Julie Miller takes an aura test at her Thai spa and narrowly avoids having a plastic hose inserted in the wrong place, at the wrong moment…

Call me a prude, but I really don’t want to have colonic irrigation while I’m on a holiday. And if I go to a luxurious day spa, I want to come out feeling relaxed and soothed, not probed and empty.

The consulting physician at the Rarinjinda Wellness Spa in Chiang Mai, Thailand, however, seems determined to release me of all my inner impurities, despite my protestations.

“Are you gassy?” he asks, in front of several of my sniggering colleagues. “Not particularly,” I protest. He then asks me to stick my tongue out, clicking his tongue disapprovingly and once again insisting I am an extremely flatulent person.

My aura test, the result of which is determined by placing my hand on a portable machine that measures areas of heat and energy, also indicates I have heightened emotions, am argumentative and difficult to get along with. Once again, suppressed giggles from my travelling companions.

Finally, I decide to deal with the latter condition rather than my inner workings, settling on a two-hour Ayurvedic oil massage rather than a plastic hose up my nether regions.

Mind you, the description of this ancient Indian ritual is also a little unsettling; I will be lying prone on a table while hot oil is dripped on my forehead, the location of my third eye … akin to a POW torture, it seems.

Blessedly, the experience is the complete opposite; a divinely warm and relaxing process that leaves me in a zen-like state as well as deliciously smooth and moisturised.

Day spas are a way of life in Thailand, from corner foot massage parlours to top-end resorts; even the Chiang Mai Women’s Prison runs a massage school for inmates, giving them a brighter future once they serve their time. Rarinjinda Spa, with outlets in Bangkok as well as the northern city of Chiang Mai, is one of the more upmarket offerings, with a range of treatments designed to deliver a harmonious, holistic health result. Located in a gorgeous ancient teak building, it’s a blissful introduction to the royal treatment that only the Thais can deliver.

There were certainly no more arguments from me; though my travelling companions may have something to say about my flatulence …

Rarinjinda Wellness Spa
14 Charoenraj Road
Chiang Mai