Normally a cheerful, energetic soul, after working non-stop for several months in hectic London, I found myself listless, run down and in need of a recharge. It was time to swap car horns for bird song; computer screens for sunscreen. It was time to book a trip to the Tao Garden Health Spa.
Tao Garden Health Spa and Resort is located in the lush environment of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. The resort was created by Master Mantak Chia, known around the world for his teaching of Taoist practices and love of nature.
Aware that many urban dwellers suffer from severe stress, the Master constructed Tao Garden on the premise of Eastern health systems merging with Western medicine to optimize guests’ health and well being. The result is an impressive blend of Chinese Taoism; the ancient Five Elements Chinese healing system; Ayurveda; therapeutic Thai massage and acupuncture mixed in with such Western treatments as liver and kidney cleansing and weight loss programs.
A burnout detox package has been specially designed here for busy and stressed Westerners, and I was obviously happy to sign up for that. My intensive, 10-day programme included colon hydrotherapy, kidney and liver cleansing, blood ozone, reflexology, infrared sauna, Ayurvedic oil treatments, and best of all, numerous massages.
The massage sessions are fairly drawn out, and you can expect to your day to be pretty packed. It may start with some Tai Chi in the morning, followed by a delicious, healthy breakfast and a series of treatments as prescribed by an in-house doctor, winding up with a gentle yoga session in the evening, topped off with a satisfying and nourishing Thai meal. By the end of my stay, I felt calmer, looked more radiant, and had far more energy.
While the meals and treatments no doubt contributed much to my well being, so did the profoundly restful sleep I had each night in my generously proportioned, wood accented room. Furnishing here is simple, natural and comfortable, based on traditional Thai aesthetics. As lovely as the interiors may be, they’re eclipsed by the stunning scenery outdoors: stone walkways lead to luscious paths draped heavily with tropical foliage; tiny lizards and songbirds are your constant companions.
It’s a far cry from the urban jungle I sadly had to return to after ten days of bliss, but just knowing the Tao Garden spa exists makes city life a bit more bearable.