Monday, 4 October 2010
Then he ushers us upstairs from the serene lobby to his office. His desk looks like something akin to a mad scientist's laboratory. And before I know it my hand is being placed on a gizmo called InnerAction. It is a black box about the size of my hand, covered in silver buttons on the top and side.
The computer monitor flickers to life and abstract shapes appear, rather ghostly. Then tinges of yellow, green, pink. 'I am studying your aura,' the fully qualified medical doctor says. 'The aura colour represents the personality of you.' Oh, ok. It finally settles on yellow/green.
I am told I have problems with my shoulders (I do - I carry the world on them!), and told to avoid ice cold drinks (I don't). He also tells me I use my brain to think too much. He then assigns me to a massage session which involves lying on a bed of hot sand for an Elements of Life treatment.
It was a weird sensation (not the tight blue nylon undies they gave me, I mean lying on a bed of sand.) It felt for all the world as though I was on the beach on a nice hot summer's day. Jing jing! Minus the skin cancer, of course.The massage was firm and soothing, not involving any of the usual human pretzel positions traditional Thai massage uses.
The lounge where you chill with a beautiful hot cup of tea afterward feels like a First Class boutique lounge, with a tempting array of healthy snacks and drinks. It is library quiet.
Talking with a bunch of grizzled and -- dare I say it -- cynical travel writers afterwards, I sensed they weren't taking this as seriously as I was. Many were writing it off as baloney, frankly. I had a foot in both camps.
But spa consultant Greg Morling set my thinking straight. 'It's just a different paradigm,' he says. 'It's several thousand years of them coming from that school of thought.' So, in other words, you believe it if you believe it, and you don't if you don't. Fair enough.
But you can't fault the experience which Morling rates as one of the top in Chiang Mai if not the world. And lying on a beach in Chiang Mai ... that doesn't happen every day. Think about it. But not too much ...