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.
Tucson, Arizona; Lenox, Massachusetts; Las Vegas, Nevada; Woodside, California; and at Sea
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aman Spa at 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.
Guiyang, China, and other sites
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.