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Showing posts from September, 2010

Making Pain A Thing of the Past

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MAKE PAIN A THING OF THE PAST A Body Tuning Course for EveryBody w/ Dr. Shmuel Tatz, PT, PhD, creator of Body Tuning Tuesdays 6:30pm to 8:00pm November 16, 23, 30 and December 7
You tune up your car.  You tune up your musical instruments.  Don’t you owe the same kind of care to something as important and irreplaceable as your own body? Musicians, dancers, actors, athletes and people who rely on their bodies for a living often find themselves in pain or unable to move freely. They MUST have a proper functioning and performing body in order to do their work. When they need help, they contact Shmuel Tatz for some Body Tuning.  Performers like Tommy Tune, Lou Reed, Kathleen Turner, Diana Vishneva, Mstislav Rostropovich, Marlo Thomas, Peter Jennings, Isaac Stern, Christa Ludwig, Alexandra Danilova, Daniel Goleman, Tara Bennett-Goleman and many others all put their trust in Shmuel’s incredibly gifted hands. Dr Tatz’s work is artfully intuitive and immediately effective at eliminating pain and on ed…

Body Tuning for the Masses

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If you’ve been living with pain this may be the answer to your problems. If you ever feel like your body is not performing optimally; if you have restricted movements or just feel heavy, lethargic or lacking in energy, this could be just what you needed.  If you want to start taking better care of your body, but don’t know what to do, this course will teach you.  If you like the idea of exercise, but don’t like straining or creating discomfort then what you can learn in this course will be very useful to you.  For the past month, I’ve been studying this highly effective form of physical therapy that combines art and science. Dr Tatz has created a technique unlike any other.  His combination of many forms of therapy come together as Body Tuning; a technique that he has often lamented is so effective that it costs him money. If he were more like the medical community, he’d be able to keep his patients sick. He’d get them addicted to treatments like many patients are addicted to medication…

JAG's Body Shop

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I’ve been a personal trainer and taught fitness classes for over 15 years.  I love the group setting for exercise.  There’s something nice about being with other people who are like-minded. The camaraderie is inspirational and motivating and the joy is infectious.  I love to be surrounded by people who, like me, are seeking to improve their bodies and their lives. I am motivated by improving my strength and endurance and flexibility and agility. I like to notice myself improving on a regular basis.   Recently, I put together a program called Fitness for Actors.  It was a three-month program that included all of the elements of fitness.  We met three times weekly and each week included the healing movements of Nia Five Stages, the intense metabolic conditioning and strength-building movements of Energy Flow, the precision and alignment of Yoga Tune Up, the creative, playfulness of Nia, and a wide variety of breathing and meditation techniques. The program was such a success that we actua…

Latent Pain

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I got an email last night, asking if I could come into Shmuel’s office an hour earlier than I usually do. I had no idea why this was requested of me, but I complied. I came into the office today, expecting it to be just like any other day.

But when I got there, I found that Shmuel had taken the day off and that his colleague, Valery, had requested I come in early so that he could work on my body. This struck me as an unexpected and delightful surprise. Little did I know what lay in store for me.

The way Shmuel describes it, Body Tuning uses slowness and a minimum of manipulations. Body Tuning focuses on mobilizations.

Valery’s work is quite different than Shmuel’s; it compares more to a chiropractor. He moved my body around very quickly and with great confidence. Although I trusted him completely, it was a bit unnerving how much pain he was uncovering. As he moved my ankle, he grunted in disapproval. “This is very bad” he said, and his assessment was backed up by the pain I fel…

My First Body Tuning "Lesson"

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Today I got what I might consider my first official Body Tuning lesson. Until today, I had simply been immersed in the art. Watching and listening to what Shmuel Tatz says to his clients about the practice were my means of learning. I have been gleaning lessons from my observations and from what I hear Shmuel saying to his clients. I also get pieces of the puzzle out of brief conversations I have with Dr Tatz.

And more recently, Shmuel has had me mirror him. As he works on one leg, he motions me over to take the other leg and I get to do exactly what he’s doing. We don’t speak, but we’re communicating through movements. And I have sometimes been fortunate enough to get feedback from the person we’re working on. Some have told me that my movements seem quicker and less fluid, and other have said that I use less pressure. It’s all good information and I’m growing daily from these experiences.
Today, however, Dr Tatz checked his schedule and then announced, “There’s enough time. …

Who is Body Tuning For?

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A Body Tuner is well-versed in many different modalities.

For some people, a brief lesson in the Alexander Technique will be just what they need to learn how to carry themselves without creating tension in their neck. For someone else, a few yoga poses would be just exactly what they need to live their lives free of pain. Some folks are going to need some reflexology, while others will benefit from mobilizations. Some clients will find great benefit learning a few of the basic tenets of the work of Moishe Feldenkrais.

The point is that no one modality is good for everyone. It is the work of the Body Tuner to know about all of these techniques and to provide and introduction and, if necessary, some instructions in practicing an appropriate modality.

