inner glow as you experience all that this state-of-the-art luxury spa has to offer, with alternative therapies ranging from music therapy to psycho-aromatherapy.
Try Eye Therapy in Nepal: Ananda Rejuvenation
Retreat to the mountains and discover the serenity of this wellness sanctuary based at the Himalayan foothills.
The spa at Ananda integrates the traditional Indian systems of Ayurveda with contemporary western approaches, ensuring a truly unique spa experience.
For a real eye-opener, try Akshi Tarpana, an Ayurvedic treatment that involves applying ghee (clarified butter) to the eyes to treat disorders or simply revive tired peepers.
While lying down, a “ring” of flour paste is formed around the eyes into which medicated ghee is then gently poured, followed by intermittent opening and closing of the eyes.
After treating the windows to your soul, turn your attention inwards with a variety of holistic wellness activities, including yoga, pranayama and meditation.
Try Anja Light Therapy in Thailand: Phuket Cleanse
For a life-changing wellness holiday, look no further than Phuket Cleanse on the tropical island of Phuket, where you’ll find a range of therapies to detox the body and relax the mind.
Anja Light Therapy uses dynamic neural stimulating brainwave technology to induce deep meditative states; a state usually only obtained by meditative experts such as Buddhist monks and Shamans.
As you explore the depths of your perception, develop clarity and direction, reduce stress and anxiety, and cultivate a more profound connection with a broader reality.
You might even be lucky enough to experience out-of-body and astral projections. Once you’ve come back to earth, hit the ground running with a series of fitness activities, including kickboxing, beach boot camps and TRX training.