Phuket is blessed with a wide range of spas and massage centres, from dreamlike exotic spas in 5-star hotels to simple 3-bed massage parlors scattered across the island. A good hour-long Thai massage is excellent if you fancy a quick pampering session, while day-long treatments (massage, hydrotherapy, scrubs and wraps) appeal to those who want the full experience. While there are so many therapies to choose from, we've listed some of the best spa and massage treatments you can enjoy in Phuket.


    Beauty treatments

    Some spas in Phuket provide a full range of beauty services including facials, hair styling, manicures, and waxing. A nice feature in service-oriented Thailand is that these are often done with a spa-level of care. A haircut, for example, is often not just a haircut – you may get a short head, neck and shoulder massage while your hair is being washed, or before and after it's cut.


    Body scrubs and wraps

    Body scrubs and wraps help exfoliate, moisturize and freshen up the skin. Blends are often specially prepared to suit your skin condition, whether it's dry, oily or sunburned. Phuket spas often apply natural products such as turmeric, aloe vera, honey, kaffir lime, tropical fruits, mud, essential oil, or sea salt to the body.



    Hydrotherapy covers any sort of treatment that uses water, such as a soak in a whirlpool or a footbath. Hot and cool treatments are part of the therapy, which are believed to help tone the body, stimulate digestion, improve circulation and the immune system, as well as relieve muscle tension and pain.



    Reflexology originates from the belief that our hands and feet have reflex areas corresponding to every part of the body, including internal organs. By applying pressure to specific points, it can stimulate the organs and body systems, which promotes good health. Those who practice reflexology believe it even helps relieve headaches, sinus problems, breathing disorders, digestive problems, circulatory problems, and backaches.



    Shiatsu and acupressure are based on the principle of stimulating qi (flow of energy) through the body to relieve health problems and promote one's wellbeing. Using a combination of pressure and assisted-stretching techniques, the treatment helps improve circulation, release toxins and muscle tension, as well as give the recipient a relaxing and revitalizing experience.


    Steam and sauna

    A herbal steam bath and/or sauna session is usually done at the start of a spa treatment. It's believed to help open up the pores and get you into a relaxed state of mind. This experience also benefits one's health by stimulating circulation and ridding the body of toxins through sweating.


    Swedish massage

    A Swedish-style massage uses a blend of long strokes, kneading, friction, and tapping to help increase the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream and release toxins from the muscles. It is also believed to stimulate the skin and nervous system, as well as relieve nerves and feelings of stress.


    Thai massage

    Thai massage has been an integral part of traditional medicine in Thailand for thousands of years. The technique is derived from a blend of Ayurvedic and Chinese healing influences. A session can help increase flexibility, provide relief to tense muscles and joints, and give you a feeling of refreshment and renewal.

    Your masseuse will guide you into several stretching movements (similar to yoga postures) and apply pressure to points along the body. These pressure points are believed to be connected to energy channels that run through the body. Massaging them will help remove blockages and stimulate energy flow, which restores balance and health in the body.


    Total health and beauty programs in Phuket

    Many spas and resorts in Phuket go beyond the typical day spa experience by offering comprehensive programs to improve your health and wellbeing. Weight loss, detox, diet, stress relief, and physical healing are among the island's most common offerings. Massages and body treatments are paired with healthy cuisine, fitness regimens, physiotherapy, tai chi, yoga, and meditation. Some spas can even tailor-design a program to suit your needs.

    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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