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At a time when the “LOHAS” trend (LOHAS means “Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability”) has become popular throughout the world, Taiwan offers you an endless number of ways, with an Oriental flair and a uniquely Taiwanese character, to stay healthy. Come to Taiwan and feel “LOHAS” the Taiwanese way, in the island’s cuisines, sports, leisure activities, and traditional health care therapies.
In Taiwan, you can give your taste buds a treat and stay healthy at the same time by enjoying your fill of medicinal foods and healthful organic cuisine. If you are anxious to achieve a physical and mental balance, then you might try yoga, Zen meditation, martial arts, or Tai Chi to bring you tranquility the Oriental way. If you just want to relax a bit during your trip, then a visit to one of Taiwan’s popular spas, a soak in a hot spring bath, or a soothing cup of traditional tea might be just the thing for you. If you want to experience the Chinese medical treatment that is receiving ever more attention around the world, then Taiwan will provide you with a health-travel environment of the highest quality. This brochure introduces Taiwan’s rich variety of health-giving resources so that you can experience, in the most relaxed and natural way possible, the island’s health culture and leisure travel at the same time.
Zen meditation can revitalize you and make you feel almost reborn. You can see temples all over Taiwan, and many of them have meditation rooms that visitors can use. Some offer meditation classes, and even overnight accommodation. Many of these meditation areas are located in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful natural scenery—the perfect place for you to harmonize your body and purify your soul.
This unique method of strengthening the body and curing illness is an ancient Chinese way to health. In general, its practice is meant to harmonize the mind, breath, and body. Qigong is supposed to free you of random thoughts, paving the way for emptying the mind and relaxing the body. Harmonizing the breath means breathing from the abdomen, and harmonizing the body means achieving a state of relaxation and tranquility whether standing, sitting, or lying down. According to the theory of Chinese medicine, people become ill because the free circulation of blood and breath is blocked, and needs to be opened up. This is what the practice of Qigong is supposed to do.
Tai Chi Chuan has been proven beneficial to mental and physical health, and is achieving international popularity. It is extremely easy, and just about free, to study Tai Chi Chuan in Taiwan, with teachers giving instruction in public parks, community activity centers, and schools. Tai Chi emphasizes relaxation, and exercises every part of the body with slow and graceful movements that can improve the sense of balance, enhance cardiopulmonary function, lower blood pressure, alleviate melancholy, and strengthen the immune function. Scientific research carried out in America also shows that it consumes 280 calories an hour, making it capable of “weight reduction without sweat.”
The fashion for yoga in Taiwan encompasses small class instruction, large yoga centers, and even vacation spots. International yoga groups have come in; True Yoga, for example, gives instruction at a 2,112-square-meter six-star facility in Taipei’s Xinyi District that is said to be the biggest yoga hall in Asia. Space Yoga also has a top-class facility in the same area. Near Hualien in the eastern part of Taiwan, the Promised Land Resort offers a yoga itinerary that emphasizes the slow life.
Taiwan offers a wide variety of spa services to fill all kinds of different needs. There is far more than just functional hydrotherapy on offer here; these services extend to cover the entire field of leisure esthetics, encompassing essential oils, aromatherapy, skin treatment, music, yoga, meditation, and everything else you need for a beautiful, relaxing, and healthful experience.
Each of Taiwan’s spas is unique, since it incorporates the resources of its particular local area. Vacation resorts are usually located in scenic spots; at Sun Moon Lake’s Lalu hotel, for example, you can enjoy a spa in the midst of splendid mountain and lake scenery. Club-type spas generally offer larger spaces and more functions, in health and leisure facilities all over Taiwan. There are also hotel spas, where you can enjoy accommodation, fine dining, leisure, and spa activities all at the same time as you replenish your energy and your spirit; an example of this is provided by the Being Spa chain, which offers services in the Tayih Landis of Tainan, Evergreen Laurel of Taipei, Splendor of Kaohsiung, Royal Zhiben , and Caesar Park in Kenting. Metropolitan type spas like the Orient Retreat and Canjune Spa go for efficiency with professional health products, hardware facilities, and massage techniques designed to produce a peaceful mood in the shortest time while protecting the skin and muscles and relaxing the body and mind.
Taiwan is known for its dense of hot springs (and rare cold mineral springs as well), with more than 100 hot-spring areas all over the island. This makes Taiwan one of the best places in the world for enjoying a healthful and relaxing soak in refreshing mineral waters. These springs can generally be divided into four types of water: sodium carbonate, sodium hydrocarbonate, sulfur, and pure-water. The different types have different chemical compositions that produce different therapeutic effects. Sodium carbonate springs contain carbon dioxide which generates bubbles on the skin, providing a slight massaging function; this type of spring can be found at Xiake in western Taiwan; Bulao, Baolai, and Sichongxi in southern Taiwan; and Zhiben, Green Island (Ludao), Wenshan, Jiaoxi, and Renze in eastern Taiwan. The cold springs of Su'ao also contain this kind of water. The most representative sodium hydrocarbonate springs, which lubricate the skin, are located at Wulai, Jiaoxi, and Zhiben.
Strongly acidic sulfur springs are located in the area of Yangmingshan and Beitou. Pure-water hot springs have a less simulative, moderate therapeutic effect; the Jinshan Hot Springs are of this type. The unusual “mud” springs of Guanziling in Tainan County are salty in nature.
Acupuncture has a history of several thousand years in China, and its effectiveness is widely recognized. Taiwan has a high-quality environment for this kind of treatment. Needles are inserted at acupoints to stimulate the nerves; sometimes, moxa is also burned on the acupoints to regulate physiological functions. The World Health Organization of the United Nations has determined that acupuncture is effective for a wide variety of ailments, including headache and stomachache. Since acupuncture is a medical procedure, be sure to choose a legal clinic for your needle treatment.
Foot massage uses stimulation of the feet to improve blood circulation and to remove wastes and toxins from the body. The human feet can directly affect the organs, and so massaging the feet makes the whole body feel comfortable and completely relaxed. The “Father Wu Foot Massage” is especially popular in Taiwan, and massage services are also provided by a foundation for the blind. Concentrations of foot-massage parlors offer their services in the area of Xingtian Temple, Section 2 of Zhongshan N. Rd., and Jiuquan St. in Taipei. A number of health clubs also provide the considerable pleasures of foot massage.
Naprapathy, or manipulation massage, is a passive exercise type of treatment that involves the use of the practitioner’s hands and arms to apply pressure to acupoints throughout the body with a variety of motions. It is used for treating ailments such as headache, neck pain, and algomenorrhea, and can aid the circulation of energy, enliven the joints, adjust cardiopulmonary function, and strengthen resistance—all making you feel relaxed and comfortable.