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Therapeutic Benefits of Su Jok Therapy

by Resham Khiani(more info)

listed in chi energy martial arts, originally published in issue 205 - April 2013

Imagine a holistic therapy that can cure chronic health problems by stimulating the pressure points on our hands and feet - would you try it? ‘Su’ (hand) and ‘Jok’ (foot) are Korean words relating to a therapy that employs hands and feet as treatment areas for the whole body. Russia, India, Australia, the USA and Korea have all adopted Su Jok therapy into their national health services, where it is practiced alongside orthodox medicine. Slowly but surely, this Korean treatment is gaining popularity in the UK, which promises to restore your health in a drug-less way. 

Su Jok Therapy

Acknowledgement Citation: Courtesy of Marilyn Benson:

www.painmanagement.me.uk and www.handsonhealth.me.uk

History of Su Jok

This brilliant, simple and straightforward therapy was introduced in the 1980s by Korean scientist, Professor Park Jae Woo. After years of clinical practice and experience, he discovered that certain areas in the palms and soles of the feet corresponded to particular body parts and organs. By applying pressure and firm massage to the hands and feet of a patient, they would state how well and cured they felt of all types of chronic pains and illnesses. This Korean therapy highlights how disease and illnesses begins in our mind, causing energy imbalances or blockages in certain organs. Su Jok therapy is part of the Onnuri Medicine, an integrated system of treatment comprising of a variety of techniques to return the body to its natural and healthy equilibrium: some of these methods include, magnet therapy, seed application therapy, colour therapy, smile meditations, smile yoga, crystal therapy and moxibustion.  Only hands and feet are treated because the therapy believes all diseases and illnesses can be cured through these parts of the body.

Try this - point your hand downwards and place the thumb in the middle of the hand. If you were to look closely at this image, you should see how the index and little finger resemble the arms; and the middle and ring finger are the legs. The eight fingers correspond to a body part and each globule is a pressure point for a specific organ, which is positioned under the skin. When these globules are stimulated, energy waves are passed to the corresponding organ. For instance, if you were to press with your free index and middle finger on the corresponding point sends a fresh flow of blood to the problem area. For example, for a sore throat press the middle of the left thumb (which represents the face), or for a headache add pressure to the left thumb-nail.

What is Su Jok Good For?

It is a simplistic system that is easy to learn; people with no experience of other complementary therapies can be taught in one day to treat themselves and their families. Marilyn Benson PGCE, ITEC, CThA, the UK’s leading Su Jok therapist and practitioner, says she treats the following illnesses with great results: back, neck and joint pain which can be as a result of sporting injuries or arthritis, followed by reproductive disorders and skin problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine, respiratory complaints, digestive disorders, eye problems, depression, anxiety and phobias. Practitioners often tout the benefits of working with the body’s energy to restore a patient to their health.

When Paula Graham, 32, was diagnosed by her GP with sciatica, she felt holistic treatment would be the answer, instead of anti-inflammatory medication: “I was in a lot of pain and didn’t feel better with the medication I was given was helping. A friend of mine was trying to Su Jok Therapy and I thought I’d give it a try. After having 4 sessions, the pain disappeared. I find this treatment is brilliant; having relief from the pain made me feel happier. I even told my partner who pulled a muscle in his back to see my Su Jok therapist”.

A clinical trial was done in 1998 in Russia on 68 patients suffering from bronchial asthma using Su Jok therapy: 44 patients were initiated on chemotherapy only and the remaining rest 24 introduced Su Jok therapy alongside chemotherapy treatment. The latter group showed an improvement 2 times higher than those who were initiated on orthodox medicine only.[1]

How Su Jok is Perfomed

“Su Jok treats the problem; it gets right down to the nitty gritty. The people who come to see me have already had their complaints diagnosed and have either been told there is no treatment for their complaint, which is why they are looking for natural therapy. In addition, I talk about their emotional health, which I believe is linked to their well-being. I do not advise anybody not to follow medical treatment”, says Marilyn Benson.

