The Best Alternative Therapies In Bangkok

Bangkok is a global hub for medical tourism.

Whether that’s tourists arriving in their droves for cosmetic surgeries, foreigners having important procedures and consultations at Bumrungrad International Hospital, or everyone enjoying cut price dental work, there’s no doubt that Bangkok leads the pack for medical tourists.

Alternative therapies in Bangkok are also gaining traction, however.

These treatments are less common in the West — and attract a fair amount of skepticism — but are becoming increasingly popular with people who want to complement their traditional medical requirements or even to try and overhaul their health in a completely new way.

There’s a whole host of weird and wonderful therapies touted across the city — but remember it’s best to always do your research on the therapy and provider before you go.

Here are a few of the most popular alternative therapies in Bangkok right now.

Acupuncture in Bangkok

Traditional acupuncture is a complementary medical practice which originated in China and has been developed over the course of more than 2,500 years.

The Chinese believe that bodily disease is caused by disruptions to the flow of energy (qi) in the body and so they use acupuncture to release this disturbed energy.

It’s an ancient system of healing that entails stimulating points on the body with a needle penetrating the skin to help alleviate pain or treat various health conditions. It’s meant to put the mind and body in perfect balance and has been proven to be particularly effective for treating chronic pain.

These days, acupuncture is one of the most popular practices used to reduce stress-related symptoms, pain and diseases using holistic techniques and it is widely accepted all over the world. In fact, there is growing evidence that traditional acupuncture can safely treat a wide range of common health problems and temporarily relieve different types of pain.

acupuncture in Bangkok

An illustration identifying the acupuncture points along the 14 lines of the body (Via Wellcome Images/Wikimedia)

Where to find it in Bangkok

Niraamaya Centre
Sukhumvit Soi 31
Near Phrom Phong BTS

Seranee Clinic
Gateway Ekkamai
Near Ekkamai BTS

Hua Chiew Hospital
665 Bumroongmueang Road
Pomprap Sattruphai

Chirovedic at Chaibhaet Clinic
1038/1 Rama IV
Near Lumphini MRT

Cupping in Bangkok

Cupping is one of the oldest methods of Chinese medicine dating back to around 300 or 400 AD. Back then, cross-sections of bamboo or cattle horns would be boiled in water and placed on boils to draw out pus and blood.

Later, cupping with the use of plastic cups was found to be useful for treating muscle soreness, coughs and pain, as well as to help improve blood circulation and speed up healing.

cupping therapy in bangkok

By quatro.sinko (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)

In cupping therapy today, an acupuncturist takes cotton wool soaked in alcohol and lights it on fire inside a glass. The flame is removed before placing the cup on the patient’s skin to create a vacuum that draws up skin tissue and cause the skin to contract. It’s this contraction and stretching of the skin that makes cupping effective for increasing blood flow and promoting a healing response.

By affecting the flow of energy and blood, cupping is said to help eliminate pathogens through the skin and reduce pain intensity.

When it comes to treating things like chronic neck, knee or shoulder pain, cupping combined with acupuncture is said to more beneficial than either treatment alone.

For those curious, here’s what cupping therapy looks like:

Where to find it in Bangkok

MedAsia Healthcare Complex
14 Sukhumvit Road
Near Nana BTS

Yanhee Hospital
454 Charansanitwong Road Soi 90
Bangkok-o, Bangplad

Thainakarin Hospital
345 Bangna-Trad Highway
Bang Na

Lymphatic Drainage Massage in Bangkok

Developed in 1932 by massage therapists Dr Emil Vodder and his wife Estrid Vodder, lymphatic drainage massage was originally used to treat patients with nose and throat infections, colds, migraines and acne. At the time, it was believed that the lymph system should not be worked on – but Dr Vodder successfully treated many patients in Cannes by doing the opposite.

Lymphatic drainage massage is now a delicate form of massage that stimulates the lymphatic system. When your lymphatic system is blocked, it becomes toxic and can lead to viral and contagious diseases.

Massage works effectively to clear blockages, help improve metabolism, boost the immune system and eliminate waste and toxins from the body.

Many individuals who regularly suffer from common illnesses, skin conditions, dysfunctional respiratory systems and low energy find this alternative therapy useful.

Lymphatic drainage massage is also thought to help to ward off illness, facilitate feelings of vitality and happiness and relieve pain from sprains and fractures.

We couldn’t find a good enough photo for lymphatic drainage massage, but this video gives a good idea of what it looks like:

Where to find it in Bangkok

Balanze by HydroHealth
4th Floor Erawan, 494 Ploenchit Road
Near Phloen Chit BTS

Divana Spa
10 Srivieng Silom
Near Si Lom MRT

Homeopathy in Bangkok

German physician, Samuel Hahnemann discovered the system of medicine that we now know as homeopathy over 200 years ago. Dissatisfied with the conventional medical practices that involved prescribing large doses of toxic medicines, he came to the conclusion that an illness could be treated with small amounts of a substance and still provoke a response.

Rather than attacking symptoms, homeopathy is used to point out the cause of disease or sickness and the best way to treat it. In other words, a modern-day homeopath will explore every option to find the root of the problem and only recommend medications that are free from synthetic chemicals and toxins.

homeopath in bangkok

Homeopathy may make a difference for anyone suffering from diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis and many other forms of diseases and illnesses.

It’s also highly effective for treating a wide variety of physical and psychological problems.

Niraamaya Centre
Sukhumvit Soi 31
Near Phrom Phong BTS

TNC Clinic Phahon Yothin
30/7 Soi 2 Sam Sen Nai
Phaya Thai

Reflexology in Bangkok

Evidence shows that people were practicing some form of reflexology therapy around 4,000 years ago in both Egypt and China. The first piece of solid proof can be found on a pictograph painted on an Egyptian tomb which dates back to 2500 to 2330 BC.

Reflexology has been gradually developed ever since and is now used by therapists to work on the reflex points on a patient’s feet, hands and ears relating to specific glands and organs in the body.

These points are stimulated with finger pressure to promote movement of energy along the nerve channels and help restore balance in the entire body.

reflexology massage in bangkok

Reflexology map via Wikimedia

When techniques such as kneading, rotation, rubbing and pressure are carried out by a fully trained practitioner, reflexology can be deeply relaxing.

Reflexology is a holistic therapy that helps the body to heal itself and can help to restore balance.

From chronic illness, depression and back pain to digestive disorders, sports injuries and stress related conditions, reflexology is successful for treating a huge variety of health problems and conditions.

Where to find it in Bangkok

Footmaster
Sukhumvit Soi 31
Near Phrom Phong BTS

Oasis Spa
Sukhumvit Soi 31
Near Phrom Phong BTS

Shewa Spa
108/2 Rambuttri Road
Banglamphu


So there’s a quick peek at some of the most popular and most alternative therapies in Bangkok.

Have you tried any of them?

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