Nestled in a valley in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai City is popular for both retirees and digital nomads, and despite the fact that the city is not within reasonable driving distance of a beach, unlike many of the healing communities in the region, Chiang Mai is still home to a small alternative healing hub, hosting a variety of permanent and seasonal alternative healing, therapy and counseling practitioners.
Visitors are often surprised as to how much is on offer here and upon such a discovery take advantage of these services which are often offered at a fraction of the cost back home. For a small and cosy city Chiang Mai has many holistic healers and therapists who offer various modalities that can support you in your well being and spiritual growth.
The terms therapy or counseling can seem confusing as they can be defined differently in each country. Therapists and counselors use formally recognized tools and are typically regulated by government organizations, with each country having their own definition on what defines a therapist or counselor. It would seem counseling tends to be more short term while therapy is often more prolonged, in some cases treatment can last for years. Again depending on the country both therapists and counselors may help clients with similar tools and approaches.
A healer on the other hand use tools and approaches that are not duly recognized by formal organizations and is thus considered alternative, typically falling outside the scope of government regulations. This gives the healer an extra edge in comparison to therapists or counselors as they are not limited to traditional views and thus have a free hand to conduct “non-evidence based therapy” (More on this next). Unlike therapy or counseling a healing is often a one time treatment or tends to require fewer sessions.
Are you looking for someone to assist or guide you in your healing process? The difference may sound trivial but is an important factor to consider before initiating your search.
Someone who can assist you in your healing process is someone who knows how to apply the right tools at the right time to facilitate your healing. For example, a therapist or counselor may assist someone in clearing their grief about a loved one who has passed away, by asking this person to imagine their loved one is sitting in a chair in front of them, and then to proceed and speak to their loved one about how they missed them. The advantage of being assisted in your healing process is that one may feel safe knowing that the therapist or counselor holds a formal qualification.
Someone who can guide you in your healing, using the example above, would also ask the person to imagine the loved one to be seated in front of them, but the healer can also feel this persons grief and thus can guide them to speak from their deeper truth. This is especially powerful as we may not be aware of our deeper feelings or we may have resistance to speak from our truth. To further guide the healing, the healer can also intuitively or psychically hear how the loved one responds, in other words, they can channel messages from the loved one to deepen the connection and further clear any remaining painful feelings.
Typically healers can fully guide people into their healing process as they posses the skills that stands them apart from traditional therapists and counselors, these skills being empathy (feeling a person's feelings as if it was their own) and/or intuitive or psychic skills. These skill sets, although they can be practiced, invariably can not be taught to those who don't perceive information in this way, and thus are not part of traditional therapy or counseling education.
The advantage of being guided in your healing process is that the healer is not bounded by techniques or by an evidence based therapy approach, (an example of non-evidence based therapy is past life regression) giving them the flexibility to help you with a broader set of skills and approaches. Another great advantage is that because the healer will be in tune with you, they can guide you much deeper into your psyche thereby promoting a faster healing process.
Besides internet searches and scanning Facebook pages and groups, the following sources can help you in your search.
MeetUp website lists regular events held in Chiang Mai. Over the years various people have been running healing and therapy groups including EFT, Hypnosis, Grief Support Group, Singing HU and more. MeetUps come and go so check the website for the latest info.
A venue in Chiang Mai where people have held regular healing or therapy events. Over the years people have held a Hypnosis Club, How to do Energy Healing, Spiritual Teachings and Laughter Yoga. Check the their website for current events.
Posters placed on notice boards in certain cafes and restaurants, such as Blue Diamond in the old city, show who is in town and what is on offer.
Every now and then a small alternative healing festival is held in Chiang Mai or Pai. Keep an eye out of posters at cafes and restaurants and postings in Facebook when you arrive.
Luxury Hotels and Resorts
Hotels such as Dhara Devi, 4 Seasons and Anantara have a wellness programme and often host visiting healing practitioners, as do Tao Garden and Pavana which are wellness based resorts.
This is by no means an exhaustive list as people come and go but it is a good representation of whats available in Chiang Mai
Accredited counselors and therapists
Usually will have a Masters Degree or above and hold a license to practice in their originating country.
Needles placed into the body on energy lines to promote healing and release energetic blockages
A high intensity light is focused onto the forehead area, stimulating relaxation and a sense of deep meditation
Soft-touch techniques are used to release restrictions
The removal of stored physical toxic material in the body, often accompanied with an emotional release
Predicting events or reading character traits through classic tools such as astrology or tarot cards. Can be healing as it provides the recipient an opportunity to accept them self more deeply or gives peace concerning their fears. There are many Thai people giving tarot readings at temples, shopping centers and parks, but best to bring someone who can translate.
Energy Healing including Reiki
Energy that provides rejuvenation and healing in the body, is channeled through the healer into the recipient
Energy Healing using Crystals
Healing energy sourced through the crystal is directed into the body
Drug Rehabilitation Centers
High end resident programs designed to help people clear their addictions and remove their tendency to fall back on to their addictive patterns in times of great stress
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR)
Uses eye movements to lighten the emotional charge connected to past traumatic events
The ancestral energy flow and blockages are investigated and removed
A blue print of the recipient is created, offering them strategies and techniques to enable them to better harness their uniqueness
A person is placed into deep relaxation allowing the therapist to access and heal dysfunctional aspects that is normally protected by the active mind
Prolonged laughter is used to enable a deep sense of relaxation and an overall feeling of well being
Deep tissue massage or body work can release tensions and blocked emotions
Massage - Chi Nei Tsang
A specialized abdominal message that stimulates the release of toxins and emotional blockages
Massage - Karsai
A specialized massage on the genital area to help clear any physical and sexually orientated emotional difficulties
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
A broad set of healing and performance based techniques that is able to be replicated by anyone
Past Life Regression
A previous life is revisited to conduct a healing on the unresolved issues that are now being presented in the current life. Learn the benefits from a past life regression.
A psychic healer who uses tools and techniques based on ancient tribal knowledge and skills
Allows the body to resonate with the sound frequencies, to encourage rejuvenation and the releasing of negative material
Various support groups are available in Chiang Mai, anything from men or women only groups, to sugar or alcohol addictions. Most organize themselves via Facebook or MeetUp.
Using breathing techniques, gentle movement and meditation to cleanse, strengthen and circulate life energy
A moving form of yoga and meditation combined, promoting peace and wellness
A hand few of teachers offer restoration yoga classes, to help those heal and rehabilitate from a physical injury
Group exercises are used to open hearts which encourage the healing of emotional wounds
The following is a list of self help approaches that are supported in Chiang Mai.
Chanting or Spiritual Singing
The careful use of language repeated out aloud can trigger emotional releases and promote spiritual growth. Check MeetUp to see if any chanting or singing groups are available in Chiang mai.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Release emotions and physical pain by tapping points on the body while repeating key phrases. Download a shortened version of the EFT manual here. Check MeetUp to see if there is an EFT support group in Chiang Mai.
Exercise can promote the release of negative emotions and is scientifically shown to promote mental health. Chiang Mai hosts a number of gyms and sports arenas.
The body is encouraged to completely relax by being suspended in water in a dark and quiet room, promoting wellness
A process of relaxing and focusing our awareness on self, allowing for unresolved material to be presented, acknowledged and healed. Wat Rampoeng in Chiang Mai and the Goenka Meditation Centre in Lamphun are great local meditation retreat options.
Tension Release Exercises (TRE)
A set of movements designed to help one release tension and blocked emotions. Group classes available in Chiang Mai or go on YouTube.
Learn more options on how to help yourself here.
You might also like to this blog on Chiang Mai Healing.