Twisted your knee after getting booted by a kickboxing opponent? Don’t fret; your favourite Chinese sinseh will insert into you a dozen fine needles to get your qi flowing before swathing your knee in a hodgepodge of medicinal herbs. Want to look svelte and gorgeous again after popping out a pair of twins? A Malay masseuse can give you a traditional postnatal massage followed by stomach binding to help you regain your original figure. Stressed out from work and having trouble sleeping? Experience instant calmness – ala Indian Ayurveda style – as warm aromatic oil dribbles onto your third eye and flows down your hair and scalp.
Malay Traditional Healing believes in protecting the body by balancing its temperature. Food is pigeon-holed into “warming” and “cooling” energy categories. They influence your physical state. For example, coffees and chilies are deemed warming foods, while bean curds and cucumbers are cooling. Armed with this knowledge, you can then pursue a diet that keeps you balanced. If you eat a particularly spicy nasi lemak for breakfast, you would want to bring your body back to equilibrium by drinking coconut water after the meal.
Malays are also an expert in natural beauty and anti-aging techniques. They believe that outer beauty is a manifestation of inner health and this principle is maintained throughout the girl’s lives, from pre-puberty and puberty, to pregnancy and post-natal care. A young girl is encouraged to apply coconut oil with salt on her body for strong muscles and bones while making her skin glow. And for the adult woman, herbs like kacip fatimah (Labisia pumila) is used to bolster and safeguard her reproductive system.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is all about qi, or life energy. When qi flows unimpeded, the body is healthy and protected from diseases. If your qi is inadequate or its flow blocked, your physical being falls into disharmony. Qi flow can be unsettled by an unhealthy lifestyle, stress, environment and weather.
Acupuncture is a very popular TCM treatment where fine needles are stuck into very precise spots on your body to restore qi flow. Traditionally, acupuncture is used to treat an array of injuries and illnesses such as backaches, sprains, digestive problems, migraines and depression. Studies show that acupuncture complements conventional cancer therapy. It reduces nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, manages cancer-related discomfort and alleviates dry mouth caused by radiation.
Ayurveda, the 5000-year-old Indian health practice, is the most widespread medical system from India. In Ayurveda, everything originates from five basic elements – water, fire, earth, air and space. And from these five elements, three types of doshas (or energies) emerge that every individual possess with dissimilar proportions. They are the Vata dosha (motion energy), Pitta dosha (metabolic energy) and Kapha dosha (growth energy). Like TCM, if these three energies are out of whack, bad health will result.
Yoga is a well-accepted mind-body exercise with Indian roots. In fact, Ayurveda and yoga emerged from Vedic science, early scientific theories found in Indian scriptures. Yoga consists of practices such as self-discipline, postures, breath control and meditation that restore balance in an individual, producing a healthy mind and body. For instance, the forward bend posture stimulates the liver and kidneys and reduces headaches. Meditation, on the other hand, helps you de-stress and allows you to sleep well. In fact, research has shown that yoga supports standard breast cancer treatment. Patients reported having more energy and a better quality of life.
The Malay, Chinese and Indian traditional treatment options and healing practices doesn’t only benefit its respective race. Chinese women engage the Malay bidan for revitalization after childbirth. Malays call on TCM doctors to revive their internal energy. Malaysians of all faiths and races flock to yoga for strength, flexibility and serenity.
Herein lies the power of traditional treatment options from multiracial Malaysia – the trust one ethnic group has in the holistic practices of another to protect their wellbeing.
While traditional treatment options are beneficial for our health and wellbeing, still it may not necessarily cure serious illnesses. Therefore, being prepared is half the battle won. Click here to get a QUOTE online.