Written by Marce Ferreira, co-founder of TraditionalBodywork.com
At the end of 2011, I had a kind of career dip and I decided to once more return to Thailand to see if there was still something to “find.” Something that could inspire me, something new maybe, something different, something I overlooked perhaps—an eye-opener with regard to Thai Massage and Thai Healing.
So just before I went, I made a list of want-to-meet-and-see and I ended up visiting a bunch of schools, teachers and healers in Thailand. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make (or force) myself to take any new courses or workshops, because I just couldn’t find anything that seemed interesting enough.
Basically, it felt a bit like a waste of my time (and of my scarce money) having traveled to Thailand once again. On the other hand—it confirmed what I was already expecting secretly: there was nothing more to find.
But after leaving Thailand going to Laos (for this darn visa-run thing), I suddenly realized I had been wrong! In an unexpected way one of the healers I had visited made a difference. A big one. But it didn’t come as a thunderclap. It had worked slowly and only while being in Laos I started to understand.
In fact, I’m talking about Mor Noi who runs the Mornoi Clinic in Chiang Mai. I realized what she gave me. She didn’t show me techniques though. It was just—talks. She had explained me her philosophy of healing. Her philosophy of life. She has an unique approach in the healing tradition of Thailand: soft touch. She explained to me, in the typical, almost incomprehensible Thai way and symbolism, why she thinks that the hard approach (which is fairly common when it comes to Thai Massage) doesn’t work.
It took me some time to grasp her point, but I’m convinced that integrating her views and way of healing made me a more balanced practitioner. I think that practicing a kind of middle way can surely yield an enhancement and more satisfactory approach. To me it means being “hard” when you need to be hard and “soft” when you need to be soft. And more important: it means understanding when exactly to “be hard” and when not.
Mor Noi has earned herself a Doctorate of Herbal Medicine, yet in her opinion “nothing is necessary.” She holds that only Metta and love really work. No herbs, no (Thai) massage, no acupressure, no hot stones, no Reiki, no nothing when it comes to healing. Real healing in her opinion is letting the patient understand him or herself and thereby—heal him or herself. Understanding where your problem comes from will do the job. As she says in her Thai style English: “… they will do themselves. The body will heal themselves.”
And she was quite radical. She stated that the art of healing should change drastically. According to her, people are sick due to too much thinking and the mind has made the body sick, the mind the mind, the body the body and the body again the mind. She claims that escaping this ever growing circle of disease needs a radical new approach: energy work with soft touch, using hand-heat, talks, and loving kindness only.
I think Mor Noi certainly had a point there, although I still felt there’s a righteous place for the so-called “hard way.” Yet, I could only be grateful. Grateful and happy I had been able to spend time with this very special woman. And grateful to her of having given me back my hopes and my dreams of a bright(er) professional future.
Marce Ferreira is a former Thai Massage and Thai Yoga (Reusi Dat Ton) practitioner and teacher. Today, co-founder of TraditionalBodywork.com and responsible for website maintenance, database, and blog.
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