I have just returned from spending a month in Thailand. It was a very different trip to ones I have taken in the past, perhaps this was because I was returning there in my mid 40’s, or maybe it was because I was travelling with a group of women who are also passionate about the country and its healing practices.
The month was filled with learning about culture, tradition, and food, healing practices, self-care, nourishment and herbs along with many hands-on techniques to share with students and to treat clients.
My main take homes from the trip were:
- Learning about the level of care, support and nourishment a Thai woman would traditionally get after having a baby. The information and practices that we learnt were very moving, simple and effective. It is now clear to me why so many women in the West are suffering with chronic pain years after giving birth. I am very excited to bring these practices into my work here in the UK and am looking forward to the workshops, treatments and classes I will be offering next year with women’s health as a focus.
- I learnt how to make Thai food. When we were studying with our midwife teachers we ate local food cooked by them, with herbs and vegetables fresh from their gardens. Having enjoyed it a huge amount we then spent a lunchtime learning how to make the dish, called ‘Nam prik’.
- I was initiated and taught to be able to use Tok Sen (pictured above). This is a wonderful tool that involves using a wooden peg and mallet to work on the body. It is spirit medicine and the tools have been blessed with incantations written on them for extra healing magic. This technique is an ancient Lanna practice and uses deep vibration on the body for healing.
- My daughter came to meet me towards the end of the month and we had some very special times together including a day at an Elephant sanctuary. We walked for a whole day with 3 female elephants, one of which was a grandma, another was a mum who had lost her baby and the 3rd was their younger friend. These are incredible animals that live as a matriarchal community. When a female is giving birth all the other females gather around her, forming a circle. We did not ride these elephants because they don’t like to be ridden and after a long life of cruelty these particular elephants were being treated with love and kindness for the rest of their lives, so we went at their pace and moved in their world.
- I learnt more about the Buddhist practices that are interwoven into the healing arts practice that I am passionate about. This has given more depth to my knowledge and sparked an interest that has surprised me. – Learning more about the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha).
It is lovely to be home but I am already planning my next trip for more learning experiences and inspiration.