Recently I attended a seminar on “Spa: Spearheading Wellness Industry & Health Tourism” organized by the Health Ministry. Since next year is Visit Malaysia Year and health tourism is becoming a major revenue earner for our tourist industry, the Health Ministry did the right thing by getting the complementary health practitioners to give their inputs on how they can participate, and also by giving them the guidelines and regulations that govern their practices.

Medical tourism is already well-established here, as some of our doctors are world-class, as are some of our hospitals. Although we are still lagging behind Singapore, we are catching up fast, especially since our costs are cheaper for the same quality services.

The same can be said about our Spa industry too. Several of our spas have actually been voted as the best in the world, yet we are far behind Bali and Thailand as a “spa destination”. To catch up, we need to offer our own unique spa services. The Balinese and Thais are famous for their charm, traditional massage and traditional body care to pamper their spa guests. So it was with delight that I discovered that the most successful spa group in Malaysia, working with a Malay traditional body care product manufacturer, has succeeded in reviving and promoting traditional Malay spa services at their award-winning spas.

Among the speakers at the seminar was Prof Leng Wa Nam of the Federation of Chinese Physicians & Medicines Dealers Associations of Malaysia. He was giving proposals on how Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM ) can be used to promote health tourism in Malaysia. Among his proposals was that Qigong exercises should be added as an option to the services offered by the spas.

Qigong would be very attractive as it is still an “exotic” exercise in that there are not many places in the world that offer the exercise, compared to Tai Chi or Yoga. It is also gentle, enjoyable and not taxing on the body ( unless of course you choose “hard” or martial arts Qigong ).

Indeed, I am aware that at least one local spa did offer Qigong exercises, in addition to Tai Chi and Yoga, which are already offered by many spas. The other energy healing methods that can be offered are Pranic Healing, Reiki, Shiatsu, and Tuina, as we do have good practitioners here.

There is a whole list of energy healing methods that are suitable for the spa – aromatherapy, crystal healing, magnetotherapy, sound therapy, colour therapy, flower therapy, phytobiophysics, etc. And there are also energy saunas and energy machines that can be incorporated into the spa services.


I have written about the various forms of energy and energy therapies. Qi is the most basic but most comprehensive and powerful energy that gives and sustains life, and heals. It is therefore appropriately called “Life Force”. Although qi has not and cannot be fully analysed, some of its properties have been detected, and these include infrared and infrasound waves.

Infrared waves or rays have long been known to be good for healing. Some of you may have used the infrared lamps to help heal your episiotomy wounds after childbirth, or to relieve sore joints or muscle pains. Infrared lamps are helpful for any wound healing, including infected wounds as no touching is necessary. Diabetics will find the infrared lamp a useful item to have at home to help them heal their wounds faster, in addition to the other wound care methods. It is also useful for skin rejuvenation, as the infrared rays are known to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis, which in turn will make the skin firmer and younger.

Those who have been to hot springs may have unknowingly benefited from infrared rays. Apart from the hot water that gushes from the earth, often these places are rich in minerals that also have healing properties. It is now known that one reason why they heal is because the mineralized earth emits healing infrared rays.


If we know the science behind infrared rays, it can be more useful. The usual infrared lamps actually emit all three types of infrared energy – far, medium and near. The near and medium infrared rays induce more heat and can burn, though they are much less harmful than ultraviolet rays ( UVA and UVB ). So to avoid burns, you must limit your exposure at each session. It is better and safer if you use a far infrared ( FIR ) lamp.

The far infrared rays ( wavelength 4-14 microns ) are much safer, and have better healing effects on our cells. Modern technology also allows us to actually produce far infrared rays without the harmful near and medium rays. Thus you can have longer therapy sessions, and benefit more. Adequate exposure to far infrared rays is claimed to promote healing by energizing and rejuvenating the cells, improving blood circulation, and increasing metabolic rate.

The far infrared rays are usually produced by using a specially treated ceramic that becomes a semiconductor when current is passed. This is then incorporated into various health therapy instruments, including FIR saunas.


