With their new integrative medical services and a range of intensive wellness immersions, Amanpuri in Phuket guarantees complete nourishment of body and soul. By Mitrajit Bhattacharya
It was one of those unplanned trips. A quick phone call, and there I was, on a midnight GoAir direct flight from Mumbai to Phuket. My stay for the duration of the trip was at the luxury beachfront resort of Amanpuri, nestled in a coconut grove overlooking the turquoise Andaman sea. Having earlier stayed at various Aman properties, including the iconic ones at Venice and Tokyo, I was looking forward to spending a few nights at their flagship property in Phuket that has been in operation since 1988. Each Aman experience is handcrafted to perfection, as per the location and the requirements of the guest. This time, my agenda was to check out their holistic wellness programme that was introduced at the property earlier this year.
At its revolutionary new Holistic Wellness Centre at Amanpuri, the hotel group has added integrative medical services as well as intensive wellness immersions to the entire experience. This is the brand’s first resort to provide medical services, run by a certified medical team from the world-class health and sports resort of Thanyapura. Amanpuri’s integrative medical services fall into three broad categories: anti-ageing and preventive medicine, aesthetic, and sports performance. The medical team works alongside and complements the treatments of Aman’s renowned experts, who are well-versed in ancient healing techniques and alternative therapies, and include chiropractors, nutritionists, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and Ayurvedic physicians.
Guests who embark on a journey of medical therapy at Amanpuri are first assessed by a doctor, during a comprehensive diagnostic consultation. This might include live blood analysis, food intolerance or micronutrient blood tests, performance blood tests, a heavy- metal OligoScan, and urine Indican testing. Analysis of all test results, along with in-depth discussions regarding lifestyle and personal goals, lead to the prescription of specific medical treatments as part of a bespoke wellness programme. A personalised nutrition plan is also created by Amanpuri’s naturopaths and experienced raw/vegan chefs. I had the chance to sample a specially curated wellness menu for lunch at the Italian restaurant, Arva.
Medical services offered at Amanpuri include Intravenous (IV) Nutrient Infusion Therapy, Chelation injections, Nebido and Genotropin hormone injections, a personalised supplement plan, colon hydrotherapy, cryotherapy, CoolSculpting, physiotherapy, High Intensity Laser
(HIL) therapy, radio frequency therapy, ultrasound therapy, red light therapy, non-invasive High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) facials, Botox injections, chemical peel, and cosmetic acupuncture. TCM services include Traditional Herbal Medicine, Traditional Acupuncture, Acu-Laser Therapy, Moxibustion and Cupping, while Ayurvedic therapies range from a four-handed Abhyanga oil massage to Shirodhara (the gentle pouring of warm oil onto the forehead and over the scalp). DNA Lifestyle Genetic Analysis and basic wellness gene tests are also provided.
A Japanese by origin who was educated in the US, Shinichi Kiyose is the Spa and Wellness Director at Amanpuri, and also an expert in TCM. While taking me through the facilities, he informed, “Our HIFU facials work on ultrasound mechanism that lasts for just 45-60 minutes. The results include lifting of cheeks, correcting eye lines, and more. These are conducted under a doctor’s supervision. Patients can go back the very next day. And since these are non-invasive, the operations are completely safe, as well.”
The CoolSculpting, Kiyose added, “Helps to lose fat at specific parts of the body. The machine freezes the fat cells, and once the fat cells get crystalised, the body naturally processes it. The fat then goes away, week by week. One can see the results in four to six months. In the beginning, the area turns reddish, and within four weeks, you see that the fat in the applied area has dissipated. Yet again, we have set protocols under the strict guidance of doctors.”
Targeted and tailored to the finest detail, the Intensive Wellness Immersions offer a variety of ‘pathways’—stress management, weight management, transformation and detox, and cleansing are all offered as both original and intensive immersions. Whereas, sports recovery, rehabilitation and rejuvenation, and optimal wellbeing are exclusively intensive. All immersions include daily spa treatments, private movement classes, specialist therapies, and comprehensive nutritional plans.
“Focusing on women, we have Thermiva that works on rejuvenating women’s reproductive systems by ultrasound. It’s just a 60-minute treatment, but the effect lasts for one to three
months. One normally needs three such treatments as part of the course,” Kiyose elaborated. He further added, “We also have the Ozone Therapy machines that are meant to oxygenate the blood. We take out 200ml of blood, oxygenate the same, and put the blood back in. It’s an intense and effective treatment, good for even active sportspeople. One can start feeling the effects the very next day.”
Besides medical services, the wellness centre continues to offer specialist health and beauty treatments alongside energy healing. Options include cranial sacral therapy, mind training, Chi Nei Tsang (internal organ chi massage), connective tissue massage, and reconnective healing and lymphatic drainage massage, among other treatments. Amanpuri’s wellness menu also features an array of practices to strengthen the connection between body and mind—from mindfulness coaching and guided meditation, to Tai Chi (internal Chinese martial art) and Qigong (breathing exercises related to Tai Chi).
Situated at the heart of the property, the Amanpuri Holistic Wellness Centre has, in addition to the new medical services, a 12-suite Aman Spa with infrared saunas, hydrotherapy areas and a finishing salon. There is also a two-storey hilltop fitness centre, with a Pilates studio, Muay Thai (Thai kick-boxing) studio with a boxing ring, yoga pavilions, a glass-walled gym and a juice bar.
Before I left for my signature Aman spa treatment, Kiyose showed me their special spa therapy bottles. Developed by the group over the past three years, these come in three lines of products—“grounding” to relax, “purifying” to detox, and “nourishing”, as the name suggests, to nourish. All Aman properties across the world offer the same products now, depending on the specific spa therapy they provide. The beautiful bottles have been developed by the famed Japanese designer and architect Kengo Kuma, who has also designed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Dome.
Acupuncture: 60min/90min 5,500/6,500 THB (INR 12,800/15,100)
Blood Test – Advance Performance 19,000 THB (INR 44,200) (Male/Female)
[Result in 2-3 days]
Blood Test – Food Intolerance 23,000 THB (INR 53,500)
[Result in a week]
Heavy Metal Test (Oligoscan) 5,000 THB (INR 11,600)
[Takes 15 mins, the result comes right away]
Intravenous (IV) Nutrient Infusion Therapy 8,000 THB (INR 18,600)
[60-90 mins for each category]
CoolSculpting 20,000 THB (INR 46,500)
[45 mins for each area of the body]