Case Study: Freeing Energy Blockages
Gina Martin, a licensed massage therapist, practices shiatsu. Here she tells the story of a desperate client who found relief from chronic itchiness after years of suffering.
"Ever since she was a child, Margaret, a woman in her late 20s, had been suffering from intermittent bouts of itchy skin, which were often so severe that she was unable to sleep. Many a night she would lie awake fighting a desperate urge to scratch, finally dropping off into an exhausted sleep as dawn approached.
"Over the years, her bouts of itchiness had grown more frequent and more severe. All of her attempts to have the problem diagnosed and treated had been unsuccessful. She had been tested for allergies, but none were found; she'd had cortisone treatments, which provided no relief. Some physicians, finding no obvious rash or other outward symptoms, prescribed tranquilizers and suggested that her problem might be 'nerves.' But Margaret felt strongly that the problem was not just 'in her head.' Finally, on the recommendation of a friend, she came to see me for shiatsu treatments.
"During the first session, Margaret lay on her back while I checked the energy areas of her abdomen. Because there exists an important connection between the skin and the bowel, I asked her about her regularity. I also asked her questions about her life style, job, stress level, diet, exercise, medical history, and emotional state. Gradually a pattern began to emerge.
'An important clue was that Margaret was also suffering from chronic constipation - a problem, like her itchiness, that she'd had since childhood. She'd lived with constipation for so long she almost didn't think to mention it. Fortunately she did. According to Chinese medicine, this pattern of itchiness and constipation pointed to an imbalance in the Metal element, one of the Five Elements that make up the body. A blockage of energy in one area, the large intestine, would affect another area, the skin. In other words, Margaret's constipation was causing her itchy skin.
"I treated Margaret by applying pressure along the energy pathways of the body called meridians. Using both hands, I paid special attention to the points used for treating constipation. The pressure removes the blockages and allows the energy to flow freely. It simply opens the body up and, unlike drugs, has no side effects. I also taught her self massage techniques to use on her own to relieve the constipation. Over the course of three weeks, Margaret came to see me for three one-hour sessions, and both her itchiness and constipation totally disappeared.
'As Margaret discovered, the body wants to be in balance. Sometimes it just needs a little help."
Excerpted from Readers Digest
Family Guide to Natural Medicine,
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