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Passion, energy, skill and beauty - a showcase of Filipino dance and music

Whatever ails you – non-invasive holistic therapies can help

A trip to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop: Bangkok’s Tonchabab Record Store

 

Passion, energy, skill and beauty - a showcase of Filipino dance and music

 

Whatever ails you – non-invasive holistic therapies can help

Prof. Sathittham Pensuk, prominent Thai healer,
explaining an aura reading to a visitor.

CMM Reporters
Alternative therapy practitioners gathered in Chiang Mai last week for the opening on February 20 of the Worldwide Holistic Healing Seminar, held at the Empress Hotel’s Conference Centre. Many guest speakers from diverse countries with different holistic specialities took part in the event, which was officially opened by General Manat Klaimanee, president of the Thai Runner’s Association, advisor to many Royal Projects, and a previous Commander of the Royal Thai Military until his retirement in 1998. Dr. Tamsir Mbowe, Gambia’s chief medical director, attended as the representative of the President of Gambia, Alhaji, Dr. Tahya Jammeh. An introduction to the seminar was given by Rev. Dr. Pradit Takerngrangsarit, president of Payap University, and his advisor, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson. Rev. Dr. Pradit went on to explain to the guests the nine basic principles which apply to the study of health, all of which are important to every comprehensive theory of health in both the West and the East.

Hans De Back, from the Netherlands, demonstrated his holistic speciality, healing with gongs and tingshas.
A number of holistic healing therapies were represented, with talks being given by their practitioners over the three-day seminar on many diverse subjects, including, ‘Managing Stress through Meditation,’ ‘The Wonder of Homeopathy’ and ‘How to see your own Aura.’ Practitioners from Thailand were well represented, with Chiang Mai’s Cory Croymans giving a free Reiki intensive training session to 25 participants.
According to Cory, this was an incredible experience, as her usual class numbers average 5 or fewer! She also gave a talk about Asian Bio-Energetics Therapy (acupuncture without needles, called Meridian Therapy in the West), which balances energy without using machines, drugs or herbs, making it totally non-invasive.
An Expert Panel session was held during the seminar, focusing on the role of holistic education and training and covering issues such as decisions concerning the readiness of students to practice and regulation of teachers. The contrast between ‘energy education’ and academic education was stressed.
Dr. Anchalee from Bangkok gave a lecture on the integration in hospitals of holistic therapies with conventional medicine, which she is actually practising in Bangkok.
Debora Williamson, a British speaker, now living in Phuket, spoke about purification by the use of plant-based healing methods such as raw or nearly raw vegetarian foods. Debora herself represented a shining example of the success of her therapies, both in body and mind! Hans De Back, from the Netherlands, demonstrated his holistic speciality, healing with gongs and tingshas.
Victoria Vorreiter’s talk about the healing powers of music, during which she shared her research undertaken with members of hill tribes who use music in their healing and other ceremonies. Fascinating stuff! Victoria has promised to give her talk to Soroptimists International Chiang Mai later in the year. Bangkok therapist Jaz Goven’s talk about the use of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which involves tapping on certain acupuncture points in the body in order to release emotional (and even financial) stress. This technique involves the same meridians and energy lines as acupressure, Ayurveda and traditional medicine from China and Japan, and is becoming increasingly well known and popular as (like Reiki) it can be self-administered and actually does produce results. Jaz also spoke on weight management.
Prof. Sathittham Pensuk, a prominent Thai speaker, gave a very practical talk on the healing power of auras, during which he shared his experiences in China’s Chechuan province whilst he and his group were helping to release trapped souls who had perished in the massive earthquake. The group had another powerful spiritual experience in Tibet earlier this year.
This reporter, fascinated for many years by the subject of aura (a swirl of coloured light surrounding all living things, photographed for the first time by Kirlian photography developed in Russia 100 years ago), requested a personal aura reading from Prof. Sathittham and got far more than she was expecting! Let it be said that some details were slightly too personal to be aired in this article. But others, such as points of character, both positive and negative, were amazingly accurate. And, for the second time in her life (the first being 30 years ago in the UK), she was told that her previous existence had taken place in one specific location in the Middle East! Don’t knock it, guys. This is more than a coincidence. Prof. Sathittham’s Power of Life Centre in Bangkok treats patients by aura healing, meditation and Reiki, using the colours in an individual’s aura to pick up on developing health or psychological problems and balancing the aura colours as well as advising on specific alternative therapies. Colour therapy is also used, as colour has both psychological and physiological effects on the human condition. Red, for example, has a strong stimulating effect, promoting activity and creating harmony in one’s heart. White encourages clarity, purity and neutrality. There is no doubt that certain individuals have abilities which are difficult for others to understand and accept. But in these strange, changing times, an open mind and a willingness to explore all options may well result in an enhanced ability to cope with unexpected developments!
This fascinating event was organised by Dr. Rajeev Marwah, chairman of the Worldwide Holistic Seminar, Dr. Suchada Marwah, its director, and Prof. Tanapong Churphudee, the advisor and MC of the event. Dr. Suchada’s personal message to the conference was ‘Where there is love, there is no fear, and where there is fear, there is no truth.’ We might all do well to remember this.


