The Land of Smiles is known for its friendly culture, alluring beaches, spicy cuisine and incredible spas – all of which make it a haven for travellers looking for that needed health break. Read on 7 ways to improve your health in Thailand and to come back home feeling rested and rejuvenated with a new lease of life.
One of the best ways to improve your health in Thailand is to get a course of high-quality massage by local professionals. This country is said to be home to some of the best massage parlours in the world, and a traditional Thai massage isn’t something to be missed during your stay. With hundreds of spas offering varying types and styles of massage, it can be hard to pick just one. So, why not indulge in multiple?
One of the best things about them is their price – they are incredibly cheap meaning you can fit them in any budget. Those in search of more exclusive and luxurious experiences will get a chance to enjoy daily massages right in their place of stay: check these spa holiday villas in Phuket if you feel intrigued!
Thai massage isn’t a new concept and was developed around 2500 years ago when Buddhism appeared in this country. Legend says that Shivago Komarpaj, physician to the Buddha, developed these techniques as a way of improving health and aiding relaxation.
So, what are the benefits of Thai massage?
- Firstly it feels incredible, by relieving stress and tension in the joints and muscles – you will feel less tense in an instant.
- Secondly – it creates a sort of lymphatic drainage. Massage kick starts the lymphatic system and pushes fluid around the body. In Thailand, most top spas will offer you an after drink to hydrate and flush your system.
In the western world, massage is now being used as a complementary therapy to help aid in all kinds of diseases and disorders from anxiety to autism. With more investigation, massage might soon be offered as a frontline treatment.
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from sweetened tea and a specific bacteria culture. The bacteria and yeasts convert the sugar into ethanol and acetic acid. The acetic acid is what gives kombucha its distinctive sour taste.
Thailand is a great place to try this energizing and refreshing drink, which is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. According to the New York times, Kombucha is one of the top food trends for 2019. But why is it so special?
Many people brew and drink kombucha for its claimed medical benefits – from improving gut health and reducing risks of heart disease to providing antioxidants, keeping diabetes at bay, helping with weight loss and even shielding against cancer.
Swimming & bathing In Thailand
We all know exercise is good for us, and swimming is said to offer some of the best health benefits of all. Swimming not only keeps your heart rate up and tones muscle but also builds up strength and provides an all over workout whilst reducing the impact of stress on the body.
With numerous beaches and even hidden waterfalls in Thailand, there is no better place to take a dip whilst on holiday. Not only do you get all the health benefits, but it is also a lot of fun and joy: the sea is warm, crystal clear and full of beautiful creatures to discover.
Last, but not least, Thailand is also great for swimming pool lovers. If you’re hiring a villa, it is more than likely there will be a lavish pool in which to complete some laps.
Thai Diet and Cuisine
Thai cuisine is world-renowned and offers numerous health benefits. One of the main aspects that make Thai cuisine so special is that the technical skills required to cook each dish vary so much. There are some remarkably simple dishes that taste amazing requiring little more than a hot wok, a few ingredients, and some steamed rice to serve, and others which require much more in-depth training and practice.
Whilst Thai cooking and food have a reputation for being spicy, it is all about the equilibrium of 5 different flavours: spicy, sour, sweet, salty and bitter. Thereby, it aims to create a balanced and delicious dining experience.
Thai cooking involves lots of spices herbs and fresh vegetables. One key ingredient used is Ginger, which can also be found in many forms. For example, you may see it soaking in barrels at night markets – you can’t miss it as the smell is incredible. As well as tasting delicious and adding a spicy tang to any dish, ginger has a variety of health benefits including reducing nausea and inflammation, lowering blood sugars and reducing heart disease risk factors.
Another important element of Thai cuisine is coconuts. These are fabulously versatile and can be transformed into coconut water, milk, cream, jam, sugar and oil.
Coconut oil is possibly one of the healthiest products to try in Thailand, with anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, ingesting coconut oils can fend off bacteria and viruses. It is also nourishing for the skin and can be used by those who have severe allergies and skin disorders such as eczema. It is suitable for all ages and can be used from birth. Alongside these properties, it is also believed to be reducing cholesterol, reducing seizures and epilepsy as well as it aiding and reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s.
Coconut milk – a white, milky substance extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts – is also perfect for improving your health in Thailand. It can benefit you in several ways: for example, by stimulating weight loss and lowering cholesterol. These make it especially appealing for those looking for a new healthier lifestyle.
Yoga and stretching
Yoga and stretching, much like diet and massage, are part of everyday life here, creating another amazing tip for improving your health in Thailand. Whilst many from the Western worlds have to avidly take time out of their schedule to attend similar classes, yoga comes naturally to this part of the world.
If you’re aiming to add yoga into your travel experience, there are plenty of drop-in yoga classes which offer budget-friendly classes in a relaxed environment whilst improving your flexibility. Alternatively, you can attend yoga classes in the villa or hotel of your stay.
Don’t be fooled by the well-known images of women practising alone on the beach – yoga is open to everyone of varying skill levels and age, and the health benefits it offers are very real. Yes, yoga does increase your flexibility and improve your balance, but it can also: reduce anxiety, focus your breathing, help you lose weight and decrease blood pressure & cholesterol.
Relaxation, meditation and mindfullness
Not surprisingly, most people jet off on holiday to escape and relax. For some, this means lounging on an idyllic beach with a cocktail in hand. For others, truly relaxing may means sitting atop the mountain they have just scaled. Thailand offers all of this and more. From feeding and bathing elephants in rescue centres, strolling among monk filled temples or taking cooking lessons, there is sure to be something to soothe your inner soul.
If these don’t spark your interest, why not calm your mind with meditation?
Thailand is a devoutly Buddhist country and alongside Buddhism, it flows meditation. Meditation offers time for relaxation and heightened awareness in a stressful world where our senses are often dulled. it can offer more than just temporary stress relief and will aid your internal and external wellbeing.
Meditation comes in a variety of styles, and even though there is no correct way to meditate, some offer more specific coaching than others.
We all know relaxing isn’t for everyone, There are some of us who like to get a little or a lot more physical. Muay Thai or Thai boxing is a native combat sport developed in Thailand and is known as the “art of eight limbs” due to the eight points of contact (two feet, two fists, two knees and two elbows).
Muay Thai offers many physical benefits including cardiovascular conditioning, improving leg and core strength, increased flexibility and hip mobility, as well as the obvious stress relief factor. Whilst we don’t suggest you jump straight into a fight, taking a few professional classes could become an interesting experience.
Check out other unusual Asian sports here.
Thailand’s Medical Future
When we think of ways to improve health in Thailand, the first thing that comes to our minds is various holistic and traditional remedies. Whilst these practices are still very common in many areas of Thailand, the 4.0 Initiative aims to transform Thailand into Asia’s medical hub and the top medical tourism destination.
Firstly, what is medical tourism? Medical tourism is where an individual living in one country travel to another to receive, medical, dental or surgical treatment.
Whilst undergoing medical treatment isn’t the main aim of most of Thailand’s visitors, the latter is believed to be changing. First of all, this is due to the fact that the overall standard of treatment and care across the country have vastly improved for visitors and residents alike.
With research into new technologies and treatments, we may see a new, much more clinical side to Thailand very soon.