Thai Traditions At Namm Spa

Understated and elegant, this month’s spa treatment was like nothing ever experienced before. Shabana Adam tells you why Namm Spa at the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi is just the place to get your relaxation fix with a little bit of history and heritage thrown in the mix…

This month there was only one thing I was looking for when it came to the spa visit; I wanted an indulgent massage with a twist – something different with a little vigour. Instantly, the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi came to mind. The last time I visited the property, I fell in awe of how the hotel was able to blend the best of traditional Thai grandeur with the warmth of Arabic hospitality. And, this is exactly what I wanted from a spa.

Having heard so much about traditional Thai therapy and healing, I was yet to experience the invigorating effects of these world-famous treatments. After researching Namm Spa (pronounced “narm”) and learning more about its philosophy, I was convinced that this had to be the place for my first Thai-inspired treatment.

Namm is a Thai word that signifies “water” – the most essential element of life that offers so many healing applications both inside and out. It is this very concept of healing through water that inspired the creation of Namm Spa, where the skillful touch of well-trained therapists will erase the stress of modern life and rejuvenate your body and senses. Sounds perfect to me! And so, I opted for a Namm Signature Journey, the Thai Heritage Therapy.

Upon arrival, a friendly therapist shows me around the beautiful spa with its white chiffon drapes, spacious treatment rooms that also double as changing rooms (a new spa trend which is growing ever more popular) and I’m given a warm towel and water as I fill in the usual pre-treatment form.

My therapist tells me that Namm Spa is designed simply to relax, revitalise and enhance the guest’s wellbeing. That each specialised treatment is designed to pamper your senses and redefine your inner balance and outer beauty – I like the sound of that.

I head into a lovely, large treatment room that has its own shower and changing area too. I’m handed Thai pajamas to put on for the first part of this two-hour treatment. There’s a reason why I chose the Thai Heritage Therapy, the basis and techniques for this treatment dates back thousands of years.


Traditional Thai doctors within the Thai Royal family created authentic therapies and herbal medicines more than 2000 years ago, and for generations now, the Traditional Thai Therapy is a belief that illness stems from energy imbalance. When the energy pathways are blocked, sickness takes place.

Traditional Thai medicine is a natural, holistic approach to health and wellbeing, developed over thousands of years, which includes proper nutrition, physical exercise, the use of medicinal herbs and therapeutic massage. This treatment programme was going to give me a taster of just that. It combines the essence of Thai therapy to bring body and mind into equilibrium.

The treatment began with Hermit’s Body Twist to provide body exercise based on stretching movements and breathing exercises. What I loved about this rather innovative approach to wellness was that it worked every part of the body and gave a real lesson in controlled breathing whilst stretching (a practice that can really help with your regular workout routine too).

Before starting the second part of the treatment, my therapist tells me a little more about the practice of Traditional Thai Therapy. I learn that traditional Thai medicine is not only concerned with curing diseases and ailments, but that its primary goal is maintaining health and wellbeing, as ancient Thais believed that ‘the absence of illness is the best blessing.’

She tells me that in Thai medicine it is believed that energy flows through the body along ten major channels, or sen lines. If an obstruction occurs in any of these channels it is believed that pain or disease results. In this sense, traditional Thai medicine is similar to many other ancient healing systems, which believe that illnesses are caused by an imbalance within the person, or by an imbalance between an individual and their environment.

We then move onto the second and final part of the treatment – an aromatherapy massage using the exclusive aromatic oil recipe, which is blended according to Thai apothecary formula and its effectiveness on muscle tension and detoxification. This all-over-the-body pressure-point massage is exactly what I needed, not just to complement the stretching that went before it, but to let me relax in the moment, yet feel completely energised with a circulation boost afterwards. By the end of it my body and mind felt more balanced and in-sync than when I first arrived at the spa. Mission accomplished.

You’ll immediately fall in love with the serene minimalism and ambience at Namm Spa; it’s not over-the-top fancy, it’s more a humble space where beautiful décor, welcoming staff and the fabulous treatments all reflect the holistic way of Thai culture. Your visit will be truly memorable. I can guarantee that!

GO: Visit Namm Spa at the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi. Call (0)2 698 8888 for bookings and more information.