A trip to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop: Bangkok’s Tonchabab Record Store

Stuart Marvin
Although not yet at the dinosaur stage, they certainly fall into the endangered species category, a dying breed that are proving more elusive to find even in their original breeding grounds in America and Britain and so to stumble across a fit, healthy, well fed specimen in the heart of ancient Siam came as quite a surprise.

Prakarn still possesses his first ever vinyl album, a Johnny Mathis Greatest Hits collection.

A few hundred yards from the Royal Hotel in Bangkok, on the corner of Atsadang and Boonsiri Roads, is the Tonchabab second hand record shop, and I’m not talking of a shoe box with a handful of warped 45s and a dozen copies of ‘The Sound of Music’ here.  This is the genuine article; the building is, quite literally, bursting at the seams with thousands upon thousands of pieces of vinyl.
As I enter, the owner, forty year old Prakarn, is filing yet another pile of albums and 45s to add to his ever growing stock.  He’s a likeable, easygoing character whom I felt at ease with immediately.  A person who you sense has found true contentment in life through his family and work - although I’m sure ‘work’ is not a word Prakarn would choose himself to describe the daily routine he’s been enjoying for the past twenty years.  A labour of love would be nearer the truth, for Tiger (his nickname) is a vinyl junkie who’s been collecting the stuff since his early teens and now has over 100,000 pieces to care for.  It’s a varied collection, covering every conceivable style of music from many different eras.
Prakarn was born in the mid sixties during the ‘Mersey beat’ boom and although too young to appreciate it at the time, he considers the period 1965 – 1975 to be the golden era.  The first piece of vinyl he owned was a Johnny Mathis album but his tastes soon broadened to include, amongst other, Aretha Franklin, Pink Floyd, and Jimmy Hendrix, as well as jazz giants like Miles Davis and John Coltraine.  Nora Jones is an artist he appreciates from the present day.
Some of Prakarn’s stock is purchased locally, but the bulk comes from Hong Kong.  He also collaborates with dealers around the globe, some of whom have visited him personally.
And his most valuable piece?… That would be a Beatles record that was made in Thailand.
The shop itself is a gem; classic album covers decorate the walls, countless shelves overflow with L.P.’s, whilst boxes piled high with E.P.’s and 45s (English and Thai) litter the floor space.
It’s not all about vinyl though.  Prakarn is a dab hand when it comes to fixing turntables – there are one or two beautifully restored megaphone style ‘museum’ pieces on display within the shop.  He also stocks stylus anti-dust mats and cleaning fluids.
As an ex collector myself I had to agree with Prakarn’s sentiments that the demise of vinyl was (and is) a great loss to our digital planet.  There’s nothing to match caring for a favourite album; cleaning those oh so fragile grooves before and after each play, protecting the outer sleeve with clear plastic covers (bought at ‘Woolies’ in packs of six in my day), and, always a sure way to impress the girls, learning the lyrics that were conveniently printed on the inner sleeve.
The ‘Tiger’ admitted that business could be better, but as I departed he returned to tending his Pink Floydus Petunias, his Lavandula Lennons and Papaver Presleys with the look of a very, very contented human being.
Even though I no longer own a turntable, I have to admit it took quite an effort to leave empty handed, however, if there are any collectors of the ‘old black’ out there, well now you know where to look.  I would say you’d need a good half a day to do the shop justice.  Happy browsing.