Me (on the right), Akemi San (left) and Matthew Thie (centre) in Atami, August 2016.
I went to the TFH Kinesiology course in Tokyo and Atami, Japan, in August this year, which was held by the Japan Kinesiology Organisation and taught by none other than Matthew Thie, of Touch For Health, and author of the book, Touch for Health. Over the course of 8 days, I saw people recover from months if not years of pain, both physical and emotional, in a matter of minutes. These were not fakers, they really experienced healing, right there and then in the room.
It’s true that Matthew Thie is charismatic, and he was preaching to the converted. Out of about 40 people in the room, 5 (including myself) were beginners, and the rest were TFH teachers and professionals; there were shiatsu practitioners and chiropractors, all of whom use and teach TFH in their daily lives, so you bet they believe in it. But this is what I mean about the placebo effect of healing: “whatever works”. Would you rather have painful, expensive surgery over months, with no guaranteed result at the end, or would you rather have half an hour of Kinesiology in the expert hands of lovely Matthew Thie?
History & development
George Gooheart was the first chiropractor to accompany the US Olympic team, in 1976. He noticed that when you balanced muscles, it corrected your posture. Chiropractors say: “If you spine is in line, you’ll feel fine”. He palpated the spine and found that if you massage the spine you find tender points. The tender muscles are not the weak ones, though. In fact, the tender muscles are the strong ones. He found that after the muscles had been massaged, they became stronger, and most of the time the posture of the person spontaneously realigned itself.
This is his Opposing Muscle Theory. Because muscles work in pairs, (or actually they work in groups, along with stabilisers and helpers to balance everything together,) there is usually a flexor and an extensor. So when you move your fist towards your shoulder, the bicep flexes and the tricep extends. But sometimes one of those muscles becomes weak, for example if one muscle is called upon to work harder than the others and the others. This happens when you always carry a shoulder bag on one side, or if you are strongly dominant with one side, for example if you always take the first step with your right foot. At that point, the stronger “hero” muscle, or the one called upon to do more work than the others, becomes painful and tight, and the other muscles slacken off, become weak and rely ever more on the hero muscle to do the work. The spine twists out of balance, the pelvis is pulled out of balance, and we experience lower back pain, shoulder and neck pain.
According to good old Wikipedia,
“The Chapman point is hypothesized to be an outward physical representation of internal dysfunction or pathology of an organ system.”
They are felt as lumps under the skin, that can be felt, and are now called neurolymphatic points. They directly correspond to discrete muscles and can be maniplulated and massaged to ease muscle tension and reset the muscle, by changing the lymph flow.
He also made a connection between muscles and neurovascular points, noticing that the flow of blood affects muscles. According to the Creative Kinesiology website:
“Neuro Vascular Reflex Points – These points or reflexes were discovered by Californian chiropractor, Terence Bennett in the 1930s. Although the neuro vascular points are located all over the body, kinesiology primarily uses those located on the head.
If a weak muscle tests strong when in contact with the specific neuro-vascular point related to that muscle, treatment is by contacting the reflex points until a pulsation is felt. This may take 20 seconds to 5 minutes.”
Goodheart also found a connection between the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine and muscles in the body.
What are meridians?
In Chinese medicine, subtle energy flows through the body along pathways through the body, connecting all the organs and body systems. There are 14 main meridians, which travel in specific directions and connect with one another. They can be seen on infra-red images when stimulated.
John Thie, father of Matthew Thie, realised that these techniques were easy for people to use by themselves without many years of intensive training. He founded the Touch For Health school in 1973.
What happens during a Kinesiology session?
The core of a Touch For Health treatment is the 14-muscle balance. In this process, 14 muscles, relating to each of the 14 Chinese meridians are pressed lightly. Depending on how firmly the muscles lock when challenged, either the neurolymphatic or neurovascular points are massaged. The whole process can take as little as 5 minutes.
Other techniques include working directly with the meridians by walking along them with your fingers, testing for food intollerances, phobias and a technique called the Emotional Stress Release technique, where, coincidentally, emotional stress is released.
What results can you expect?
The effects of a Touch For Health or Kinesiology session could be release from chronic or acute pain, and that could be physical or emotional pain. Healing is used for past trauma, for example accidents and injury, as well as anxiety over future performance.
How I came to study Kinesiology
I have read a lot of books on healing using subtle energy, and most of them mention John and Matthew Thie’s Touch For Health. I bought the book and was surprised when it arrived as it’s very big and chunky. I soon realised that it was much too much for me to study by myself, especially since I needed to have a demonstration of how exactly to test the muscles. Luckily, Matthew Thie scheduled a teaching tour of Japan, so I joined up.
How you can find out more – find a practitioner (me!) or go on a course.
Book a Kinesiology session with me HERE