Author Topic: Peace on prescription?  (Read 3327 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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Peace on prescription?
« on: April 09, 2011, 12:05:36 PM »
Doctor prescribes peace

A psychiatrist's rural retreat can help people relieve stress

Dr Kraisit Narukatpichai, a psychiatrist, owns the Khum Prasarnjai resort in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Khum Prasarnjai is a small resort covering three rai located on Thanarat Road in tambon Khanong Phra in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima, near Khao Yai National Park.

Dr Kraisit reckons a resort may be a destressing agent to help keep people away from psychiatric hospitals.

His idea is simple. People should have a place where they can come regularly to unwind. Stress can bottle up and if it is left to accumulate without an outlet for "releasing the valve", it could turn into a mental condition requiring treatment.

Water, which connotes tranquility and a calm state of mind, runs through the resort.

The resort was his answer to the challenge. But conceiving the idea was only half the answer. The harder part was to design the resort to be truly relaxing.

Initially, Dr Kraisit, who is managing director of Bangkok's Manarom Hospital, intended the place to be a private holiday retreat for his family and close friends.

The resort is the result of a meeting of minds between Dr Kraisit and Udom Puikham, a former chauffeur for the doctor's mother. They helped realise each other's dreams.

Mr Udom, an artist in his spare time, can create art objects such as arches, lamps and pottery objects.

Seating areas are provided for guests to relax and feel calm.

He helped create Khum Prasarnjai, which includes Lanna-style houses.

"Dr Kraisit is kind. He gave me a chance to make my dream come true," he said.

Mr Udom was responsible for designing the resort, supervising the construction and procuring construction and decoration materials.

Dr Kraisit has also allowed Mr Udom's family to move in and work at Khum Prasarnjai. "The family should live together," he said.

The resort comprises five traditional Lanna-style guesthouses, a large pond and a garden.

It includes many small resting places dotted in every corner of the resort so that visitors can sit down and relax.

The doctor said peace and tranquility are the worst enemies for stress.

The resort is near Lam Ta Kong, a major stream in Nakhon Ratchasima, a natural habitat for several birds and animals.

A boy enjoys splashing around in Lam Ta Kong, a stream near the resort.

"Speaking openly and sharing ideas in a natural environment is a good way to release and cure stress," Dr Kraisit said.

"If people come in close contact with natural beauty and learn to lead a simple life, they will get a new surge of energy.

"Most importantly, I want city children to know more about trees and animals."

He is also preparing another plot covering 40 rai for his next project called Ban Na Muan Suan Sabai (fun farm and pleasant garden).

He will grow organic vegetables and fruit and create a learning camp for children on how to live and survive.

The land is near Pak Chong district near Khao Yai National Park. Dr Kraisit wants it to help parents who are stressed dealing with family problems.

He said he also has a plan to preserve local cultures and identity and local people will be given an opportunity to take part in the activities.

A common area for guests.

As a psychiatrist, he has dealt with family problems. Parents are too busy with their work and have no time for their children, he said.

He said love and care and a supportive environment are the key to keeping a family intact.

Holiday hideaways are where the families can spend time together, learn from one another and tighten family bonds.

Dr Kraisit is from a Chinese family in Phuket which runs a hotel business there. He graduated from the faculty of medicine of Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, and earned an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology in the US.

He then worked at Samrong General Hospital before furthering his studies in psychiatry at Ramathibodi Hospital.

He said he chose to specialise in psychiatry because he had noticed the growing tendency and severity of mental problems as reflected in high rates of divorce, drug abuse, suicide, violence and teenage pregnancies.

"Mental illnesses result partly from a change in the family structure as rural societies develop into urban-based ones," Dr Kraisit said.

Khum Prasarnjai’s main building and reception area.[/img]

"People in rural areas migrate to cities, causing overpopulation. Stress and pressure are high.

"Parents have children and leave them in the care of grandparents. Family members no longer feel a close bond."

He founded Manarom Hospital, which brings together about 70 experts in psychiatry.

Dr Kraisit said treatment methods such as naturopathy or natural treatment are just as important for treating psychiatric problems as medicines.

He said mental problems would abate if people spent more time with their loved ones.

Udom Puikham, a former chauffeur responsible for designing the resort, supervising the construction and procuring construction and decoration materials.

A boardwalk zigzags around trees in the resort.

Bangkok Post