Thunyawat Teerachetmongkol once suffered from an allergy that made his life very uncomfortable. Today, however, he is in good health and looks younger than his age of 50 years-plus. The illness turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it led him to a new way of self-healing: the use of vital energy to bring back the balance to his health and others.
Illness struck Thunyawat when he turned 40. Earlier, he had been a healthy guy who loved to exercise regularly. It was when he began to change his lifestyle that everything turned upside down.
"I believed then that I had strong health and began to use my body heavily. I worked hard and stayed up late. I exercised for two hours each day, thinking the more I did, the healthier I would be. At 40 years old, all I had done started to act upon my body," said Thunyawat.
He suffered from an allergy. Purple mucus came out of his nose when he woke up every morning. At night, he had breathing difficulties and could not sleep well. His hair was also falling out.
He realised his body was weak. Hoping to recover, he tried heavier exercises. He increased his running time both in the morning and evening. Other sports, including tennis and weight training, were added to his programme. Some days, he exercised for four hours.
But nothing improved. He tried modern medicine and medicated hair shampoo. His symptoms still didn't go away. He went to see a dermatologist who told him he was doing everything right.
"He said my illness could not be cured, so he wouldn't charge me and told me to go home. That's the last day I relied on a conventional doctor and modern medicine," he said.
Seeing that Western medicine did not work on his illness, Thunyawat turned to Asian wisdom. He looked for knowledge in books, reading a lot about alternative healing - the universal force, prana, meditation and vipassana, reiki and Qigong exercises.
Later, a friend introduced him to a Qigong course with a Chinese master, which gradually helped him to recover.
"My allergy eased within six months, and finally the symptoms were completely gone. I've learned about the balance of my energy source, and realised what I did before was too much," said Thunyawat.
He reduced his exercise to no more than 30 minutes a day and quit his running routine. He maintained a light-weight training programme and worked more on meditation.
Thunyawat points out the acupressure points for healing back pain.
As he continued practising Qigong, he felt the vital force come to him. His health was back to a full balance, and he could even use the energy to heal others.
From word of mouth, more patients, Thais and foreigners, came for his treatments. After years of experience as a healer, Thunyawat began to offer energy healing courses in 2004.
In 2005, he founded the Thai Energy Healing Club with an aim to relieve people's illness, as well as passing on his knowledge of self-healing energy to others.
Currently, the club has more than 1,000 members. It offers energy healing courses from basic to advanced levels. During the training, students have a chance to practise using their vital force to heal patients.
"Our patients usually come with various illnesses, including knee arthritis, frozen shoulder, back pain, diabetes, and cancer," said Thunyawat.
Learners practise pranic healing.
How does vital energy work?
Thunyawat explained that the vital force is the living energy that sustains organs, cells, tissue and blood. Also known as universal energy or life force, it is considered our connective flow to the universe. The Chinese refer to the life force as chi or qi, Hindus call it prana, while Japanese refer to it as ki.
When we use our bodies too much or improperly, the living energy will be obstructed. Our body function is ruined and we get sick.
Pranic healing is done by sharing the vital force with patients to bring their energy back to balance. The illness will naturally heal.
The prana practitioner normally channels the flow of energy into the patient's body through the palm of his or her hands. The healing should be performed in an open area in a natural setting. The nature, he explained, will help absorb the ill force released from the patients.
Thunyawat emphasised that pranic healing cannot permanently cure ailments if patients do not resume a way of balanced living.
A learner gets energy from the universe and channels the force through himself. PHOTOS: NAUVARAT SUKSAMRAN
"If after the treatment, the patients do not change their unhealthy lifestyles, the imbalance will return," he said.
What the courses are all about
Thunyawat said his pranic healing courses comprise eight levels.
LEVEL 1 - An introduction on how to combine energy from the universe. Students will be taught to use their palm or hand chakras to transmit healing energy and receive energy from the universe. (chakras are energy centres located throughout the body)
LEVEL 2 - Students will get to know the prana, or energy, from the sky and learn how to use that force to heal their bodies. They are also taught to use their palms to scan the energy field of patients to locate any blockages or detect anything wrong within the body.
LEVEL 3 - Students learn to open their foot chakras to receive energy from the earth. The foot chakra is also important because it's the point where the energy transforms and gets slowed down so it can pass into the earth quickly and effortlessly.
Pressing between the thumb and index finger can heal constipation.
"If you observe those labourers who often work barefoot, most of them are healthy, fertile and have lots of kids, because their feet always get prana from the earth," he said.
At this level, the practitioners will use prana from the earth to heal themselves.
LEVEL 4 - Students learn to connect all the energy forces from the sky and the earth and channel the forces to themselves and others.
LEVEL 5 - This step is about self-healing by getting prana from the sky, the earth and nature, to clear energy blockages within the body. Acupressure is combined with the use of prana.
LEVEL 6 - Lessons on how to live your life properly and to follow the biological clock.
LEVEL 7 - Students can combine the universal force to clear energy blockages all over their bodies, bring back balance to their living energy, and return vitality to their lives.
LEVEL 8 - Students will develop advanced remote healing skills that allow them to cure others from a distance.
According to Thunyawat, it takes a year or two to complete all levels of the course.
Tips for good health
Thunyawat gave the following guidelines to maintain balanced health
1. Eat when it is your meal time, rest when you are tired and go to bed when it's time to sleep.
2. Do not hold in your urine and bowel movements.
3. Relax and don't get stressed.
4. Don't be glued to the computer. When you use the computer, your liver and your blood will heat up. Your blood becomes thickened, and the vital energy does not flow smoothly. Women may miss their periods. Some can suffer dry eyes and blurred vision.
5. If you stay up late, your gall bladder can overheat, the water in your body will dry up and you'll get gall stones.
6. Drink proper amounts of water.
"Drink only to ease your thirst. Drinking too much water is not good for your body. Your bladder will be overloaded. It will pressure your spine and result in waist or back pain," said Thunyawat.
7. Constipation occurs when the inside of your body becomes overheated.
"When you are stressed, don't have enough rest, or have a bad lifestyle, your body will heat up and thus absorb water from your blood and body waste, making your faeces dried and hard, and resulting in constipation."
What the patients say
- Apiwan Deephadung, 31, suffered from a skin allergy before getting to know about energy healing.
Pantipa and her mother.
He had itches and rashes all over his body. Those symptoms eased after he practised prana for a while.
"The pranic healing course also taught me to adjust my lifestyle. I go to bed early, try to brush aside all my worries and relax. My symptoms gradually improved and I don't have to take modern medication again," he said.
- Pantipa Cha-empong, brought her 73-year-old mother to the Thai Energy Healing Club for treatment. Her mother suffered from strong headaches and dizziness. Her legs lost strength; she could hardly walk.
She was diagnosed with undereating. Pantipa said her mother sold fresh food in the market. Everyday she woke up early and stayed up late, and therefore had inadequate sleep.
After undertaking a few sessions of pranic healing and adjusting her lifestyle, she gradually recovered.
"Now she never lets herself go hungry, and I always remind her to go to sleep early. I feel she's gaining strength and is almost as healthy as before," said Pantipa.