Monday, October 24, 2011


As the planet shrinks, well not really, but technology has erased the obstacle of physical distance. Communication has so improved that knowledge flows freely from one part of the globe to the other and this miracle of the modern world is breaching the gaps in the distribution of information and knowledge. In our world of wellness and health it has materialized in the fusion of totally different approaches to health and well being. On one side there’s the Western approach, or “wait until you are sick to be cured” and on the other, the Eastern approach, “prevention (so as not to get sick)”. The two are merging slowly; a bit faster in the East but slowly and surely also in the West. From a philosophical point of view the process begins by balancing the function of the right and left side of the brains. One side deals with the emotional analysis of perceived stimuli and the other side with a rational Cartesian or scientific understanding. Asian perception of reality is filtered through the emotional, instinctive rational the other is directed by a scientific or Cartesian logic.

The integration of both of these stimuli are the basis for the fusion movement. A perfect example of the right way to take advantage of the East West fusion trend is the: “5 Elements Spa” in Marrakech, Morocco, using the 5 elements theory of traditional Chinese Medicine. Leila Zouet, the owner has designed her spa to harmonize the vibrational sympathy of the five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) and since she is in Morocco she has done this while respecting the traditional Moroccan artisanal signature. There are five treatment suites where an array of services can be performed, dominated by colors of the five elements: red for fire, blue for water, brown for earth, green for wood and metallic grey for metal. Clients can experience the different suites but all will eventually settle for the ones that harmonize with their physical and or psychological biorhythm. The whole experience is phenomenal and unique. A great example of what can be done with instinct and rational. The East West fusion is not only restricted to wellness and is a further proof of this universal trend of “rapprochement” of cultures. The Asian influence can be seen in fashion in the West while western lifestyles are embraced by the young generations of Asians, but fusion does not mean losing one’s identity and the 5 Elements Spa in Marrakech is a perfect example of that.

Just as in food, to use spices to give character to a dish that are not typically used does not violate the regional signature of the dish but simply gives it a broader sensitivity to it. Adding cumin and soy sauce to lamb chops flatters the palate in different ways such as using argan oil rather than grape seed oil does not impede the value of a Swedish massage, it just adds value and new experience to the treatment. Fusion will not be limited to East and West but will extend to a great number of different cultures. It will be a hybrid revolution which we will witness in years to come.