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The spa lobby at the Anantara Sanya Resort.

Healing Travel

From meditation to holistic spas, enhance your well-being at these six wellness treatment destinations.

In traditional Chinese medicine, opposites not only attract, they need each other for good health. This timeless 4000-year-old system of health is rooted in the cosmic philosophy of yin and yang, or duality.

Balancing the energies of yin and yang inspires individual health; imbalance causes sickness. For a person, that harmony of yin and yang involves a universal energy known as qi, which flows through a network of invisible channels known as meridians. If a channel gets blocked, imbalance manifests, such as inflammation or pain in the body.

The lifestyle in Asia in ancient times was quite different than today. It was a common part of the culture to meditate or do qigong exercises. Those practices would keep energy flowing effortlessly, circulating health and wellbeing. People were also attuned to the rhythms of nature and listened to their bodies, always seeking the middle way, or a balanced life.

In our modern age, it’s as if we can travel back in time. We can explore centuries-old meditation practices, or visit the world’s premier healing spas and resorts, applying ancient wisdom for our well-being today. Join us as we visit six wellness retreats that will harmonize your body, mind, and soul, rejuvenating and rebalancing your cells and spirit year round.

Canyon Ranch

Tucson, Arizona; Lenox, Massachusetts; Las Vegas, Nevada; Woodside, California; and at Sea

Inside the sanctuary are Chinese herbal consultations, group yoga, Pilates instruction, and other meditative classes. Photos courtesy of Canyon Ranch Resort & Spa

For almost 40 years, Canyon Ranch has been a major proponent of a wellness lifestyle that includes Chinese and Western alternative modalities. It operates a collection of life-enhancement properties. Canyon Ranch has a multiplicity of Chinese herbal education groups, Chinese acupuncture treatments, Chinese massage, and yoga, all educating the guest in the concept of healing energy based on the theory of qi.

Canyon Ranch allows substantive learning experiences in all aspects of exercise physiology, which include Chinese yoga practices in the high Sonoran Desert at sunrise. Photos courtesy of Canyon Ranch Resort & Spa
At Canyon Ranch, group meditative practices are combined with Chinese yoga instruction in intimate group settings. Photos courtesy of Canyon Ranch Resort & Spa
Rock-climbing experts take guests into the Catalina Mountains to learn how to climb natural rock. Photos courtesy of Canyon Ranch Resort & Spa

Ananda in the Himalayas

India

The 100-acre Viceregal Palace of the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal is the reception area of Ananda. Photos courtesy of Ananda in the Himalayas

Ananda in the Himalayas is on a mountain above the town of Rishikesh, India. Out of one window, guests can see the foothills of the Himalayas, out of the other, the Ganges River. Ananda is located on a 100-acre estate surrounding a 19th-century maharaja’s palace. An elevated yoga pavilion overlooks the treetops; the lush grounds are patrolled by peacocks. Ayurvedic yoga, massage, herbal education, Chinese yoga, meditation, and massage are offered.

Ananda’s external environment is defined by ancient sal forests and overlooks the town of Rishikesh and the Ganges River Valley. Photos courtesy of Ananda in the Himalayas
In the outdoor Ananda areas, yoga and meditation balance the mind, body, and spirit. Photos courtesy of Ananda in the Himalayas
The Yoga Pavilion integrates traditional Ayurveda and Vedanta practices with international yoga wellness experiences. Photos courtesy of Ananda in the Himalayas

Kamalaya

Thailand

The new 25-metre lap pool in Kamalaya, near the new state-of-the-art fitness centre. Photos courtesy of Kamalaya Koh Samui

Kamalaya is a multi-award-winning wellness sanctuary and holistic spa ideally located on the beachfront of the tropical southern coastline of Koh Samui, Thailand. The sanctuary is centred around a cave that once served Buddhist monks as a place of meditation and retreat. The resort is a holistic wellness experience, integrating healing therapies from East and West. In addition, it combines an inspired healthy cuisine partially based on yin/yang principles, holistic fitness practices, and customized wellness programs and retreats ranging from detoxification to stress and burnout. It enhances emotional balance, based partly on qi-centred meridian cleansing, and personal yoga synergy.

