Sometimes the body is put under a lot of strain when travelling: Hiking, cycling, horse riding or even just being shaken up in the car – it’s exhausting. All the better when there are pleasant opportunities to do something good for the body!
In addition to massages of various styles that are available in many places, you can also try a basic body check from a different medical direction – Tibetan medicine and Ayurveda are known to look at people holistically and possibly offer a solution to existing problems. Also there is the so-called medical tourism, where people go on a longer stay abroad because of inexpensive alternatives or different healing methods – or even just use part of the journey for this. As we have no medical background, we do not make any recommendations, but we are happy to take care of the infrastructure for your trip. Everything we list here is at a level that will not cause any aggravation. We are only pointing out possibilities. However, it is essential to consult your local doctor, especially in the case of major health problems!
In addition to massages, there are also other ways to make your body feel good. Perhaps there is something here that appeals to you – we will be happy to arrange it!
Die tibetische Medizin erfordert eine sehr lange Ausbildung um die Störungen im menschlichen Körper zu erkennen und dann zu behandeln. Man geht davon aus, dass Krankheiten eine Folge von Disharmonie im Körper sind und diese muss man dann wieder ausgleichen. Üblicherweise wird das per Pulsdiagnose gemacht – wir haben diverse Pulse im Handgelenk die zu den Organen führen. Die geübte Hand erkennt Unregelmäßigkeiten und bestimmt diese näher mit Fragen (z.B. ist nur erkennbar, dass es Störungen im Darm gibt, aber nicht, ob es Durchfall oder Verstopfung ist). Nach Diagnose gibt es Medizin aus Kräutermischungen. Diese haben den Vorteil keine Nebenwirkungen zu haben (ich kenne inzwischen viele Leute, die Medizin einnahmen – und es hat tatsächlich noch niemand negatives berichtet) – im ungünstigen Fall passiert einfach nichts. Es ist also definitiv eine interessante Erfahrung – und manchmal auch eine Heilung.
Ayurveda is well known in India – but many of the population swear by conventional Western medicine. This means that pharmacies and doctors with Western medicine can be found everywhere, while Ayurvedic offers have to be looked for specifically. Nonetheless, if it suits you and is of interest, it’s worth giving it a try. Our experiences are:
In the Soviet Union, workers were given spa holidays for general regeneration, education and leisure. These were particularly common where there were hot springs or other healing natural resources. Some of these sanatoriums are still active today, especially those near Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan. A visit to a sanatorium is a kind of curiosity in itself – if you are interested, we will be happy to organise it for you! However, knowledge of Russian is very helpful, or at least a good knowledge of translation programmes. You can find a report about a stay at a sanatorium in Cholpon Ata/Kyrgyzstan on my blog here and here.
Dental treatment has become very expensive in some countries. In this area in particular, there are some travellers who use their stay abroad for dental treatment. Either you know people who have already been successfully treated by certain dentists – or you carefully check internet reviews. If you are considering planning such a visit into your trip, we will be happy to support you. If you have an unexpected dental problem, please contact us or the guide(s) so that it can be quickly remedied.
Massage services are available almost everywhere, at least in cities and some resorts. Some salons offer different massage techniques, some specialise in Ayurveda massages, for example. The offer also ranges from shorter massages for individual body parts to 90 – 120 minute full body massages. Some practitioners have magic hands, others are more average. The facilities also vary from the simplest to the most tastefully decorated rooms. Especially after trekking or a long, bumpy car journey, a massage is a wonderful thing. Please let us know if you are interested!
There are hot springs in various parts of our travel destinations – from the more famous ones in Tbilisi, Georgia, to many opportunities in Kyrgyzstan and various places in the Himalayas. In Tbilisi you can also have a rub-down and massage. In some places in India, unfortunately, the hot springs are not pleasantly treated everywhere – so if you read about the existence of some, it’s better not to look forward to a relaxing warm time. But that doesn’t apply to everywhere – in other places it’s a pleasure to get into the hot water. In some communal pools you have to wear swimwear – please ask in advance if necessary or pack a swimsuit/shorts anyway!
One of the best ways to get to know the India of women is to visit the Beauty Parlour. Those with a some money are more likely to be found here, those with less scrape together their savings for special occasions and put themselves in the hands of experienced women for a makeover. The main focus here is on hair (washing, cutting, colouring, styling, removing hair from legs, arms, eyebrows, etc.), skin (facials, manicures, pedicures, etc.) and colour (make-up, nail polish, Mehndi). Some of the methods used are the same as ours, while others have their own very interesting procedures (e.g. eyebrows are plucked with a thread). One thing is guaranteed: a treatment is an experience, the result is convincing and, depending on the desired service, also very relaxing. We are in contact with local beauty parlours in various places with a predominantly local clientele and staff who speak English.
The same applies to Nepal – though we have no experience in our other destinations.
In India and Nepal, women usually go to the beauty parlour for a haircut (although we would recommend the men’s hairdresser for short hairstyles), while men go to the men’s hairdresser. There are big differences in the establishment – from a simple chair on the street to an A/C salon, everything is there. However, the quality is very good everywhere. Hair is cut and/or shaved at a reasonable price – followed by a head massage if you like. Entrust yourself to these experienced hands, have your face lathered and your beard hair removed (don’t worry, there’s never any blood) and/or your hair trimmed!
A visit to the hairdresser is also recommended in the post-Soviet countries, where haircuts are also good and cheap. However, there are also many more salons for women.
Mehndis are patterns painted with henna on the arms and hands that last for up to two weeks, depending on aftercare and activities, and then disappear again. The Mehndis are applied to the skin with a special cone and then left to dry for several hours. Depending on the shape of the body and the desired painting surface, the “painter” usually decides which patterns she finds most suitable during the painting process. Wishes can of course be expressed. Many women have also mastered this art, but they have not made it their profession, but use it to supplement their earnings. The prerequisites are a steady hand, an aesthetic sense and a knowledge of many patterns. The Mehndi painter is delighted to have her skills recognised. But other Indian women are also likely to take a closer look at your hand/arm and laugh in a friendly manner. They like it when travellers appreciate something from their culture. We are happy to arrange a Mehndi painter for you when and where you wish – but only in India and Nepal.