I am heading to Philadelphia to attend the Annual Traditional Thai Medicine Workshop with Pierce Salguero!
This 5-day workshop is led by Pierce Salguero, a specialist in Asian medicine who has a Ph.D. in History of Medicine from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is a college professor, author, researcher, and practitioner of Traditional Thai Massage and Buddhist Medicine.
This workshop is for teachers and advanced practitioners of Thai massage, and beginning students are not accepted. It is designed for those who are already familiar with Thai bodywork and are interested in delving further into the history, theory, philosophy, and culture of Traditional Thai Medicine to enhance their practice and teaching. We will concentrate on academic approaches to the topics listed below, while customizing the workshop to meet the specific interests of the participants. The goal is to provide participants with a strong academic basis for their healing work and teaching. Participants go on to incorporate this material into their own classrooms, and the workshop provides a range of materials that can be used for this purpose.
We will focus on the following range of topics:
- Bodily Winds and Pathways (Lom & Sen): We will explore Thai concepts of energy, bodily winds, and pathways, with a focus on resolving the many differences between various Thai schools, between traditional Thai models vs. modern anatomy, as well as between various Asian traditions of energy meridians.
- Four Element Diagnosis and Herbal Therapy: The doctrine of the Four Elements is central to the practice of Thai massage and medicine, and provides the key to Thai diagnosis and therapy. We will concentrate on thoroughly grasping the Four Elements, the history of this theory, its function in health and disease, and how to diagnose and treat the Elements.
- Buddhism & Spirit Healing: We will learn about the Buddhist foundations of Thai healing, including the history and practice of specific healing meditations, chants, and other means of alleviating mental and physical suffering within the Buddhist framework. A large part of traditional medicine in Thailand involves engaging with the spirit world, so we will also focus on understanding Thai healing magic, rituals of protection, spirit invocation, exorcism, magic charms, amulets, and other aspects of indigenous Thai spirit healing.
- Thai Healing Culture: Specific topics include “wai khru” ceremonies, altars and other sacred spaces, and Thai medical concepts and vocabulary. We will delve into these and other aspects of the culture of Thai healing, with emphasis on “culturally translating” Thai traditions to fit with participants’ own teaching and practice goals
- Thai Medical History: Familiarity with the history of Thai medicine is crucial to being able to teach the Thai healing arts with integrity and depth. The workshop is dedicated to providing participants with the tools to separate fact from myth, and to deepening the factual knowledge they can share with their own students.
- Connections with India and China: One area that many students, practitioners, and teachers of Thai healing arts are confused about is the connections between Thai medicine and other Asian traditions such as hatha-yoga, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and various forms of Buddhism. This part of the workshop is particularly helpful for practitioners of other complementary-alternative modalities to understand how Thai medicine fits with these practices.
- Readings & other materials: During the workshop, nightly readings will allow participants to familiarize themselves with the best research available on the central concepts of TTM, as well as important Buddhist scriptures and Thai medical texts in English translation. Participants will be able to use readings and other workshop materials in their future teaching.
As a scholar, professor, and long-time teacher of Thai massage and traditional medicine, Pierce leads workshops that provide objective, methodical explanations, and that emphasize critical academic perspectives. The workshop is based on 20 years of experience, as Pierce has been teaching the above content in massage schools and college classrooms in Thailand, North America, and Europe since 1997. Pierce is committed to providing education that is personalized and affordable in an intimate, informal, and non-commercial setting. The dynamic of the workshop is collaborative, non-judgmental, and supportive of all involved, and teachers and practitioners from all lineages, schools, and backgrounds are warmly welcome.