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Out of the Darkness and Into the Light of Su Jok Therapy

by Marilyn Benson(more info)

listed in chi energy martial arts, originally published in issue 144 - February 2008

My Journey

I have worked as a complementary therapist and lecturer in complementary health over the past 17 years, coming into this profession, as so many others do, as a result of major health problems.

My journey began as a result of the culmination of several situations going on in my personal life at that time, but the main contributing factor was not being able to cope with the emotions engulfing me following the breakdown of my marriage. During this period I was so down that I didn’t want to get out of bed in the mornings; each day seemed like an eternity, and I had no interest at all in what was going on around me. I think when we are pushed to our limit, if our physical health doesn’t crack, then our mental health does. To say this was a dark period in my life would be underestimating the pain I felt inside. Each day was like climbing a mountain, hanging onto my sanity by the tips of my fingers. This state of mind continued for some time, but lucky for me I had two good friends above me on the mountain face holding out their hands to haul me up from the safety of the ledges that were their own lives.

Yin Hand and Foot
Yin Hand and Foot

Before the darkness descended in my life, which was actually diagnosed as reactive depression, I had been interested in complementary health and had been drawn towards the healing arts. I became involved with a group of healers and felt, from the beginning, that being able to ease someone’s pain through touch gave me a sense of fulfilment. People have asked me why this healing wasn’t able to take away my depression, and I believe it is because when we set out to help others we resonate with them more if we have had experiences in our own lives that are similar to, if not the same as, the person we are helping. Of course we can also learn valuable lessons from the traumas within our lives, so sometimes, although what we are going through is so painful, either physically or emotionally, and appears totally negative, it can turn around and have a positive outcome.

One afternoon as I lay on the sofa under a duvet in my lounge, which I did as a matter of course back then, just hiding from the world, I heard a voice inside my head, call it my intuition if you like, telling me that there really was light at the end of the tunnel, and I had to face my fear and walk through the darkness to get to the light. I think my biggest fear has always been being alone and looking into that abyss of darkness. I knew then that I had to walk through the tunnel alone. I think when I look back I can say this was the darkest hour before the dawn, but it was also a turning point.

When my friend Linda arrived later that evening I told her of my experience, and that I wanted to look at the possibility of opening a Centre that embraced all the different avenues of helping people to ease their pain. It didn’t happen straight away, because those who have experienced depression know that it doesn’t lift overnight, but my mind started to focus again and gradually I started having ‘good’ days as well as ‘bad’ days. On the dark days when it felt like I was slipping back down the mountain, I stayed in hiding, but on the days I felt better, I started researching how I could go about opening the Centre. However, realization dawned on me that maybe I was being a little premature and ought to first get some formal training myself.

Steering a New Course

With summer turning to autumn, classes were once again starting at our local adult education centre, and I felt really excited when I saw there were two introductory courses, one on Massage and the other on Reflexology. I signed up for both and found I quite enjoyed the Reflexology, but after one session of the Massage course I left and signed up instead for a private diploma course in Massage that started the following week. On the successful completion of this course, I immediately signed up for the Aromatherapy diploma course. These courses made me realize that my life was worth something; my self-esteem which had been at an all time low was now buoyant again and I was ready to fly.

It took another couple of years before I opened my first Natural Health Centre, but in-between times I gained practical experience, and know I helped many people along the way, some people with physical pain and others with emotional stresses and strains, but in helping others I was also helping myself through a voyage of discovery.

My life’s course was set as I continued with my work, adding other therapies along the way to those that I already had. As my experience grew, it became increasingly evident that you ‘can oil a machine and get it working smoothly, but if you continue to sustain it with low grade fuel, any benefits are short-lived. The same principles apply to the human body, so I decided to study Nutrition as another instrument to add to my toolkit.

In our lives we never really know what is around the corner, and for me it was teaching. I believe there is no such thing as ‘coincidence’; Carl Jung called this phenomenon synchronicity. Sometimes we think of somebody that we haven’t seen in a long time then the ‘phone rings and it’s that very person. Two minds have linked through a vibration, hence synchronicity. Another example of synchronicity is overhearing a conversation between other people, and gaining an insight from that conversation that empowers us to solve our own problems. We are hearing what we need to hear at that particular moment in time. In retrospect, if we look back on our lives, we are able to see the twists and turns that brought us to where we are today.

A lady came into my clinic one afternoon just to take a look around and have a chat. From this conversation I learned that a course was starting the following week at a college near to my home. The course was the Certificate in Education which was, at that time, a three-year part-time course, at the end of which one would be qualified to teach in adult education. Although I was running short introductory courses from my clinic, I had never given any thought to teaching formally, but I knew right then and there that I was going on this course because I wanted to professionally train others to help people suffering pain.

