Author: Bhuvana Aradhya
MSC Life Sciences (Ayurveda Biology)
I embarked on my first international journey, marking my inaugural flight experience. This particular trip unfolded an incredible opportunity to delve into the realm of Thai traditional medicine. It was not just an academic pursuit but also a deeply personal endeavor.
The initial day was brimming with awe as we explored a museum. My surprise peaked when I encountered the Prakruthi analysis board, discovering that Thai medicine's foundation rested on the Panchamahabhuta, excluding Akash. This revelation added a whole new dimension to my understanding.
On the second day, we visited Abhaibhubejhr hospital where I learned that both Thai Traditional Medicine and modern medicine were applied in an integrative manner according to the needs of patients, which was so motivating to hear. One technique I can't forget involves a spiritual aspect for cataracts or other eye problems. They remove threads from the upper back. The doctor who performs this thread removal technique should not eat bananas for a lifetime, and for this procedure, the patient has to offer bananas to the doctor. It sounded weird, but it was a fact, and positive results are also seen in patients. On the same day, in the afternoon, we were subjected to Eye Pack Therapy. This eye pack is composed of Andrographis paniculata, Duck’s egg, and Tinospora crispa. The paste applied to our eyes was so cool.
On the subsequent day, our visit to a farm offered not just hospitality but a warm welcome, complete with a refreshing Shankha Pushpi drink. Aunty Chin, with her enthusiasm, guided us through the farm, detailing the intricacies of cultivation, harvesting, processing, and packaging. Witnessing her fervor for farming was inspiring and truly eye-opening.
Learning that the Thai government actively supports and trains these farmers, fostering their growth and ensuring profits, evoked a sense of compassion for the farmers in Thailand. It left me contemplating how a similar system in India could significantly benefit the livelihoods of numerous farmers and keep them updated with current agricultural practices.
After the farm exploration, we were treated to a Thai massage. While I hadn't encountered an authentic Abhyanga session of Ayurveda, the Thai massage left me feeling remarkably lighter and rejuvenated. It was an unexpected delight in the realm of wellness and self-care.
On 4th day in Abhaibhubejhr college we got to know about the curriculum of the Applied Thai medicine course. After the introductory part, we attended a lecture on the Herbal medicated oils by the students here. I liked the student to student interactive class where students learn and discuss it in the class until everybody understands. I felt this is the way of learning. Following this lecture, we demonstrated Siro abhayanga to Thai students and faculty and they demonstrated some procedures like hot pot massage for postpartum relief. This was the education exchange we did here.
In Prachinburi itself, I felt that I have learned many things from hospital, school and farm. Once we reached Bangkok and visited the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, we learned about the systems of medicine and its function. At the Asian Institute of Technology, we discussed about how complex food can be brought to simple form and how its helpful for absorption. Altogether, the knowledge which we learnt in Thailand was new and interesting.