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As a global wellness and medical tourism hub, Thailand has so much to offer to medical tourists and expats alike. Whether it’s visitors flying in for their cosmetic surgeries, foreigners having important consultations and procedures done at world-class hospitals, or anyone taking advantage of inexpensive dental treatments, Bangkok is the go-to city for all types of treatments. These days, alternative medicine and healing in Bangkok are gaining favor as well.
In this article, our friends from Pacific Prime Thailand will get you up to speed on holistic health in the Big Mango.
Why people choose alternative therapy
Alternative therapies in health and medicine are becoming increasingly popular as people search for ways to stay healthy in a stressful world.
Human life expectancy has increased dramatically across the globe over the past few decades. Agriculture, sanitation, and food distribution and processing are some of the main reasons that people are now living longer. Additionally, medical advances also play a significant role. Thanks to medical knowledge, broader access to treatments, and technologies, many diseases, disorders, and chronic conditions are less of a burden.
The rise in global affluence has contributed to considerable changes in the way we live, though some of these changes are for the worse. Take lifestyle diseases, for instance. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are examples of non-communicable diseases that are related to a person’s lifestyle, such as stress, smoking, alcohol, and drug usage. Lifestyle diseases have been growing, and are not easy to treat and cure.
While most people still turn to mainstream medicine to stay healthy or treat conditions, more and more people are looking into complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Typically falling outside the conventional, “Western” medical treatment methods, CAM involves healing approaches and therapies that aim to offer wellness instead of only treat sickness.
Alternative therapies in Bangkok
Acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, herbal medicine, and homeopathy are some examples of alternative therapies. While these treatments are not yet as popular in the West, it is becoming more popular with those who are looking to complement their traditional medicine treatments or restore their health in an entirely new way.
Bangkok is home to a wide array of therapies. The following are some of Bangkok’s most popular alternative therapies:
Originating in ancient China, traditional acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that has been around for over 2,500 years. It is based on the Chinese belief that disease is the result of qi (energy flow) disruptions in the body. In acupuncture, thin needles are used to release the energy, thereby alleviating pain and treating various conditions. The traditional system of healing is meant to restore the balance between mind and body and has been found to effectively treat chronic pain.
Cupping is a type of complementary therapy that originated in China around 300-400 AD. In the cupping therapy we know today, an acupuncturist ignites alcohol-soaked cotton wool inside a glass. The cup is placed on the patient’s skin once the flame is removed, creating a vacuum that draws up tissue and causes skin contractions. The way the skin contracts and stretches makes cupping effective for improving blood flow and triggering a healing response.
First discovered by German physician Samuel Hahnemann more than 200 years ago, homeopathy is a system of medicine that focuses on the root of the problem. Instead of attacking symptoms of illness, homeopathy is used to determine the cause of sickness or disease as well as the ideal way to treat it. In simple terms, modern-day homeopathy explores different options to pinpoint the root of the problem. It also only recommends medications that do not have any toxins or synthetic chemicals.
Lymphatic drainage massage
Lymphatic drainage massage is a therapeutic treatment that is meant to promote the movement of lymph fluids. If a person’s lymphatic system gets blocked, it becomes toxic and can result in contagious and viral diseases. Massage helps clear these blockages, improves metabolism, eliminates toxins and waste from the body, and boosts the immune system. What’s more, people who suffer from skin conditions, common illness, and low energy on a regular basis often find this form of therapy to be beneficial.
Nowadays, most massage places in Thailand offer reflexology. Essentially a foot massage, reflexology in Thailand mostly concentrates on your feet and lower legs. However, in its traditional form, reflexology can involve the hands and ears as well. Therapists put pressure on reflex points corresponding to specific organs and glands in the body to help clear blocked energy and promote healing. Similar to lymphatic drainage massage, benefits include cleansing the body of toxins, increasing circulation, balancing energy, and boosting the immune system.
Where to go for alternative therapy in Bangkok
There are many options for the alternative therapies mentioned above available in Bangkok. Even so, it’s advisable to do your research before going to receive treatment or visiting a provider. Now that you’ve had a quick look at some of Bangkok’s most popular alternative therapies, which one will you go for?
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