When we think about Thailand, what comes to mind is probably beaches, exotic places, sightseeing, and perhaps even Thai massage. However the healing story you are about to hear tops them all.
People will always need healing from their various afflictions, and all cultures have their unique system of healing. People have always had problems with their bodies due to disease, injuries or accidents, and that will never change. Healing of some kind has always been an essential ingredient of every society. Healing professions span shamans to herbalists to surgeons and anything in between.
Even in western societies which have officially subscribed to modern medicine as the only real healing system, there is a huge subculture of alternative approaches. Many cultures within the less developed areas of the world have used those traditional therapies for many centuries as their only accessible cures.
All of those methods have merit and work sometimes, but not all the time - just like modern medicine. Here is a true story of a rather unusual healing that happened in Thailand.
Jang was a 14 year old girl who lived in the southern province of Songkla in Thailand. She developed a serious case of skin ulcerations that spread around her belly and back. Her parents took her to several doctors but none of them were able to offer any help or cure. This type of disease is well known in the rural areas of Thailand and can be deadly in severe cases.
Modern medicine was unable to help Jang and it seemed that she would not survive the disease. Finally, as a last option her parents sought help from a local healer, an unassuming and entirely uneducated elderly villager who had been performing healings on his fellow villagers for decades. He took a look at her and proclaimed that he could cure her.
Next he put something in his mouth which according to Jang seemed to be betel nut and leaves, but she could not be sure. Betel nuts are used in several Asian countries because of their mild stimulating effect. You can easily tell who chews it since with regular use it stains teeth and gums red and black. You cannot swallow the leaves and therefore people always spit out blood red streams of saliva mixed with betel - it looks pretty ugly.
The healer chewed for a while and then spit the blood red substance on her belly and back, and rubbed it in while blowing on it and uttering some kind of chant. There is no way of knowing what exactly he was doing, but after three days of these treatments, Jang totally recovered from the life threatening disease.
After 25 years the evidence of the disease is still visible as scars, but it was permanently cured. The old shaman miraculously succeeded where the doctors had sent Jang home to die. He asked for a modest payment of a couple of chickens and 100 baht which is about US$ 3.-
Before you say that this is a ridiculous story how can spitting on someone cure anything I would like to remind you that one of the most famous healers in history, Jesus, healed a blind man by spitting into his eyes (Mark 8,28).
What makes this Thai healing case very authentic is that Jang is not a person I heard about from someone else, but she is my partner. We have been living together for several years, and those scars are a vivid reminder of what happened in her youth.
There are many such healing stories everywhere in the world. We call them miracles, but that only means that we dont understand how they work. The practitioners of such methods don't regard them as miracles, it is just what they do on a daily basis. The old shaman in this southern Thai town had been healing people for most of his life, and for him it was just another day at work. He never thought of himself as a miracle man. All the villagers can confirm his many successful cures. He probably could not heal everyone of everything, but he did save Jangs life.