A question of health

20 July 2000

The main reason why guests go to Chiva-Som? Apart from the obvious which is de-stressing, more Europeans cite losing weight as their main objective while more Asians merely want to be pampered.

Chiva-Som has a medical department which practises holistic medicine. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and acupressure are offered. Iridology - the study of the eyes - is sought after.

Unique to Chiva-Som is equilibropathy, a system of therapy aimed to help balance the body's energy flows and practised by a Western-trained Thai doctor.

The spa had looked at other therapies such as colonic cleansing but decided to give that a miss "because it is not really natural", said managing director Naphalai Areesorn.

It has also looked at offering plastic surgery, a booming business in Thailand which boasts some of the world's top plastic surgeons, but decided to steer clear of that as well.

It does however work with clinics to offer rest and recuperation for their patients.

It has 230 staff, including a full medical team.

Naphalai said getting quality staff was a problem - which is why Chiva-Som is building its own school in Hua Hin, to be completed year end, to train therapists for the industry.

Naphalai said Chiva-Som at Toress Novas would offer a European-style ambience "but the Thai touch will be there; we will be sending in Thai therapists".

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