A Study on Indigenous Knowledge on Paralysis Therapy: A Case of Mae Chanli Plian-ek

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Ratree Pranakhon Jane Pranakhon

Abstract

This qualitative research was conducted with the objective of exploring indigenous massage knowledge
and experience of a Thai folk healer named Mae Chanli Plian-ek on paresis/paralysis therapy
using an in-depth interview. Dataûs content analysis was performed. The results revealed that the healer
used a local massage technique called çkhit-sené and herbal drugs for treating paralysis patients. The
following were steps used in the massage therapy; (1) assess the patientûs condition and make diagnosis;
(2) stimulate the nerves by herbal grilling technique; (3) put the patient for herbal steam bath; (4) give
a massage using the çkhit-sené technique, stimulating tendons and blood vessels to boost blood flow; (5)
check the reflex response of the feet; (6) stimulate the tendons and blood vessels; (7) have the patient
practise waist exercise to stimulate the central nervous system; and, (8) train the patient to sit up, stand
and walk. Do steps 2-8 twice daily, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon for 15 days to 3
months depending on the patientûs conditions. In her 52 years of therapeutic massage experience, she
has treated more than 600 paralysis patients, approximately one per month, most of whom could live
a normal life after treatment. In conclusion, the paralysis massage treatment given by Mae Chanli
Plian-ek, a folk healer/masseur, consists of eight steps and is interesting; and it may be used for treating
paresis/paralysis. A further study using a clinical research to verify its effectiveness is suggested.

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References

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