Michel Odoul: “Our body speaks, yet must we know how to hear it …”

Our diseases are not the result of chance or inevitability, but a message of our inner being, assures Michel Odoul in “Tell me where you have pain, I will tell you why”. Eight years after its first edition, this guide that invites us to decode ourselves the body language praises the best sales.

By: Karine Papillaud

An atypical course for this great shiatsu specialist: graduate of Sup. de Co, for eighteen years, he has been a business consultant and trainer in energy techniques. Since 1996, he has been head of the French Shiatsu Institute in Paris.

Published in 1994, sold more than one hundred and sixty-five thousand copies to date, reissued nine times: “Tell me where you’re hurting, I’ll tell you why” is a best-seller. His success is because he tells us about us, our pains and our great suffering, and proposes to end our health problems. Based on the intimate connection between our immune system and the psyche, it helps us to put words on our ills. Michel Odoul, its author, wrote it at the request of his patients. Founder of psycho-energetics, he took two years to write it with the help of the seven thousand consultations he gave. His goal ? Through his book, he raises awareness: “When something happens to me, illness or accident, what happens at that moment in my life? “

Karine Papillaud: How do you explain this success?

Michel Odoul: The mechanistic vision that the West and its traditional medicine have of the human being is not enough for many of us. Today, everyone wants to understand what’s happening to them and why, and hear about “differently”.

How to use your book?

This book has no other pretension than to give thought to those who ask questions. But not all bouts are necessarily interpretable: a temporary constipation that improves with a more balanced diet does not lend itself to a particular interpretation. Although, to a certain extent, his care has changed your lifestyle. On the other hand, a symptom attracts attention when it is recurrent, intense or unusual: headaches, sciatica, tendinitis, allergies, spasmophilia, bulimia, cysts, etc.

You do not differentiate between a physical problem, a psychosomatic problem and even an accident … You are not going too far?

For me, there is no difference! I think we are interdependent with everything around us. Whether we call them “traumatisms”, “diseases” or “accidents”, our pathologies always make sense, even if we can not decode it. Take the case of an accident. If my car skids in the rain, it’s because I made a mistake. And perhaps it is by reflecting on what absorbed me at that moment that I can find a beginning of explanation to my accident.

Let’s say my knee hurts. I open your book and discover that “knee pain means we have trouble integrating emotion.” Can not it just be explained by the fact that I wear high heels?

Of course ! But the mechanical reason is not enough. The question you should ask yourself is why you wear heels that high, what it means to you. Perhaps the high heels, signs of femininity in Westerners, are closer to the ritual feet of the Chinese: in both cases, we forced women to a difficulty of movement.

And if I do not recognize myself in this explanation?

It is very possible! This surely means that the real reason is not yet acceptable to you at that moment: it is obscured by your subconscious, because you are not ready to face it. And it is very respectable

What is psycho-energetics?

I founded this method in the late 80’s. It uses both western psychology – Jung’s in particular – and oriental techniques – tao, Chinese medicine, yin and yang – to make sense of our suffering. For example, through the symbolism that the Chinese attribute to acupuncture meridians, one can give meaning to each organ. Thus, the bladder represents the final phase of transformation of energies and allows to evacuate the “old memories” that we carry in us.

On the psychological level, its meridian is associated with fertility, rigor and the sense of listening. We also work on the laterality of the body: the yin represents the right side, the feminine values, family, the company, the mother. Yang covers the left side and embodies male values, authority, father. To return to your knee, it is important to know which one makes you suffer: if it is the right, you will wonder about your relationship to femininity, mother, family, emotions. If it’s the left, try to find the source of your problem in your ties with the male and the father.

What is the originality of your method compared to some American dictionaries that compile the body evils and their interpretations?

First, it is earlier. Then she is serious: the professionals who practice are all shiatsu teachers, doctors or osteopaths, who know precisely the human body. Finally, the practitioner’s relationship with his patient is particular. During his training, he is taught never to name his problem to a patient: the practitioner must help him to find it by himself, because the personal awareness is essential. In general, everything is settled in three or four sessions.

In doing so, do you not oppose traditional medicine?

More and more doctors are aware that, behind any disease, a psychological tension often unconscious prepares the ground for pathology. But beware, this book does not claim to heal! He invites people to listen to their ills to decode their real problems. Moreover, this approach is not incompatible with traditional medicine, on the contrary. We sometimes refer patients to doctors. Only the “patient” should not rely on the physician’s omnipotence, and let himself be treated passively: he is the actor of his problem and not the victim. Doctors, psychologists, different therapists can heal us, but we are the only ones who can heal us.

EXTRACTS: “Tell me where you’re hurting, I’ll tell you why.”

Knees: difficulty accepting

“The knee is the second articulation of the leg, the one used to bend, to bend, to kneel. It is the articulation of humility, inner flexibility, deep strength. […] It is the manifest sign of allegiance, acceptance, even surrender and submission. The knee represents the “door of acceptance”. It is a joint that can only fold backwards. It therefore means the ability to let go, to give in, to go backwards. […] It is easy to deduce that when we have a knee pain, it means that we have difficulty bending, accepting a particular experience. “

Shoulders: difficulty acting

“The tension we feel in the shoulders means that we encounter or feel brakes to our desires for action, especially in terms of means. That is to say that we feel hindered not by lack of capacity, but by lack of assistance or external opposition. The energies can not pass in the arms and lock in our shoulders. These are not the “brain”, who think a lot and act little, who will contradict me because they have for the most trapezes very painful. “

The throat: difficulty expressing

“Sore throats are those of the phrase” what do I have across my throat “or” what can not I swallow “acceptance? Extinction of voice, angina, swallowing crookedly, aerophagia are the signs of our difficulty in expressing what we think or feel, often for fear of the consequences of this expression. We prefer to stop things “at the customs”. “

Ankles: difficulty moving

“The sprains, pains and ankle trauma will tell us about our relationship difficulties, in the sense that we lack stability or flexibility in relation to them. They mean that we are going through a phase in which our positions, our criteria of life, the way in which we “officially” place ourselves in relation to each other no longer satisfy us and that we have difficulty in changing it, to ” move”. We then stop, because we can not move further in that direction. “

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