This article was written by Karen Ufer who joined CSTM in Thailand last March. One of the teachers that we really love is Mor Noi, and this post describes Karen’s experience with her. Enjoy!
Mor Noi: the ‘little doctor’ in Chiang Mai
(Mor = doctor, Noi = little)
A stunning discovery that I made on my last trip to Chiang Mai in March 2011 with the Chicago School of Thai Massage was Miss Amporn (gold from the sky) Srakrupan called Mor Noi – a healer of a kind, a true wisdom woman, a psychic and medical intuitive, a jewel in the lotus flower. She was trained in Traditional Thai Medicine and became a Thai medical doctor. She developed her own theory about the cause of illness and created her own, special method of healing. She represents the ‘soft touch’ of energy healing in Thailand in contrast to the deep pressure often felt with Nuad Boran (Traditional Massage). Her gentle, warm energy hands connect to the natural energy flow of the body as well as to the single cells forming the tissue. She believes that the cells carry the memory of the past and store whatever happened to the body: trauma, accident, disease. Her gentle healing touch aims at the same goals as Thai massage: opening the energy flow, releasing energy blockages, balancing the energy of the elements (air, water, earth, fire) and activating the inherent self-healing mechanisms of the body.
In many ways, her teachings are ‘same same’ to Pichest Boonthumme- a Master of Traditional Thai massage – sometimes even using the same words or phrases. The spiritual healing – healing the thought – is deeply connected to the dharma teachings of Buddhism and is completely in line with the wisdom Pichest embodies. They are also comparable in their teachings about the dominance of the mind over the body and the resulting problems from being too much in the mind. Both healers are strongly influenced by the beliefs about the world of spirit– the need to live in harmony with them and the energies they represent in the world.
Mor Noi’s theory about the four natural elements (water, earth, fire and air) reflecting the physiological processes in the body is also rooted in the old traditions of Thai Medicine. With her broad range of education and her amazing intuitive abilities she adapted this ancient knowledge about energy and elements to the 21st century and our modern illnesses and diseases. With regard to life energy she even refers to concepts of modern quantum physics. Listening to her is a refreshing shower of receiving the magical truth of simplicity.
The difference between Pichest and Mor Noi is the ‘how’ – the way they touch the body and heal the mind; the way they move energy. Mor Noi works on the table with a soft touch and treats the mind and body simultaneously talking to the client and guiding the mind through the body. Pitchest addresses the mind and the body separately. He heals the mind through his dharma teachings, meditation and prayers. His way of healing the energy and releasing blockages happens on the mat on the floor through deep circulatory compressions as an essential ingredient of his famous style of Thai massage.
Mor Noi is the female, yin version of how to connect to the pranamaya kosha – the energybody – and activate the self-healing mechanisms of the physical body by removing energy blockages. Her touch is as powerful as it is soft. She does not press or sink into the body. Instead her touch connects you to a new awareness of the energy flow in your body or your own blockages. She works on both entities – the body and the mind – at the same time. She has a way of withdrawing your mind from processing external signals and directing it towards observing and feeling the body, urging it to LISTEN to the body.
Mor Noi teaches you that the mind can make the body sick by making too many demands on the body. She acknowledges that the mind can also make the mind sick. Wrong thinking and judgment of the mind can lead to an even more disturbed perception of the external world. The body can also make the body sick. These are chain reactions of progressive illnesses which cause the weakness to expand throughout the body. The body can also make the mind sick. This refers to dealing with physical problems which change and affect your thinking, perception and emotions about life. Mor Noi regards the body and the mind as separate entities with different energies. The energy of the thoughts is very different from the life energy in the body. It is essential to heal both of them simultaneously. Only the restoration of a healthy communication and interaction of these two important dimensions will lead to true healing of the body-mind-soul unit.
The body does the self-healing best when the mind leaves it alone. This means the complete allowance and letting go of the mind’s need to stay in control even of the process of healing. Mor Noi teaches us that one major ingredient of healing is love. A sign on her desk says, “We need love! The body needs love!”
It takes a really good practitioner, lots of self-discipline and practice of meditation to take your mind to this special state of letting go. Mor Noi can help you do it. She takes you to a deeply relaxed, trance-like state being somewhere between awake and asleep. Once the mind is still and completely present, the body is set free to heal itself.
Her major focus is on the abdominal area as the center of most health problems. Additionally, she intentionally elicits emotions during the session. She believes that energy blockages are caused by negative emotions like anger, sadness, frustration, guilt which are stored in the body. Mor Noi intuitively connects to these emotional blockages. She talks about her sensations and brings repressed emotions back to your awareness.
As a former psychotherapist and neuropsychologist, I know how difficult it is to heal emotional trauma or physical memories through the mind. The state of letting go is not easily achieved with the mind, if at all. On the contrary, it happens quickly in the body, when the mind is still. This experience was my biggest insight into the interaction of the mind and body influencing the energy flow. I experienced the magical moment of energy shifting in the body during my session with her. It seems that if the healer is capable of relaxing the central nervous system to the extent that the client experiences this ‘mindless’ state, the body liberates itself from suffering. Giving the body this kind of freedom and allowance, one might even be able to reverse the dynamics of a given disease, as chronic or progressive as it may seem. Energetically this reversal of the spiraling motion of energy can be compared to reversing the rotation of a ceiling fan. See what happens when you press the appropriate button on the remote control to change the movement of the fan. The movement slows down to the point where there is no motion at all and then it turns the other way. Perhaps it is just the same with the spinning energies in our body?
Of course the client has to be willing to undo his/her obstacles to healthy functioning on all four causes of disease: 1. food 2. mind 3. elements 4. karma. Mor Noi’s clinic with her cooking school and the sweet herbal garden provides everything you need to fully enjoy the holistic healing of your unique body-mind-soul unit. How I enjoyed receiving the wisdom and the touch from Mor Noi. As an advanced Thai therapist having used the tool of traditional Thai massage for the last 6 years, she opened the door to a new way of providing ‘soft’ energy healing for the client.
Karen Ufer (RTT)