Former lorry driver grateful he has `healing hands’

Tay doing physio work on a patient’s stiff neck.

By Wilfred Pilo

TAY AH HUAT, or Ah Huat as he is commonly known, is a self-taught traditional Chinese physiotherapy practitioner who learned the art of physio healing and massaging since he was nine years ago.

“I learned the art from an old traditional Chinese medicine practitioner who came here from Hong Kong. I was amazed at how he treated people with various types of ailments by using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and using physiotherapy techniques. I was so taken in by what he could do and often times I assisted him. That’s how it all started,” he shared with DayakDaily.


Tay, who is now 66 years old, recalled that being young and naïve back then, he was very inquisitive and asked lots of questions, such as why patients could be healed simply by touching certain points of their body.

“But the old man was very stingy with his knowledge, the typical conservative TCM practitioner type. He would only explain to me very much later why he did this and that in order to help his patients.

“Although I was quite keen to be able to heal all ailments using the TCM methods, I must admit I was more focused on how to heal muscles, the body the general and pains in limbs. This was because I was learning Chinese martial arts in those days.

“Being so young, I never bothered to take down notes. I just observe how the old man worked and stored them in my memory. I then practise what I learned on myself and later on my friends. Whenever my friends complimented me on a job well done, I felt so grateful that I have been able to heal people.”

Tay working on a patient’s limb. The patient had to make use of a plastic chair to walk into the treatment centre.
The man with a problematic leg was able to stand up properly after Tay gave words of encouragement.

After finishing school, Tay did not proceed to learn more about physiotherapy or TCM professionally. Instead, he became a lorry driver.

“I worked as a lorry driver for various companies in Kuching and in Sibu. I even went to work in Sabah when the timber logging business was flourishing.”

But while earning his living as a lorry driver, Tay often turned physiotherapist whenever his friends or colleagues are in pain.

“I noticed that with each passing day, I got better at it (physiotherapy), and I started learning from books and from other Chinese physiotherapists until I was confident I could make a living out of it.”

After quitting his job as a lorry driver and other kinds of jobs 17 years ago, Tay turned his daughter’s house into his “treatment centre”.

Tay uses his daughter’s house as a treatment centre

During the interview, this reporter witnessed how Tay helped a patient who had to use a plastic chair as an aid to walk to the treatment centre. Twenty-five minutes later, that very patient was able to walk to his waiting car unaided.

Then a young lady with a stiff neck came along. Barely 10 minutes later, she could move her neck comfortably and without pain.

Tay also managed to work his magic on a man complaining of muscle pain in his arm within five minutes. He also helped a young woman, who is working in Kota Kinabalu, who came in a troublesome knee.

Tay wrapping a bandage on his patient’s problem leg.

“For those with broken bones and so forth, they need to bring their X-Ray records for me to have a look. Otherwise, I will not treat them.”

Tay claimed he could treat nerve pains, perform Shiatsu massage, normal massage, ease gout pains and arthritis ailments.

“I am very grateful to be able to practise traditional Chinese physio treatment to help others, irrespective of who they are or where they are from. I am also a very strong believer in my Christian faith, and what I am doing I believe is from God Almighty.”

On the average, Tay sees about five patients a day, and his centre is opened from 9am – 4.30pm daily, except on certain public holidays. Tay can be reached at 016-890 3378. — DayakDaily