Yue-Sai Kan — one of the most recognizable women in China with a cosmetics empire and her own TV show — often needs to get away from the grueling pressures and polluted skies of Shanghai and Beijing, where she lives. Her refuge of choice? A health spa in Thailand called Chiva-Som.

…Health is a key buzzword in Asia these days. The region’s rapid growth of the last decade has meant a proliferation of fried chicken and ice cream, air pollution, and generally unhealthy lifestyles. Waistlines swelled along with GDP, and smoking and heavy drinking became fashionable among a certain segment of upwardly mobile Asians.

But increasingly, those with disposable incomes are recognizing the benefits of taking care of their health, and they’re turning to spas to do it…While shiatsu (Japanese), tui-na (Chinese) and Ayurvedic (Indian) techniques have been joining the ranks of Swedish massages at spas in the United States and elsewhere in the West, many of the traditional Malay, Vietnamese, Balinese, and even Indian health techniques are just starting to see a huge revival and adoption by Asia’s emerging middle class.

CNNmoney.com; Hua Hin, Thailand ; August 21, 2009