From onsens and hot springs to Ayurveda and cacao ceremonies, travel around the world to experience what wellness means to different cultures.
Virtually every culture has its own wellness rituals and practices. Some focus on healing the body while others are a more spiritual experience. Many are some sort of combination of the two.
Whatever it is you’re looking for, experience these wellness-focused traditions and treatments the next time you travel the world.
Japan’s onsens and hot springs
Located between major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, the prefectures of Toyama and Gifu offer plenty of wellness destinations. Bathe in onsens and hot springs while admiring the surrounding nature.
Situated by the seaside, Toyama is home to some of the most private and picturesque onsens in the country. Contemplate in quiet and tranquility at Unazuki Onsen or Omaki Hot Spring while feasting on the freshest seafood.
In Gifu, admire traditional Japanese architecture and historical sites as you relax and rejuvenate your body. Gero Onsen’s alkaline water is good for blood circulation and battling fatigue. Meanwhile, Yamashiro Onsen’s water is good for the joints, skin disease, and digestion problems.
India’s healing system of Ayurveda
Still heavily practiced in India, Ayurveda originated 3,000 years ago. The traditional system of medicine is based on the idea that “disease is due to an imbalance or stress in a person’s consciousness.”
Ayurveda aims to restore balance to a person’s unique constitution. This is done through a combination of a special diet, herbal remedies, massage therapy, yoga, and meditation as prescribed by an Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner.
In the Himalayas, the destination spa called Ananda follows the ancient processes and philosophies of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Vedanta. The experts there can assess what individuals need for holistic wellness and curate a programme specially for them.
Also originating from the Himalayas of Nepal and India, later spread by Tibetans, singing bowls are now used as a form of sound healing. According to Healthline, the sound is used to deepen meditation and promote relaxation.
Central and South America’s cacao ceremonies
Cacao ceremonies originate all the way back to Mayan and Aztec traditions in Central and South America. With intention and openness, the ceremonial cacao may uplift one’s mood. Releasing negative emotions, the ceremony allows us to connect with ourselves and with all of life on this planet.
At Cala Luna, a boutique hotel in Costa Rica, you can experience a healing cacao ceremony. The ceremony happens in the center of the property’s labyrinth which spans over more than 2.5 acres of land. “Cacao is scientifically proven to cleanse and strengthen the heart thanks to the ton of magnesium it holds,” the hotel’s website states.
“Native shamanic tools like drumming, feather cleansing, smudging, medicinal cacao, and shamanic sound journeys with didgeridoo, ancestral songs, and flutes are used.”
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