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Anantara Chiang Mai Resort Introduces Ancient Northern Thai Healing Practices

New treatments inspired by region’s Lanna culture

Drawing on Northern Thailand’s centuries-old massage and aromatherapy techniques, Anantara Chiang Mai Resort (Thailand), recently introduced two rare healing therapies, Yam Khang ($124, 60 minutes) and Yajoo ($109, 90 minutes). Both have historic roots that connect guests with the region’s rich Lanna heritage.

An ancient Lanna tradition, Yam Khang or Thai Fire Therapy is considered a sacred art in which the therapist is required to have gained a high spiritual maturity. The treatment is performed using only the feet, which are first bathed in a healing oil infused with mixed local herbs. The therapist then slips her foot onto an iron plough shear or khang that has been heated over an open fire. While skillfully balanced, she massages the guest with just one foot.

Farming communities in northern Thailand with a strong tradition of rice cultivation have relied on the cast iron plough for centuries. It is attributed with mystical properties while also being considered a necessary part of farming life. Because the Yam Khang treatment uses an open fire, it is offered outside next to the resort’s pool on the banks of the Ping River.

The Yajoo treatment incorporates the healing powers of local herb plai to ease tension and relax guests. A heated herbal poultice, featuring a fragrant aroma, is pressed along the body to soothe pain and reduce inflammation. A plai oil massage follows, concluding with a light head massage and Tok Sen, which involves a wooden hammer being tapped along the Sen energy line. It helps to relax the muscles, heal chronic pain, and improve the pathways of the nervous system. The treatment also features a relaxing foot soak.   

Anantara Chiang Mai blends contemporary design with traditional hospitality ad old-world charm. Its location on the Mae Ping River lets guests explore the temple-filled old city, Lanna heritage, artisan villages, mountain hill tribes, and more.

About The Author

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent,,,, and, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.