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Health Hacks

Disconnecting from everyday pressures gives you time to reboot. Physically, your body lets go of chronic tension, initiating a mini-detox and essential self-healing. Mentally, your brain de-stresses, and this psychological space can throw up solutions to problems, bring creative ideas to the fore and maximize sleep quality.

Relaxing is good for your heart and immune system, memory and decision-making, mood and weight loss. However, like all valuable skills, relaxing needs to be practiced, and when you’re on the road, spas are your secret weapon. After your long transpacific journey, book into your favorite hotel spa for a little – or a lot of – guided relaxation targeted to your specific needs, and ideally learn some new habits to take home.

Detox in Hong Kong

In the heart of Mongkok, the Cordis Hong Kong combines fitness, pool time and hydrotherapy with your spa visit. Earn your spa indulgence in the gym or doing laps in the rooftop pool, before continuing the detoxing process with the Chuan Tao of Detox. From movement to enforced stillness and silence, don’t fight the downtime while you’re cocooned in a warm wrap – instead let your thoughts ebb and drift. The following back, neck and shoulder massage targets typical tensions, and the facial refreshes skin and mind for an all-over rejuvenation.

Tip: Exercise and stillness activate feel-good endorphins and detox the brain.

With a bit more time, head out of the city into the verdant New Territories to find Fivelements Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy. The Balinese-themed spa offers half-day or all-day programs. The four-hour Detox Rejuvenation works on internal organ and digestive cleansing via a Dan Tien abdominal massage, a powerful experience if you’ve never had one before. It’s followed by the Black Diamond Detox combo of body exfoliation with toxin-absorbing, mineral-rich carbonized black bamboo powder, as well as a massage. Feeling squeaky clean you’ll then get a taster of the spa’s phenomenal living cuisine as a lunch or post-treatment dinner.

Tip: A body scrub is an easy way to feel cleansed from head to toe.

Sleep in Singapore

We all know how important sleep is to a quality waking life. At The Fullerton Spa, within the stunning neoclassical Fullerton Hotel Singapore, the Sleep Deeply treatment coaxes the mind to switch off and prepares the body for a deep slumber. The blissfully unhurried two-hour massage uses soothing Swedish and neuromuscular techniques, enhanced by a calming oil blend of vetivert and camomile. Give in to the gentle strokes and aromatherapy and for best results, book your treatment for just before bedtime.

Tip: Relaxing downtime just before bed markedly improves the quality of your sleep.

For some real time out, the ESPA at Resorts World Sentosa tempts you onto Singapore’s holiday island for its day-long De-Stress programs, combining fitness, nutritious meals and juice shots. Peppered with sleep-inducing treats, stay at the Beach Villas and check in for your lifestyle and skin analysis consultations before embarking on your two treatments a day, like the cleansing, calming hammam ritual and stress-relieving scalp and shoulder massage. You’ll be given a sleep-promoting aromatherapy blend and unlimited time in the Sleep Zone too.

Tip: A few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow helps nudge you into sleep.

Jet Lag Recovery in Shanghai

At the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, even if you arrive mentally stressed and jet lagged, you can’t help but feel rejuvenated after its Reconnect Ritual. This starts with your body being cosseted in a warm wrap, literally hugging you with TLC healing. Next is one of the most mentally relaxing treatments around: Shirodhara is the pouring of warm oil on the “third eye” and feels like it is actually massaging your brain. Finally, the Hydro Quench Facial breathes life into your complexion. You’re pretty much guaranteed to nod off during one or all of these treatments.

Tip: Short naps boost your performance and mood without impacting sleep.

Meanwhile, the Mandarin Oriental Pudong’s Ban Ri Xian Half Day Reviver combines a body composition analysis (it’s always motivating to know where you stand on the wellness scale), with a tough love PT session that takes into account your current state of wellbeing and offers a tailor-made workout. The recovery massage and hydrating facial are the sweet treats, and the combo creates an ideal way to shake off jet lag.

Tip: Exercising can help beat time-zone tiredness and reset your clock.

De-stress in Kuala Lumpur

Relinquishing your phone for some spa time may have you sweating (in a bad way) to begin with, but ultimately it will be refreshing. At the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, the Digital Detox Retreat gently relieves you of your gadgets, before a scrub and massage focuses on your head, neck and shoulder muscles while your brain clears. It will then be in a receptive state for the mindfulness activities that follow, such as journaling, doodling or coloring. It may sound childish, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

Tip: An enjoyable, creative pastime with no pressure or deadline releases stress.

A short drive out of the city, The Chateau Spa & Organic Wellness Resort offers a Stress Relief program that ranges from two to seven nights. The five-night version includes stress management counseling, while the seven-night program adds horseback riding. Add La Santé Spa treatments, such as the de-stressing seaweed peat ritual herbal baths and salt grotto mud treatments, plus classes in yoga, breathing, chanting, meditation and yoga nidra (yogic sleep) to accompany your stay.

Tip: Slowing your breathing can minimize stress in seconds.

All of the Above in Manila

At the Fairmont Makati’s Willow Stream Spa the Executive Retreat is a two-hour soothing massage that encourages a quick nap and relaxes tension held in the upper and lower back. The therapist will use hot compresses aiding detoxification, and stretches to exercise the body and increase flexibility. Using sampaguita oil for a natural uplifting effect, stress will diminish while energy levels will be boosted.

Tip: The power of touch is proven to decrease stress and promote wellbeing.

Take a drive out of the city to The Farm at San Benito, where its Wellness Experience program harnesses the important regimens of nutrition and hydration, exercise and sleep, detoxification and relaxation for graceful aging. Tailor-made for your specific needs and for as many nights as you have time for, consultations and lab diagnostics point to the best combination of medical techniques, natural therapies, exercise and diet.

Tip: Wellness leads to quality of life, vitality, contentment and happiness.