Spas + Travel

Good Health Hideaway: Paresa Resort

April 18, 2011

Between stressful city living, daily demands and supermarket offerings of junk foods and chemically sprayed fruit and vegetables, it can be difficult to navigate your way to true health. With toxic modern living, it’s more important than ever to get back to the basics of healthy living and learn what it truly means to embody a sense of wellbeing from a cellular level.

Premchit Prateap Na Thalang knows too well the symptoms that arise from unhealthy habits, having worked with many people who are out of balance and unwell.

The internationally certified aromatherapist, organic cosmetics formulator, natural perfumer and acclaimed chef has dedicated her life to offering holistic knowledge: showing people what good health really is — and, more importantly, how to achieve it. Premchit is a 12th generation healer, passing on wisdom handed down from her Siamese ancestors at a series of wellness retreats, which she offers at selected exclusive boutique resorts around the world.

At Paresa Resort in Phuket, Thailand, Premchit holds natural detox retreats, where clients go to enjoy holistic natural therapies, away from the chronic ailments of modern living. These workshops are so in demand, that the EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT programs will soon be on offer in exclusive resorts in the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and others.

You have inherited 12 generations of ancestral Siamese healing wisdom and secrets. Can you speak a little about that?

The foundation of my knowledge, expertise and philosophy began more than 400 years ago when my ancestors began trading with English traders on the coast of Chalang. For nearly 200 years my family traded natural aromatic plant products with the British East India Company, including my ancestor Thao Thep Kasatri, the heroine of the Battle of Thalang (now called Phuket) in 1785, who supplied Sir Francis Light with ambergris, genipa, incense pine, kananga, mimusops, palm oils, pearls, pitch, saffron, sandalwood, wood oils and wood resins.

Throughout my family’s known history numerous family members have held positions of community and political leadership that have enabled them to undertake deeds beneficial to the local inhabitants. These family members have variously been kings, chiefs, governors or judges of the island progressively known as Chalang, Thalang and today as Phuket. In all cases these influential family members have demonstrated a benevolent personality, bestowing good deeds upon their community and constituencies. One example is my ancestor Phraya Narongreagritprasittisongkram Nikomkarmbhodirag Siampitakpidhi, more easily referred to as Phraya Nu Na Thalang, who was Governor of Thalang from 1890 to 1893 and who took over the Governorship from his father.

My grandmother, Khun Soi Prateap Na Thalang, was an intelligent optimistic woman who traveled to Penang in her early 20s to learn the skills of a fashion seamstress. After returning to Thalang my grandmother decided to utilize the cuisine skills she learned from an early age from her mother to establish a very successful restaurant and catering business, whereby she prepared and served natural healthy meals for local weddings and festivities.

My grandfather, Khun Seang Kongrai, was a traditional healer who learned about Mediterranean traditional medicine from his father, who was from Portugal. My grandfather also learned Burmese and Siamese traditional medicine from local practitioners up and down the Andaman Sea coast between Burma and Penang, including Thalang, where he met and married my grandmother. My grandfather became a professional traditional medicine healer in Thalang and dispensed his services to the local community.

My father lived in a Buddhist temple for seven years and learned how to make traditional medicines. My mother also learned how to make traditional medicines, from her father, and from her mother she learned how to prepare wonderfully tasting and healthy food, as well as beauty potions from rainforest plants.  My mother and father have passed all they know of our family’s ancestral wisdom and secrets of indigenous plants and traditional beauty, health and nutrition practices to me.

My family has been growing, trading, studying, using and dispensing indigenous plants and traditional knowledge for beauty, medicinal, nutritional and perfumery benefits for more than 12 generations. As a wife and mother, I am passionate about my family, living an enjoyable, healthy and natural life, passing on my “family secrets” to the next generation, my son and respecting all those who have come before me.

What was it like growing up in a family that’s so consciously connected to nature?

Our family learned and lived by the life-cycles and seasons of nature, the animals and the plants. Our family lived as a part of nature as much as possible, ensuring everything we did was in harmony with nature, so nature would continue to provide for our family. Nature provided my family with materials for our house, food to eat, medicinal plants to keep us healthy, and plants to make beauty products, which my mother spent a lot of time making, to keep her eight daughters beautiful and happy!