The Hilltop Yoga Pavilion is perched atop Koh Samui’s rugged coastline, offering a panorama of the sea, outlying islands, and distant mountains. Photos courtesy of Kamalaya Koh Samui
Kamalaya’s spa facilities and villa accommodations encircle a centuries-old cave once used by Buddhist monks as a place for meditation and spiritual retreat. Photos courtesy of Kamalaya Koh Samui
Nutritional libation at Amrita Café. Sanskrit for ‘divine nectar,’ Amrita offers informal dining amidst lotus ponds adjacent the swimming pools. Photos courtesy of Kamalaya Koh Samui

Amandayan

China

The Amandayan Resort is located on Lion Hill. Longshen Temple, built during Emperor Qianlong’s reign in 1737, lies on the Black Dragon Lake with the Snow Mountains behind it. Photos courtesy of Amandayan

Situated atop the historic town of Lijiang (a UNESCO heritage site), Amandayan rests in an area steeped in history. Taoism has been practiced in the area for more than 2,500 years. With concepts rooted in traditional Chinese Medicine, Amandayan integrates locally grown herbs and medicines into its wellness approach, combining Chinese yin/yang nutrition principles, acupuncture, and Chinese bamboo massage.

Amandayan’s architecture is taken from the styles of ancient Tibetan nomads. Photos courtesy of Amandayan
The Amandayan suites are decorated with materials and fabric from the local Yunnan region, including Yunnan pine, Dongbei elm, and Nakhi linen and embroidery. Photos courtesy of Amandayan
The Lijang Impression Show is performed by more than 500 local artists and is the highest landscape performance in the world. It is regularly experienced by guests of the Amandayan Resort. Photos courtesy of Amandayan

Aman Spa at Amanemu

Shima, Japan

The outdoor thermal spring garden features daybeds that provide private bathing and relaxing spaces, which include onsen pavilions, a Watsu pool, and treatment suites. Photos courtesy of Amanemu

Set in a forest, in the Japanese ryokan style, Amanemu is based on Japan’s centuries-old onsen tradition, built around natural hot springs. The Aman Spa embraces this ancient bathing ritual with two large onsen pavilions and a Watsu pool overlooking Ago Bay, the source of world-renowned Mikimoto pearls. The mineral-rich, salt-infused water, recognized for its healing properties, is also incorporated into all its spa treatments, and in each suite, the guest can soak in a square bathtub of hot spring water. Yoga classes, or an herb-based Kampo treatment, are both based on the Chinese idea that body and mind are inseparable. The Kampo therapy combines local algae and local pearl powder, known for its potent antioxidants and its signaling power for the regrowth of skin collagen.

This Amanemu suite provides scenic views out to the bay or gardens. Each of the 24 suites features a private onsen bath. Photos courtesy of Amanemu
Sunset on Ago Bay, near the Aman Spa at Amanemu. Photos courtesy of Amanemu

Anantara

Guiyang, China, and other sites

The spa lobby at the Anantara Sanya Resort. Photos courtesy of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

The Anantara experience was born in 2001 with its property in Thailand’s historic seaside retreat of Hua Hin. Anantara’s portfolio now spans the globe. In most of Anantara’s wellness resorts, Chinese therapies are practiced. Practitioners of Tui Na, for example, use fingers and hands to apply pressure at specific points on the body, similar to Chinese acupuncture, to promote the flow of blood and qi, with the goal of healing and alleviating pain. Another Chinese treatment is Chi Nei Tsang, an abdominal massage that blends Chinese and Thai traditions with Chinese meditation techniques.

Anantara Sanya guest rooms provide open-air terrace views of the pool, garden, or surrounding areas, many including a view of the South China Sea. Photos courtesy of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas
The Anantara Sanya spa/treatment rooms allow an ambient environment for unique treatments that touch China’s healing past. Photos courtesy of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas
On the south coast of China’s Hainan Island, the Anantara Sanya Resort’s private beach is located near the hotel on Serenity Bay. Photos courtesy of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas
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