I completed this course eight years ago and have trained many students in that time. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to hear feedback from my students of the successes they are having in bringing relief to their family and friends, and eventually of course to the general public.

Does my story end here. Of course not, the pages of one book have been read and it is time to start another. Last year I travelled to India and, once again, prior to actually going I had no previous plans to go. I had heard about Su Jok therapy four years ago but, instead of following my instincts, I chose at that time to go on a different path, which was to my detriment as it lost me four years of being able to put this amazing therapy into practice. I left London to visit my daughter Carley in Dubai and travel from there to Calcutta to commence my Su Jok training, however, fate intervened and changed my direction. Initially I saw this as ‘disaster’ but on reflection I believe without a doubt I was being guided to Jaipur to Ashok Kumar Kothari, an Indian Su Jok master, to receive the wisdom of his profound teachings.

Understanding Su Jok Therapy

In India, Korea, Russia, Australia and many other countries Su Jok is widely accepted, but in the UK and many parts of Europe it is a therapy that has not received the recognition it rightly deserves. So what is Su Jok therapy?

Su = hand – Jok = foot. Korean words relating to a therapy that employs hands and feet as treatment areas for the whole body. Professor Park, Jae Woo is a Korean scientist and philosopher. He is the originator of Su Jok Therapy. Through his scientific works he has developed a number of simple and effective systems of treatment, which have gained wide acceptance among medical doctors, practitioners and the general public.

On our hands and feet we host correspondence systems. The systems are highly active points connected to every area of the body through correspondence globules, positioned below the surface of the skin. When these globules are stimulated, energy waves are passed to the corresponding organ and the brain. Do not be misled; this therapy does not parallel Reflexology, apart from using the hands and feet as maps of the body. Correspondence areas and treatment is carried out in a very different manner, utilizing a variety of effective correction techniques which more often than not bring about immediate benefits, and this is what differentiates Su Jok from many other therapies.

The treatments I now give people go straight to the root of the problem; an example is that following Su Jok treatment, a frozen shoulder that has little movement can regain 70% mobility after one sitting. Anatomical, physiological and emotional problems can all be successfully treated with this therapy, and the positive results that are obtained bring a smile not only to my clients’ faces, but to mine also. In the 17 years I have worked as a therapist and trainer I have finally found a therapy that really does have the ‘wow’ factor. For people on low incomes who think ‘I can’t afford it’, money to me is never an issue where pain is concerned; it is the smile that is my reward.

Your health is in ‘your’ hands, literally. My main focus at this time is teaching Su Jok to everyday people. It is a simplistic system that is easy to learn, and people with no experience of other complementary therapies can be taught in one day to treat themselves and their families. Common ailments that people suffer on a daily basis, like constipation, aching joints, headaches, nosebleeds, haemorrhoids, etc., can be treated in minutes without drugs or any side effects. The beauty being that following a few hours instruction, you are able to take responsibility for your own wellbeing and, of course, do not have to pay someone else to do it for you. This one-day training course is for personal development and not intended for use on the general public.

Formal training for qualified therapists already working with the general public is also simplistic and does not tie up precious time, as individual modules are usually taught over four days. This training gives therapists the modalities to treat diseases and disorders at deeper levels on both the physical and emotional levels.

In conclusion, I would like to say that out of my darkness came light. During my depressions I couldn’t see beyond anything else, everyday was an uphill struggle and I lost all my inner strength to climb. Life was a slippery slope and it felt like I had lost control. I still sometimes ‘react’ to situations, but when fear takes over these days I try to go with it and then out through the other side of it – feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I can honestly say I am glad for what happened to me in the past, because of this experience I grew stronger and my life has been richly rewarded through the people I have been able to help along the way, either through my teaching or hands-on treatment.


  1. Smita said..

    Do you know any online study on Sujok. Or anyone in the USA who can teach Sujok and complete course

  2. julie turner said..

    Would really enjoy taking a class from you! I am in the USA and am taking Sujok classes but I need much more information about light therapy, Energy flow, Six KI, Meridians etc. THank you so much! JUlie

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About Marilyn Benson

Marilyn Benson ITEC Cert. Ed. is a qualified lecturer and practitioner of Su Jok Acu and Energy Flow Therapy. She runs courses throughout the year for practising therapists who currently hold a diploma in Anatomy & Physiology. Self-help workshops for lay persons are also available to anyone wishing to treat themselves naturally for everyday complaints. Marilyn may be contacted via Tel: 01342 317138; Mob: 07961 157609;  and

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