Malaysia: Traditional Spa Techniques for Weary Traveler

Laura Maudlin - Feb 27, 2012
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For a truly unique Asian spa experience, there is no better place to experience age-old Malay traditions, culture and spa treatments than Tanjong Jara Spa Village, located at the award-winning Tanjong Jara Resort. The 5-star resort is situated along the beautiful east cost of Peninsular Malaysia, between Kuala Terengganu in the North and Kuantan in the South.

Traditional Healing Art

The resort embraces the traditions of Malaysia and the concept of Sucimurni where every breath taken is one of pure refreshment, a relaxation of the soul and a pure journey towards revival. It emphasizes tranquility and purity of spirit through wholesome living.

Breezes from the South China Sea fan inland past the resort's sandy beach to the only luxury spa in the world focusing on the traditional Malay healing arts. Spa Village is seamlessly integrated with the resort and is dedicated to combining the therapeutic properties of natural local ingredients and the innate healing practices of the local area.

The complex of structures, gardens and pools, houses a therapy centre featuring programs for relaxation, reinvigoration and stress relief based on traditional healing methods. Spa Village honors the ancient heritage of the Malay healing tradition and provides a subtle and authentic taste of the region throughout the treatments.

Malay Treatments

The signature pre-treatment ritual is the Mandi Bunga, a ceremony that originated in royal palaces where it was part of the formal procedure in the coronation of a new king. The concept is to rid the body of negative energies as well as a coming of age celebration. It is administered to Malay couples seven days before their wedding day takes place.

The process involves the therapist rinsing the participants bodies 7 times with 7 different sources of fresh water; rain, river, stream, spring, waterfall, lake and well water. The water has 7 different blessings – purity, sincerity, health, beauty, happiness, prosperity and longevity and are stored in 175 year old jars which were recovered from the Desaru shipwreck.

For a Malay signature experience, the Asam Roselle is the perfect choice. This relaxing massage and scrub body treatment uses the red Roselle plant as the main ingredient. The flower contains a high amount of Vitamin C along with possessing fruit acids, calcium, iron, potassium as well as antosianin. The flower was introduced to Malaysia from India more than three centuries ago and it has long been used in traditional medicine and local delicacies and is known to be highly beneficial for one's kidneys.

The technique of the traditional Malay massage consists of long kneading strokes that focus on the muscles, and pressure applied to various points on the body. With a history of more than a thousand years, the practices are believed to have their origins in the convergence of Malay, Arab, Indian and Chinese influences during the days of the Malacca Sultanate. These unique restorative Malay treatments have been handed down from generation to generation, ensuring their authenticity, and therapeutic value.

By Joseph Kelly (PR Executive for YTL Hotels)

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