Update to my recent move post. I am currently negotiating with two different locations to be able to see you at the two clinics I work at. On Monday, Wednesday and Fridays I am at one location while at the other on Tuesday and Thursday. I am looking to get it set up where you will call the clinics to schedule and they will handle all the payment information. Also, I have some good news. I am working on an affiliation with a veteran’s group that will help me be able to see more of our country’s military. Being a veteran myself, I am excited about this opportunity to serve our military verterans. I hope to have more information for you soon.
I have often found that many people do not continue their growth of knowledge and have ofte harped on the need for one to continue their education. Many graduate from school, high school or college, and move into the routine of living their lives, but rarely do they strive for a greater understanding of the world. That said, I am proud to announce that I have been, since January/2019, been working to progress in my knowledge and understanding of massage. Not just through Continuind Education Classes, but also by attending a college to advance my career. Since January, I have been attending Parker University in Dallas, Texas. At first, I was only going to get my Associate’s of Applied Science in Massage Therapy degree but I decided to go further. I am currently working on my Bachelor’s of Integrative Health with a focus on Science and plan to continue to the Parker University Doctorate of Chiropractic Medicine. I have been told that I may be able to also get a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience as well while attending for that degree. I am exceedingly excited and happy to share this news of my transformative path. I look forward to sharing more information as it comes. Blessed Be!
I am excited to report that Sacred Grove Healing Massage will be moving soon. I have been operating out of my home for the past year, however I have been looking to get into a clinic with some other professionals. I will keep you all updated as things progress. Blessed Be!
I was in a discussion the other day about the quality of massage therapy and which I thought was better. Over the course of the discussion, the others involved were going on about Dermoneuromodulation (DNM), Feldenkrais Method, Bowen Therapy and Swedish Deep Tissue massage. I found their point compelling and interesting, however I feel that those modalities often forget the body is a whole organism. Tuina, or Chinese Medical Massage, originated over four thousand years ago in China. Interestingly enough, Pierre Henrick Ling actually developed swedish gymnastics (the forebearer of Swedish massage) from an experience of Tuina used on him to help him overcome Rheumatism.
Why is Tuina better, in my opinion? Because it actually looks at the whole body. The process evaluates how the whole body is functioning.
When asked what I meant by that, I explained. Back pain for example has many different causes. They immediately responded with a point that it is always neuromuscular though. The reality is, low back pain can be caused by constipation/diarrhea, kidney infections/dysfunction, stomach issues, small intestine issues, bladder issues and also lower extremity issues. Tuina evaluates for all of these by way of the channels and collaterals as well as the five element and yin/yang theories that have been evaluated, researched and studied for over five thousand years.
In short, I feel Tuina is better because it is more whole-istic instead of being focused on the symptoms described.
I read a blog post by Terry Norman, an instructor and highly qualified practitioner of my favorite modality, Tuina. His post was written in June of 2008 and I feel it is quite relevant today. I am, with his permission, quoting the blog post below:
“I have been aware over the past 7 years that there has been a steady decline in interest among massage therapist to learn any Asian forms of bodywork like Shiatsu, Tuina, Amma, or Acupressure. When asked “Why?”, what I tend to get as an answer is that these modalities don’t really work, and that they aren’t based upon “science.” Therefore, we’ve been seeing MT’s move towards the Western sciences of Pathology, Kinesiology, and backwards towards modalities and techniques such as Myofascial Release (MFR), Deep Tissue, and Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT).
Now, don’t get me wrong, these are necessary techniques to know, and it is crucial that MT’s are versed in Pathology, Kinesiology, as well as Anatomy & Physiology. But, if therapists want to move forward from a position of performing “therapy” and into one of “healing,” they should look more seriously into the ancient therapeutic arts from Asia.
