Thai Yoga Therapy for Cancer

Thai Yoga Therapy Role in Cancer Palliation

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), PhD, DOM, RAC, SMOKH Academic Dean SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center (SCNM).

Title: Indigenous, Traditional Medicinal Therapies as Cancer Complication Remediation and Palliative Support for Cachexia.

What is Cachexia?

Cachexia; from Greek κακός kakos “bad” and ἕξις hexis “condition”)[1] or wasting syndrome is loss of weight, muscle atrophy, fatigue, weakness, and significant loss of appetite in someone who is not actively trying to lose weight. Cachexia is also known or seen in patients with cancer, AIDS,[2] chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, multiple sclerosis, congestive heart failure, tuberculosis, familial amyloid polyneuropathy, malaria, mercury poisoning (acrodynia) and hormonal deficiency. It is a positive risk factor for death, meaning if the patient has cachexia, the chance of death from the underlying condition is increased dramatically. About 50% of all cancer patients suffer from cachexia.


The exact mechanism in which these diseases cause cachexia is poorly understood and may vary from one individual to another, but there is probably a role for inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (which is also nicknamed ‘cachexin’ or ‘cachectin’), interferon gamma and interleukin 6, as well as the tumor-secreted proteolysis-inducing factor. Side effects of chemotherapy drug regimen and or radiation therapy may be causes. Categories of physical/ biological adverse and or side effects of conventional Cancer therapies: include Edema, Inflammation, Neuropathies and Neuralgias, Immune suppression. Severe, possibly long term chronic malnutrition may be a factor.


1) Can Indigenous and traditional, native medicine practices and or evolving therapies derived from Indigenous culture traditions make a positive contribution towards Cancer complication remediation and palliative care?


1a) Are indigenous and traditional based therapies viable as complimentary adjuncts in support of and or alternative to conventional allopathic treatment schedules and procedures?

and if they are…

2) What may be the conditions or complications that have the potential for the strongest possible remediation / palliation outcomes?

International Standards:

According to International Standards: Palliative therapies, procedures and/ or processes offer the strongest therapeutic outcomes for Cachexia. (As recommended by European Clinical Guidelines for Clinical practice guidelines on cancer cachexia in advanced cancer patients with a focus on refractory cachexia.)(48)


  1. A) Nutritional Treatment (Diet and food)
  2. B) Supplements, vitamins and minerals
  3. C) Non Drug treatment
  4. D) Nutritional counseling and or education
  5. E) Psychotherapeutic interventions
  6. F) Physical Training and other physical interventions
  7. G) Cannabinoids
  8. H) Omega -3 fatty acids (EFA’s) including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  9. I) Multi-model therapy

3) Traditional Thai Medical Massage (Thai Yoga) is a system of indigenous medicines, therapies, procedures and/ or processes offer equivalent therapeutic outcomes for Cachexia as recommended in the “European Clinical Guidelines for Clinical practice guidelines on cancer cachexia in advanced cancer patients with a focus on refractory cachexia.”

           Thai Yoga Origins: Indigenous-Traditional Thai Yoga/ Traditional Thai Massage Therapy (Thai Physical Therapy- TPT) have complex origins historically as well as evolving characteristics in the modern era. The term “Thai Yoga Therapy its self is slang for what the Thai people call “Ryksaa Thang Nuad Phaen Boran Thai” that is literally translated as the “ancient or elders way of healing with the hands”. In the modern context, we could define it as a Chirothesia based medicine system. Chirothesia is basically defined as “the hands extending divine essence or energy for healing”.

Thai Yoga is a derivative of Traditional Thai Medicine (50) (Thai Ayurveda), (22) a variant or derivative of Classical Indian Ayurveda influenced by indigenous, traditional and tribal traditions and tribal People (Karen, Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Mien and Hmaung). Thai Yoga is influenced by other Asian and SE Asian indigenous medicines such as Tibet, Yunan/ Southern China (Amma, Tuina), Cambodia (Campochia) and Indo-Malay (Yunani) classical culture.

One of the key influences historically of TTM/ TTPT is without doubt Myanmar Traditional Medicine (Burma), Evidence has been found which has first use as far back as 600 BC. Significantly, large parts of Thailand were once ruled by Burma and vise versa.

Cancer like conditions have been long recognized

Cancer and wasting (cachestic) illnesses were known to native peoples (j, k). Many different tribes and indigenous groups developed both formal and familial remedies and effective treatment strategies. Most if not all remedies were and are today multi-model or mutli-modality in design, and implementation included emotional spiritual, physical and well as herbal, medicinal approaches. Origin of specific therapeutic approaches varies widely from one tribe to another according to geographical origin or location. However, there are therapeutic approaches that meet modern criteria as effective palliative and remedial therapies.

Indigenous, traditional and or Traditional Thai Ayurveda medicinal protocols stress a balanced lifestyle free of toxicity, clean water (hydration), air, sun light, natural and balanced diet (fresh, unadulterated, non GMO foods rich in essential nutrients, EFA’s, minerals, addressing psychological and emotional needs, and physical fitness. Additional benefits of indigenous, traditional, Traditional Thai Medicine include non standard, non medical treatments for pain, inflammation and infection. Herbs such as Haem (Thai) also known as “Tree Tumeric” among others have been used for centuries in treatment of Cancer, tumors and concomitant symptomologies.

Continued in Part 2

Part 3

 What is Thai Yoga?

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All Information about Thai Traditional Medicine, SomaVeda® Thai Yoga/ Thai Massage relief for Osteoarthritis Knee Pain is presented solely as an opinion for educational purposes and is provided as an opinion for educational purposes only and not intended to be used for any therapeutic purpose, neither is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease. It is not intended as a substitute for competent medical advise regarding any medical condition. Please consult a health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. While all attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information. The author and ThaiMassage.Com does not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions.

Copyright© 2015, Anthony B. James,  All rights reserved under International and Pan American copyright conventions. World rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Inquires should be addressed to: Anthony B. James, 5401 Saving Grace Ln. Brooksville, FL 34602 ·  http://www.ThaiYogaCenter.Com

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