Typically, a practitioner will begin by applying constant pressure and firm massage to the patient’s hands and feet. When an illness is located in the hands, the area tends to be sensitive and tender. The practitioner will check the area against the corresponding map to see which area of the body is affected. Effective ‘tools’ are used on the painful points to heal the diseased area, such as massage, elastic bands, acupressure, and colour therapy, external application of seeds, byol meridian magnets, ring massagers and moxa. 

The number of session depends on the patient’s requirements and whether their ailment has decreased or stayed the same. Many practitioners report that patients begin to feel the benefits after the first session. Usually 6 to 12 sessions are required for the patient to benefit from the treatment, but can be tailored to a patient’s need.

What are the benefits of Su Jok Therapy?

  1. It is safe. Only the hands and/or feet are treated, never the body;
  2. Treatment plans are tailored to meet client’s needs;
  3. There are no contraindications and any adverse effects to treatment can immediately be rectified;
  4. Clients are instructed in homecare so treatment continues between appointments. This involves the client in their healing process;
  5. Anyone can learn the techniques and apply it on themselves, family and friends.

“Su Jok Therapy is probably one of the best alternative therapy tools around. I felt immense benefit after two sessions for my neck and shoulders after a whiplash accident”, says Katherine Frewin. The beauty about this treatment is it gives the patient self-control over their well-being, were they can manage their health in the safe environment of their home.

Case Study 1

“45 year old female presented with neck and shoulder problems that had been on-going since a car accident in 2007 when she sustained a whiplash injury. She had tried various therapies but the problem was unresolved: she was suffering considerable pain, movement was restricted and she was becoming depressed.

“At the first session I sedated the patient’s gall bladder byol meridian. The traditional Chinese gall bladder meridian runs down the neck and over the shoulder and in Su Jok the byol gall bladder meridian on the fingers relates to wind energy which controls joints and movement. I also worked on the ah shi correspondence points relating to the neck which are located on the index finger, using an electro device. The patient said she felt immediate relief and I advised her on magnet application for homecare.”

Case Study 2

“59 year old female presented with vertigo which makes her balance unsteady and causes nausea. She has suffered this complaint for nearly a year which categorises it as a chronic condition. This condition is caused by excessive wind energy, in this case yin wind, which relates to liver energy.

“Following the first treatment the patient said she felt less nauseous and it no longer felt like the ground was rising up. I saw her again 2 days later and repeated the sequence, after which she stated her head had stopped spinning. Her next appointment was the following week when she advised me her symptom was diminishing. I carried out a 3rd treatment and she reported she felt extremely relaxed. I made a 4th appointment which she cancelled the following week as she said she’d had no further symptoms.”

Case Study 3

“32 year old female presented to me with sciatica, which she suffered intermittently over a period of 2 years. She had considerable pain in her lower back and down her right leg which had been on-going for 6 weeks.

“I tried magnet application to the byol gall bladder meridian as the traditional Chinese meridian runs down the outside of the leg where the pain was located. The magnets neither aggravated nor relieved which indicated this was not the correct meridian to treat. I then tried application diagnosis with magnets to the byol bladder meridian in sedation mode. She immediately felt relief. She indicated when she arrived that her pain level was around 8-9 out of 10 but was only now around 2-3. I instructed her how to apply the magnets at home and saw her again 2 days later.

“I saw her again the following week and she said she was pretty much pain free but still applied the magnets if she felt any twinges.”

References

Ubaĭdullaev AM, Sharafutdinova GKh and Ismailov ShU, Treatment of bronchial asthma by the Su Jok therapy method. Ter Arkh.70(12):44-6. 1998.  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10067252

Further Information

Marilyn Benson may be contacted via www.painmanagement.me.uk www.handsonhealth.me.uk

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About Resham Khiani

Resham Khiani has been a freelance health writer for 7 years. She is passionate about women's health and loves to report on the latest health trends and alternative therapies. Her works appear on Diabetes Health Magazine, Made for Women Magazine and www.helium.com.  Her blog InnerBellissima, http://innerbellissima.blogspot.co.uk/, is dedicated to exploring women's inner beauty and building a healthy self-image. She can be contacted on reshamkhiani@gmail.com or http://reshamk.wix.com/reshamkhiani

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