I have seen Shmuel Tatz give many clients a few exercises to do at home to help with their own healing. Sometimes these exercises resemble yoga, sometimes they appear a great deal like Alexander Technique. He is not giving the same exerci…

Skin Cancer Update

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(The Fun Continues)

Here is an update on what’s been happening with my skin cancer battle.

As I stated in my last post, I didn’t want to pay over $900 for the Imiquimod, so I found a Canadian pharmacy online that had gotten positive reviews and was selling a generic brand for only $160.

I was supposed to start my chemotherapy back in the end of August, but it took almost three weeks for the drugs to arrive in the mail. It said on the website that due to customs and issues with sending prescription meds of national borders that it would likely take up to 15 working days.

So, I got my drugs a few days ago, but now I don’t want to start taking them because I’m about to start a month long west coast JAG Fitness tour and I don’t want to be on a fitness tour, giving talks, playshops and classes with a rash on my face.

So, I’m going to wait until I get back to start the treatment. Then, after I’ve been on the chemotherapy for a month, I go back to the dermatologist so she can check out what ha…

The Body Tuning Toy Box

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The work of Body Tuning encompasses more than just manual therapy. In a typical session Shmuel Tatz will spend a great deal of time touching and mobilizing the body. But in many cases, there is another element. I love it when Shmuel reaches into what I call the “Toy Box” and uses another modality.

I don’t mean any disrespect. I’m sure they are highly intricate pieces of expensive equipment, but I like calling them toys. I’m going to describe what I’ve seen so far. These may not be the official names of the pieces of equipment, but just what I call them:

MAGNETS: They call these ‘the magnets’ but to me they look like ping pong paddles for a Wii. One has a little red plus sign and the other has a little blue minus sign. You can set the intensity in increments of 10 and Shmuel usually uses about 60 or 70. When you hold the paddles up to someone’s body, it sends an electrical impulse about every three or four seconds. Often it will cause the underlying muscle to quickly contract. It r…

Slowly, Slowly

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When Shmuel Tatz is Body Tuning, he’ll do some work and then he’ll ask the client to get up. He’ll either want them to roll over onto their back, or to get up onto all fours, or sit on the edge of the table or get up and walk. He always says, “Slowly get up and...”
and it is amazing to me how often the person will quickly get up and throw themselves into position.

“Slowly, slowly” Shmuel will say.

Why are people in such a hurry? Why is there such a resistance to moving slowly?

Moving slowly gives the mind an opportunity to be aware of the body. When a body moves it creates lots of sensations. If the body is moving quickly the sensations will come and go more quickly than the mind has the ability to process. So what ends up happening is the mind will not perceive the sensations of the movement.
“Slowly, slowly” is a way to sense. The people are coming to Body Tuning so that they feel better. How will they know if they feel better or not if they don’t give themselves a chance to ha…

How I Met Shmuel Tatz

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I am an intuitive person. Long ago I made a commitment to myself; I promised to listen to my intuition and to give my intuitive voice more consideration than my logical voice. It started as an experiment, but I found it to be so freeing and precise that I have stuck with it.

For example, in 1995 I read an article in a fitness trade magazine called IDEA Today. The article described a new exercise technique called Nia. This new form of exercise called itself Mind/Body/Spirit fitness and combined martial arts, healing arts and dance arts. It was practiced barefoot. It focused on Pleasure over Pain. After reading the article, I contacted the Nia headquarters and signed up for a training in becoming a teacher. I instinctively knew, without ever having done a Nia class, that this was for me. My first Nia class was actually during my training. Fifteen years later, I’m still loving Nia and I thank my intuition for alerting me to the importance of that one article of the many articles I read…

Tuning My First Bodies

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For the past three weeks I’ve been watching Shmuel Tatz do his Body Tuning for about three hours each day. The premise is that I’m learning by immersion and osmosis. He has given me very little direct instruction. The other day, he suggested that if I brought in some of my clients that I’d be able to see what he would do to Tune their bodies. He’d show me, by example, what to do on them and then I could practice on them.

I thought it was a great idea, so I contacted my clientele seeking four people who were interested in helping me. I got a lot of response and now the program is off and running.

One client came in with a complaint in her feet. Shmuel showed me how to work to reduce her ankle swelling and to restore free movement in her ankles and toes. And since Body Tuning always addresses the whole being, he also showed me how to teach her to walk properly and how to hold herself more efficiently. After her session with Shmuel, she said she felt much lighter and freer and wanted to…

Getting my Ankle Tuned

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I’ve been watching people get Body Tuning for about ten days now. Sometimes it looks painful, sometimes I can’t tell what they’re feeling and sometimes it looks like it would feel really good. After absorbing so much by observing from the outside, I wanted to feel it from the inside. So, today I finally got my first Body Tuning with Shmuel Tatz.

The first thing that surprised me was that when he asked me what body part we were going to work on, instead of answering, “My shoulder,” which has been plaguing me since January ’09, or even saying my foot, where I had been having a painful cramp since Sunday, I blurted out “My ankle” I don’t know why. it was an impulse. It may have something to do with my adventure with Wally, another practitioner in the office, who alerted me to the pretty bad condition there. So, I said ankle. I didn’t really have a particular ‘complaint’ in my ankle, I just wanted a Body Tuning experience.

