Know about this acupuncture-like remedy popular among the Santhal tribe.

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The remedial process of Tubaak or Chunj is a treatment often used by the Santhals to cure body pain and relieve joint aches. It is very much similar to the Chinese traditional technique of Acupuncture.

In some regions of the Santhal Paragana and in the east-Singhbhum region of Jharkhand, the Santhal tribe still practice their ancient-old remedial tradition of Tubaak or Chunj which is believed to be very helpful for several pain conditions especially joint pains and stomach aches.

Sharing some of its features with the Chinese tradition of acupuncture, in this Santhal process, a needle, or in some cases, a metallic wire is, first, heated and then, it is lightly inserted or touched on the surface of the skin where the person is experiencing pain. The needle is inserted on specific points so that it can stimulate the nerves and the affected muscles. The tribals believe that it cures the body pain immediately and is effective for a longer period of time.

The process of Tubaak is so effectual that it is even practiced on the infants to safeguard them from future ailments. First, the infant’s stomach is oiled and then the hot needle is inserted in a circular pattern, around the navel of the infant. It usually takes few minutes to complete the process as the needle is not inserted in the skin for a long time. The process, though painful for the infants, is believed to prevent their stomachs from digestive problems, for their entire lives. Thus tubaak is often practised on infants as a vaccine against stomach problems.


Gouri Shankar Murmu 16 w

In my childhood, my parents treated my stomach illness through this process. A mixture of some herbs was applied to my chest and it started to burn at that moment. A circular burn mark is still visible on my chest. I couldn't recall that method as I was just a child then.