It was the Ancient Greek Doctor and Founder of Western Medicine, Hippocrates, who first introduced Physical Therapy as a form of healing. But it wasn’t until the 1970’s that Western Medicine would formally allow Physical Therapists to have their own practices. Before then, most Physical Therapy was done in hospitals.
Alternative therapies these days are referred to as just about anything outside Western Medicine and hospitals, such as Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Naturopathic, Chiropractic. The list goes on. But lost somewhere between medicine and alterative is Physical Therapy: PT shouldn’t be overlooked, as it is one of the true and natural modalities there is.
A skilled Physical Therapist can examine, evaluate and treat patients from chronic illnesses to severe and mild injuries. Physical Therapists are known to reduce or eliminate pain. Benefits of PT can include recovering from falls, injuries and fractures; recovering from strokes; managing vascular conditions including diabetes; heart and lung problems; headaches and migraines; age related limitations including arthritis, facial nerve paresis, fibromyalgia, gastritis, insomnia; as well as ankle, knee, back, disc, shoulder, neck and TMJ pain. The list goes on and on.
On my third visit with Shmuel Tatz, PT, PhD he asked where was I experiencing the most pain. Quite frankly, even though I felt I had made progress, I couldn’t assess myself between the intermittent pain in my head or my knee, or the things I hadn’t told him about yet. So I asked him, would he please evaluate and decide what would be the priority for the day.
He first conducted more delicate work on my head, incredibly mild. He touched most areas of my forehead, jaw and entire skull. He put his hands above my head and seemed to ‘brush’ the energy away from my head. It was super-relaxing. Then he focused his hands on my left knee, moving it to and fro, in all directions, more of a medium touch. He told me to keep both knees moving, gently, through each day. Then, while working on my knee, he started exploring my stomach and abdomen, probing, pressing, and adjusting. Digging deeply with his hands. He did all this without words.
I was amazed that he was exploring my organs because I hadn’t yet told him about the diagnosis I had earlier in the year. In the medical community’s exploration into my headaches I was referred to a gastroenterologist who performed an endoscopy. The result: Mild hiatal hernia, mild gastritis, and mild acid reflux. Acid reflux in some medical circles is also called The Great Imitator: The acid reflux can take on other symptoms such as headaches, heartaches, asthma etc. Thereafter I tried two forms of medication. First Omeprazole: I immediately experienced severe side effects, chills flu heart, deep migraine etc. Then tried taking a half a dose. Still the same side effects. Then came another medication, Sucralfate. Also caused minor side effects. Simultaneously in my research, I learned from some professionals that these medications are just blockers to the problem, like putting masking tape on to keep everything together. These meds were never going to be curative. Plus my stomach was bloated, not from overeating, but something to do with my GI tract. I hadn’t figured it out, nor had anyone else.
Practical Applications of SCENAR
There are four treatment rooms in the Body Tuning clinic, each musical in name: Orchestra, Guitar, Piano and Violin. There are no instruments in the rooms but there are a number of impressive machines used to help patients’ ailments.
In the open area there is a machine that looks like a treadmill; it vibrates and loosens muscles. Sometimes patients will stand on it for about 10 minutes with their lower body shaking before the appointment begins to remove tension in the extremities.
There’s also a smaller vibrating leg and ankle machine that is placed at the end of the treatment table also shaking things up, loosening ankles, feet, and lower legs.
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser is one of the treatments used, which is essentially a light amplifier, building on beliefs about the healing power of light going back to Hippocrates and ancient times. Throughout history many believed that light therapy could harness the power of the sun to heal. However cold laser is different from the sun as it is a compressed waveform, usually from the red spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. Low-level lasers provide a form of pure light to deeply penetrate the surface of the skin without heating or damaging body tissues.
Cold Laser has been approved by the FDA as an effective painless drug free therapy successful in treating muscle spasms, nerve pain and arthritis. It has also been shown to increase the speed of wound and fractures healing.
SCENAR (Self Controlled Energo-Neuro-Adaptive Regulator) method is one of the most sophisticated and powerful healing techniques in the world. Because of its unique, computer controlled biofeedback capabilities and ability to stimulate the neuropeptide generating C-fibers of the nervous system, SCENAR locates adapted (malfunctioning) areas of the body such as an organ. muscle, gland, etc. that the body circumvents as it starts to malfunction. In order to conserve healing energy and nutrients, rather than repair, our body tries to find an alternative pathway or method to perform the function. As our body adapts more and more, the malfunctioning area is disconnected from our brain and natural healing mechanisms_ The SCENAR awakens the area, reconnects it to the healing mechanism, signals when this is done, and than generates healing energy and neuropeptides, the key biochemical needed by the body to heal itself.