Can you share some of the most important healing philosophies you follow?

Observe, learn and live in harmony with nature. Respect food as enjoyable medicine, sustaining life, bringing joy and vitality.

You are also an internationally certified aromatherapist, an organic cosmetics formulator and a natural perfumer. Have you always had a passion for these? What products have you developed?

My interest in plants, especially aromatic plants, began when I was five years old, when my father began taking me into the rainforest, to teach me the way of nature, which he continued to do until I left home. After university and a job with an international company in Bangkok, I began to feel a yearning to “go back to nature and so began my formal studies in Aromatherapy and expressing my natural talents for creating beauty products and perfumes, with the support of what I learned from my mother and father.

I have created an extensive range of custom cosmetics and skin care products, including body care, skin care, eye care and perfume products, for private clients and international corporate clients located from Mexico to Maldives and Mauritius, and countries in between.

For my EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Natural Detox Retreat, I have created my own PREMCHIT brand of ambrosias and elixirs, made from 100% authentic, genuine, natural, organic, pure ingredients and specifically to facilitate the detoxification processes and experiences of my Retreat guests.

Paresa Resort

Why are natural and organic ingredients so important to you?

When I use ambrosias and elixirs made from natural organic ingredients, I look and feel better. This is not a scientific explanation, but it is my life explanation. Scientifically speaking, many natural organic plant ingredients contain phyto-chemicals that are the foundation of life, enabling the prevention of ailments and diseases, as well as the healing and treatment of the body’s nine systems, when the body does suffer from an ailment or disease.

How did you get involved with Paresa?

For more than 400 years my family has lived in the area that has variously been called Chalang, Thalang, and is today called Phuket.

As I have included ancestral wisdom and secrets inherited from my family as a significant element in the design of my EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Natural Detox Retreat, I wanted to launch my wellness retreat business in the home of my ancestors, to pay my respects for all that I have inherited from them.

So, I searched for a luxurious boutique resort in Phuket, with an owner and general manager genuinely interested in offering guests an authentic natural wellness experience. After a period of research I found Paresa — extending out dramatically from the stunningly sculptured cliff tops of Kamala overlooking the spectacular azure blue waters of the Andaman Sea, surrounded by lush tropical forests and gardens, Paresa embraces the exclusivity of its natural surroundings to create an oasis of relaxing tranquility and unrivaled luxury, the perfect place, with the perfect owner and general manager, for me to partner with and for guests to EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Natural Detox Retreat.

What can someone expect when they attend?

The retreat offers a thoroughly enjoyable and effective experience in acquiring the knowledge, gaining the understanding and practicing the therapies necessary to becoming empowered, motivated and engaged in making wise choices affecting the daily management of your health and the enhancement of your lifestyle, to experience a life of sustainable health and happiness. Guests learn about eating, digestion, detoxification and elimination, as well as:

Why it is necessary in today’s world to actively detoxify your body on a daily basis.
The relationship between the words toxin and poison
The everyday sources of toxins and their harmful effects.
The most common symptoms of toxicity.
How the body naturally detoxifies itself.
The importance of pH in the detoxification processes of the body.
The science of trophology and how to combine and eat foods for optimal digestion, adsorption, metabolism, detoxification and elimination.
The best way to take a poo, to sit or to squat.
How to maximize the benefits of your Natural Detox Retreat.
How to detoxify your life after you return home.

Paresa Resort

You also bottle your ambrosias and elixirs in biophoton energy preserving violet glass. How does this work exactly?

Violet glass acts as a filter to keep out the visible wavelengths of light, which cause aging and decay of biological materials. At the same time, the violet glass lets through specific wavelengths of light in the violet, ultraviolet-A and infrared spectrums, which act to protect biological materials from aging and decay, and thus lengthening the life and potency of the biological materials inside.

Genuine violet glass containers are therefore the very best type of containers to package Ambrosias and Elixirs made from 100% authentic, genuine, natural, organic and pure ingredients – lengthening their shelf-life by extending their biophoton energy, which is energy derived from light, and maintaining their bioactive potency for a longer time.