First of all, Asian bodywork is based largely upon Traditional Chinese Medical Theory. Which is definitely rooted in science. The Chinese system of medicine dates back more than 5,000 yrs, with its earliest form being massage. The first book ever written on massage in the world was published around 2694 B.C. in China. It covered bone setting, strains, sprains, dislocations, illness due to exposure to cold, heat, damp, wind, and dryness, the birthing process, pediatric disorders and sickness, hormonal imbalances, general injuries of an orthopedic and neurologic nature, and diseases of the elderly.
As the centuries, yes “centuries,” went by, research went into understanding the etiology and pathogeneses of all these aliments and diseases. Procedures and techniques were developed, refined, and re-developed in an attempt to discover what was the most effective in a treatment protocol. New schools of theoretical and procedural approaches were developed based upon research, observation, testing, examination, political environment, what was in fad, and what worked the best. Similar to how we develop new procedures today in therapeutic treatments.
As techniques became more and more medically specific, newer names were coined to represent these newer styles of massage. During the Sui and Tang Dynasty (581-907 A.D.), Chinese massage began to flourish. It was known as Anmo. At this time, massage had achieved the level of doctoral degree in the State Office of Imperial Physicians.
By the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), a specialty department of Anmo was developed that was more medically specific than anything before. It was during this time that the term Tuina began to replace Anmo. Today, Tuina is practiced by doctors in medical hospitals, clinics, and at the Olympic Training Center in Beijing.
My point is that for all the non-western terms such as Yin & Yang, 5 Element Theory, and Theory of Channels and Collaterals, Chinese medicine and Asian bodywork is based upon a level of science and physics that we in the West haven’t discovered as yet. They explain physiological and pathological phenomena, and the changes that take place through physical and energetic manipulation from their cultures point of view which is obviously much different than ours. Unfortunately, by not understanding their approaches to illness and disorders, along with not clearly understanding the illness and disorder as a whole, we tend to ignore and ridicule the Asian explanation, and attempt to explain these physical phenomena as something else…………running it through our filter of limited understanding, and stating that the observed condition is actually something of a neurological, neuromuscular, or orthopedic problem. It has nothing to do with some invisible energetic system of “channels” causing the phenomena we see.
In addition, the other argument I’ve heard against studying Asian modalities is that it “just takes to long to learn.” No one wants to take years to learn techniques and procedures to treat injured people. We don’t want to put forth the effort and discipline to develop skills that can actually “heal” a condition instead of only reducing or manage it. We want, “Instant gratification!” But, in fact, don’t we continue to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on continuing education in an attempt to gain more knowledge and skill to do just that………….help people suffering in pain in the most efficient and fastest way possible.
One of my students put it perfectly. He said that we in this country have, “No sense of Kung Fu.” No, that doesn’t mean that we must learn to break bricks with our hands, and fight like Bruce Lee. The words “Kung Fu” mean “Skilled Man.” The closes word we have in our language is “Craftsman.” We’ve made inferiority the norm.
So, those of you out there thinking that taking a class in Acupressure, Shiatsu, or Tuina would be a waste of time due to that fact that it isn’t based on science, should think again. These therapies can take you to a much high level of expertise than you’ve ever been, or ever thought you could be. If you’ve taken a class in Asian bodywork before, and have found it not to be effective, I’d ask you to inspect the quality of your instructor. If they know what they’re doing, have the proper qualifications, and have taught you well, the techniques you’ve been taught will work on your clients. If they’re a poor instructor, then you won’t get the results. This is IF you have put in the proper amount of practice.
You should ask yourself this. “If these techniques and procedures have worked for thousands of years, and most of the other countries of the world use them effectively, then why shouldn’t I want to learn them, and integrate them into my procedures?” Just make sure your instructor is an experienced and qualified teacher of the modality they are teaching. And most of all, don’t be afraid to learn something that may take time and practice to develop. Remember that many have been where you are starting now, and have developed into amazing doctors and therapist that have achieved unbelievable results. You can too.
Terry Norman LMT
To Study Asian Bodywork, or Not to Study Asian Bodywork. That Is the Question.
Blog Post on TuinaSports.com June/2008