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What Is Traditional Thai Medicine?

July 04, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 313

One of Asia's Best-Kept Secrets

India and China aren't the only civilizations in Asia that have a traditional health care system that has survived to this day. In Thailand, many healers still practice traditional Thai medicine.

Ancient Thai medicine is a family of complementary healing modalities that address the needs of body, mind and soul alike. It is a holistic system compatible with today's trend toward alternative and natural health care.

What You Get in Thai Medicine

Thai medicine can be broken down into the following modalities:

  1. Massage
  2. Herbal Medicine
  3. Spiritual Healing

There are other practices such as midwife and orthopedic practices. However these are not of as much interest to the English-speaking layman or practitioner.

Thai Massage is bodywork that resembles yoga practice. An expert masseur performs movements similar to what you see in traditional Yoga on the client. There is a lot of stretching, pressing and acupressure work in Thai massage.

Massage in Thailand can be either energizing or relaxing or therapeutic depending on the style and techniques used. General Thai massage is ideal for normal, healthy people with no serious medical needs. In Thailand, getting a Thai massage is perhaps even more important than going to the gym as far as exercising and maintainng the body goes.

Some of the benefits of this type of massage include: relaxation, improved flexibility and blood circulation, pain relief, increased energy and a general sense of well-being. More benefits can be gained from advanced therapeutic massage done by an expert.

Thai Herbal Medicine is the inherited knowledge of traditional healing recipes and practices in Thailand. Because of the language barrier and secrecy surrounding it, little is known about Thai herbalism outside of the country. It bears some similarities with Ayurveda and they often use many of the same herbs.

Thai herbs are classified by taste and their uses. Tastes usually number nine and include bitter, astringent, sweet, sour, salty, nutty, bland, etc.

Disease in Thai herbal medicine is thought to occur when the four elements - earth, air, water and fire - are imbalanced. Herbs associated with the element in question or its opposite help cure the disease.

Spiritual Healing in Thailand includes prayer, offerings, the use of talismans, astrology, and shamanic practices. Although Thailand is officially a Buddhist nation, many animistic tribal beliefs have survived. These show in the Thai spiritual practices of today.

Spirituality is considered essential to health in Thailand. It is not enough to get a regular massage or drink herbal tea. Thai healers themselves usually prescribe a holistic approach where body, soul and mind are equally tended to.

Besides these modalities, traditional Thai medicine also includes the ancient practice of Thai yoga or Ruesri Datton, the hermit's yoga. Thai yoga is like Hatha Yoga, only gentler and simpler yet very effective according to its practitioners.

Source: EzineArticles
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