As more of the global population joins the middle class, wellness tourism is taking off as never before by combining beautiful destinations with activities that are good for the body and soul.
In Asia, the Philippines saw its rapidly developing wellness and medical tourism sector expand by 31 per cent a year between 2015 and 2017.
Compared with Thailand, India and Malaysia, the Philippines entered the medical tourism services industry relatively recently, in 2004.
At the time, the Philippines government endorsed an initiative to stimulate medical tourism called the Philippines Medical Tourism Programme, which included health and wellness in its scope.
The Farm at San Benito, in the Philippines, offers life transformative retreats and holistic medical wellness experiences that are evidence-based, science-based and results driven to heal and rejuvenatePreet Singh, general manager, The Farm at San Benito
The initiative has been embraced by the Philippines private sector, the Global Wellness Institute said in a report, The Global Wellness Tourism Economy.
The move allows hospitals to upgrade their facilities and take advantage of government incentives such as tax holidays and exemption of import duties for medical equipment.
One of the country's most famous luxury holistic wellness spas, The Farm at San Benito in Lipa, is a prime example of the melding of existing tourism infrastructure with the medical tourism initiative.
The Farm's programmes are carefully planned and conducted by internationally trained medical doctors and experts.Preet Singh
The resort has received 60 accolades over the years, ranging from the Asia Spa Awards for categories such as Medi-Spa of the Year in 2005 and 2006, Holistic Treatment of the Year in 2011, as well as Best Medical Wellness Resort in 2012 and 2013, handed out by the Senses Awards in Germany.
The property is an example of a holistic wellness retreat where programmes are supervised by licensed medical professionals, nutritionists, spa therapists, yoga teachers and fitness coaches.
A typical stay at The Farm includes a medical consultation with board-certified integrative doctors. Before arrival, guests complete a questionnaire about their health and habits to help the team make a proper assessment and trace the concern back to its source.
The discussion will also include the guest's health goals and what they can do to achieve them.
During check-in, guests are given a Live Blood Analysis, which sets off a domino effect of further tests and possible remedies for identified ailments.
For example, the blood analysis could reveal there are heavy metals in your system where the doctors would recommend a spectrophotometer scan to identify the metals and a range of treatments will be available to treat your condition right at your fingertips.
The world-class medical equipment combined with Alive!, an award-winning on-site vegan restaurant, means you will have no excuse not to address any wellness issues you may have.
It may be because Lipa is only about an hour's travel from the city, or that all of the activities in the calming interiors of The Farm are focused on health and well-being, but guests cannot help but unwind as they start their journey into mindfulness.
While vegan food, no matter how well prepared it is, may not be to everyone's taste, The Farm has opened PESCE, a pescatarian restaurant on its premises, giving patrons a bit more variety and choice when it comes to their meals.
Facilities at The Farm include the Acqua Sanctuary, which marries spa treatments and hydrotherapy.
The resort has also formed partnerships with health centres, such as European Wellness using principles of Swiss biological medicine, and international health care giant Cigna Global for its Living Life Well Clinic to provide holistic solutions to lifestyle problems, such as chronic health disorders, persistent pain and mental health conditions without the use of pharmaceutical drugs.
"The Farm at San Benito offers life transformative retreats and holistic medical wellness experiences that are evidence-based, science-based and results driven to heal and rejuvenate," says Preet Singh, general manager, at The Farm.
"Our programmes are carefully planned and conducted by internationally trained medical doctors and experts."
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