Healthcare And Treatment: Principals And Theory In Malay Medicine






Healthcare, Malay Traditional Medicine, principals and theory, 'bomoh', alternative medicine


A medical anthropological study was conducted to gather data on the basis and principles of Malay medicine in Kedah and Perlis. The purpose of the study is to determine the concepts relating to health and disease and to determine their construction as social realities. The focus of study is on the philosophies and principles used by bomohs in health maintenance and treatment of illness. Disease theory and etiology are discussed within this framework. The study also aims at examining, the factors influencing the development of Malay traditional medicine and to suggest strategies that would help improve its status. The main findings of the study show that the basis and philosophies of Malay traditional are connected to Islamic principles. Bomohs' theories of disease are mainly founded on religious knowledge, beliefs in spiritual beings and of the physical environment. Rationality and concern for human condition are part of bomohs' treatment. Although health maintenance is an important component of Malay traditional medicine, nevertheless, emphasis is on treatment. The study concludes that Malay traditional medicine is founded on sound principles based on religion. The implications that can be drawn from it arc that the health aspects of Malay medicine be given greater emphasis, and that Malay medicine can be adopted as an alternative health model in this country.