Could the ancient widom of the Samurai hold the key to health?

Sunday 08 July 2012

On the run up to our holiday break I had been unceremoniously dragged around the shops by Lara.

It's at times like this I really perceive a difference between the sexes:

(Male) I need new shoes for holiday. I'll go to the shoe shop and buy a pair of sandals in my size. Which is cheapest? Are there any like I had before? Good, I'll take those. Goodbye. All in all an encounter of 5 minutes tops, then on the way home.

(Female) I need new shoes for holiday. I'll need to have a look in all the shoe shops and department stores, as well as through the catalogues at home. What do I need to wear them with? Will I need them to walk in or just for nights out? Is there a new style out at the moment? I wonder what Elaine/Claire/Margaret/Sarah/Amanda/... would advise. I'll give them a call. Hmm now I'm in the shops I can't really see what I had in mind so I'll try a few pairs on. I think I liked those in that first shop best, but I'm not sure... So far we have spent an entire morning wandering around and still are no closer to getting the shoes!

So, I'm now being like a sulky teenager and making those huffing sounds in the hope I get sent to a coffee shop to wait.

It is a tactic which isn't proving popular with my dear wife...

...And that's how come I ended up daydreaming, and the basis of today's letter.

Discover the secret of healing used by ancient warriors

You see I felt oppressed, as if my will was being subverted by another.

And more importantly, my poor old knee was playing up again. I don't want to go on about it but every so often it does kick off in the most agonising way.

So picture the scene... unhappy Ray with bottom lip projecting like a pink settee out of his jaw... wincing and hobbling in the wake of his increasingly frustrated wife... huffing and puffing every minute or so.

I had begun to wonder why I was there - then a few lines of dialogue from a film came into my head from nowhere;

"You believe a man can change his destiny?" says the Samurai warrior.

"I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed," responds the suave American sent to Japan to teach the ways of fighting with guns rather than swords.

It comes from The Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise, which isn't a very good film if I'm honest.

But that line just seemed appropriate at the time.

What I needed was my true destiny to arrive - let me explain how it did!

A saving grace

After another couple of shops Lara had me in a headlock.

We rounded a corner and bumped into two friends we hadn't seen for a while, and so my dear wife relaxed her grip and smiled sweetly at our chums.

We retired to a coffee shop and soon the two women were deep in conversation about shoe matters which left the chaps to chew the fat.

I happened to mention my troublesome knee, and was surprised by the response - but also the coincidence. I promise you that this is not contrived (well maybe a little!).

He said to me, "You need the power of the Balsam of the Samurai my friend!"

I nearly fell off of my chair - "The power of what?.."

He went on to explain how a few months back he had discovered a really effective way to deal with his own grumbling knee.

Discover the ancient secrets of Japanese pain relief here

I get stuff sent through to me on a daily basis about controlling pain, and dealing with injury

Much of it doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but every so often a little gem appears.

The stuff he was referring to was not known to me and I was a little sceptical (so what's new?), especially because of its name. It almost sounded like a joke from Viz!

However, a little digging around soon showed that my jaundiced view was without foundation.

It contains silicon (which we know is good stuff from [Flexilica]), Mountain Arnica (good for bruising and inflammation), Camphor (healing wounds) and Mentha arvensis (or Corn Mint is rich in menthol which prevents infection as well as having local anaesthetic qualities).

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The end of the story

Anyway I suppose there are those of you who want to know how this story ends... the bit about the shoes rather than my poor knee I dare say!

Well we are the proud owners of some dear (in all senses of the word) little brown sandals.

The type with lots of thin straps over the foot, and a clasp held quite high over the ankle.

Guess which culture they are based upon?

Go on, I bet you can't think where this is going can you?

No, not from Japan as it happens!

They are supposedly based upon ancient Greek designs.

I guess I need to go and have a look at how they managed to control pain now before some other coincidence happens...

...Well what do you know. One of the common pain relievers in use was the juice of the poppy, or as we would know it opium.

The first documented usage of this Laudanum was by Theophrastus in the Third Century BC.

See, a day in the shops wasn't wasted. I've added to my knowledge of ancient medications and also to my list of interesting and effective pain relief.

Mind you I could have done that at home, with a coffee and Radio 4 on in the background. Ho hum!

Do you need help fighting for health? Take the Samurai approach, click here for more information


Yours, as always





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