What is Diapulse?
Diapulse is a device that directs a pulsed electromagnetic field to an area of injury. Both animal and human studies indicate that this treatment protects neurons, promotes regeneration, and minimizes lost nerve function. In addition, Diapulse greatly accelerates the healing of SCI-associated pressure sores.
Diapulse directs electromagnetic energy to a specific body area through a cylindrical treatment mounted on an adjustable bracket.
Products at Work
A physician, an orthopedic surgeon and a physical therapist all fell into a Rip Van Winkle sleep that lasted 20 years. The physician woke to find everything changed when he began seeing patients again. The medications he wished to prescribe no longer existed or were pulled from the market by the FDA. For the surgeon, the operating room had been transformed; the instruments he had once used were now in a museum.
But for the physical therapist, nothing much had changed. He found he could use the same techniques for mobilization and the same modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation. In addition, the physical therapist found that he had lost his massage patients to massage therapists, stretching techniques to athletic trainers, manipulation techniques to chiropractors and hand therapy to hand therapists.
Indeed, the contemporary practice of physical therapy has had little in the way of modalities added to the techniques of hands-on manipulation. Physical therapists are not always aware of new products that can enhance our ability to help patients.
Many yoga teachers come to me to help them with the body discomfort and pain they experience as they advance their practices. As one of them said to me: “Yoga is supposed to be good for the body but I’m finding that yoga injuries are far more frequent than I think they should be…both for myself and my students.”
To this I say: Yes, yoga can be very good for the body, and to derive satisfaction from our yoga practice we need to do some things for the body to make it ready. First of all, we need to watch how our bodies react to what we are doing. But this is not always easy for us to do by ourselves. That is why we need to have a private lesson with a good yoga practitioner who will see if we are moving correctly. And then, even more importantly, we need to have a body tuner who can check our bodies at a deeper level, that is, someone who can go deeper in the body to see what kinds of changes are taking place. And if the body tuner finds something wrong, it may be necessary to slow down the yoga practice.
Massage therapy originated over 5000 years ago as a form of medical treatment for the ailing human body. Tomb paintings in Egypt show people being massaged. In ancient China, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, a book from the year 2700 B.C. recommends massaging the skin and flesh to treat a variety of problems.
Greek physicians used massage and it is said Roman physicians used it to help treat Julius Caesar’s neuralgia. And massage therapy was and still is a valued component of India’s Ayurvedic medicine. Even Hippocrates, recommended it for aiding in the health of the body’s joints.
Later, a French physician, Ambroise Pare, who was the Court’s physician, praised its value and a Swedish doctor, Per Henrik Ling developed what we all know today as the Swedish massage and the Dutchman Johan Georg Mezger defined its basic hand strokes. A popular form of massage, Shiatsu, used today in both East and West was developed by the Japanese.
Massage therapy is increasing in its use for many and varied illnesses and stress related discomforts such as:
- Muscular tension
- Circulation problems
- Anxiety and emotional disorders
- Sports injuries
Massage therapy can be beneficial in maintaining overall health and well being by:
- Helping to improve the functioning of the immune system
- Improving blood flow
- Providing needed relaxation in an over stressed society
- Soothing and releasing tense muscles
- Increasing joint mobility
- Improving skin tone and elasticity
- Decreases anxiety
Body Tuning & Massage Therapy
In the Body Tuning Studio, massage therapy can be requested from one of our licensed massage therapists. But, it is also incorporated into each body tuning session according to the client’s needs. Many body tuning techniques use massage as a foundation in helping to heal an injury or long standing problem. Though, to the client, it may not appear as a traditional form of massage, nevertheless, body tuning promotes healing, relaxation and well-being.
Who should consider massage therapy?
- Those in stressful jobs
- Those who do heavy physical labor
- Health care practitioners
- Mothers, Fathers and All Caregivers
- People who sit too much
- Musicians, Artists, Dancers
- Sports enthusiasts
- Mothers to be
- Those with disabilities
- In short…massage therapy is good for EVERYONE.