What Is an Oriental Spa?

by Melissa Sherrard

Part of Asian ideology states that a conscious and moderate desire to be beautiful is valid, not vain. Modern Oriental spas offer a variety of personal care services and are often visited for hours at a time by patrons seeking multiple treatments. Oriental spas sometimes even have minimum stay requirements because they believe achieving a sense of balance within one's self takes more than just a couple hours of rest and relaxation.

Spa Services

Each Oriental spa offers its own therapeutic, relaxation and beautification services that can often be tailored to every client's requests. While a myriad of massages are most commonly associated with Oriental spas, a number of other physical relaxation treatments such as exercise classes, mediation sessions and dermatological services are available to guests. All services administered at Oriental spas have a sleek, minimalistic approach that is characteristic of Asian culture.

Atmosphere

A relaxing and inviting atmosphere is an essential element to every Oriental spa. Secluded, hushed atmospheres, soft lighting and color palettes and organic components such as live potted plants or running water are abundantly found in Oriental spas, reflecting Asian influences of simplicity yet again. Everything about the décor and architecture of Oriental spas is intentional, and guests are secluded from phones and other administrative aspects of the spa.

Cultural Influences

Modern Oriental spas feature a rich mixture of Asian cultures and practices. Inspiration drawn from Ayurvedic (Indian), shiatsu (Japanese), tui-na (Chinese) and other Eastern philosophies are often blended together in Western Oriental spas to create a distinctly Asian atmosphere and experience. Exotic and specialized techniques, such as Thai massages, water relaxation therapies and guided meditation sessions, are just a few of the services offered by spas that tout an Oriental influence.

Spirituality & Mysticism

Achieving spiritual growth is essential in Oriental spas across the globe, as ancient Asian practices teach that body care is one of many routes to a higher sense of self. Everything physical component, from the hands-on service to the subdued décor, holds a deeper spiritual meaning and is meant to aid guests along their personal journey. Some mystic practices observed by Oriental spas are food offerings, candle-lit alters and private meditation spaces.

Misconceptions

Many first-time guests to Oriental spas admit to having some previous misconceptions about what goes on in Oriental spas. While some establishments have been proven to provide illegal sex services or environments for drug use, most Oriental spas do not fall into these misconceptions and simply provide a private oasis for individuals seeking stress relief and relaxation. Minimal research into the Oriental spa you're considering attending should ease any concerns of possible illegal practices.

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About the Author

Melissa Sherrard acquired her Bachelor of Science in public relations from the University of Florida in 2007 and has been writing professionally ever since. She also has extensive hands-on experience planning weddings and other private functions. She has created original print materials including announcements, invitations and programs for weddings, corporate events and private functions.