Monday, September 13, 2010

The Body Tuning Dance

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 get the client’s body to do. He was rocking his pelvis back and forth while his upper body remained fairly immobile. I was wondering if this ‘dance’ was some kind of body to body communication.

Shmuel also performed many of the activities that I’ve come to recognize as Body Tuning; he pressed on some trigger points, mobilized the hip and lower back joints, and even gave some attention to the neck and jaw. I’ve learned that when Body Tuning, the area of the pain complaint is not always the area of the problem, or not always the ONLY problematic area. Because of the precision within the human body, there are always peripheral areas that need attention.

The session ended with about ten minutes of magnetic-electrical stimulation up and down along the client’s back, parallel to the spine.

After his session, as the client got up to leave, I noticed that although he still had his question mark posture, it was much less pronounced. His body was much more erect than it was when he walked in. I could see that if he was consistent with these treatments and if he did the very simple exercises that Shmuel taught him, he would gradually improve more and more and maybe one day stand up straight again.

About an hour later, I was given the opportunity to assist with a client I’d seen Shmuel working on four or five times in the past. One particular thing that he had me do was to face the client prone (face-down) and put my hands on his back and rock him. It was a movement almost identical to the one he had done on Mr. Question Mark.

I took this opportunity to try the Body Tuning ‘dance’ I had witnesses earlier. I planted my hands into the client, one above and one below the waist. I locked my arms and softened my knees and began the rocking of the pelvis, just as Shmuel was doing. What I discovered was that the rocking of my hips translated through my body and flowed effortlessly into the clients body. My arms were doing very little work, but the clients body was moving quite a bit. The movement that I was doing with my pelvis felt good in my body; it didn’t feel like I was straining or working at all. It actually felt like I was taking care of my own body with that movement.

Underneath my hands, I could feel the clients tightness melt away. I have a feeling that if I had stabilized my pelvis and attempted to mobilize this client’s lower back by moving my arms or my shoulders, that I would not have been translating the same relaxed, pleasing energy that I was currently translating. I would have been transferring my effort and my strength into his already over-tightened back.

I suddenly understood the Body Tuning Dance as a wonderful tool to coax a tight body into easing up and relaxing. The simple pelvic movement was healing not only the client but the practitioner as well. It was a classic win-win situation.

What I learned today was a reinforcement of everything I suspected and have recently been experiencing about Body Tuning. The main thing for health in the body is easy movement. Free and comfortable movement is the language of the body, and Body Tuning returns the body to its natural, free, easy state.

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