The Top 5 Healthy Things I Learned in Thailand

Article by ross

Ross BridgefordAs those of you on the Alkaline Diet Course will know, I’ve just returned back home to Melbourne from my trip to Northern Thailand (and a while in Phang Nga).

I’m always open to new experiences and I’m always, always open to learning new things about health and wellness, both physical and mental and this trip certainly gave me both!

(I also had a fantastic time relaxing on beaches, eating Thai, meeting the locals and letting my hair down!)

While I was there I was overwhelmed by how much I was learning all of the time and so I thought it might be nice to blog these things out. Not only to share these learnings with you but also to give me something to look back on! Its a nice way for me to relive the memories of what was an amazing holiday. If you are planning a trip to Asia any time soon, I really recommend the North. Go after wet season and you’ll get so much luscious greenery you’ll think you’re in heaven. Anyway.

Ross’ Top Five Thailand Experiences


I had only ever really looked at reflexology as a form of massage, a bit of pampering if you will. How wrong was I? I can honestly say I have never experienced anything that puts me so in touch with my body and my health. It is an amazing diagnosis and detoxification tool!

Both my girlfriend and I had been totally lapping up the cheap Thai massage all holiday (150BHT – about $6AUD or £3!) and we kinda stumbled upon a reflexology guru by complete accident!

Just sitting at breakfast at our accommodation in Chiang Rai, the spa manager approaches us and explains that because I am vegetarian (which means I must be an enlightened being or something in her eyes – seriously!) she had arranged for Arjan, the most famous reflexologist in the North to give me a complementary session!

Arjan giving me post reflexology massage!

Within a few days both of us had seen him four times and suddenly knew a LOT more about the state of our health!

He was seriously able to pin point specific things going on in your body – literally. When he was applying pressure to the hundreds of reflexology points, my feet and my body felt great all over. However, when he got to a very specific point in the middle of my foot it hurt like *******!

This is, apparently, my kidneys. It turns out that from the traveling/flying and the general nature of being on holiday throwing me out of routines etc. I was seriously not giving my kidneys enough love and attention (water). He also found a funny little point on the side of my toe and just said straight out – you eat a lot of chillis! Bang on, brother.

Anyway, both Tania and I got a lot out of his sessions and I am really looking forward to finding an Arjan equivalent back here in Elwood.

For any of you out there that want to learn more about the state of your health, organs and body in general – go see a reflexologist. But find a good one, and when you’re there ASK QUESTIONS! Make sure your reflexologist doesn’t just see it as a relaxing massage – get them to be thorough and give you feedback!


Acupuncture had always intrigued me. I’ve always believed in it, I think because I remember when I was about 10 hearing that a family friend had been getting acupuncture to relieve pain from cancer and was getting great results. And to be honest, I’ve always wanted to try it, but for some reason I never had.

I really, nearly did a few months back randomly with my girlfriend but we decided against it because we couldn’t really think of a reason (illness or complaint) to get fixed! Fair enough I think!

So anyway, while we were up in Chiang Mai we decided to head out to a health retreat called the Tao Garden. We wanted to get our blood looked at with some live blood analysis and we’d heard of a massage called Chi Nei Tsang and the Tao Garden was created by the founder of Chi Nei Tsang so we thought this would be the place to do it!

Dr Wang, the lovely man

Anyway, while we were there we thought we might as well have a session with their Chinese doctor out of interest. After a bit of tongue studying and energy feeling he went at us with needles!

He also, completely independently, pin pointed (pun intended) my kidneys as needing some care and wanted to balance my energy. So, six pins in my spine later I’m feeling pretty funky.

After four sessions with Dr Wang (the loveliest man on earth) I felt like a million dollars/pounds. It was incredible. Tania had been suffering from headaches for the last few days and he picked up on it without her saying anything. He just felt her pulse in her arm and said ‘You’ve got a headache, right?’. And indeed, two pins to the face later and she was fine! No more headaches since!

I urge you to look into this. If you have any long-term complaint that modern medicine is just papering over with medications, go and see a Chinese doctor. Acupuncture is not expensive and Dr Wang insisted that 5-10 sessions can create massive change with almost any condition.

Try it!


coconuts!Coconuts are awesome. I am only just discovering this, but it is something that is definitely following me around. Firstly, at random I ended up on a coconut tour in Port Douglas, and then in Thailand they were just everywhere! Maybe it was my reticular activating system at work.

Either way, I’m pretty happy about it. Not only are coconuts flippin’ delicious but they offer many, many health benefits.

Firstly, I am now cooking and supplementing with coconut oil more than ever. Secondly I am drinking coconut water – so healthy and delicious. Thirdly I’m now cooking with coconut flesh and milk which is making my food so damn good.

Here are some interesting links – and if you get nothing else from this post then switch to cooking with coconut oil! It is the only healthy oil to cook with (all other oils, yep even olive oil, become highly toxic when you cook with them.

Coconut Oil Healthy Facts
More Benefits of Healthy Oil
Benefits of Coconut Water
Benefits of Coconut Milk (and flesh)

Thai Food Can be Alkaline!

Ross shopping at the marketsThis was a massive breakthrough and the best news I’d had in years. I LOVE Thai food but have been treating it as quite the rare treat until this trip! My girlfriend (Tania), her Mum (Judy) and I went to a Thai cooking school when we spent a few days together in Chiang Mai and it was great! Not only did we all make proper, authentic tasting Thai food (and thus felt very clever) but I also discovered through making Tom Yum Soup and Green Curry that they are almost 90% alkaline and with a few tweaks can definitely be a fully alkaline meal!

I will post both recipes to the blog very soon!

We also ate a whole load of alkaline salads including green papaya and Thai sweet salad and along with the coconuts had a pretty healthy time of it while still being really indulgent!

Holiday’s are More Important Than I Thought

It had been so long since I took a proper holiday I forgot just how important they are. I cannot remember a time before this that I was so relaxed and happy.
ross relaxing with the oolong

In fact, quite a few times during the trip I remember waking up and the first thought in my head was how happy I am. I only had positive thoughts on my mind and I remember saying to Tania a few times that I literally can’t think of anything ahead of me that I have to worry about. There is nothing nagging in my mind.

How lovely.

If you haven’t done it in a while, go on holiday. Drop everything and take a long weekend (or more) and leave all your worries at home.

It has done more for me than anything else I could possibly do. The new experiences, the lack of a laptop, the fresh air, the acupuncture(!) and everything else has brought me back to Melbourne full of creativity, positivity and energy.

It’s all good.

So that’s the end of my Thailand adventure. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve been anywhere like it or want to share your stories of natural health, medicine and everything in between.

Have an awesome week, and roll on the new season (Autumn for me!).


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  1. Jonette Holmes-Leather Reply

    Hello Ross,
    I know the health benefits of eating alkaline foods, especially green apples! But, it is so hard to find organic ones where I live in the Northwest of England! I hunt every week for this fruit and usually have no joy! I have bought non organic green apples, peeling the skin off before eating them. Is it OK to do this or should I only eat organic ones?

    Thank you for your help!


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  3. Rox Reply

    Hey Ross, I LOVE Thai food as well. How about Thai red curry, is that Alkaline? Are there any other Thai dishes that are Alakline?

  4. One week direct diet Reply

    I say the same thing it really difficult to maintain your fitness ..needs lot energy , patience and deicated n sincerity…..and proper medication…will definetly make the impossible thing possible….for you