From Despair to Seeing the Light

Y.Y. (female in her forties, lives in Yokohama)

Many years ago, I was diagnosed with atrophic rhinitis, otherwise known as ozena. My symptoms included bad headaches, pain in my face, an oppressive pain in my nose, dullness, colored mucus, and a very bad-smelling nose discharge. The nose discharge had such a bad odor that I had difficulty leading a social life and ended up staying at home for almost 14 years.

This disease can be treated surgically, but there is no guarantee of complete recovery. Besides, I had already been through many hardships, so it was traumatic to think about going to a hospital for surgery.

I was also reluctant to take antibiotics. I was worried about what would happen to me if antibiotic-resistant bacteria infected me. I was at quite a loss as to what to do.

Tao Shiatsu was a last resort

One day I found the book Tao Shiatsu: Life Medicine for the 21st Century by Ryokyu Endo on Amazon. I became interested in “energy flow” a few years ago when I went for an osteopathic massage and felt it during treatment. Because of this, I bought the book, but at that time I didn’t think it related to my condition because I didn’t think that shiatsu therapy could heal this type of disease.

This book, as well as Revolution in Oriental Medicine: Tao Shiatsu, helped me really understand for the first time how worry is often the cause of illness. I was most surprised by a clinical case of someone who had pneumonia and was medicated with antibiotics. The doctor told him that he wouldn’t get better because drug-resistant bacteria had appeared. This patient received Tao Shiatsu a few times and pneumonia completely disappeared. I was deeply moved when I read this and felt like I now had a ray of hope.

I checked out other holistic-related therapies on the Internet, including Oriental medicine and qigong, but thought that Tao Shiatsu seemed to be the most effective. I agree with the philosophy that the relationship between energy flow and the state of one’s mind can affect health and healing. I had feelings of despair and loneliness (because nobody understood my disease), and felt like I wanted to die. I’m not exaggerating; it was the last resort for me.

Treatment for the first time

When I met my therapist for the first time, he had a smiling and happy air about him. I told him that I smelled awful, and he accepted it without hesitating, which was quite impressive. He accepted me as I was. He said, “Nothing is dirty.” At this moment, the Buddhist Heart Sutra flashed across my mind, and I sensed his accepting heart. It was a relief for me because I thought for years that I was dirty and had a lot of shame about my condition.

Before the treatment began, my eyelids started to go into convulsions. Once he started, I felt the pressure of his fingers was affecting places on my body other than where he was pressing. It felt painful yet comfortable.

When he pressed on my belly I felt something like energy slipping into my body and moving toward my head. Then an image like an expanse of tiny white particles appeared and there was a “soothing” and “safe” feeling around me. At this moment, I sobbed loudly. I had never cried so much. My whole body cried. It was so explosive that I couldn’t believe it. My whole body trembled, down to my legs. The therapist helped stop the trembling and, afterward, I unselfconsciously told him that I had been hard on myself and that I wanted to forgive myself.

Before the treatment, I was full of despair. That night, I was filled with a sense of security that I had never felt before. I would describe it this way: “healing Buddha-nature energy” had entered me.

Miraculous change, swaying the mind

Two months later I was able to take a walk in my neighborhood. I went for a drive every day during the New Year holiday this year, which was absolutely epoch-making. This was miraculous to me. I felt positive and a little bit better.

A friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a long time told me that I looked so cheerful she didn’t recognize me! I did feel cheerful and my body was light. The Tao Shiatsu therapist said that it was because my energy flow had improved. After that, I didn’t have any symptoms that made me require painkillers. The pain caused by nasal discomfort while sleeping was greatly reduced, but I still had symptoms, such as the bad smell and mucus.

I had strong physical reactions to some of the treatments. The worst symptoms lasted for two or three days. As an example, at one point, half my face swelled up. But after a reaction would subside, I would notice the symptoms diminishing, so I didn’t get scared and didn’t feel distrustful at all; rather, I was sure that I would get better.

During the course of my treatments, I came to feel uneasy about what to do if I didn’t get better. On such occasions, the therapist patiently supported me and cheered me up.

I became even more determined to trust Tao Shiatsu and prayed for more “miracles” to happen not only for myself but also for whoever was suffering with these same symptoms, as well as for my therapist who treated me so wholeheartedly. Then, suddenly, the symptoms changed and my recovery accelerated. The bad smell remained, but it was much less than before.

Full of hope!

I had been sick for 16 years, so it’s really surprising that I’ve gotten so much better in only five months. I’m now full of hope. I couldn’t have considered it when, a few months ago, I was in the depths of the worst of my situation. Thank heaven I’m alive!

I think that, as Mr. Endo writes in his book, it’s important for a patient to open his or her heart and trust the therapist. When I became sick I read philosophy books, psychology books, and spiritual books and was relieved to some degree, but the pain was unchanged. It’s because I always had a pain in my “Heart.”

Throughout these months of Tao Shiatsu treatment, I’ve learned what it really means to “feel my feelings” through my heart and body, and I also realized that we can’t live alone.

Now I open my heart and energy flows into me through Tao Shiatsu, breaking through the membrane of suffering, and my lonely heart dissolves. All living things are tied to each other … I think that treatment probably starts from that realization.

Those who suffer from not only physical but also mental distress can benefit from Tao Shiatsu; I’m sure they’ll be soothed and feel remarkably light in mind and body.