Modern astronomers may not accept the early Buddhists' perception of the universe, but there is still a striking parallel between the Buddhist version of the world's beginning and the latest ‘big bang' theories describing the gaseous origins of the galaxies. The four-elements concept is also reflected in the creation myths of many of the world's traditional belief systems. Native American cultures talk of the elements in much the same way as the early Buddhists, as did the ancient Indians, Thais, Khmers, Chinese, Tibetans and Aborigines of Australia.
According to Buddhists, the theory of the four elements explains the relationship between man and the universe. Unlike the 100 - plus elements of modern chemistry, the four primal elements are vital, active forces. They function together in patterned relationships based on their relative characteristics, and their interplay produces all natural phenomena.
The four elements are also manifested in the human body through an association with the vital organs. The heart is ruled by fire , the lungs by wind , the kidneys by water and the pancreas / liver by earth , The way the elements interact can affect physical and mental health. For example , a hot heart , or fiery temperament , is seen to result from an excess of energy ( often negative ) generated from the heart organ. An overworked or tired liver is attributed to a lack of earth energy. An overactive pancreas is known to sap the liver's vital energy source and results in stress and anger. Insufficient amounts of the water element can debilitate the kidneys' proper functioning.
Elemental ways to Greater Health
Thailand is staking its claim as the source country for health products based on Buddhism's original four elements. Over a thousand years ago , the Buddhist four-elements tradition spread from its home in India to Burma , Thailand and Cambodia. But only in Thailand has this knowledge as related to healing traditions - been maintained and developed in strict accordance with the original source.
Four-elements treatments and therapies are sourced to Chivaka Gomorapat , the Buddha's personal physician , who taught herbal treatments and massage techniques which channel energy through bodily meridians known as sens.
Long before the arrival of western medicine , Thai villagers treated themselves using herbs and oils in teas , lotions , poultices and steambaths. According to Thai tradition , each element is associated with an essential oil. Bergamot is the essential oil for wind rosemary is suited for earth , and geranium for fir, cedar wood for water. Depending on an individual's dominant element , there will always be a particular combination of essential oils which promises the most effective treatment. Over the centuries , there have been scattered reports attesting to the value of these traditional Thai healing methods , but only recently have there been credible scientific studies evaluating the effectiveness of four- element based medicine.
Fifteen years ago , German researcher Dr. Joachim Martin Henglein presented a paper on the four elements and traditional Thai healing practices at an international symposium on essential oil in Berlin. Dr. Henglien is a renowned teacher at Germany's International School of Aromathology and Osmology. Osmology is the science of scent identification; aromathology the science of essential oil and its application.
Dr. Henglein documented 30 , 000 patients tested at London's International Therapy Examination Council , and produced substantial evidence of the effectiveness of four-elements healing processes. As part of a comprehen-sive testing program that took several years to complete , Dr. Henglein categorized patents suffering from a variety of illnesses according To their dominant element - wind , fire , water or earth. He then treated them accordingly with aromatherapy and essential oils. Fruther tests involving aromatherapy were carried out in the south of France . The results were then cross-referenced with data taken from the Ayurvedic and Chinese medical traditions , which also base treatment on theories of elemental interaction.
The results indicated that the four-elements principle for the selection of aromatherapy oils is an effective and practical method for restoring health and maintaining wellbeing. The thousands of test cases documented by Dr. Henglein provide strong evidence that people are indeed influenced by the balancing energies of the four elements.
The Aromatherapy School run by Thailand 's Royal Lotus-a trading company specializing in health products - conducts basic and advanced courses on the four elements and makes good use of Dr. Henglein's findings.
Elements of a Sensational Spa
The healing philosophy associated with both the Buddhist and Taoist elemental systems is set to become the new sentation for spa treatments in Asia. Two multimillion-dollar spa projects base on the philosophy of the essential elements have recently opened-one in Thailand, The other in China.
Jirung spa of Eternity, located in Chiang Mai, is the first destination spa to open in northern Thailand. It is also the first spa in Asia to use massage and wellness therapist based on the four elements. Furthermore, Jirung has designed its own computer software for personalized ‘four element' analysis
Thailand has been at the forefront of natural healing and the quiest spa revolution. The Buddhist tradition of four elements provides a new dimension for spa.
This knowledge is based on balance. Energy and the relationship of the four element play an important part in the Thai Healing culture, “explains natural health advocate and spa property developer Leunchay Vongvanij.
“The Jirung Spa of Eternity is bringing something special to spas in Asia , “he adds. ”Jirung is more than a spa. It's an entire knowledge base for both Thai healing traditions derived from the elements and traditionakl Thai healing massage.”
Luenchay family under Vonganij group owns the British Dispensary Company, Good 4U Co., Ltd., and other subsidiaries . Perfect Health Solution Co., Ltd. is currently developing a complete line of natural health products based on the four elements.
“Jirung has its own unique essential oils based on the four elements. We grow our own herbs on our own farms and our laboratories are testing new products. As part of our expansion plans for global distribution we are developing an entire line of Eternity health and beauty products”