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An awakening to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Stop burning, offer viable solutions

An awakening to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending the First World Holistic Congress which was held at the Chiangmai University Convention Center. As a first-time event, it was considered to be a success by the organizers even though only some 1,900 visitors from 26 countries came to have a look. Probably the 2,000 baht admission fee for this 3 days event seemed a bit steep for some but then, we cannot really compare such a technical congress with a computer or other product promotional event, or can we?

A total of 49 speakers presented technical papers which covered various complementary and alternative healing systems or products. Some of those more unique and outstanding topics included a presentation on Unani Medicine by Dr (Ms) Gazala Shaikh from India, the Music Therapy talk and workshop by Ajaarn Sathithum Pensuk from Bangkok, the Laughter Therapy session with Sukhbir Sethi from Bangkok and the introduction to Lymph Drainage by Angelika Hartung from Germany. All papers were presented in English, in Thai or Chinese with remarkably prompt and accurate-simultaneous translations.

We also had the opportunity to sample a free aura reading session with Ajaarn Sathitum from Bangkok and a free healing treatment of Asian Bio-Energetics Therapy. In view of the wide range of the 49 topics that were presented and the many workshops that we could join afterwards at no additional cost, I think that it was well worth the 2,000 baht admission fee for this 3-day congress.

Several speakers covered the complement of these alternative healing systems which would fit so well in an integrative hospital healthcare system to help the patients reduce stress and recover faster from necessary invasive procedures. This would help to maximize results while minimizing side-effects and enabling the individual to return to balance between conventional western treatment sessions. As a matter of fact, Reiki sessions have been offered as a deep relaxation technique in many American hospitals during the last nine years already. Physicians often say that 80 percent of the conditions their patients would bring to them would actually resolve on their own if the patients would simply allow their body to heal and use preventive medicine. Considered from this perspective, many of us must admit that we do not really support our health and often enough, we are our worst enemy.

The scientific documentation that stress undermines health and well-being is very strong. Relaxation and stress reduction are not really a luxury anymore. They have become medical necessities because relaxation will change our biochemistry in a positive direction. Stress reduction also makes sense financially... Patients who support their professional health care with stress reduction get the most from their health care money as well as achieving better medical outcomes. Stress reduction is very accessible. Techniques such as Reiki, Asian Bio-Energetic, meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and visualization are easily learned even by those who think they cannot learn them.

Such techniques are further supported by simple disciplines such as taking time to eat slowly, having your drinks without ice (!), taking a short walk after dinner, staying in touch with friends and not watching the news before bed.

Cory Croymans

Stop burning, offer viable solutions

Dear Chiang Mai Mail;
Your short article about air quality and burning in the city was very timely; however, the ‘incidental’ mention that it is in fact against the law to burn is unfortunate; this is a law which needs to be headlined. Obviously, too few are aware of the illegality of burning, OR they simply choose to ignore the law as it is not enforced.

The air quality in this city is appalling and affects the quality of life of its residents as well as the tourists that the government continues to try to lure. Enforcing this law will help considerably in both regards. However, after reading several articles about ‘the pollution solution’ it doesn’t look like anyone is taking the situation seriously.

The government must spearhead a program to educate residents about not burning; then it should provide some sort of efficient system to pick up the kind of material which is being burned; and lastly it should promote some alternatives such as composting.

We have stopped our gardener from his daily burning and now put organic debris (leaves, garbage, weeds) in very simple, inexpensive round wire bins, alternating the layers with fertilizer; they are watered daily and every couple of months the bin is lifted up, moved sideways and the contents turned back into it. We not only are not burning the debris, but will end up with a rich material with which to improve our garden. This is not rocket science, nor is it expensive.

Please use your fine journal to address this terrible problem and to suggest some constructive solutions. Chiang Mai needs all the help it can get.

A Concerned Resident,
Susan Stem