When people first see or hear about Tong Ren Therapy their first impression is often one of wonder, and their first thought is usually something along the lines of “why would anyone tap a hammer on an acupuncture doll” or even worse “this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen!” This is perhaps even more so as we are most often treating cancer and other very serious medical conditions with such light hearted techniques.
As with many aspects of healing, the clinical and scientific basis of Tong Ren Therapy is not immediately apparent to most people. And the reasoning of why we choose to utilize a doll and hammer instead of the many other ways you can work with energy is not immediately clear.
When I run my Tong Ren Therapy (or “Guinea Pig”) classes in Chattanooga, I most often start the class with what I call my “spiel.” This is my random, but usually Tong Ren related, topic of the day. Most often I do this to provide a brief explanation for people who are new to the class, but it is also to benefit people who have attended for a while, so that they can understand more details of the system.
In my “spiel,” I generally cover the most obvious questions time and time again – “Why do you use the doll”, “Why not use your hand”, “Does the person have to be present”, “Does it really matter where you tap”, “How does this compare to other forms of healing such as Reiki”, etc. Within this article I would like to cover some of my answers to these basic questions as people always find the discussion simple and understandable.
In essence Tong Ren Therapy works under the same philosophy as Tai Chi – using less resistance to allow more energy to flow freely. While other forms of energy healing such as Reiki and Medical Qi Gong are effective, they are often limited by a number of issues. In general, people (including the healers themselves) have a limited ability to focus intently for any length of time. Many forms of energy healing require a considerable amount of training, development, and control that not everyone can maintain. Even for advanced masters, they will often see only a few patients every day so that they can rebuild their own energy and control. One main answer to the question, “Why do you use the doll,” then, is to maintain focus. Even though we are using the concept of the collective unconscious in Tong Ren Therapy, there is still a light focus that needs to be maintained. You cannot think about your laundry and expect to have a strong healing presence, and the same is true with focusing too hard. What the tapping of the doll accomplishes, among other things, is to say to yourself “I’m focusing on GB 13“, “I’m focusing on GB 13“, “I’m focusing on GB 13“, now “I’m focusing on GV 20“, “I’m focusing on GV 20“, etc. It lightly overrides your conscious mind allowing your intention to travel more freely than if you simply stare at a point on someone.
Tong Ren is also a two-way street. There has to be a patient that is present (not necessarily physically) and who has asked for the treatment. Just as you have to be lightly focused on the task at hand as a Tong Ren healer, your patient has to be mentally present and open to the treatment (not necessarily believing in it – just open to the treatment). There are many aspects to this. First is that by saying out loud to the healer what condition they would like healed they are bringing it and the potential that it can be healed to their mind. This is important. The second aspect involves the dialogue between the healer and the client – essentially either watching their reactions to the treatment and/or asking about their sensations. This too is important as you become more familiar with the techniques you can “steer” the treatments better – initially spending more time on a particular area than others based on the response, later perhaps adding areas in that you feel need work. In general, as you being working on someone the first sign of Qi (or energy) movement will be that there face will become red and/or their hands/face will feel warm to them – after this initial response you can begin moving the energy through the main treatment points on the doll.
Another common question, is “Does it really matter where you tap?” The idea behind this question is usually if it is all mind and intent – does it really matter what you do. Yes, it matters quite a bit and this is one of the crucial differences between Tong Ren Therapy and other systems of energy healing that may have a less precise underlying treatment theory. Tong Ren ultimately uses a tremendous amount of western medical understandings crossed with a variety of theories from the extremely long history of Chinese Medicine. While the medium of delivery method (i.e. tapping on a doll) may initally be strange, the reasoning behind the treatment points has very strong theoretical underpinnings. For an advanced discussion of a single condition, I recommend you read through an article on the treatment of Leukemia. This article shows the amount of thought, research, and science that is behind our treatment point selection criteria.
Finally, how does Tong Ren compare to other forms of energy healing? Well, ultimately the answer is in the results. We have a vast number of testimonials of people who have been healed of a variety of conditions. Some are in our Tong Ren Therapy Testimonial forum. Part of the answer to this question was covered above in that it differs by how you better control the use of your conscious and unconscious mental activity to allow your energy to flow more freely and in the precision of the areas that you focus on instead of more subjective aspects like “this area feels dark to me”, or “it feels like energy isn’t flowing in your arm”, etc. This isn’t to discount other forms of healing, just that there are ambigious and subjective aspects to many of them and the results are not always reproducible from person to person. People will benefit from the relaxation of the treatments and there are many stories of healings, but what we are struggling to build is a system that is explainable, reproducible, and that which requires very little training and/or physical or energetic development. While Tong Ren Therapy is still a work in progress, it appears to be what the founder, Master Tam, envisioned – a reproducible, scientifically founded, energy healing technique that can heal a broad range of conditions.