The Current Time In India Is Wellness Time

The Current Time In India Is Wellness Time
It was some years ago, when I was living in Hua Hin, Thailand, that I met a fellow from San Francisco lounging around poolside at our condo complex. An elderly gentleman, he told me he was in Thailand to have dental work done.

My mischievous retort, it seemed like a long way to go to get to the dentist, was answered with the observation that the quality of the service was so high, yet the price so low, it was actually more economical for him to travel to Thailand for a few weeks than have his dental work done at home. And that was saying nothing of the perk of three weeks sitting by the pool in Hua Hin!

With a little further investigation, I discovered that there was a growing business of medical tourists. People such as the gentleman in Hua Hin were becoming a significant part of the economy in places like Thailand: traveling precisely for purposes of good quality, inexpensive medical treatments. Since then the medical tourism business has become huge. Many more destinations have gotten into the game. For instance, a friend went to Mexico for a couple weeks, last year, for his dental work.

It appears that the wake of this medical tourism boom has spawned, now, a more general wellness tourism industry. Think of it, if you like, as the preventative care version of medical tourism.

Though, at first blush, these developments could seem to be a logical outgrowth of medical tourism, closer consideration reveals the matter is a little more complicated than that. In fact, it turns out that wellness tourism is a whole heck of a lot older than medical tourism. It's just been a bit more off on the backstreets - though not always.

Now, I know, for some of you, this is ancient history, but way back in the 60s, an international India-craze resulted when global phenomenon rock band, the Beatles, journeyed to India, seeking spiritual enlightenment and the mastery of meditation practices. Well, guess what, today, the current time in India is once more wellness time.

Meditation, along with yoga, a thriving homeopathy sector and specialized healthy diets, such as ayurveda, are the wellness practices, growing in popularity in recent years, even in cultures historically foreign to them, which are driving the new wellness travel boom. These are well established, in some cases ancient, Indian practices.

Unsurprisingly, then, India has been a major player in these developments. Indeed, it is the fastest growing wellness travel destination in the world. India's current projected growth in the industry is 22 percent annually. Interestingly, the United States is the current leader in wellness tourism, but its annual growth rate is below 6 percent. India would seem to be the up-and-comer in the emerging wellness travel business.

There's nothing especially new about the attraction of Indian spiritual retreats and spas, ashrams and gurus. For a very long time they have been magnets for hippies and alternate lifestyle types of all kinds. This growing international wellness awareness, though, and the increasing popularity of striving for a life that is long as it is enjoyable, has changed the playing field. India's ancient secrets have hit prime time.

Among the top destinations for wellness travel in India are SwaSwara of Gokarna, the Ayurvedic Natural Health Center in Goa, and the Shreyas Yoga Retreat in Bangalore. The themes of meditation, yoga and ayurveda run throughout their practices. Though, a couple do also offer spectacular beachside sunsets as well. (Even our favorite, modest little resort town, Varkala in Kerala, boasts a major ayurvedic experience.)

If you want to know what time it is in India, be assured, the current time in India is definitely wellness time.

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