TEXT BY ALISON PACE,
PHOTOS BY THOMAS NG, MARILYN ARDIPRADJA AND CHIROPRACTIC INDONESIA
The human body, like nature, has an amazing ability to heal itself naturally. Sometimes people forget that and at the slightest hint of a sniffle, reach for pills and potions which are full of “scientifically proven, illness – fighting” chemicals. This month, we took a look at some natural, herbal and alternative therapies to be used in conjunction with (or perhaps in some cases, instead of) traditional medicines.
Dr Anthony Dawson, Director of Chiropractic Indonesia
Most of us relate the work of Chiropractor’s with back problems, are there any other afflictions they can treat?
People come initially because they have Chronic back pain, headaches, migraines, knee pain or shoulder and neck issues. Ultimately Chiropractic deals with the relationship of the body and nervous system and its innate ability to heal itself.
What methods do Chiropractors use?
Chiropractic means simply “practice by hand” but nowadays we have many techniques to reach the objective of a free and functioning spine and removal of nerve interference, including using “activators,” which are hand-held tools that create movement in 1/100th of a second that corrects spinal motion.
Does it hurt?
Normally patients get enormous relief without any pain. Sometimes there are reactions of mild swelling around an area that has been stuck and is now moving, but this doesn’t occur in everyone.
Are the results of Chiropractic methods medically proven?
There is so much proof that chiropractic works medically, scientifically, socially and clinically. When people make statements like it’s “not scientific,” I disagree entirely. Our doctors spend 5 years in intense Chiropractic programs at Universities and have a slightly longer course than medical doctors. Evidence shows the recovery under chiropractic care is vastly cheaper and more effective than simply taking drugs and immobilisation. So tell me what you would prefer? Natural recovery or drugs and surgery?
Pacific Place Mall, T: +62-21 57973633
What is it? Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting needles into the skin to stimulate “meridians” (energy channels) in the body with the goal of redirecting “Qi”(the body’s vital energy) and thus restoring health.
What does it treat? Acupuncture is believed to treat a whole variety of ailments including chronic pain, sports injuries, addiction to alcohol or drugs, stroke rehabilitation, fertility problems, weight loss aid, arthritis, depression, insomnia, asthma and digestion problems.
Does it hurt? Most patients claim it doesn’t hurt apart from a small tingling sensation when the needle goes in.
Where can I try? Jakarta has several Acupuncture clinics including East Meets West Neuromusculoskeletal Rehabilitation Clininc in Pondok Indah. T: +62-21 725 0019
Marilyn Ardipradja, an Australian, long-term resident of Jakarta, is a Reiki Master. She has been practicing Reiki for almost 20 years as well as teaching Reiki classes since she became a Master in 1999.
What exactly is Reiki?
Reiki is a form of hand-on healing using universal life-force energy that heals on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. In Reiki we touch the body very lightly, or have our hands slightly above the body. A treatment typically takes 75 -90 minutes. There is no manipulation, so there is no pain. Usually the client feels heat from our hands, the amount of heat varying according to the amount of energy needed by each part of the body.
What kind of illnesses/ ailments does it help with?
All kinds of physical ailments, both acute and chronic, can be helped with Reiki. Emotional problems can also be healed. I seem to have a lot of success with clients with fertility issues.
Is there scientific proof that it works?
There is no scientific proof of Reiki but the effects of a treatment can be observed, sometimes instantly. In one case a woman who was 5 months pregnant was having early contractions that would have caused a miscarriage. Although she was in another country, whenever I sent the Reiki energy to her the contractions stopped. She eventually carried the baby to full term and gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
Reflexology or Zone therapy involves a therapist applying pressure to specific points of the feet and hands; these specific areas are meant to relate to particular parts of the body. Although very relaxing, there is no hard evidence that it effectively treats any medical conditions. Try it at Sanctum by Kenko in the Colony building, Kemamg.
Ancient Indonesian Treatments
In the early hours of the morning, you might have glimpsed Sunarti trudging through the streets of Kemang with a heavy wooden bucket filled with assorted bottles of herbal elixirs, or Jamu, strapped to her back.
Jamu is traditional Indonesian medicine; it has been around for centuries, the recipes being passed down from grandmothers to mothers to daughters through word of mouth. Today in Jakarta, there are still a number of hawkers who sell the - often bitter - drinks for around Rp5,000 per cup. Cinammon, Ginger, Tumeric, lime and galangal are amongst some of the natural spices and herbs used to produce the drinks.
We tried Beras Kencur, which is believed to treat an aching body, and Kunyit (turmeric), which has antiseptic qualities and helps with digestive problems. For married women, there is also sari rapet, which translates to “extra tight,” and for married men, Kuat Lelaki…(I’m sure you can hazard a guess at what they are used for!)
Try it at: Any passing Jamu Lady
Pain Factor: Drinks can be quite unappetising!
Kerokan is an ancient Indonesian therapy to treat Masuk Angin. Masuk Angin, literally “enter-wind,’ is when a draft of wind has entered the body and made you sick; it can mean catching a cold, flu, an upset stomach, heartburn or indigestion.
Kerokan helps to release wind from your body by increasing blood flow at the skin’s surface by drawing a coin across the (oiled up) body repeatedly. Usually this causes deep red markings all over the back; the darker the marks are, the sicker you are.
Try it at: Any Martha Tilaar Spa
Pain Factor: Low to Medium
Ratus is another interesting therapy for married women, designed to keep “intimate” areas clean and fragrant. After undressing and putting on a long robe, sit on a bottomless stool while a clay pot beneath emits some kind of sweet-smelling, herbal smoke.
Try it at: Any Martha Tilaar Spa
Pain Factor: Zero