Healing Terrible Knee Pain and Cultivating the Mind
K. W (male, lives in Japan)
One day I was riding the train. Suddenly, it came to an abrupt stop, causing the other passengers to surge and fall down on me, injuring my right knee. The impact caused terrible pain initially, but after a few days, the pain disappeared, and life went on as usual. A month later, however, I was walking to work one day, and the terrible pain returned. It was so strong that I was nearly unable to walk any further.
That weekend, I went to a general hospital. The physician located the spot where I felt the pain and diagnosed it as injury to the right side of the meniscus. He also said that it was possible that the ligament was badly stretched. I was given several poultices for the pain and returned home.
Although I followed the recommended course of treatment, the pain still didn’t disappear, and I continued to have difficulty walking.
During this time I attended a Tao Sangha Workshop where there was a class about energy flow and the mind. I was so impressed by what I experienced, that I took a training class to learn more about Tao Shiatsu.
After considering many other healing therapies for my injury, I decided to try Tao Shiatsu. I felt that if I could experience a treatment in a clinical setting, I would be able to clearly decide if I wanted to further pursue Tao Shiatsu training. I thought, “If I can receive training to cultivate my mind, it would affect my subconscious and in turn allow me to heal.”
I received treatments once a week. After 10 treatments, my therapist said that I was all right, and I no longer needed intensive treatment for this injury.
In the three weeks prior to my first treatment, I had a cough and was feeling ill. These symptoms were gone by the third treatment.
I still had a pain in my knee, but I felt energy pulsing through my body. I felt better and realized that the pain, sorrow and anguish that had been ever present in my body were dissolving like ice thawing and that I was being healed.
This warm rush of healing energy was so surprising to me that I impulsively thought I wanted to get out of class early in order to get a treatment right away! Instead, I arranged to receive treatment right after class.
Changes and doubt
Up until the third treatment I thought I had received pretty good mental care, and that me knee would eventually heal. Unfortunately, things got a little worse before they got better. In order to remove the pain as quickly as possible, I practiced the meridian stretches and yoga simultaneously. Though the pain would often disappear, it also came back again. Whenever I felt the pain, I worried that I would always be in pain and it would never go away, so what is the point in even continuing to receive treatments and train in Tao Shiatsu?!?! As I was feeling all of this negativity toward Tao Shiatsu, I was also dealing with intense physical and mental reactions to the treatments. Following each treatment I would experience uncontrollable drowsiness, sluggishness and the pain would shift from one point to another. While I understood these were healing reactions, and a sign of recovery, they stirred my worry about whether receiving treatments was the best thing for me at this time. I even blamed Tao Shiatsu for my knee not healing, and convinced myself it was a bad therapy.
In order to reduce my dependence on Tao Shiatsu, and to strengthen my mind so I could trust my own ability to heal myself, I searched for other answers. I tried doing Egoscue Exercises in order to restore functional alignment and range of motion to reduce physical strain. My mind was like that, filled with doubt and worry.
As time passed, I noticed something mysterious happening.
I still had a pain in my knee, but overall, I felt better and better and didn’t get tired. I felt so good I thought, “I can keep working well, even if my knee always hurts.” It made me think that my constant focus on worrying about the pain in my knee actually made the pain more intense. This experience restored my confidence that my knee would heal if I continued to receive Tao Shiatsu.
As I received my seventh treatment, there was a sudden shift in my knee pain. During the treatment I mentioned casually, “I drank more than usual last night and felt more pain in my knee.” At this mention, the therapist treated muscles that correspond to the liver. Immediately after this, the pain suddenly disappeared.
This made me think, “Maybe I should be worried about my body and take better care of myself,” so I chose to reduce my alcohol intake.
From then on, the pain suddenly began to diminish. When I checked to see how my knee was after I woke up in the morning, the painful spot had moved from behind the patella to the inner side and got smaller. I also noticed, the feeling that a large piece of lead had been stuffed in the knee had changed to feeling like a small piece of cotton candy. I was also pleased to be able to bend my knee more than before.
Each morning I noticed another small change.
I soon moved to a new place. I had to carry heavy things around many times. I felt an occasional twinge of pain in my knee, but I worked through it, despite the worry that the pain was coming back again to stay. This time though, the pain disappeared the next day. I suddenly realized that as the pain disappeared little by little, throughout this experience, doubt shifted back to a strong feeling of confidence that my knee pain would eventually heal. Gradually I became able to sit on my heels with my back straight. I felt like there was a little more to go and finally, after the tenth treatment, all was well.
What I have learned
When I look back, I now see that I was sometimes late for treatments and doubtful of the effectiveness of Tao Shiatsu. Despite my negative attitude, my therapist accepted me with endless love and patience. His deep thoughtfulness reached into my subconscious and I felt a soothing resonance. I guess it was easy for me to verbally acknowledge his thoughtfulness and deeds, but because of my mental conflicts it was hard to match my actions to my words and be on time and trust the process.
As I observed my therapist and how persistently he is always cultivating his mind, I felt that, as a student of Tao Shiatsu, I would do well to follow his example. He has inspired me to want to sharpen my mind and mature as a man to be able to treat people. It turns out that receiving treatments did indeed inspire me to learn Tao Shiatsu. I am deeply grateful for his treatments.