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Bangkok Health & Wellness Guide

Body & Beauty

For many tourists coming to Thailand, a Thai massage tops the list of to-do items. And Bangkok is the best place for this, as it offers a wide range of massage parlors, with professional massagers. A regular Thai massage costs 100 baht per hour, while posh spas charge almost 10 times this.

The value of a spa is gauged by the quality of the therapists, oils used for massages, cleanliness, atmosphere and things like that. Here is a list of spas in Bangkok according to the price they charge per hour. It is always recommended to make reservations before the visit.

Thai Massage

Thai massage, known as ‘nuad pan bolarn’ in Thai, meaning ‘ancient-style massage’ is being practiced in Thailand for more than 2,500 years. Traditional Thai massage doesn’t require oil and is performed with people wearing light, loose clothing. Skilled Thai massage therapists use the techniques of acupressure and assisted yogic stretching to produce the desired effect. They use their hands, elbows, knees and their own bodyweight to apply pressure on the body parts.

Thai massage helps in aligning and balancing the energies of the body. It increases blood circulation, breaks down and releases the toxin build-up, which strengthens the immune system, leading to good health. Some find the process painful initially, but the net result will be improved health and vigor and not exhaustion. The massage is known to heal muscle-pain, increase flexibility and energy level. It can improve your sleep and lower stress level.

Spas

Anne Semonin Spa
Sofitel Silom Hotel, 4th Fl [BTS Chong Nonsi]
Telephone: 02-238-1991 x 1244 or 1245
Timings: Daily 10am – 10pm
Rating: $$$

For pampering your body with the high-end products of the French beauty line, this is the right place. The gentle, but practiced massage by the therapists here, bring life to the dull, puffy skin. The spa also offers a wide range of facials, body treatments and waxing. The whole atmosphere is plush and relaxing and the service excellent. For the money they charge, it is not too much either. It is more frequented by high-society clientele. If light lymphatic massage is what you need, head straight to this spa.

Ba-Ya Health and Spa
23 Sukhumvit Soi 87 [BTS On Nut]
Telephone: 02-311-4772
Web site: www.bayaspa.com
Timings: Daily 10am – 10pm
Ratings: $$$

This is a down-to-earth spa with affordable prices and regular procedures. This cozy and comfortable spa is a hit with locals and Asian tourists. The spa offers more massages and other routines for the body rather than expensive aesthetic services. The therapists follow the usual routine and not anything special to solve your particular problem. Service is informal but indulging. This spa is ideal for those staying nearby or those looking for a spa-experience at affordable rates. If you want individualized massages or other procedures, this is not the place for you.

Hapa Spa
20/4 Sukhumvit Soi 3 [BTS Nana]
Telephone: 02651-0966
Web site: www.hapaspa.com
Timings: Daily 10am – 10pm
Ratings: $$

Lying amongst the Afro-Arab community, its location is unexpected, especially in an area packed with multi-storey condominiums and hotels. The glass-walled exterior doesn’t reveal the calm, plush ambience inside. Customers are allotted private spaces with mini gardens. The biggest plus-point here is the extra-long bed, which can accommodate even the Westerners. Their long list of therapies includes the much-acclaimed aromatherapy and organic body scrubs. ‘Service with a smile’ is made meaningful by their highly competent staff. The house beauty products, organic teas and health drinks are there for sale as well. Here, everything is five-star, except the prices.

Medical Tourism

Welcome to the new face of hospital services. Renowned physicians, same-day appointments, five-star atmosphere and services, indulging and smiling staff – this is not a daydream, but a reality in Bangkok. All these won’t cost you the earth either. These facilities are offered at a fraction of the cost involved in Europe, America or Australia.

Medical tourism is a fast growing industry in many Asian countries and Thailand is emerging as the undisputed leader among them. Thai-born physicians who left their homeland in search of opportunities and returning home with the reverse-brain drain, to take advantage of the boom in healthcare.

In developed countries, the waiting-time and cost of medical procedures are forcing many to look for better options. Some of the most popular medical procedures done are complicated operations like organ transplants, hip replacements, multi-valve heart bypass and back surgeries. The cosmetic procedures are also not far behind with face-lifts, breast enhancements and liposuction topping the list.

