Essential Macau | Connecting the body and mind

As Mahatma Gandhi said: “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”

By Irene Sam

In the modern world, human beings are constantly confronted by changes in society and their personal life. Lack of methods and skills to deal with afflictive emotions can often cause insomnia and anxiety, which are becoming common issues among city dwellers. Determined to assist individuals in regaining a sense of balance and wellbeing, Dr Buathon Thienarrom — one of the leading experts of alternative medicines in Asia — combines her expertise in psychology, Tibetan and Taoist medicine to create tailor-made effective treatments for the distressed.

Early in her career as a nurse, Dr Buathon realised the power of the mind is intrinsic in healing the human body. Curious to learn more about thoughts and human interactions, she chose to pursuit a degree in Counselling Psychology before taking a three-month course studying Taoism, which outlined how energy is involved in physical and mental wellbeing.

“Through my work, I meet people from different countries, and I realised that the social culture and beliefs we live under bring us various illness. To explore further, I studied the sociology of health, which focuses on social conditions that cause ailments,” she explains.  “I also did in-depth studies of alternative medicine to understand the interconnection of body and mind, visiting Buddhist masters in Thailand as well as Tibetan Buddhist masters. I tried to understand how we could tame our mind to overcome mental conditions that cause issues. With an emphasis on Buddhist philosophy, I studied Tibetan medicine for three years, focusing on health and spirituality.” 

For Dr Buathon, Tibetan medicine provides a deeper understanding of emotional states that influence the body constitution or body elements. She then merges ancient Eastern wisdom with Western psychology to further strengthen the understanding of behavioural science. Finally, a comprehension of Taoism makes energetic physical practice and precise physical observation possible.

After years of training and with all her valuable knowledge, Dr Buathon developed her own method of massage healing named ZenNaTai, conceptually based on aligning the energy of thinking, feeling and awareness. “When the brain is busy thinking, we totally switch off the feeling in our heart and awareness in the gut, or abdomen. ZenNaTai aims to slow down thoughts, allowing the body to fall into a rhythm of relaxation, deep breathing and hopefully reaching a state of zero thoughts. The treatment’s essence is reaching a mental state that guides the entire body to deeper relaxation, allowing “chi,” or life force energy, to flow. From there, we also work on the chest to promote deep breathing to release sadness stored in the lungs and emotional tension in the abdomen and to recharge physical energy,” she adds.

Through her extensive studies in various fields of wellbeing, Dr Buathon believes that the mind is the master, and it is the key that drives our physical body to move forward for any activity. Once the mind is thinking positively, it will keep on uplifting the vibration of mental and physical energy as a force to overcome illnesses, generating a better inner energy flow.

“Some of us may get stuck on negative thoughts that lower our energy levels. If one is not able to redirect the mind to positive thoughts or transform the mind, they will require professional advice. As human beings, once we find something that provides hope or satisfaction, we are able to increase our energy and strive for greater achievements,” she points out.

Dr Buathon’s background in psychology is very helpful in identifying someone’s mind condition and emotional state. Trying to “locate” the mind and work with it requires a tool, and breathing is the best choice available. Oftentimes, Dr Buathon also uses essential oils to calm down the patient so that they can concentrate on connecting the body and mind. Another interesting tool is a set of singing bowls that produce sounds and waves.

“The quality of the seven fullmoon, singing metal bowls provides a deep vibration from the metals that make the water tide pulse within us. Our body is 70% water and the vibrations help to calm the mind or slow brain waves, facilitating the pre-meditation state. In a meditative state, it is easy to let go and rest the busy mind. The vibration also stimulates circulation and lymphatic flow. Muscles relax and release damp heat out of the body and, at the end, sedimentation toxin flows out from our circulation as heat is generated and released. You will feel lighter and as the mind pacifies, it is able to fully relax. For advanced mind practice, you can use the vibrations of the bowl to transform the mind and elevate mental energy closer to your mental purpose,” she says.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the presence of tension or blockage means that one’s “chi” is stagnant. Dr Buathon recommends a simple technique of inhalation, slowly enhancing internal energy to flow to the blockage area. One can imagine the body as a balloon, as inhalation fills it with air. Through several rounds of inhalation and exhalation, the body releases tension and becomes replenished with energy.

To further transform the mind of her students, Dr Buathon often leads groups to healing retreats in the Himalayas. In May of 2020, she will host a Bhutan Sacred Retreat, which will be taking place in the Bhutanese town of Bumthang. It offers an excellent opportunity for individuals to connect to a spiritual path.

“Bhutan is known as the happiest country in the world, with a carbonnegative ecotherapy ideology. From my previous two visits to the country, I managed to connect with pure nature for a spiritually awakening experience. The energetic field of Bumthang enables one to connect with the true self whilst absorbing the indigenous practice of Tibetan Buddhism. It will raise vibration within a being,” she concludes.