When we’re in pain, we want it gone; and yet we know it’s a messenger, a harbinger of the real problem. Pain is a messenger that takes over the message. Without mindful attention to the messages your body is sending you in the form of pain, serious illnesses can go undetected.
As a holistic practitioner, I see the interaction of mind-body-life distress related to chronic pain. As a Sujok therapist, I am usually approached by people with unexplained and/or recurring pain.
Interestingly, relief related to painkillers and removing pain through over-the-counter drugs, can itself cause further distress through side effects affecting the stomach, kidneys and liver. The effects are short-lived though sometimes immediate, which is a recipe for drug dependence or at least a downward spiral. The underlying condition is not handled, and can actually worsen, leading to a chronic or recurring condition.
Holistic or energy healing methods on the other hand, by tackling the underlying condition, can bring about relief without harmful side-effects. Why are they then, not mainstream? One of the reasons is a lack of scientific studies. Another is that the relief is often slow, which isn’t convenient for employees who need to continue working despite ailments or students who are forced to go to school despite feeling sick. There’s a common, prejudicial notion that resting when we are unwell is somehow a sign of weakness. Laws in many lands favor allopathic medicine, optimistically peddling hope for the proverbial quick fix, despite growing drug overdose crises.
Reiki, a holistic path of self-unfoldment and healing of mind~body~spirit, can have beneficial effects for pain, side-effects of cancer treatment and the like. However, because of the aforementioned urgency of modern prognoses the mainstream patient is unlikely to approach Reiki practitioners for relief from pain or other physical ailments. I was once called by a friend in distress, as her husband was in the ICU, crying out in pain, but as it was not diagnosed, the hospital staff could not provide relief. “Please do something,” she said. I connected to him with distant healing, sensed a problem which I did not define in words, but mentally placed my fingers on his yang wind byol meridian—the reflection of the body’s yang wind or gallbladder meridian. Distally placing my “North Pole” finger on his nail and “South Pole” finger on the knuckle, I let the energy flow. Half an hour later my friend called me, and this time her tears were those of relief. He was asleep, though still not medicated. This is not traditional distant healing. This is Reiki with a newly discovered form of healing.
Enter Sujok. A therapy with a wide array of healing tools, Sujok healing can reach where other holistic therapies have not reached successfully. It can bring about almost instant relief from pain and, through methods of self-healing or healing by therapists, sustained relief of pain and its underlying conditions. The methods themselves are not new. Professor Park Jae Woo, the Korean scientist who formulated Sujok and related Triorigin therapies, averred that the healing of Sujok, which is through correspondence points on hands (“Su” in Korean) and feet (“Jok” in Korean), is based on therapies from ancient times in many cultures, and further, that these are a gift of nature, of the natural design of the human body by the “Creator Spirit.” As a Reiki Master, I teach that Reiki has its own intelligence, and flows where it is most needed. When I studied Sujok, I realized that I was entering the intelligence of Reiki. This intelligence is now revealed to all who are open.
Let’s go back to pain. When I first learned Sujok, my teacher quickly realized that I had a back injury, which caused continuous pain, but for which I sought no help. “Oh, I have very high pain tolerance,” I said somewhat grandly, “My body will self-heal.” He did not think I should wait for the self-healing, as the body sometimes needs outside help. “Pain,” he declared, “has no place in my clinic.” Something within me smiled. I think it was hope.
Then he touched a point at the back of my hand with a little metallic probe. I jumped and almost pushed his hand away. The pain was unbearable. He smiled, and explained that he had found the treatment point, the correspondence to my lower back, stimulating which, would help my L5 injury. I felt a relief on my back, though the treatment point was hurting unbearably. He found three additional treatment points on my feet and toes and applied peppercorns with a medical tape to them all. He then directed me to leave the seeds on overnight, and return the next day. I could barely sleep because the throbbing on those points had replaced the pain at the back. Somewhat petulantly I felt that the pain of my hand was just diverting attention away from the backache.
The next day, after removing the seeds, I spent a busy day, active, moving through Delhi’s potholed roads, and surprisingly felt no backache. “I think my problem is gone”, I told him in the evening. He pressed the correspondence point and I almost jumped out of my skin. “The pain has gone, but the injury is still there. That is what your correspondence point is communicating,” he said. Over the next few weeks, I went diligently for Sujok therapy and became a “patient student.” One day I was lifting heavy suitcases, twisting my back and moving unwisely, and I realized I wasn’t in pain. Not just the pain, but the injury, which had debilitated me for two years, was healed. It has not returned. If my back gets a twinge, I am able to use finger ki or seed therapy for relief.
Why does the correspondence pain hurt so much? Why can we not forget it? Why can someone with high pain tolerance not tolerate correspondence pain? I mulled over these questions that a student posed to me recently, and I feel I have the answer. I often describe correspondence pain as the crying child; and the relief as the smile of a child. Both are untaught, immediate and clear behaviors that even an infant exhibits. What can we not ignore? The cry of a child. Why? Because it is a true communication of something that needs to be done to bring about relief. What can we not ignore? The pain of a correspondence point. Why? Because it shows the place conveniently placed in our hands and feet, whence we can reach deeply buried parts of our body, and which can be stimulated so easily, bringing about the sweet smile of relief.
Even before the pain of an organ or part of the body becomes chronic we can, by judiciously probing correspondence points, find a pain that is a messenger of an ailment that could become serious. By stimulating these points, we can help to prevent the ailment, and ensure that the messenger does not need to take over the message.