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Seed Therapy deals with the application of seeds or other parts of plants and attaching it with a tape at a corresponding point in the hand or foot of a person feeling pain. Seed Therapy is based on Sujok Therapy, when broken down, means Su = handÂ and Jok = foot. These Korean words rely solely on a therapy that makes use of the hands and feet as areas of treatment for the whole body (see Figure 1). Professor Park Jae WooÂ was a Korean scientist and philosopher who originated and developed this therapy (Richmond, 2006). He urbanized anÂ assortment of successful systems of treatment which have expanded all over the world, including physicians,Â practitioners and ordinary people alike. Su Jok therapy is indeed an instantaneous and effective healing therapy requiring no medication and is entirely safe without any accompanying side effects (Richmond, 2006).
Among countless illnesses, Su Jok helps in curing many diseases such as:
arthritis, bronchitis, asthma, backache, joints pain, migraine, hypertension, Sinusitis, deafness, constipation, acidity, obesity, diabetes, menstrual problems, and many more chronic diseases related to different organs of our body (Woo, 2009). Su Jok therapy cures and prevents diseases at a physical, mental, and emotional level using hands and feet as treatment areas. This therapy is regarded as a healing system whereby simple stimulation to the specific corresponding points on the hands and feet, most popularly used is the Su Jok probe, would be applied on and around this area in order to seek the most painful spots confirmed by the client. Healing is reported in 94% of five hundred and thirty subjects according to Woo (2009).
Seed Therapy is considered harmonious to Su Jok Therapy and utilizes the energy of specific seeds. Since seeds are regarded as natural stimulators, they are able to cause the body part to respond. The objective of this paper is to discuss and review the effects of Seed Therapy in relieving pain and alleviating illnesses.
Figure 1. Standard systems of correspondence to the body on the hands and feet Photographed from a poster (Richmond, 2006).
Seed Therapy is one of the important natural stimulator therapies. This precise acupressure phenomenon is the reason why Seed Therapy is regarded as a major treatment pertaining to Su Jok Therapy. Post acupressure treatment, patients are encouraged to tie or adhere seeds using adhesive plaster on the painful points. The pulsations of the seeds deliver further energy to accelerate the progression of expedited healing when in direct contact to the treated point. Seed therapy is effective against chronic diseases and certain pains; especially joint pains. The seeds could be either placed singly over the effected area or may cover the entire painful section (Devitt, 2009).
Seeds and Their Effects
When implementing Seed Therapy, any seed may be used; each seed brings its proper cure effect (see Table 1). The most important factor for treatment is the shape of the seeds or beans being used. The shape of the seed is the indicator to which body part the seed will do optimal advantage (Umbra, 2007). For example cranberry, cowberry and lentil seeds offer support to cough, cold, and flu. Moreover, mound and spherical shaped seeds of pea, cherry, and black pepper are known to offer relief to disorders related to eyes, breasts, the head, knee joints, and back problems. Kidney-shaped red beans are used to treat kidney and stomach related disorders. The elongated forms of seeds are used to resolve problems in the limbs, lips, nose and intestines. The walnut seed is enforced as a cure to cerebral disorders, while peach shaped seeds of millet are used to treat urinary tract and gall bladder problems (Umbra, 2007). Green pea seeds are used to treat various heart conditions, whereas cumin and pumpkin seeds help alleviate gastric irritation and constipation. Also grape seeds are effective in cases of diabetes and pancreatic problems, as well as flaccidity in the urinary bladder muscles. Arrow wood seeds are novel seeds that are being widely used for the relief of hypertension. Rice is used to relief swelling, redness, bronchial problems and loss of sensation in fingers and toes. Flax seeds aids in eliminating toxic body fluids that assist in inflammatory diseases while buckwheat seeds treat pain and chronic inflammation in the shoulder, tooth, head, throat, eyes and tonsils (Umbra, 2007).
Table 1. This table briefly displays the types of seeds used depending on the symptom or area of complaint.
Cranberry, Cowberry, Lentil
Cough, Cold, Flu
Pea, Cherry, Black Pepper
Eyes, Breast, Head, Knees, Back
Limbs, Lips, Nose, Intestines
Urinary tract, Gall bladder
Gastric irritation, Constipation
Diabetes, Pancreatic problems, Urinary bladder muscles
Swelling, Redness, Bronchial problems, Loss of sensation fingers/toes
Eliminating toxic fluids
Chronic inflammation, Throat, Tooth, Shoulder, Head, eyes, Tonsils
Treating Special Populations; Children/Elders
Auricular -relating to the ear and hearing- Seed Therapy is also referred to as the seed-pressure method (Steinflow, 2010). It corresponds to applying a hard and smooth seed, herb, or a magnetic pellet on a tape to a detected auricular point and pressing it properly so as to stimulate the point to treat diseases. Auricular seed therapy, a popular therapy for the past 40 years, came into being on the basis of Su Jok Seed Therapy. Through clinical practice it has been confirmed that auricular seed therapy may also be indicated for many diseases and achieve significant therapeutic effects (Steinflow, 2010). This method, due to its simple application, constant stimulation, and safety is regarded more suitable for the elders; the weak, children and those who are very afraid of pain, or cannot receive treatment everyday (Steinflow, 2010).