Shmuel pressed on what I call the heel points. These little thin…

The Problem with Medications and Surgeries

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It is a shame that we live in a society where it is considered normal to medicate and cut into people, but it is considered alternative and experimental to address problems through dietary change and non-invasive bodywork.

Our chemical balance is largely dictated by our diet, and this same chemical balance can create an atmosphere that is either friendly or unfriendly towards our health. Many symptoms for which doctors will immediately prescribe medications can be addressed more naturally, and more permanently through dietary change. Inflammation, for example, which is responsible for a large percentage of our physical pain, can be exacerbated and, conversely, reduced by elimination of certain foods. But, in our culture, we’re more likely to go to a medical physician than a nutritionist for assistance.

The same holds true for surgery. Although many musculoskeletal abnormalities can be addressed through manual bodywork such as Body Tuning, it is more likely that a typical American wil…

The Body Tuning Dance

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An older gentleman came into the office today when I was there observing. This man was one of those people who walk around with a permanently hunched posture. This is something I see quite often in older people. A lifetime of bad posture eventually develops into a spine that looks like a question mark. It looks incredibly painful to me.

The man laid down on the table and Shmuel laid his hands on his back. One hand was above the waist and the other hand below the waist, on the pelvis. As he began rocking the man back and forth on the table, it was obvious that there was a lack of free movement between his hips and torso. His body rocked like a single, solid piece of wood, rather than as a series of articulated bones, as it should.

Then, Shmuel started to do what seemed to me to be a little dance. His hands planted, one above and one below the client’s waist, and his arms straight, he started to move his own pelvis. Shmuel seemed to be mimicking the exact movement he was trying to …

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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INSPIRED: My 2010 summer started off with a bang. I got to lead the fifth Nia Immersion retreat hosted by fellow Nia teacher, Lynn Peebles. We slept in her historic home and played in her inspiring healing movement center, Studio 208, in Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY. The weather was gorgeous on the summer solstice as we spent the weekend dancing, experiencing, exploring and learning more about Nia and ourselves. Among other things, we threw a Friday Night Nia Dance Party. During the Immersion, we danced a Free Dance Playshop and did the Bond Girls routine. We self-healed with Nia Five Stages and experienced emotional healing through the Trance Vision routine. One of the truly memorable aspects of these retreats is in the evenings is in Lynn’s kitchen when we all cook dinner together. Dinnertimes were the backbone of some of the deepest and most intimate conversations of the weekend. I always look forward to these retreats and they always serve to motive and inspire me and make me a better…

Ear Points

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Hanging on the wall in one of the treatment rooms at Shmuel Tatz’s is a colorful poster called “Ear Points.”



It shows an ear with the super-imposed image of a human fetus with the head lined up to the earlobe and the legs curled up to comprise the upper portion of the ear. The poster indicates a correlation between all of the body parts (including internal organs) and certain specific points on the ear.

I’ve seen Shmuel occasionally use a small electronic gadget that makes a squeeling sound. When he presses it into spots on the ear it may or may not change the pitch of the sound. He explains, as he uses it on his clients by pressing it into points on the ear, that when he hears the pitch go up high, that’s the indication that he’s on the exact right point and he’ll stay there for a bit. The client, as do all of his clients, end up saying that the pain is gone when Shmuel is finished.

A few days ago I was standing and watching a Body Tuning treatment and my back was feeling slightly a…

Same Knee, New Hope

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I was fortunate enough to be witness to a wonderful epiphany in a fellow human being today.

I’ve seen this particular man on the treatment table three times in the nine days I’ve been observing Body Tuning in progress. Shmuel will sometimes leave a client in the room with electrical stimulation or ultra sound, or ice, and as the treatment works on one client, he will go into the next room and begin or continue working on someone else. I’ve seen him working on up to four clients at one time.

In some cases, I’ll stay behind and talk to the client about their experience with Shmuel and Body Tuning. Such was the case with this man, who told me something pretty inspiring.

He had had knee surgery back in 1971 and had been in pain ever since. The scars on both of his knees were still plainly visible and Shmuel has been working on the knees aggressively to return proper function and pain free range of motion. The client told me that about a year ago he was told by his doctor that there was…

What's In The Belly?

Yesterday was my sixth day observing Shmuel Tatz Body Tuning. When I walked into the office this morning, he was already working on a woman. An hour later, he finally finished. The whole time I watched and I wondered what her complaint was. I know that Shmuel likes to only focus on one complaint at a time, but I could see that he was addressing many different parts of her body. This is perfectly logical because anytime you have any one part not co-operating, it will have an effect on the structural integrity of the whole body.

One of the things I saw yesterday was something that I’ve seen Shmuel do a few times, to different people. He presses his hands deep into the client’s belly. Sometimes he’ll apply pressure in a certain direction or seem to apply a certain motion to the activity. It’s different each time he does it, but it always seems to me to be so dramatic. It really was curious to me.

Through this process of leaning the art of Body Tuning, I have avoided asking questions. Bod…