This is the first time I’ve had my aura read. Dr. Sushil Rahul has just asked me to place all ten of my fingertips onto little metal hand sensors, and now, we’re waiting for the machine to warm up. The sensors, which are hooked up to a computer screen which only Dr. Rahul can see, begin to buzz, the faint sound of buzzing bees filling up the room. What will happen next is that the sensors will connect to a camera, which will send out and decode data and translate that data into colors—colors which represent certain aspects of my personality. As expected, a few minutes later, I’ve been translated into a human figure on the computer screen surrounded by an egg-shaped “aura,” or electromagnetic field that constantly surrounds my body and makes me human in the universe.
“Interesting,” Dr. Rahul says, stroking his beard and analyzing the data from the computer screen.
Interesting? The word no one ever wants to hear when they’re in the near vicinity of a doctor? What could possibly be interesting about my aura?
“You’re the only one in the room who’s blue.” The only one, he meant, out of the room of writers and photographers who had come to witness the experience of an aura reading. Doo is snapping photos and Ellen is taking notes, and I am the fourth person in our small media group to visit with the doctor.
I peel my fingertips off of the sensors and place my hands respectfully in my lap. “What does that mean, exactly?”
“Well,” he says, scrolling through some of the garbled data on the screen, “blue relates to the throat chakra.” That, he begins to explain, mean that although I am sensitive and intuitive, I am constantly at odds with my pursuit for artistic expression. The hint of yellow-green in the blue suggests conflict—that my creative heart is often thwarted by a self-imposed inability to speak, a fear of the future, and an unfathomable desire to be tranquil and find peace. It also means I can be unforgivably jealous and struggle with intense levels of insecurity. He also tells me that he suspects I am one of the writers on the trip.
As a writer who’d come to Thailand to do specifically that, Dr. Rahul couldn’t have been more accurate in his passing assessment of me. In fact, he’d been accurate with everyone’s assessment: Ellen, our photographer, came up as orange, as a figure full of vitality, energy, and youthfulness. Young, a marketing director, translated to red, meaning she is powerful, energetic, and sometimes competitive. And I—the walking contradiction—was blue, impetuous and sensitive, desiring tranquility but living anxiously. Yes, I thought, offering a wai to Dr. Rahul and exiting his office, I am definitely blue.
When I heard I’d be getting my aura read by an Indian doctor in Chiang Mai, this was not exactly what I’d expected. First of all, I didn’t exactly imagine a doctor in a white lab coat in a sleek white office with a high-tech computer and a large metal hand sensor. Secondly, I’d toyed with the image of meeting a shaman after a long trek through the tall grasses of northern Thailand, greeting a wrinkled and aged man holding talismans, reciting ancient Sanskrit, and mixing up concoctions of unusual potions and herbs. I’d imagined wafting incense trailing out the door, a messy laboratory, talk of Eastern philosophy and ancient healing practices. I thought of the New Age movement back home, the mystical red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, the number of self-help books claiming enlightenment, healing, and holistic practices that have changed so many people’s lives in the Western world. I was, obviously, completely out-of-date.
Dr. Rahul is not an ancient shaman. He is the modern shaman, a young doctor using equipment very similar to what someone getting an MRI might see. The room he works out of is not a dark, messy laboratory in the woods but is instead sleek, bright, and barely decorated. His computer desk is nicely organized, he has a few sparse photographs on the white walls, and his aura reader is a testament to recent technological advances in the field of holistic medicine.
Welcome to the new Thailand.
The Rarin Jinda Wellness Spa Resort—a 5-star boutique hotel which has locations in the top 3 travel destinations in Thailand, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket—embodies this new, technologically savvy approach to holistic healing. Their approach to healing is integrative, creative, and respectful, combining ancient Indian and Thai practices with modern innovations in computer technology and Western medicine. In addition to aura readings, though, you can choose from a variety of treatments including hydrocolon therapy, Thai massage, foot scrubs, detoxifying infrared sauna, facial relaxation, early-morning yoga, and colonics. Most of these treatments range from free (morning yoga) to 1,000 to 3,000 baht for the spa services, which comes out to approximately $32-$97 USD.
The Resort in Chiang Mai, which is housed in an almost 150-year-old antique Thai teak wood house in the Wat Ket neighborhood, sits on the shores of the Ping River and overlooks the Doi Suthep Mountain. The resort is one of Thailand’s leading urban wellness spas, promising every visitor (including one of the princesses, who comes to visit sometimes) a good dose of “wellness, good health, and luxurious pampering in a spa sanctuary.” Not only are they nationally-accredited by the Ministry of Public Health, but they receive awards nearly every year, including this year’s Thailand Spa and Well-Being Award for Most Amazing Medical/Wellness Spa.
Though I’m relatively new to writing about spa experiences, I will admit: my experience at Rarin Jinda was no less than extraordinary. Nestled in the high mountains of Chiang Mai, I learned about myself as an artist and as a human being, I reconnected with myself and body, and I took a long bubble-bath in the stand-alone bathtub in my Deluxe modern-style bedroom.
Perhaps this trip to Thailand would help me unlock my self-imposed inability to speak. After all, it’s already begun.
Article and photographs by Kristin Mock.