a different side of Israel

Chakra power in Tel Aviv

Our roving reporter, Jill Cartwright, reports on the annual convention of alternative healing held in Tel Aviv.

Alternativa massage
A free massage at Alternativa

When I walked into the hall, and looked through the fine mist of incense that hung in the air, it seemed every herbalist, masseuse, healer, meditator and psychic chanter in Israel had set up stall for the Alternativa 2006 convention, which was held at the exhibition grounds in Tel Aviv from April 4-6.

The event had pulled in the crowds, who had braved the day’s appalling weather (pouring rain) to be there, and the scene was brimming with half naked people being pummelled by men and women in white coats, squatting in front of machines having their eyeballs analysed, sitting silently while their third chakra powers were read, or just generally scratching and sniffing, fondling and prodding the huge array of natural cosmetics, soaps, candles, spices, herbs and strange looking dried fruit that was out on show.

As I wandered round taking it all in and pondering whether to try the magnetic acupressure suction cup or the treatment to balance my internal fluid levels, I noticed that the stall creating the biggest buzz was the one advertising the Su Jok Smile and Twist therapy centre. That, I thought, is where I would give myself over for experimental testing.

Su Jok
Su Jok

I’m not quite sure where the smiling and twisting comes into it. As the enthusiastic student of the system explained to me, Su Jok is actually a healing system that works with pressure points on the hands and feet; it was discovered by a Korean scientist by the name of Prof. Park, Jae Woo, started to infiltrate Israel about five years ago and has been growing ever since.

Rather like a mixture of acupuncture and reflexology, Su Jok works on the theory that the hands and feet are a mirror image of the human body with every organ represented in a specific area of the palm or foot sole, and treats disease and disorder by sticking little pins into the proper areas on said hand or foot to alleviate energy blocks.

Smile and Twist, Su Jok
The Su Jok booth

The method is incredibly simple and easy to learn, and the effect, they promised me, is almost immediate.

So I proffered my hand, and my very intense looking therapist prodded it with a stubby gold tube to discern my sensitive points. He injected five little pins in my hand. He then told me to have a wander round and come back in 20 minutes.

And so off I went fending off leaflets and salespeople with my pincushion hand. I had a nice cup of chai at Dr. Verma’s Ayurveda stand, bought myself an all natural tongue scraper and then wandered back to the Su Jok stand to be depinned.

Dr. Verma
Dr. Verma, the ayurvedic physician with whom I chatted over a cup of chai

And what can I tell you? I feel great. Or rather I don’t feel any worse and it certainly didn’t hurt. In fact, I would actually say my mood and general well being did seem rather boosted as I felt the blood surging to the points in my hand where the micro pins were stuck, and I left the hall full of good feelings and bonhomie.

Aviva tarot card reader
Aviva, the tarot card reader

But then again that might have been because of the lovely Aviva, who read my tarot cards and told me that soon I would convert and get married and then bring twins into the world … I’ll keep you posted on that one…

1 Comment

  1. Great article

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