Generally how toxic are people today? How many Natural Detox Retreats might it take to get someone on the path to vibrancy and health?

The tragedy of the age we live in is that as society’s modernize, the health of the society deteriorates — this is true for “modern/developed” societies as well as for developing societies.

Chronic, non-communicable ailments and diseases are now the major cause of disability and death worldwide, accounting for 59% of all deaths and 46% of the financial burden of diseases – all due to industrialization, urbanization, economic development and increasing food market globalization. Many of these chronic, non-communicable ailments and diseases are caused by toxicity.

People worldwide are consuming more foods that are dense in energy, high in sugar, high in saturated fats, high in salt, whilst eating less fresh fruits and vegetables. Both rural and urban dwellers are exposed to environmental poisons and increasing numbers of people are exposed to cosmetic and pharmaceutical poisons, the effects of which are often overlooked or unnoticed for long periods of time.

Large numbers of people eat what is at best described as being “food-like substances”, rather than “real” food, containing a plethora of artificial, synthetic chemicals for coloring, flavoring, preservation, taste enhancement, etc. So, in today’s world, most people suffer from some degree of toxicity.

I have designed my Natural Detox Retreat to be available in various durations, each highly effective and providing either a “jump-start” to a new wellness lifestyle or an “intensive-refresh” of an existing lifestyle. Experiencing just one three-day Natural Detox Retreat will enable a person to get on the path to vibrancy and health, because they will learn important information on the why, what, when and how of the body’s detoxification processes and their critical importance to health and wellness for a long life of happiness and vitality. Most importantly, the person will acquire the “take-home” knowledge and tools to make positive changes to their lifestyle to protect against multiple-exposures to environmental toxins, improve daily diet and eating habits and implement the elements of a positive lifestyle necessary to sustain health and happiness.

What are some of the common symptoms you see in people who attend your Natural Detox Retreat?

The most common symptoms of toxicity I see are constipation and indigestion, fatigue and tiredness, headaches and migraines, immune system impairment, insomnia and sleeplessness, overweight and obesity, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, acne, susceptibility to cold, flu, infection and injury.

What do you believe are the main factors in causing toxicity today?

In today’s world, the main factors causing toxicity are regular multiple-exposures to environmental, cosmetics, food, pharmaceutical and emotional toxins, which reduce the normal metabolic functioning and inherent self-healing capability of the body. In addition, so called “modern lifestyles”, characterized by unhealthy eating, insufficient physical exercise and an unhealthy lifestyle, pollute the body with chemical and emotional toxins, which cannot be neutralized due to a lack of necessary food nutrients in the optimal proportions.

Do you have high hopes for the future?

I have high hopes for the future, as long as we can re-connect children with nature, so they can grow up appreciating the world they live in, in all its splendor, in all its diversity, in all its richness, in all its benevolence.

What do you believe makes someone truly beautiful?

A beautiful person has a heart of love, a mind of curiosity and a body of health.

Love … your kindred-spirit significant-other, love him or her, every day, for all days. Love family. Nurture good friendships. Forgive. Smile. Socialize. Be curious. Use your imagination. Have zeal, for something. Relax, let go.

The therapies used at the Premchit Detox Retreat include:

Ambrosia Therapy
Natural simple slow whole food enriches life, delights the senses and guarantees health and happiness. Real food allows people to travel through climates, cultures, experiences and time, whilst enjoying a symphony of the senses, sublime, sensual, surprising, satisfying, always healthy. In addition to being delicious, the foods included and recommended for Ambrosia Therapy ensure effective and safe detoxification, containing the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients necessary to support cellular detoxification processes, to provide antioxidant protection and to build the immune system with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. During your Natural Detox Retreat, you will learn about and enjoy the delicious tastes and therapeutic benefits of cuisine to enhance the enjoyment and the effectiveness of your detoxification experience, comprising:

Breath Therapy
Breathing is the most important, most potent activity that we do while we live. It is the activity most central to our health and wellbeing. It is more important than drinking, than eating, than sleeping. Inspiration and expiration occurs from the moment of our birth until the moment of our death. Our language recognises the importance of the breath. Inspiration means far more than the act of air entering one’s body. We speak of divine inspiration. Breathing is in this sense communing with our God. Likewise to expire is to die. During your Natural Detox Retreat, you will learn about good and bad breathing habits, optimal breathing, breathing with mindfulness and practice simple effective breathing exercises to facilitate digestion, metabolism, excretion and overall wellbeing.

