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Can Holistic healing through massage truly transform your mind?

Editor, Asha Sherwood, went to The Spa at Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi, to find out if Holistic healing can clear your mind, and make it a much more productive part of your body.


Is your mind feeling stressed, cluttered, or generally burnt out? While meditation is well known to help clear your mind, healing expert Dr. Buathon Thienarrom says that the combination of breathing, massage, and sound healing will have a deeper impact.


Hailing from Singapore, Dr. Buathon is one of four globally renowned therapists who have taken up residency at Emirates Palace during its Wellness Experts Winter Series, highlighting various healing and wellness treatments.


My experience was a private session with Dr. Buathon, who focuses on Mind Training, Tibetan Medicine, and Taoism, and believes that emotions can have an adverse effect on your body.

“Your body is like a container of complex energy, and we tend to fill it with information. When there is too much information, you feel suffocated; you don’t have space, and then you feel stressed. And you store emotion in your belly, and when you are stressed, your belly pops out,” says Dr. Buathon.


Dr. Buathon’s method, ZenNaTai, is a unique approach to holistic healing massage that generates energy throughout the body and releases chest, cranial, and abdominal tension, with stimulation of the lymphatic flow.


“The idea is to visualise mess in your head by opening up the chest so you can breathe better, because when you have too much stress, you cannot breathe, and when you cannot breathe, you feel tense neck and shoulders,” she continues. “Breathing properly opens the shoulders and later makes the belly lighter. The pressure could be soft or hard, but it depends on how you hold the energy and how much you breathe.”


Unlike the majority of massage treatments, this one entails lying on the bed face-up, allowing her to pull and tension out and away from the body.


We began with the scent of Soma spray (a combination of herbal extracts and essential oils), which helps to cleanse an aura or energetic field. She continues with Tibetan sound healing bowls to move the energy around within the body, in order to clear energy blockages, release tension, and induce relaxation.


Then the massage element kicks in. Because she was working on clearing my mind of clutter and blocked energy, she began with deep strokes on the scalp, neck, and shoulders. While sometimes painful, the breathing techniques she urges you to use during the massage really helped to deflect from the pain - ultimately loosening the muscles around the area.


She then moved on to the back area (still lying face up) where she pulled the energy and tension from the scapula area and loosened the muscles, as she felt that there was a lot of tension there. They honestly felt like wobbly jelly after being kneaded thoroughly!


Before we started I was asked to breathe into my hand to feel the temperature of my breath – it was hot. By the end of the treatment, I was asked to do this again and found that it was considerably cooler. She said this is because the massage and sound bowls had helped the energies move around and weren’t blocked anymore.


To end the treatment, Dr. Buathon used stretching techniques, massage on arms and legs, and sound bowls to put me in a complete state of relaxation. This culminated in me falling into a deep sleep for around 10-15 mins.


The result?


On waking, it felt very different from a normal massage, where you can sometimes feel drowsy – this session actually had the opposite effect, and I felt energised! Dr. Buathon says that because my energies were no longer blocked, I would be able to focus more and finish the jobs that I had been procrastinating with. My muscles felt supple, my head a lot clearer, and most of all, I wasn’t tired.


The personalised session took around 1.5 hours in total, but this can vary as Dr. Buathon believes in not rushing the treatment because each person's need is different.


Emirates Palace’s Wellness Experts Winter Series continues until 25 February 2024, with Dr. Buathon open for appointments until 3 February. The final therapist, Milena Naydenow, a skincare expert from 111Skin, will be available from 20-25 February.

For more information and to book, contact 02 690 7885 or email

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