BodyConscious, Bangkok’s most recent addition to the holistic wellness scene offers something spectacularly different from your usual spa day which would probably usually consist of a massage, a manicure or a shave. For BodyConscious, the real aim of the game is found in its name: to be conscious, and aware, of the inner-workings of your body. And that is your true ticket to freedom!

Hero, featured and other images: BodyConscious

From the long list of different services on offer – anything from IV infusions, nutrition consultations and 3D body scans to facial rejuvenation treatments, reflexology, physiotherapy and breathwork, we opted for a programme that most city-dwellers could probably use: Mindfulness & Stress Resilience Coaching.

Our recent visit saw us cozied up in a large white leather chair, feeling very special and heard, with a view overlooking the Bangkok skyline and ‘HeartMath’ equipment placed in front of us.  We slowed down in awe as we watched the peaks and troughs of our breath. It’s quite something to be able to look at your breath, or what clinical experts refer to as heart rate variability.

When stress levels are high, you can see it on the screen before you: the line is jagged with zig-zags whether it rises or falls; but the minute you pay attention to your breath, and are mindful of it, your breath becomes smoother and gradually the line rises and falls with ease and you feel the stress die down. Such ‘mindfulness’ courses are now being adopted by something like 70% of the US Fortune 500 companies as there seems to be real health-related research backing the benefits of, well, steady breathing.

An hour with Dr. Yinhsu Liu, a Taiwan-born and US raised Naturopathic Physician ensured us that we only really needed one tool to combat stress, and that was an awareness of our breath. Meditation can be hard because you cannot always see the effects of it before you; but by using technology to view your breath, you are more likely to succeed and indeed be more ‘body conscious’ and living in your body as opposed to slowly killing it through your disconnection from it. The HeartMath piece of equipment BodyConscious uses is currently not available at any hospitals or wellness centers across Thailand, par, perhaps Chiva Som.

Dr. Liu (middle) and the BodyConscious team

Although many of BodyConscious’ programmes seem to, on the surface, cater to a demographic wishing to lose weight, stay fit and look young, with signature programmes such as Cleanse Me, Shrink Me, Tone Me, Fix Me and Renew Me, a closer look at the centre would lead us to think they are offering much more in the long run in the form of holistic wellness. Sadly, it is the case with many that we only begin to pay attention to our body when we start focusing upon the way we look and not for health-related reasons, so BodyConscious is smart in creating programmes that on the surface may play to our vanity. But once you start feeling good, and feeling the effects of what paying attention to your health can actually cause, you’re hooked.

Fitness room at BodyConscious

We are completely behind what BodyConscious is trying to do. The vibe is a wellness centre with the level of professionalism you’d find in a hospital and programmes backed by real scientific research, but with a friendlier and more palatable face. Basically, if hospitals scare you, come here instead.

BodyConscious offers a wide range of body and mind treatments spanning across functional medicine, naturopathic medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, functional physiotherapy and personalised fitness services with a small functional gym located inside. If you decide to try it out, we highly recommend a sit-down consultation with Dr. Liu to establish your needs and also, Acupuncture + Sound Healing or Cupping (THB 2,600) as well as a Private Qi Gong or Tai Chi session (THB 1,600).

IV Drip room

Those recovering from sport injuries should opt for ‘Fix Me’ (THB 67,000), a 4-week programme that aims to correct musculoskeletal problems to relieve pain and improve mobility and function; or, the special Office Syndrome Recovery programme (THB 10,167) that relieves the tension and pain caused by the repetitive positions and movements those who are at their desk for the majority of the day are likely to get. If you work in an office and are currently experiencing headaches, nechaches, shoulder tension and/or back pain, give it a go because you’re worth it and nothing is worth your pain.

BodyConscious was set up by Destination Spa Management Ltd. (DSM), a Hong Kong-registered global wellness management company that has developed over 30 concepts in 9 countries. the company also has offices in London, UK, and Guangzhou, China.  It is presently the managing partner of the award-winning Atmantan Wellness Resort in Pune, India, Honour Tree Peak Performance centres in London, UK and Svarga Loka Eco Wellness Resort in Ubud, Bali.

BodyConscious, Y Wellness, 7th Floor, Column Bangkok Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 16, 10110, Bangkok. Open Tue-Sat, 10am-7pm, +662 302 2861, www.bodyconsciousbkk.com

Catherine Napalai Faulder
Catherine is Bangkok born and bred and knows the angles of the city and its people very personally. You'll often catch her writing about the upsides of Thainess, the richness and diversity of Bangkok's third cultures and the true meaning of wellness.