What does a holistic wellness resort in Thailand offer?
If you’re considering going on a wellness retreat in Asia, you may very well have come across the option to go to a holistic wellness resort in Thailand. This type of healing has become increasingly popular the last few years, as people begin to realise that optimal health is best achieved through the total mind, body, spirit, social and emotional balance, not simply focussing on the outside (as my wellness resorts do). To help you fully understand what ‘holistic health’ is, this article will explain the basics and how these beliefs are translated into a resort stay in the Land of Smiles.
Holistic Health 101
As mentioned above, holistic medicine is a type of healing that aims for optimal health and wellness of the entire person, by concentrating on their body, mind, spirit and emotions. According to the doctrines of holistic medicine, optimal health can be gained through proper balance in life.
Holistic medicine believes that a person is composed of interdependent parts, and if just one of these parts is not functioning correctly, all the other parts will be affected too. In this way, if people have even the smallest imbalance (physical, emotional, spiritual) in their life, it can lead to drastic effects on their overall health.
The principles of holistic medicine are quite distinct: all people have innate healing powers; the patient is not a disease, but a person; healing addresses all aspects of a person’s life using a variety of health care practices; and treatment aims to fix the root cause of the condition, not just alleviate surface symptoms.
A doctor at a holistic wellness resort in Thailand may use all forms of health care to treat a patient, including both conventional medicine and alternative therapies. Often, a regiment of complementary, holistic therapy treatments will enable a patient to experience wellness on a deeper level. Some of the most common practices found within the realm of holistic health are as follows:
- energy work
- physical therapy
- personal training
5 Keys to Holistic Health
There are five key aspects – physical, emotional, social, spiritual, mental – of holistic health which, when in balance, enable a person to live a healthy and happy life. Let’s take a quick look at each one.
Physical – Our physical health is often what most people think about when they think of health. Chiefly because physical signs and symptoms are easier to observe and measure, whereas non-physical signs and symptoms are not. Obvious ways to support your physical health are by getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night; eating a well-balanced diet; not smoking and drinking; exercise at least once a day.
Emotional – While often not prioritised, our emotional health is just as important as our physical health. Mainly because our emotional health is so strongly tied to our physical health. You can support your emotional health by seeking out therapy when needed; practising mindfulness and stress reduction techniques; keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings.
Social – Countless research studies have shown that happy and content people have deep connections with their family, friends and community. You can support your social health by making time for in-person (i.e., not technological) connection; getting involved in your local community (i.e., church, volunteer organisations, clubs); setting boundaries with the people in your life who bring toxic energy; walking away from relationships that are negatively affecting your health.
Mental – Often overlapping and misinterpreted as our emotional health, mental health is vitally important. While emotional health refers to our daily mood and emotions, our mental health refers to the cognitive abilities that affect how our brain operates. You can support your mental health by seeking out learning opportunities and problem-solving practices that challenge the brain; avoiding excessive drinking, smoking and recreational drugs; and consuming nutrient-dense foods that are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Spiritual – Although the two have overlapping practices and principles, spiritual wellness does not necessarily mean religion. Instead, your spiritual health should focus on how you are connecting with your inner self and the greater world around you. You can support your spiritual health by spending time in nature; dedicating a few minutes each day to meditation; taking time to practice your faith (this doesn’t have to be religious, you could spend the time giving gratitude for people/things in your life).