Planning to have surgery? Please read.

In the 2011 world of medicine we have many options open to us as patients. Sometimes, those options are limited by our insurance providers. But within that framework we can still take charge of our needs and find those physicians and ancillary medical personnel who can best help us to maintain our health.

It is of great importance to do our homework when we are trying to find the best person to care for our needs. It takes time and effort. Sometimes we listen to others’ suggestions more than we take the time to investigate for ourselves. If we are considering a surgical procedure, then it is in our best interest to seek other possibilities of solving our problem before we decide that surgery is our best option. Our bodies are fine instruments and need proper care to stay strong and vital. But there are many routes we can take, before the most serious of all: surgery. We can do the best thing for ourselves by going slowly and discovering what paths are open to us.

Continue reading “Planning to have surgery? Please read.”

For Prospective Physical Therapists

I receive many emails and calls from young people who want my advice as to how to become a good physical therapist.  So, I’ve decided to put down a few of my thoughts on what I believe it takes to become a successful practitioner, to enjoy it and to make a good living.

A Creative And Artistic Profession

To become a better physical therapist, just like becoming a better pianist, you have to practice. Physical therapy is a creative and artistic profession. In medicine there are perhaps ten different drugs for a particular condition, and several surgical techniques that could aid the patient. In physical therapy, there are therapeutic modalities and active and passive movements the physical therapist can use. In the use of manual therapy, learning to touch and move a patient’s body, there are a hundred different possibilities for each condition. This means that physical therapists need to have more experience and knowledge of movement.

Studying Physical Activities

In the area of movement, which is a large part of the practice of physical therapy, the study of physical activity is necessary. You need to learn to study Western sports activities and Eastern physical education, like Tai Chi, Kung Fu and Yoga, plus modalities, like cupping and shiatsu. In sports like tennis, for example, it is better to study the movements of table tennis where you have slow and then quick movements. Racquet sports require control of both racquet and ball which teaches coordination. But the physical therapist needs to have a feeling for all sports in order to be able to do better manual therapy.

Continue reading “For Prospective Physical Therapists”


The March 7, 2011 edition of Time Magazine was devoted to the discussion of pain and ways to treat it. From spinal cord stimulation by implants, through drug therapies and finally by complementary and alternative medicine that attempts to minimize pain with minimal damage to the body.

Implants and narcotic drug therapies carry risks along with the possibility of easing pain. We are all aware now that what was once considered an innocuous pain reliever, acetaminophen, is known to cause liver failure when used in large doses. And, ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications, even aspirin, can cause stomach bleeding.

In the area of pain management, medications do not heal the body. But in the hands of a competent physical therapist, that is, one who is licensed and who has a minimum of 10 years of experience and who works hands on with the patient for at least 30 to 40 minutes, physical therapy can alleviate pain, whether it is from a structural problem, an injury, or has been longstanding and chronic.

Continue reading “Pain!”

Massage Therapy


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
  • Headaches
  • Circulation problems
  • Anxiety and emotional disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • 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.

Verify… Then Trust!

I have been in practice for over forty years, and during those years I developed the name ‘body tuning’ to describe both the philosophy behind my work and the actual art of treating the body as if it were a delicate but out of tune instrument. I have spoken and written about it, articles have been written about my work and me. Physicians and prospective patients can research my background and training so as to feel comfortable recommending me or becoming my patient. Gratefully, I have a following of patients who value the work I do because they have trusted my expertise and experience and have been successfully treated for their particular problems. Over the years, the same patients return with varying complaints, knowing that they and I have been good partners in their healing before and will be again.

If a patient comes to me and asks for a massage. Or they give me a prescription from their doctor for a particular and specific kind of treatment; for instance, let us say, the doctor wants the patient to have 6 ultra sound treatments and exercises to strengthen the knee. What I tell the patient is that they do not need what I have to offer and refer them to other physical therapists for those treatments.

Continue reading “Verify… Then Trust!”

6 FAQ About Magnetic Therapy

1. What is magnetic therapy and what are the benefits?

Magnetic therapy is a safe, non-invasive method of applying magnetic fields to the body for therapeutic purposes. It accelerates the natural healing process and provides natural pain relief.

