M.U. (female in her forties, lives in Tokyo)
I fell down the steps at a station at the end of November. I took it lightly and just put poultices on my legs, but the dull pain didn’t disappear even after the new year.
At a New Year’s gathering I was unable to sit on my heels with my back straight, so I couldn’t set a good example for the children.
It was at this time that I was given advice that Oriental medicine can help with chronic pain, but I didn’t think I should do anything about it right away. Just by chance I found a new title in the library called Revolution in Oriental Medicine: Tao Shiatsu and left it half-read on my desk at the office. A person who was visiting the company saw it and said, “A friend of mine went to a Tao Shiatsu workshop and said it was good.” I found out about it and made an appointment by phone.
My first impression of Tao Shiatsu therapy was that it was different from the type of massage I had already tried, which involved pressing and rubbing knots to remove stiffness from muscles. It was a strange impression.
I felt a bit of pain, yet it felt good, depending on the part of my body that was being treated. On the whole, I felt the pressure was much lighter than in other treatments I had tried and it felt different depending where on my body the therapist was working. Parts of my body that weren’t being treated reacted to the pressure being applied. For example, when the back of my neck was pressed, my ankle throbbed with pain. And when my shoulder was pressed, from my arm to the back of my neck smarted with pain. And when my leg was pressed, my abdomen on that side became firm. It was like whack-a-mole and the drainage valve for an underground conduit being opened and shut. When the treatment ended, the pain in my ankle disappeared and I felt my whole body was light.
I recall that I had physical reactions the next day. I am in good health, but I felt that I was slow and my head was not working, although I was not feeble-minded.
I am usually focused at my job but I couldn’t work as well as usual. However, from the day after the first treatment, only a little pain in my ankle remained, and it was like that for five days until the second treatment. So I lived life to the full in mind and body.
Changes continued to occur: I had my period in the third week. Usually I am a controlled person, but when I have my period I often explode in anger, cornering people with arguments and giving them trouble. But this time I didn’t do that, and my period was light in amount. However, I began to feel that I didn’t have enough energy. Up until that time, I had been able to handle whatever needed to be done, but I began to feel and think “I don’t want to do this” or “I’m tired.”
In the past I used to feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep and would wake up at a time I had decided on. But after the second treatment I was unable to wake up unless the alarm rang. Sometimes I would inadvertently oversleep.
I used to sleep for between four-and-a-half and six hours almost every night. When I was busy, I would sleep about three hours, but this worked for me. However, I now regularly sleep for six hours. I become too tired to do what needs to be done for two consecutive days if I sleep only four-and-a-half hours.
I often have complaints about people that I have to deal with, people who are close to me. As a result, I regularly appear to be cross when I’m at work. However, the number of times I explode in anger has now lessened. The strong feeling of deadlock I had before rarely appears. But, on the whole, I somehow feel my self-control has become worse.
Three months have passed now and I am able to sit on my heels with my back straight again. But this doesn’t mean the pain has disappeared, and I have trouble with numbness that I didn’t feel before. Also, I’m surprised that I’m tired even after six hours of sleep. That never happened in the past.
The pain in the arch of my foot that I had when I was a child returned, and skin eruptions on my jaw that I was troubled with as a child came back. The Tao Shiatsu therapist explained to me that those were temporary physical reactions to the treatments, and if you ask me whether I am better now, I can’t wholeheartedly approve of the results. Still, although it may sound strange, I want to continue receiving treatments.