Well­being retreats exclusively focused on helping individuals develop and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

A trend that has recently emerged and is fast gaining popularity is medical tourism, where people travel abroad for medical as well as aesthetic treatments. Large hospitals In India and Thailand, for instance, can perform hip and knee replacements at a fraction of what it costs in the United States, the United Kingdom or in many other Western countries.

What’s more, many of these hospitals in Asia are fully integrated with spas, and we are witnessing today the advent of a chic new medispa concept where healthcare arid hospitality are linked; where patients are now guests, and where patient-centred medicine and people-centred care are priorities.

Medispas like these combine the most sophisticated medical diagnostic equipment and techniques with up-to-the minute cosmetic procedures, luxurious spa facilities and services, all led by multi-disciplinary teams of medically qualified doctors, healthcare professionals, traditional practitioners and other wellness experts such as nutritionists and dieticians.

Destination spas are on the increase too. These well­being retreats are exclusively focused on helping individuals develop and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle through a combination of nutritious spa cuisine workshops, comprehensive programmes of fitness and stress reduction classes, therapeutic spa treatments and life-enhancing seminars. Many destination spas also conduct specialized therapy sessions on stress management, smoking cessation, visualization, hypnosis, writing workshops and other healing and energising modalities. In an environment exclusively geared towards fitness, healthy eating, relaxation and renewal, these destination spas are delivering the results sophisticated clients demand. In fact, research has shown that people who routinely visit destination spas are fitter, happier, healthier, more alert and more agile than regular vacationers.

The rise of a more holistic and life-enhancing spa model is undoubtedly fuelled by the gross inadequacies of traditional Western healthcare systems, and our need to reduce the stress that is induced by the modern world.

Instead of treating specific symptoms, this new paradigm embraces a preventive approach to healthcare by treating the body and mind as one. Whether people travel between countries or within their own countries for spa escapes, they are seeking cutting edge medical and wellness treatments at competitive prices.

Whether the purpose of a visit to a medispa or a stylish destination retreat is for clinical medical procedures, cosmetic dentistry, dermatology or spiritual-oriented therapies, the ultimate goal of achieving a balanced, vibrant mind and body is the same, and this growing phenomenon set to change the way healthcare is perceived across the world.