Benefits of magnetic therapy include:

  • Magnetic devices increase the blood flow in capillaries, flushing out lactic acid and other inflammatory substances from tissues, thereby relieving pain and inflammation.
  • It Increase blood and oxygen circulation along with the nutrient carrying capacity of the blood
  • Improve fracture healing
  • Can powerfully influence the production of certain hormones from the endocrine glands
  • Stimulates and fosters enzyme activity and other related physiological processes

2. What kind of cases can magnetic therapy treat?

  • Arthritis, arthropathies, spondylosis
  • Contractures
  • Fractured bones form trauma/stress fractures
  • Muscular disorders
  • Chronic pain, phantom limb pain, neuritis
  • Arterial and venous insufficiency, cerebrovascular insufficiency
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Selected skin disorders
  • Tiredness

3. Is it a safe treatment?

Yes. Magnetic therapy devices which are used in medical field are absolutely safe.

4. When do you apply this therapy?

I personally use magnetic therapy quite often in my practice. It can be applied in case of acute trauma or inflammation as well as chronic condition, poor healing or fracture.

One has always remember indications, which I mentioned above and contraindications, such as:

  • Pacemakers or automatic internal defibrillators
  • Pregnancy
  • Malignancies
  • Acute infections/ active tuberculosis
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Bleeding

5. Which tools are used to deal with the body in this treatment?

Magnetic therapy devices are customized to work solo or as a part of more complex combined equipment. Magnetic therapy may be safely combined with vibration therapy, cold laser therapy or light therapy.

6. Do you advise using magnetic treatment?

Yes. I would definitely advice and advocate to use magnetic therapy. However, we have sufficient data today which proven, that combined use of PT modalities several times more effective then every single modality along. And I am using this advantage in my everyday practice.

“The King’s Speech” and Body Tuning

by Jason Alan Griffin

While I was watching the movie, The King’s Speech I was struck by how the methods used by the speech therapist, Lionel, were so much like ‘Body Tuning.’  Even some of the movements he had Bertie do were reminiscent of what might go on in a Body Tuning session.

I was especially interested in the scene when Lionel was about to be fired because it was discovered that he was not a ‘doctor.’ He had never represented himself as such but even without the ‘degree’ he was the only person who had been able to help the Duke. Yet, his successful track record was not enough, it seemed, in the face of not having ‘credentials.’

The film showed how doctors were trying ‘the latest techniques’ on the Duke, only to leave him frustrated and swallowing marbles. Had he   dismissed Lionel, he would have lost what he had found: a treatment that worked.

Continue reading ““The King’s Speech” and Body Tuning”

Physical Intuition

Almost all of us have heard of Medical Intuitives, alternative medicine practitioners who use their intuition to seek the cause of a physical condition. In general, they do not provide a prescribed diagnosis, but some Medical Intuitives are also M.D.s and may be held in higher repute. With their psychic skills, Medical Intuitives ‘read’ our bodies, our internal organs, the individual energies we present. With the information they gather they may be able to explain the root causes or connections between a symptom, or disease and an emotion or traumatic event that caused the sickness. That information can help to find the proper treatment and eventually a ‘cure’ for the ailment.

Louise Hay’s book: Heal Your Body is itself a kind of medical intuitive guide. Edgar Cayce, not an M.D. but a clairvoyant, was known to be able to diagnose and treat people he had never seen. Much of his work shows the correlation between our mental processes and the diseases we have. And perhaps the most famous present day Medical Intuitive, Carolyn Myss, a Ph.D. not an M.D. who has written extensively on the mind/body connection and who eventually teamed up with an M.D. named Normal Shealy to enhance her work.

There are many ‘healers’ we encounter in our everyday lives. I would include psychological counselors, bodyworkers of all kinds who allow more than their training but their instincts or intuition to lead their clients towards better health and well-being.

Continue reading “Physical Intuition”

The Value of Body Tuning

Jason Alan Griffin, teacher of Nia, Yoga Tune Up®, Strength and Toning, actor and model, shares another observation from his current apprenticeship with me.

There is a man, who I see regularly in Shmuel’s office (let’s call him Martin). I couldn’t tell what his complaint was from his posture or his gait or even from his experiences in the treatment room. So I asked him. And he told me that he has no problems. Just a bit of tightness that recurs if he doesn’t come to see Shmuel once a week.

It reminded me of that old ad for dandruff shampoo. One person is shocked to learn that the other uses this dandruff shampoo and says, “But you don’t have dandruff.” To which the response is, “Yes, exactly!” The implication being that if they didn’t use the stuff then they would have dandruff so the stuff must work.

Martin told me that he first came to see Shmuel about 25 years ago.  He had been in an accident and hurt his knee. He had surgery on the knee and was debilitated and in pain.  Martin’s wife had been to see Shmuel and she said he made her feel completely better, so she strongly recommended that Martin see him as well. He did, and Shmuel’s Body Tuning work helped his knee immediately. Martin was so thrilled to be without pain and so impressed by Body Tuning, that he has been back to see Dr Tatz weekly ever since.