Elixir Therapy
Genuine aromatherapy is “the use of pure essential oils to influence, change, modify, mind, body or spirit; physiology or mood”. Genuine aromatherapy Elixirs are very effective in attaining and maintaining the wellness of the body’s nine systems – the circulatory, digestive, immune, integumentary, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, nervous, reproductive, respiratory systems. You will learn about the science of aromatherapy, nature’s therapeutic treasures and experience a range of luxurious 100% natural/organic Elixirs specially created to facilitate your detoxification experience, including Purification Body Elixirs, Nourishment Body Elixirs, Rejuvenation Facial Elixirs, Scent Elixirs, Cleansing Elixirs and an Eye Elixir.

Meditation Therapy
Everyone can do meditation with some instruction and a little practice. The psychological benefits of meditation are quite diverse including: less anxiety, depression, irritability, moodiness; better learning, memory; increased creativity, brain wave coherence, self-actualization, vitality, rejuvenation, happiness, emotional stability. The physiological benefits of meditation are also quite diverse including: better rest, blood pressure, lung air-flow; less anxiety, heart rate, heart work load, stress, free radicals, aging processes, cholesterol. Clients learn about silence and stillness, the 101 benefits of meditation, the mystery of the rudraksha mala, how to sit and breathe during meditation and easy simple meditation techniques, whilst listening to sublime bamboo flute music as you meditate, all to assist in your detoxification experience.

Movement Therapy
Some gentle simple movement everyday works wonders for health. Movement improves learning; influences metabolism; reduces anxiety, panic, depression and stress; lowers negative consequences of women’s hormonal changes; strengthens the cardiovascular system; regulates insulin levels; reduces obesity; boosts the digestion, detoxification, elimination and immune systems; strengthens the bones and fosters neuroplasticity for better and longer brain functioning. Clients learn about movement through time across cultures, therapy through movement, movement for detoxification, music for movement and practice some simple movement poses designed to improve your digestion, enhance detoxification processes and strengthen your immune system, amongst other benefits.

Music Therapy
All traditions and all societies recognize the therapeutic power of sound and music. Chanting, singing, praying, rattles, drums, flutes, in fact every aspect of sound is recognized for the ability to effect positive changes in the body, mind and spirit. In fact, music and rhythm are inherent to our very being, affecting our health and consciousness. At the retreat, people learn about healing music, music therapy through time across cultures, music beneficial for detoxification and be able to enjoy the melodic sounds and benefit from the therapeutic qualities of music performed by Jeff Gold, Riley Lee and other composers whose music has been specially selected to enhance your relaxation and improve your food digestion, blood circulation, immune system function and boost your detoxification and elimination processes.

Scent Therapy
The beneficial effects of aromatic plants on the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of people has been known for thousands of years across all cultures. About 800 plant species produce aromatic oils suitable for creating scents having properties beneficial to health and wellbeing. The retreat teaches about body mind spirit scent connection, the science of scent, the sources of scent, the properties of scent, the history of scent, as well as enjoying the aromas and benefiting from the aromatherapy properties of 100% natural/organic scents specifically created to enhance the effectiveness of your Meditation Therapy and Movement Therapy, as well as helping you to have a good sleep every night.

Treatment Therapy
Genuine aromatherapy and other therapeutic spa treatments, such as skin brushing, body scrubs, body wraps, body massages, body hydrotherapy baths and facial massages, are very effective in preventing, treating the symptoms of, or curing common wellness issues, including those of toxicity. Guests spend three and a half hours in the spa, every day, experiencing a range of wonderful and effective Treatment Therapy protocols, in combination with a range of 100% natural/organic Elixir Therapy products, specifically designed for your enjoyment and for your therapeutic benefit in enhancing your detoxification experience.

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