If you want a complete medical-checkup or a dental procedure done without pre-planning, it is very much possible here. If you are already in Bangkok and you are interested in some minimally invasive procedures like botox or laser skin resurfacing, it can be arranged without any lead time. If the medical procedure requires recovery time, it is better to check up on a doctor to determine whether your health permits the process. If everything is fine, you can fix up a convenient date and come back for that. Pre-approval dismiss the chances of disappointment of not undergoing the procedure due to health conditions.

Caveat Emptor

The readers have the liberty while choosing the hospital and the physician. This has to be done after studying all the options. Most of the hospitals are known for their excellent facilities and affable staff, especially suited for overseas clientele. More details of each hospital, like services, clinical specialties and charges, can be had from their respective web sites. In some cases, discounts are offered to overseas patients as well.

Before you venture in this area, it is better to understand its pros and cons. All medical procedures are risky. Those interested in the legalities of the arrangement should understand that any ramifications of the procedures are not covered by insurance in Thailand. Malpractice lawsuits are allowed, but the compensation awarded may not cover the expenses in most cases.

Wellness Centers

The weather, pollution and the mad rush of Bangkok tend to wear down many tourists from non-tropical climates. To this end, the city has many Wellness Centers to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit and restore the right balance. Take advantage of these holistic retreats to pamper you back to better health.

Tria Integrative Wellness
998 Rimklongsamsen Rd, Bangkapi
Telephone: 02-660-2600
Web site: www.triaintegrativewellness.com
Timings: Daily 7am – 10pm

This urban haven gives you the ultimate pampering to bring that spring in your step and extra glow to your body. Their philosophy of caring is based on the three main health components – elemental, structural and emotional states. When these three are at the right balance, wellness results for both mind and body.

Hydrohealth
4th Fl., 494 Erawan Bangkok, Ploenchit Rd [BTS Chitlom]
Telephone: 02- 250-7800 Web site: www.hydrohealth.co.th
Timings: Daily 10am – 8pm

This is Thailand’s first hydrotherapy colonic center. Colon cleansing is known to remove accumulated unwanted toxins from the body, which helps to restore good health and eradicate diseases like skin disorders and allergies. The center also offers other treatments like massages and infrared sauna, along with organic food and supplements for better health.

S Medical Spa
2/2 Phakdi Building, Wireless Rd [BTS Ploenchit]
Telephone: 02-253-1010
Web site: www.smedspa.com
Timings: Daily 10am – 10pm

This spa combines the best of science and art, eastern traditions and western technology, to take you to the higher levels of good health. The affable and skilled staff comprises of certified physicians from all branches of medicine.

Rasayana Retreat
57 Soi Prom-mitr, Sukhumvit 39 [BTS Phrom Phong]
Telephone: 02-662-4803-5
Web site: www.rasayonaretreat.com
Timings: Daily 9am-8pm

This retreat offers deep cleansing and colon cleansing using hydrotherapy, which gives you better health and help you lose some weight in the process. The Raw Food Café here is worth a try, as they serve organic and raw fresh foods to keep your body as clean as possible.

The Pilates Studio
888/58-9 Mahatun Plaza, Ploen Chit Rd [BTS Ploenchit]
Telephone: 02-650-7797
Web site: www.pilatesbangkok.com

This is city’s first Pilates studio offering Vinyasa yoga, gyrotonic expansion, pre and post-natal breathing classes. The classes are held in airy, well-lit rooms. For first-timers, special sessions are held on Wednesdays and Sundays (Fee: 3400 baht). They provide mats and towels as well. For more details visit the web site mentioned above.

Yoga Elements
29 Vanissa Bldg, Soi Chidlom [BTS Chidlom]
Telephone: 02-655-5671 Web site: www.yogaelements.com
Timings: 7a m – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 6pm (Sat – Sun)

This yoga studio teaches the dynamic techniques of Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. The big, airy and well-lit rooms are perfect for small groups. The courses are offered at four levels, which is helpful for beginners. The ‘Elements’ course teaches basic breathing techniques and opening body postures. Single classes will set you back by 3500 baht. The web site gives more information on timings and schedules.