Thai monk’s ‘soul-soothing’ fire dance ignites interest in ancient healing

Photo: KhaoSod.

A 71 year old monk from Wat Pa Theppitaks Daennabun, located in Nong Mod Daeng, Lahan Sai District, Buriram Province, uses the ancient method of fire stepping to treat various ailments and cleanse karma.

This method was practised today, when a social media user posted a video showing the monk stepping on a heated iron plate or tractor blade, then stepping on the body of a patient.

The monk, known as Ajarn Surat Rattanyano, explained that the fire-stepping treatment starts with the patient lying face down, covered with a white cloth.

His foot is then soaked in sesame oil mixed with herbs made from various roots and plants, before stepping on the heated iron plate or tractor blade. Following this, he steps on the areas where the patient experiences pain while chanting mantras.

Ajarn Surat further elaborated that the use of a tractor blade is believed to plough away the negative aspects of the individual.

Thai monk's 'soul-soothing' fire dance ignites interest in ancient healing | News by Thaiger
Fire stepping treatment used by the monk. Picture by KhaoSod.

The act of stepping on fire is seen as a way to cleanse the karma and remove negative energy from the patient. This method has been used to treat various conditions such as muscle stiffness, joint and bone pain, muscle atrophy, numbness, and paralysis.

Traditionally, a plough leaf was burnt for this treatment, but currently, a tractor blade is used as a substitute.

Ajarn Surat is of the opinion that this form of fire-stepping treatment does not violate the monastic code as he does not have direct physical contact with the patient.

He performs the treatment to alleviate the suffering of his relatives and covers his foot with a white cloth to prevent direct contact. His primary intention is to heal and comfort those suffering from illnesses, reported KhaoSod.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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