Dr. John Thie explains Touch for Health:
“The Touch for Health System is a practical guide to natural health that utilizes acupressure and massage to improve postural balance, and reduce physical and mental pain and tension. It is an approach to restoring natural energies that combines ancient Chinese energy therapies with recent Western developments in kinesiology.
It is a very practical tool for the massage therapist: it can be used along with other massage techniques or as a stand-alone methodology for improving health and enhancing health that utilizes acupressure and massage to improve biological recovery.
West meets East: energy balance
When Western chiropractic ideas regarding posture and muscle testing procedures are combined with Eastern energy-flow ideas of chi, or life energy, a new tool for the massage therapist or bodyworker becomes available.
The Touch for Health System encompasses the vitalistic world view that humans’ natural birthright is to be able to use touch to activate their own bodies’ natural recuperative powers, or energy. These natural recuperative powears are enhanced or inhibited by daily activities. In response to those activities, changes occur within muscles and skin–and the way we feel and function is affected as we become more, or less, vulnerable to injury and disease according to the balance of our energy. This energy may be called chi, as in the Chinese world view; ki, from the Japanese; prana, from the Indian; and innate intelligence in the Western chiropractic tradition. In each case we refer to the power of the intelligently designed human body to come into harmonious balance as a whole person.
Your massage clients need to restore their energy and muscular balance daily to overcome the normal stress of gravity on the body causing shrinkage. Yes, in the course of the day we actually tend to shrink. And as we shrink, our life energy becomes unbalanced, and chronic tension and rigidity set in-which gradually reduces the full range of movement that allows us to function most effectively.
Think about when you have gotten into an automobile after a great night’s rest, feeling really good about starting out the day’s activities. You adjust the rear view mirror. Then you drive off. You arrive at your office and things start to go less than desirably. People around you seem to press your emotional buttons and you need to control yourself physically and emotionally. The food you have for lunch isn’t well-prepared and you have a physically tiring job to do in the afternoon. Then when you get into your car you look into the mirror and it needs to be readjusted. It seems like somehow it raised itself up. You have shrunk. The average person is one inch taller in the morning than in the late evening. This physical constriction causes fatigue, a sense that our physical parts are somehow foreign to us, and diminishes self-esteem. This condition develops day by day, no matter what the age of the affected person. By the end of each day we are all shorter than when we awoke after a good night’s rest-and if we don’t manage to get a good night’s rest, the effect can be cumulative. Do you know any 80-year-old who isn’t shorter than when he or she was younger?
Maintaining clients’ height and flexibility through the Touch for Health System will give them better health-and getting them to stay in balance will help them to minimize the shrinking process. Touch for Health reverses the shrinking process, because by relieving chronic muscular tension and/or spinal curvatures due to muscular imbalances, the body is allowed to relax and expand.
Touch for Health leads clients to relax at least some of the inappropriately contracted muscles. They then feel the exhilaratingly greater range of motion that increases their sense of grace, presence and spontaneity. They literally become taller.
Massage therapists can teach clients the Touch for Health System during their sessions while the therapist balances the client’s energy. This balance is achieved by using specific muscle testing procedures to determine if chi energy is in balance. By using this system, therapists can help clients have peak performances more often. Clients who are in a rehabilitation program, are post-surgery, or receive treatments along with a chiropractic adjustment will recover more quickly.”