The traditional sauna relies solely on heat to induce sweating, increase metabolism, and improve circulation as a way to detox, and promote health and healing. The ability of the human body to withstand heat can be mind-boggling. Once a year, a town in Finland has a competition to select the person capable of withstanding the highest temperature in an electrically-heated sauna. Since the country is cold and almost always snow-covered, sitting in a sauna is a national past-time, but the adaptation that their bodies show can defy science. For the last few years, the winner was a lady who withstood temperatures above boiling point ( 100C ) which would have meant certain death for most of us. Imagine not just sitting there, but also breathing hot steam for many minutes! That is the marvel of the human body.

The benefit of profuse sweating for detoxification has been very much underestimated. The body excretes certain wastes preferentially, and some exclusively, through certain routes. And some of these toxins can only be effectively removed through sweating. In the 70’s, L. Ron Hubbard ( the controversial scientology writer ) had successfully treated drug addiction by getting addicts to go through sauna detox treatments, combined with a nutritional program. Since then, doctors have found the method also effective in treating many types of chemical and toxic metal poisoning.

In fact, some of the top toxic-poisoning treatments centres in the world ( eg. Environmental Health Centre, Dallas USA ) uses sauna as an integral part of their detox program.

Since our country is at a loss as to how to overcome the drug addiction problem, I suggest we try this method.

You don’t have to torture yourself in a hot sauna to achieve the same benefits. The far infrared sauna will induce similar beneficial body changes without the uncomfortable hotness. You can relax and still sweat profusely and benefit from the detoxification effect, and will of course lose some weight from water-loss. However, the increased metabolism also means more energy is burnt and some of the weight-loss is real fat-loss. Just like doing aerobics exercise, the increased calorie-burning continues for sometime after the session, and if done regularly, can be an effective way to lose weight.

By having an “exercise-like” effect, regular use of the far infrared sauna is also claimed to help control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The profuse sweating detoxifies the body, and is a good way to get rid of uric acid and prevent or get relief from gouty arthritis. This will be further helped by drinking plenty of water, and eating plenty of alkaline food ( most green vegetables, sprouts and some fruits ).

I must emphasize that sitting in the infrared sauna is not a substitute to actual exercise, which actually strengthens the heart and improves lung health through actual physical effort ( muscular activity ) requiring increased oxygen-consumption. However, it is a worthwhile addition to exercise, and certainly is recommended for those who are too lazy to exercise and would otherwise not have anything to cause sweating, calorie-burning, and improved blood circulation!


I have also written about the various types of healthy and healing water, and one of the important properties of water is the molecular size. Small water molecules or “micro-clusters” means the water has better dissolving, cleansing and healing power. Our body water has that property, but as we age and consume unhealthy water, our body contains less and less of this healthy water. Healthy or micro-clustered water can reduce the thickness and stickiness of our blood, and thus improve circulation, and delivery of nutrients and oxygen to all our cells and organs. This can be demonstrated by drinking a glass of micro-clustered water and having a before and after blood examination under high-power microscopy ( “live blood analysis” ).

Far infrared rays have the ability to change water to become micro-clustered, provided you expose the water sufficiently. This can be done by dropping the specially-treated FIR-emitting ceramic disc directly into the water container. Since energy rays can travel through many materials, you can also get the effect by just putting the water ( in a glass or other container ) or other foodstuff over the FIR-emitting ceramic. In a previous article, I also explained about the additional benefits of adding ferrous-ferric material to the ceramic to create “pi” energy and make “pi” water.

If you are exposed to FIR through FIR lamps or sauna, then the water in your body will be directly changed to micro-clusters, as the FIR rays can penetrate your skin and influence the superficial tissues, and the blood circulating in the superficial capillaries and larger blood vessels. Of course, it will take many sessions and many hours of exposure to convert most of your body water to micro-cluster. It will certainly help if you also drink micro-clustered water all the time.

So now you have another method to help you detox and become healthier in the future. As we celebrate the coming of another year, I wish all readers a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.


Dr Amir Farid Isahak
Categories: Uncategorized

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