July 06th 2007 - Touch for Health Kinesiology for Massage Therapists
Touch for Health Kinesiology (TFH) is an exciting holistic system that was developed in the early 1970s by Dr. John Thie. It is based on healing principles from the acupuncture system that have been around for thousands of years. It integrates advances from chiropractic and includes a variety of touch reflex techniques. TFH teaches how to muscle test to identify muscular and energetic imbalances in the body. Each muscle is associated with a specific meridian energy pathway.
Kinesiology approaches postural problems and muscle tension by identifying and strengthening the under facilitated muscles. It is based on the theory, discovered in Applied Kinesiology, that tight muscles are a compensatory response to opposing muscles that are weak or inhibited. Massage may only be a temporary fix to chronic muscle problems, if the underlying cause isn’t being addressed. The weak muscles are often the real culprit in causing muscle imbalance. For example, runners who have weak quadriceps often end up with tight or pulled hamstrings.
There are many different reasons why the energy may get blocked and subsequently inhibit a muscle. It may be due to physical stress, but just as often due to emotional, mental or even biochemical stress. TFH Kinesiology utilizing muscle testing can identify what’s out of balance and which corrections will release those blocks. It has techniques that can address both the cause and resulting symptoms of muscle imbalance.
As a massage therapist and in teaching many massage therapists over the past 25 years, I have often heard frustration about clients with chronic problems. Many therapists recognize that emotional upsets contribute to physical pain and tension but don’t know how to work with it. TFH because of its holistic approach can.
TFH believes that energy follows intention. When we work with clients we assess not just problems and limitations but we help the client create a goal of how they would like to feel different. With muscle testing we can identify very specific energetic patterns and corresponding muscle weakness with different goals in mind. People can set goals on the physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual level. Once the imbalances are identified and the reflex corrections done, reactive patterns are released. Noticeable changes in attitudes, mental focus and emotional states can be felt as a result of this work not just the obvious physical changes like reduction in pain or improvement in posture or range of motion.
In the past couple years I’ve had three students in my classes who were not able to lift their arms more than 30 degrees. In two of the cases that were injury related, a simple technique that is taught in the introductory level class provided 100% range of motion. In the third case, which was not due to an injury, it required identifying, through muscle testing, the emotion and issue that was related to the pain/restriction. Once that was identified and the correction completed the student had full range of motion. In all cases the corrections took less than ten minutes and were permanent.
The basic training in TFH adds a whole new dimension to the depth of healing work that can be offered to one’s clients. In addition to the benefits to clients, practitioners are delighted by the personal benefits they receive from this work. TFH was originally developed with the layperson in mind, so many of the skills are self help oriented. They are simple enough that clients and even children can be taught these skills too. Educating one’s clients about techniques that can help reduce stress and pain in between sessions is empowering and usually greatly appreciated by the clients.
As an instructor I’ve had many massage therapists over the years ask how to best integrate these skills into their current regime. I developed a one day class called The Top Ten Pain Releasers: Integrating Massage and TFH that includes instruction on quality muscle testing and a wide variety of simple techniques that can be easily blended into one’s practice. The techniques are highly effective for relieving stress and pain.
The Top Ten Pain Releasers is taught in various locations around the U.S. throughout the year. For more information on upcoming classes please visit: www.USKinesiology.com
Arlene Green is the director of the U.S. Kinesiology Training Institute of Chapel Hill, N.C. She is currently a senior faculty member of the International Kinesiology College and the International College of Professional Kinesiology Practice. She is an approved provider for massage therapists through the NCBTMB and Florida Massage Board.
U.S. Kinesiology Training Institute
1721 New Light Trail
Chapel Hill, NC 27516