The “Health Days” (egészségnapok in Hungarian) took place from 3 to 5 November in Kisgalambfalva village (Porumbenii Mici in Romanian) 7 km far from Cristuru Secuiesc in Harghita County in Transilvania. The event was organised by Kilátó Association (Kilátó Egyesület in Hungarian) in cooperation with Kisgalambfalva Reformed Church and with the economic support of Bethlen Gábor Fund and Galambfalva Municipality.
More than 400 people were interested in knowing and in rediscovering traditional medicine practices. The event was structured in workshops and in a practical component: there was the possibility to experience the advantages of folk medicine during therapy sessions with osteopaths, chiropractors and hirudotherapists coming from different places of Transylvania and Hungary.
Folk medicine is different than modern medicine because it lives and grows among the people as a part of their culture. Any knowledge about a treatment or medicinal herb is shared and passed through the generations. Transylvania has a long standing folk medicine tradition: osteopathy, chiropractic and hirudotherapy are just some examples of the treatments that are nowadays being rediscovered in order to promote wellness and prevent illnesses.
Osteopathy is a therapy based on the manipulation of some body parts, in particular the head, the neck and the back, in order to restore balance to the body and relieve muscle or bone pain.
Chiropractic, on the other hand, is a type of alternative medicine based on the assumption that structural problems of the spinal column may cause dysfunctions to other organs. By re-aligning the bones and unlocking the nerves, proper communication between the body and the brain should be restored.
Hirudotherapy, the use of leeches for medicinal purposes, is a very old practice. Nowadays leeches are specifically farmed for therapeutic use and released in nature after a single use. According to recent scientific papers, the enzymes present in the saliva of these animals have coagulant, vasodilating and anesthetic effects. For this reason they can be used to treat some skin and blood disorders.
During the “Health Days”, the participants showed a high interest in all these treatments. Attila Szabó-Bilibok, the event organizer, hopes to arrange more events and courses in order to promote folk medicine remedies as health promotion and disease prevention measures.
Authors: Francesca Silvestri and Cristina Vasile