Body Tuning is the name I have given to what I do as a physical therapist.
Because I have been involved with music and musicians over many years it has made me realize how much physical therapy is like tuning a beautiful instrument. For instance: a piano tuner comes with his bag of tools, but before he begins to work on the piano he asks the owner of the piano what she or he hears from the instrument that does not seem quite right. Then he sets out to discover on his own what the problems are. He plays, he looks at the strings, he tests, and with his various tools he tries to make the piano sing again, thereby making the owner extremely happy.
That is exactly how my practice of ‘Body Tuning’ works. My tools are my hands.
When you come into my studio I ask you to tell me your complaints, that is, what you feel are the problems with your body…something in your muscles, skin, tendons, bones, something inside that bothers you, some pain or discomfort. Then, my job is to ask your body for the answers to what is wrong.
Usually people who come to me have talked to several health practitioners. If you are in my studio then those conversations have not solved your problems. It is my task to then ask your physical body what is wrong, and if I don’t find the answers, I’m going to look at the different tests you’ve had…your lifestyle…your behavior…your habits.
But first I want to talk directly with the problem. I look at your body. I see its appearance and how it moves. Second, I try different passive movements with your body. I try to move your skin, your connective tissue, your muscles, your bones, your ligaments, to see how the mechanics of your body work. And I listen to the noise…the sounds that the joints and muscles make. My hands feel and my ears listen and tell me what is wrong. This ability has come after many years of study and practice. Just as getting to play in Carnegie Hall involves ‘practice, practice, practice,’ so does learning how to tune the body. From simple body movements to deep manipulation it is like knowing how to play fortissimo on the piano without killing the piano. Working on the body deeply with expertise can accomplish solutions with perhaps some pain, but it is good pain. It is constructive and not destructive.
Body tuning is looking at, listening to, and helping the body restore itself and its ability to sing once again.