Treatment of Allergies
The main points for the treatment of allergy include allergic area, endocrine, adrenal gland and ear apex bleeding. The Allergy Area is the specific point for diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases (Steinflow, 2010). It is used to improve the immunological functions of the entire body. Allergic diseases result from the combination of Anaphylactogen and Anaphylactic antibody, which may disturb the normal metabolism in cells and lead to dilation of capillaries, capillary hyper permeability, and spasms of the smooth muscles. The points in the endocrine and adrenal glands are used to increase the secretion of various hormones, such as adrenal-cortical hormone (ACTH). This prevents the release of histamine and inhibits the antigen-antibody reaction in mucous membrane and skin. Prevention of antibody formation also reduces exudates from capillaries (Steinflow, 2010)
Seed Therapy Uses in Cancer
Other benefits of seed therapy involve prostate cancer (Vatkarma, 2008). One man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only one man in 30 will die of this disease. While there are several treatment options, including surgery, many doctors choose prostate seed therapy because of its ability to treat cancer without affecting surrounding healthy tissue, helping to minimize the risk of impotence or incontinence. Though the technique is somewhat new, preliminary data show that 90 percent of patients treated with prostate seed therapy remain cancer free after five years (Vatkarma, 2008). Prostate seed implantation, also called interstitial radiation and brachytherapy, involves a surgical procedure to implant up to 130 low-dose radioactive "seeds" into the prostate through 30 to 40 long, slender needles. The procedure takes less than two hours and patients return home the same day, resuming normal activity in three to 14 days. The seeds continue delivering radiation for several weeks and remain in place permanently (Vatkarma, 2008).
An alternative Seed Therapy following breast cancer surgery may reduce treatment time and concentrates radiation where it is most needed (Geraldini, 2010). The MammoSite Radiation Therapy System contributes brachytherapy to females who have received a lumpectomy, or a tumor that is removed from the breast. Instead of the usual high energy radiation that enters from the surface of the breast inwards, brachytherapy acts from inwards out. After a patient recovers from her breast cancer surgery, a radiation oncologist threads a catheter through the skin until it reaches the cavity left by the tumor, usually about 2 or 3 centimeters wide. A balloon on the catheter's tip inflates with liquid within the cavity, and a tiny bit of radioactive material is placed within the balloon. The patient then goes home (Geraldini, 2010). Four or five days later, patients return to the clinic, where the radiation oncology team removes the catheter and radiation source, ending the treatment. Because the radiation source is so tiny, there is no risk of radiation exposure to family members or friends at home during therapy. When the seed is placed in the MammoSite balloon, the seed emits X-rays in all directions-much like light emanates from the sun. The dose of radiation is most highly concentrated right at the edge of the tissue cavity, but declines further away from the radioactive seed. Within tissue that lies one centimeter away from the edge of the tissue cavity, for example, the dose of radiation already has shrunk by half, and it keeps getting lower and lower the further away the tissue is from the site of the former tumor (Vatkarma, 2008)(Geraldini, 2010).
Instead of the five-to-seven weeks' worth of daily office visits required for external radiation treatments, patients receiving MammoSite can complete radiation after only four or five days of therapy, making it time efficient and cost effective. Due to the fact that the radiation source is placed at the site of the patient's tumor, the rays reach the very tissues surrounding the tumor where cancer is most likely to return. With MammoSites, the source can enter the breast so quickly where minimal radiation is witnessed to the rest of the breast. The benefit with this fact is that radiation is focused mainly on the area most at risk, which is the local area around the tumor (Geraldini, 2010).
Two recent studies followed 200 women for five years suggest that brachytherapy is as effective as external beam radiation in preventing breast cancer from coming back in women who have had a lumpectomy. This said, the effectiveness of Seed Therapy - Su Jok Therapy in essence - is a beyond promising treatment for such an invasive disease as cancer. Patients will not only be cured, yet, will be able to live better, productive lives without pain and suffering (Vatkarma, 2008).
In conclusion, unconventional treatments are overshadowed by the recognition and universal acceptance of Seed Therapy. In fact, various numbers of patients, whether cancer patients or arthritis sufferers, are turning towards Seed Therapy as an alternative for traditional medicine (Lachmi, 2007). In India, where there is an abundance of Su Jok Therapists, physicians are estimated to see and treat a maximum of 300 patients per day; most of whom have traveled long distances seeking a miracle as their last hope of treatment (Lachmi, 2007) There, the novel therapies of Sujok and Seeds are indeed the future of contemporary medicine that can be extremely promising in the treatment of minor to severe ailments afflicting a vast number of patients worldwide.
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