Martin is a perfect example of someone who recognizes the value of proper, regular maintenance. He doesn’t come to the Tatz Studio for knee issues any longer. “It’s preventative,” he says. “I do it because if I don’t come back, I know my back will start to get tight.”

Shmuel says, “Yes. I am doing something that he could be doing for himself, but he doesn’t want to do it for himself, so I am doing it.”  If you use your body, you need to tune it. If you use it a lot, you need to get more tuning. Shmuel’s ’rule of thumb’ is that for every week of daily, vigorous activity, you should get an hour of Body Tuning.

However, that applies to people who don’t have pain or discomfort. If you find that something has gone wrong in your body, you should see a professional Body Tuner to get you back in tune. The work of Body Tuning is so naturally good for the body, that it gets results in chronic cases (like from years of bad posture or misuse) or acute cases (like accidents). But it also serves as a way to keep the body running smoothly.

Martin has the luxury of not needing to do the work on himself because he can see Shmuel weekly.  But the truth is that if we all take good care of our bodies, doing the exercises and movements that Shmuel Tatz teaches in his office, not only will our bodies be in better condition, but we will be preventing pain and injury from occurring.

In Celebration of National Physical Therapy Month

When do you need an MD? When do you need a PT?

In today’s world most of us have family doctors, internists, eye doctors, dermatologists.

Sometimes we get sick and need to consult a physician to find out the nature of our illness, but sometimes if we have minor symptoms, such as a cold, or stomach upset, we may not need to spend our time and money visiting a physician. We can just as well talk to a nurse practitioner or other health practitioners in whom we have confidence.

Many of us are active people who walk, or run, play tennis, soccer, basketball, baseball, to stay healthy and to enjoy ourselves. When we have serious injuries to our musculo/skeletal system, a bone broken, for instance or pain that increases in its intensity or our joints become red and swollen, we consult an orthopedist.  And rightly so.

But if we have lesser injuries, aches and pains, discomfort, tension in our muscles, tendons or joints, we need to have our own physical therapist to consult; someone who is knowledgeable and responsible to evaluate our problem and to know if he or she can handle the problem or refer us to a medical doctor.

Too often, we do just the opposite. In the case of musculo/skeletal problems, we visit the doctor first. It can take weeks to secure an appointment. More likely than not the doctor will then ask for X-rays or MRI’s and then render an opinion to rest the injury, or give cortisone injections which can slow down our recovery time for the original injury even though it gives us some immediate relief. At the last, the doctor may advise us to undertake physical therapy. But because of this lengthy process, we have lost weeks of healing treatment.

A patient came to me after having spent three weeks waiting to see his orthopedist who then ordered an MRI after which he had to wait for the results and consultation with the doctor. The recommendation was for physical therapy. This took five weeks of his time, energy and money in co-payments. After three weeks in physical therapy we solved the problem.

Why waste time? Why do dozens of tests and pay unnecessary fees? The sooner you start physical therapy treatment the faster you are returned to physical health.

I tell my patients to consult their general practitioner or internist before they get sick so that the doctor is acquainted with them as a person, and can give them basic tests and see them regularly after that to follow up and help keep them healthy. Sometimes the doctor will pick up on something important that the patient did not even know existed and treat the condition before it becomes a problem. Patients will also be able to evaluate the physician they have chosen. Did they get a full examination? Or was it minimal? Did the doctor spend enough time with them asking questions, taking a detailed history? Or were they in and out in very little time?

It is the same with physical therapists. Go to see a physical therapist before you have an injury. The therapist will do an evaluation of your body and sometimes even see a problem before you are complaining of pain or discomfort. You will have established a working relationship with the physical therapist who will feel more able to help you when and if you are in need of his care and treatment. As with a physician, a physical therapist should be adept at an evaluation of your body and when you are treated, spend a minimum of 30 minutes hands on therapy and at least another 15 minutes using various modalities that aid healing.

Americans often have little information about physical therapy, its possibilities and responsibilities. You do not need a prescription to see a physical therapist. Once you do, the physical therapist is proscribed by law from taking cases that are not within his purview and must and will refer you elsewhere. This is safe medicine for all concerned.

So, my advice to you is to evaluate your pain or injury and decide: do I really need to see a medical doctor or can my physical therapist evaluate this problem and help me? You will be in good hands either way. It’s up to you to make the best decision in your own behalf.