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Clean Remedy for Toothache


When Jane came along to the Clean Language practice group, she was hoping to find out about Clean Language and to maybe have a go at asking some questions. That she also was able to get rid of a raging toothache that she’d had for nine months was a welcome surprise.

The pain was in a pre-molar that had been root-filled. When her dentist investigated, she found it was caused by the molar next door, which was badly inflamed, and gave her root canal treatment for this. But the pain didn’t stop… the dentist said that the molar tooth was still ‘settling down’ whilst the root was being destroyed by the medication, and further treatment was planned. Jane still had the pain when she arrived at the practice group. She couldn’t eat on the left hand side and drinking or eating anything hot or cold caused her excruciating pain.

Coincidentally, the topic we’d chosen for our practice session was using Clean Language to work with physical symptoms. It was a no-brainer for Jane – she offered up her toothache to be worked on.

Her metaphor for the toothache was that of a drain, blocked with a lump of custard. It wanted to be unblocked, and during the session Jane found that when the pressure built up, the unblocking could happen, and the custard would gurgle down the drain. But then the pressure would build up all over again. As she was asked more questions, the pain moved to a pipe behind her ear. The pipe was also blocked – but now that the pain had moved, Jane found she was able to eat a biscuit on the left-hand side during the meeting.

The following day, Jane started to wonder whether her toothache could be related to a situation which had been going on at work – also for nine months. She emailed me:

There is some stuff whirling round in my head – like a whirlwind and I am waiting for it to set (and there is an image of slightly cloudy, crazed chunks of jelly like material – red, yellow, lime green. The chunks are beginning to meld together and as very slowly beginning to clear).

As I write this and become more aware, the pain has shifted to this pipe under my ear – like it did last night. The pipe feels raw as if it has been prodded about too much and it wants to be left alone. I have a hot drink and do not get the shooting pain from the tooth that I initially believed to be the cause – so something is changing. The pipe still wants to be unblocked but is not ready – I think I have to wait for the jelly chunks to crystallise and set. A thought has just flashed through my mind: it is my future that is crystallising! This feels right – I get a warm feeling in chest when I picture the crystallising chunks. I am going to leave the pipe to its own devices for a bit and to heal before further treatment.

Now something else has come to mind… The pipe that needs to heal represents the wounds I have from my boss. The poison is my work situation and wants to be lanced but the chunks need to crystallise.

This is all so weird, I did not expect all this to come out whilst I am writing this note.

On that day, Jane resolved to set up her own business and the metaphor had made her realise the effect that her work situation was having on her health. She believes that this decision allowed the pipe to unblock and the poisons to gurgle away.

After that she had no more pain, and was able to eat normally. The root canal treatment on the molar tooth was completed, and a crown was fitted to the pre-molar (after drilling and without an injection), and there has been no pain since.

The scientist in me was looking for a ‘medical’ explanation to the pain disappearing. But it must have been the Clean Language and I am just so grateful. I am still shocked by this – I have never witnessed, or experienced, anything like it! Some of my (limiting) beliefs have been well and truly blown away. I just never believed it was possible to use words to cure intense physical pain – until now!

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

Related blog posts


Metaphors for Aches and Pains

20th Jul 2009

By Marian Way


Healing a Physical Symptom at Long Distance

31st Dec 2004

By Marian Way

About Marian Way

Marian Way's avatar

A highly skilled facilitator and trainer, Marian, who founded Clean Learning in 2001, has developed and delivered training across the world. She is the author of Clean Approaches for Coaches, co-author, with James Lawley, of Insights in Space and co-author, with Caitlin Walker, of So you want to be… #DramaFree.

Marian is an expert Clean facilitator, an adept modeller, a programme writer and an inspirational trainer. She has a natural ability to model existing structures, find the connections between them and design new ways for people to learn. Marian was a leading innovator within the Weight Watchers organisation, which included developing the “points” strategy, a local idea that went on to become a global innovation. She is a director of both Clean Learning and Training Attention CIC, world leaders in clean applications for corporate, educational and community development. She designs our programmes and workbooks, leads workshops and teaches on all our courses. She’s trained people in Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Japan and the USA. Marian is also a recognised Clean Assessor.

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