Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Knees, She Is Yours.

I've now been studying Body Tuning with Shmuel Tatz for four months.  I’m not following a protocol or any kind of formal training.  I’m just observing and absorbing the Body Tuning concepts and approach. In the beginning of my apprenticeship, I had faith, but wasn’t sure I was going to be able to learn anything this way.  And in fact, just about a month ago, I was getting down on myself and thinking I wasn’t going to be able to pick up this ‘art’ at all. 
I thought, this is just a natural gift that you have or you don’t have.  How can I learn to be artistic and intuitive??
But Yesterday as I was doing my usual observations, lunchtime started to roll around.  As Shmuel was putting on his jacket to head out to lunch, I heard him say something in Russian to his colleague, Valarie, which included the word “Jason” so my ears perked up.
Valarie nodded and motioned for me to come and watch what he was doing on his patient.  I don’t usually watch Valarie because he doesn’t do Body Tuning.  He’s a very skilled massage therapist.  Shmuel works with many massage therapists.  I’ve noticed when a patient is in need of a lot of straight-forward massage, he’ll have one of his assistants, Valarie, Viktor or Robert, do that work. 
So, I stood and watched Valarie work.  His work is very cool.  He’s very strong and aggressive and, if you can take his style, it really makes your body feel like it’s been worked over; in a good way.
I watched him work the patient over almost completely, with special attention to the hips, lower back and thighs.  He gave some attention to shoulder and upper back, too, before he looked at me and smiled. And in his adorable broken English, he said to me, “The knees, she is yours!” and he left the room.
I was taken aback.  But he quickly exited and left me standing in the room with the patient, as I called out.  “What am I supposed to do to his knees?”
No answer. He was gone.
So, I did what I know a Body Tuner would do; I touched his knees.  I placed my hands on them and felt around for what might be wrong. I also asked the patient what his main complaint was.  He told me that when he went down stairs he felt a pain in his knee.
So, I kept on feeling his knees.  Now Dr. Tatz has such a refined touch that he can lay his hands on a body and immediately know what is wrong and where. But my sense is much less refined and I listen more slowly.  I have to feel around a lot.  
But since I had no idea what to do, I had no choice but to continue to feel around.  Until finally, I landed on something.  In the back of his knee and down the lower leg, some of the muscles there felt very tense.  I touched them and gave them a bit of pressure in the direction that they seemed to be calling out for.
The patient winced, and when I asked what was wrong, he answered, “That’s the same pain I feel when I go down the stairs.”  So I knew I was onto something.  I moved his leg around a bit in a Body Tuning way and I worked on massaging that area using many of the strokes and technique that I've seen Shmuel Tatz using over these four months. 
While I was working, the patient said, “Valarie has never worked on that part of my leg before.”  
“Really?!” I asked.  I was surprised.
"Yeah, not like that. He would mostly work on my thighs." He asked, “Do you think I should tell him to work there?”
“Absolutely!” I answered. “I think this is the main source of your problem.”  I continued to work until I felt that, as Shmuel would describe it, I made something change.  By the time I was done, it had been about twenty minutes, and the muscles in that area were much more loose and felt softer.  And when I pressed on them, the patient didn’t report as much pain. He seemed very pleased and was excited to tell Valarie about our discovery.
I’m so thrilled that I’ve been working with Shmuel Tatz for only four months and I already seem to be thinking and working like a Body Tuner.  If I were to have learned and practiced a routine, like I wanted to do from the beginning, I don’t think I would have found this problem in his calf.  I may have, like Valerie, just gone through my paces and wondered why I couldn’t help this patient with his problem.
But Body Tuning, with its unique, inquisitive approach, once again gets results.  


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