Trang hospital sees revival in Thai traditional eye therapy

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Patients seeking traditional Thai eye treatments are flocking to the health-promoting hospital in Ban Pru Jood, Trang, creating a buzz for the ancient practice known as Bong Tor Duay Namwai or needle splinting with rattan spines.

This surge in demand reflects an increasing interest in the efficacy of traditional medicine, highlighting a blend of heritage and healing that is drawing attention from across the province and beyond.

The local health-promoting hospital in Trang has become a hub for patients suffering from various eye conditions, including pterygium, cataracts, and irritations, all seeking relief through traditional Thai medicine. This practice, deeply rooted in ancestral wisdom, offers a non-surgical alternative to modern medicine, and its success is reflected in the growing number of bookings for needle splinting with rattan spine treatment.

The hospital, equipped to handle only 20 patients at a time due to staff limitations, operates on a strict schedule that avoids consecutive religious days. Interested individuals, including those from neighbouring districts and provinces, often find themselves in a tight queue, indicative of the trust and hope placed in this age-old technique. The single traditional medicine practitioner, trained in the art, addresses varied eye ailments that have failed to respond to conventional treatments or for those patients wishing to avoid surgery.

Patients report a range of symptoms from different types of cataracts to eye pain and excessive tearing. Many attribute their conditions to prolonged exposure to computer screens and smartphones, suggesting a modern-day epidemic of eye issues exacerbated by our digital lifestyles.

In response, the hospital director notes a significant increase in eye-related ailments since 2019, correlating with the rise in smartphone usage. The hospital’s traditional Thai medicine practitioner, having trained with a master at Huai Yot Hospital, employs knowledge passed down through generations to alleviate these modern afflictions.

Treatment process

The treatment process, involving the use of rattan spines, targets reflective points on the back linked to the eyes. This method is said to reveal eye threads on the back, which, when stimulated, can improve blood circulation to the eyes.

Patients prepare for the ritual with offerings like bananas, white candles, and a small monetary tribute to the master teacher. During the three-day healing period, they must adhere to dietary restrictions, including avoiding bananas, pickled foods, bamboo shoots, and cassia leaves, to prevent complications and enhance treatment efficacy.

Beyond these physical measures, patients are also advised to avoid elements that could aggravate their condition, such as wind, dust, and strain from heavy lifting, reported KhaoSod.

This holistic approach underscores the balance between the physical and the spiritual in traditional Thai medicine, a practice that not only treats the ailment but also respects the interconnectedness of the body and environment.

South Thailand NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles