From my 40 years of experience and researching traditional and non-traditional techniques and philosophies, I have reached my own conclusions. I have watched dozens of students and patients naturally shimmisize. They made me see, that it is the fastest, most inexpensive and most effective movement approach to achieve a “tuned body.”

Shimmisize reduces pain, relieves tension and alleviates the discomfort in the body. The technique is based mostly on natural childlike movements. It makes stretching safer and more accessible. Shimmisize in performed in repetitions with comfortable non-invasive range of motion, always involving the whole body. It is all about feeling better one movement at a time, not about achieving goals or results.

How do you shimmisize?

  1. Start standing moving arms, hips and shoulders for 10-15 min
  2. Slow and deliberate walking for 5 min
  3. Lying on the floor, relaxing, breathing for 10-15 min

Simple easy movements involving the whole body, every aspect from head to toe.

Shimmisize with props

Use medicine balls, tennis ball, basketball, cane.

Consistency and Commitment to One Treatment

If you are suffering from an injury, have pain or discomfort in your body you should do the appropriate research to find “the right” treatment and physical therapist to cure your ailments.

In other words, lets say you have injured your shoulder/rotator cuff and all basic movement such as raising your arm above your head, putting your t-shirt on or shampooing your hair hurts. You have done your research and found that there are many options of treatments, such as message therapy, acupuncture, traditional physical therapy and alternative physical therapy. Keep in mind you could research forever and in a city like New York there is a world of options.

A friend can give advice and make recommendations for treatments, but only you can know what you feel and what works for your body. Allow your self the time to listen to your body and commit to one style of treatment, try to avoid going to various practitioners and receiving different sessions because both the practitioner and you, the patient, will lose the notion of which treatment really worked and which did not. At a certain point you will not have the ability to judge which treatment had the best effect on your body.

Once you found a practitioner/specialist that is helping, you should commit to the treatment for an extended period of time. It is not beneficial to jump from treatment to treatment or from modality to modality. You should have at least 10-20 appointments, in order to reap the benefits. The idea is for you, the patient, to walk away feeling really good.

You really need to give your shoulder the time to heal and be patient with yourself and the treatment. After a number of sessions you should see improvements in your shoulder and feel the benefits in your body. Remember to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that recovering from a shoulder injury is not easy and can be frustrating, but that with a dedicated alternative physical therapist working with you, you will get better and be happier.

Alternative Physical Therapy

In traditional Physical Therapy programs a student is taught 10-15 conventional approaches to be utilized in Hospitals and Medical Centers. These facilities have very strict rules regarding modalities permitted to be used for treatment. For this reason teachers and professors mostly teach traditional therapies and modalities which in turn are FDA approved for Hospitals. An interesting point to emphasize is that all machines used for physical therapy in a hospital need FDA approval. In turn the insurance companies have assigned codes to each therapy and they will only approve the treatment/machine with the proper code number. Most code numbers were done 30-40 years ago and it now takes 5 or more years to get a new code number which discourages a hospital or medical center to venture into new territory for physical therapy because they will not get paid for a long time.

In a private practice the physical therapist can use any modality that he or she thinks could work for the patient. A physical therapist that is working independently of medical centers, hospitals and insurance companies has the flexibility to utilize a variety of techniques and no limitation of time.

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In response to “The Perils of Toughing It Out”


Dear Jane,

I just finished reading your most recent article and was pleased to see that you mention the importance of physical therapy.  For the past 30 years I have really enjoyed reading your articles and found them informative. I have been a physical therapist for over 40 years and witnessed the growth and need for physical therapy in our society.  More and more people are suffering from chronic pains especially in the back, knees, shoulders and neck and are searching for answers to cure their pain.  Unfortunately, recently I have been experiencing less and less support for physical therapy from the medical establishment and insurance companies. For this reason Physical Therapy has become less and less effective, most of the attention is placed on saving money and restricting treatments from the number allotted to the length of the session. In my professional opinion the patient should come first, not the insurance company. So, I would like to ask you what insurance company would accept that a doctor of physical therapy focus their full attention on a patient for at least 45min if not longer?

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Discovering the Source of Pain and Connecting to the Body


Pain in any part of the body is a sign that the body of out of “tune.” For instance one can complain of pain in the knee, but the x-ray, MRI and even manual testing show that there is nothing wrong with the knee.  So the question becomes why is this person complaining of knee pain? In this case we need to look at the body parts that are directly related to the knee such as the back, hip and ankle.  One must analyze the hip and ankle to understand what is occurring in the knee.

A person with a limited range of motion and flexibility in the back, hip and/or ankle requires the knee joint to work twice as hard, eventually causing discomfort, then tension and finally pain in the knee. If the issue is not addressed simultaneously in the back, hip, knee and ankle it can lead to inflammation of the tendons, sprained ligaments and inevitably major problems in the knee.

In order to resolve the problem in the knee, one should have a number of body tuning treatments on the back, hip and ankle as well as perform movement exercises at home.

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Student Musicians’ Injury Treatment

I spoke with a client of Dr. Shmuel Tatz’s named Sarah, recently in the office after her treatment.  She is a violinist at Mannes conservatory, which is part of the New School; the campus is on the upper West side.  She came to Shmuel initially for about 3 months of treatment and by the end she showed significant improvement.

Most importantly, she is now able to play again with ease and more comfortably. She feels much better overall.  She gave a glowing review of Shmuel’s abilities, “He is wonderful, he is the best, he is better than everyone else I’ve seen.”

She is never sore after a treatment and is able to play at events and concerts the same day, which is a concern for musicians I’ve learned. In many cases musicians in physical therapy may have to schedule therapy on days they don’t play, because you don’t want to be sore from a treatment on the day of a performance.

The young student said that her school does not have any formal support programs in place to help musicians who are experiencing pain from playing their instruments.  She wished that they did have this option available, as many need physical therapy services.

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Finding relief from rotator cuff soreness and carpal tunnel pain

I came to Dr. Shmuel Tatz’s office after spending 14 months trying numerous remedies for rotator cuff soreness and carpal tunnel pain.

I had tried acupuncture, massage, Chinese cupping, chiropractic, and nothing had worked yet, and the problem was getting worse. I was ready to begin physical therapy.

Upon entering Dr. Tatz’s welcoming office and reading the glowing testimonials on the wall, I felt that this would be the place where I would find a successful remedy for my injuries. The rotator cuff damage came from yoga and the carpal tunnel pain from working on a computer too many hours a day.

Dr. Tatz’s reception staff is hospitable and polite. I felt welcomed the moment I walked in. The office is filled with photos of former patients, many of them professional musicians and actors. The office background music was a string quartet playing Mozart, which was very pleasant.

It is Dr. Tatz himself who performs the real magic. It was wonderful to be greeted by such a friendly happy practitioner.  He is full of energy and performed standing exercises with me for 20 minutes. I also learned how to walk properly and how to stand correctly. Lift the heels and swing the arms forward and back. Dr. Tatz looks at the whole body. He was smiling the entire time and we were both swinging our arms and bending our knees. He was a joyful good mood that was infectious. I felt confident that my problems would be solved with Dr. Tatz’s guidance.

Next I went into the treatment room where he did deep tissue massage on my neck and shoulders, which I found to be very relaxing. He urged me to practice the exercises throughout the day, whenever I had the time, and to take breaks from typing after 50 minutes.

By Heather White

How to Choose the Best Physical Therapist


In general patients should be aware that having a physical therapist license does not mean one automatically gets good results. The patient should always do their research before choosing the appropriate physical therapist and then request the full attention and the best possible treatment. Many of the patients that I currently treat have gone to other physical therapists before eventually coming to see me.

Rarely do I receive a patient with an ailment in the body that has been treated by a physical therapist that has spent the appropriate time working on them. By this I mean if one has tendinitis in the shoulder or knee, the physical therapist should concentrate on the tendon using a hands on technique for about a half hour, applying the right amount of force, without causing too much discomfort. The patient should never feel so much pain that they want to jump off the table or tense another part of their body, but they should feel a release and relief during the session. One should see the physical therapist’s hands moving slowly and intensely, not hurting the patient but listening to the body and tendon in order respond and aid in the healing process. There should be communication and understanding between patient and physical therapist. The goal of the physical therapist should be to change the position of the tendon and put it back into the right place. This is not an easy task nor does it happen in one treatment. The most important part of the process is to work with an experienced and talented physical therapist.

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Physical Therapy: Treating the Problem, Not the Symptoms

Everyone experiences muscular or skeletal problems in their lives, no matter what their lifestyle. A dancer will have back problems, as will a couch potato, albeit through very different mechanisms. These aches and pains are part of life. What is worrying however is the number of people who choose to ignore these signs from their bodies and continue as if nothing is wrong, or even worse, mask the pain with drugs so they can continue doing the things that caused the pain in the first instance.

The Sticking Plaster Approach

It is very easy to take painkillers. Just wash them down with a glass of water and the pain will subside within a few minutes. But it is worryingly common for people to become addicted to these painkillers through continued use. As the cause of the pain is not being treated, it persists. Moreover, it gets worse as the individual continues performing the same movements that initially caused the injury. They increase the dose to deal with the extra pain then, when OTC drugs no longer hide the pain, they move on to harder prescription medication and the cycle starts again. By this point they cannot dance, play, run or perform without the use of the painkillers and addiction has set in. At some point even the strongest painkillers will no longer mask the pain so the person will just be left with a drug addiction and pain. Alongside their addictive properties, pain relievers such as oxycodone and codeine have a number of nasty side-effects that could lead to coma or death even in otherwise healthy individuals. Eventually, if the individual does realize they have a problem, they may phone a help line or check into rehab to mitigate the problems. Unfortunately, the injury and its pain that started the whole thing will still be there, waiting for real treatment.

What these people really need is physical therapy. The actual manipulation and massage of the muscles or joints that are causing the pain will, with time, actually treat the injury not the symptoms.

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