History, Context And Vision for Touch For Health
by John F. Thie (1933 - 2005)
Written in 2003
We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Touch For Health manual and over 30 years of growth, transition, branching out, and reintegration. We have seen immense benefits in our own lives and in the lives of the people we have touched. And we are now poised for and exponential increase in the growth and untold influence and benefit in health care and human development. Touch for Health Kinesiology is now a global phenomenon and part of the "global village". As we look at our history, our current phase of transition, and our vision of Wellness for the future, we must literally contemplate our most sacred heritage, our most profound beliefs and our highest hopes for the future of all humanity and life on earth.
As we look forward to the next 25 years for Touch for Health Kinesiology, and the next millennium for all mankind, we see an unprecedented need for change in the way that we live and care for ourselves, and an unprecedented opportunity for those of us in TFH/K to take a leadership role in fulfilling human needs and effecting change in our lives. Now that people from all walks of life --business, arts, science, religion, etc.-- and among all the healing disciplines-- medicine, chiropractic, faith healing, massage, psychology, etc.-- we are uniquely positioned to contribute in all of these areas. With the current zeitgeist, or spirit of the time, we are uniquely prepared to fulfill the desperately needed role of interface between the health-care practitioner (whether reductionist, disease centered, or holistic, wellness oriented), and personal responsibility, self awareness, and self-care.
TFH draws not only on 30 years of development and integration of techniques in Kinesiology, but thousands of years of philosophies and sciences of living well, proven by what we feel is the truest and best means: direct and personal, subjective experience of a better life. Our concepts of Wellness integrate the holistic worldview of the East, as well as the vitalistic tradition in the West as espoused in the original concepts of naturopathy, chiropractic, and even Western scientific medicine. Our beliefs are influenced by many religions tenets of faith, including the Judeo-Christian world-view and the example of Jesus' healing.
Currently we find ourselves at a crossroads. Much of the change and growth, branching out and diverging of paths has come full circle to where all of the Kinesiologies, with their varied areas of emphasis, multiple techniques, concepts, and models, recognize a commonality of core values, beliefs, and shared purpose that allow us to call this vast array of people, ideas, programs, schools associations and institutions all part of one body, the Touch for Health Synthesis. And it is through this element of unity that we can take a cooperative approach to our efforts, with mutual regard and respect, health and forthright discussion and exchange of ideas and common purpose and vision for the future.
HISTORY OF TFH PHILOSOPHY AND TECHNIQUES
Long before I ever learned anything about Kinesiology and accupressure, even before our marriage in December of 1952, Carrie and I had a vision of helping families to be healthier through natural methods. Carrie comes from a profound religious and spiritual family tradition, While I grew up with a strong natural approach to health that I learned from my father John C Thie. Our philosophies combined to form a strong resolve to find ways to empower people to care for themselves in natural ways that were in keeping with their God-given birthright to health. My study of Chiropractic and it's vitalistic roots, Carrie's study of Effective Communication and Interpersonal Relationships, and our involvement together in the early days of the development of Kinesiology with Dr. George Goodheart and other pioneering chiropractors created the foundation of the information and techniques of what was called first called "Health from Within" and is now known as Touch for Health. Since that time many energetic and enthusiastic people have helped to develop TFH and have branched out into numerous Specialized Kinesiologies. As TFH reaches it's 25th anniversary and we look toward the future of Kinesiology in the next 25 years, (in the next millennium!) it's very important and useful to consider the history of it's development, the original visions of those who have been involved, and to build on that legacy in ALL of the ways that TFH/K can be developed and promoted to bring the maximum benefit to humanity and the earth.
EARLY DAYS OF APPLIED KINESIOLOGY
In Dr. George Goodheart's own words, "Applied Kinesiology had a simple beginning in 1964, based on the concept that antagonist muscle weakness is involved in most muscle spasms and, indeed, is primary." (ref: Walther, 1988).
Basically, Dr. Goodheart's discovery of Applied Kinesiology arose out of his observation that basic chiropractic adjustments often were not providing complete relief for physical disabilities and that the problem seemed to be related to muscle spasms that were not being released. A study of the original methods of testing muscles described by Kendall and Kendall (ref: Kendall, 1949) led to the primary diagnostic tool of muscle testing used in Applied Kinesiology. Also instrumental in the early development of muscle testing techniques was Dr. Goodheart's colleague Dr. Alan Beardall, D.C. The timing of the muscle testing procedure was changed to provide an evaluation of the control of the muscle by the nervous system rather than an evaluation of the power the muscle could produce.
Once the pattern of strong and weak muscles is determined, a variety of non-intrusive therapeutic techniques are available. The initial basic correction was to facilitate inhibited muscles, which would in turn release continuously contracting or spasmed muscles. Dr. Goodheart observed that inhibited muscles often exhibited none of the observable atrophy that he expected to find in a physically malfunctioning muscle. He also observed, through palpation, discrete painful nodules at the muscle insertion. Wondering if these nodules might be trigger points for the muscle, he deeply massaged these nodules and found that the muscle immediately regained a high percentage of its strength and that the nodules became less painful. (ref: Goodheart, 1964)
Additional techniques were soon found for facilitating inhibited muscles. The neurolymphatic reflexes (NL) had been discovered in the 1930s by Dr. Frank Chapman, D.O.,. (ref: Owens, no date) These reflexes are found in anterior and posterior intercostal spaces and other locations throughout the body, although not necessarily associated with lymphatic nodes. He related these reflexes to particular organs in the body. Stimulation of the reflexes, especially when they were enlarged or painful, would bring about a reduction in painfulness and a stimulation of the function of the associated organ. (However, in the TFH approach, It is not recommended to massage swollen lymphatic nodes unless a health professional has made a diagnostic determination that there is no pathology present that contraindicates massage.)
A major element of Applied Kinesiology, discovered by Dr. Goodheart through the use of NL reflexes, is the specific relationships between the body organs and the muscles. This led to the inclusion of Oriental Meridian Therapy (also known as acupunture) into the practice of Applied Kinesiology. This yielded an objective technique to determine the need for NL (neurolymphatic) stimulation through muscle testing. In the Oriental model, every organ function is related to a particular energy meridian. Combining the organ/muscle relationships of AK with the organ/meridian relationships of acupuncture gives us a specific relationship between the muscles and the meridians. With this knowledge, muscle inhibitions (and related organ function inhibition) found through muscle testing can be corrected through meridian therapy. Following the eastern energetic traditional belief that function precedes structure, organ function is emphasized. TFH theorizes that each cell in the whole person has all of the functions associated with each of the organs. Balancing of the power/energy of the whole person by the TFH methods brings about balance in these functions in the whole person. The organs themselves may or may not have discrete physical malfunctions when the organ function in the whole person is imbalanced as indicated by muscle inhibition. Stimulation of the corresponding NL reflex would bring an immediate facilitation of the inhibited muscle and presumably a corresponding improvement in the function of the corresponding organ and meridian functions. If there was no further stress on the organ, the muscle would remain strong; however if there was continuing stress on the organ, due to poor nutrition, lifestyle, or other factor, then the muscle would become inhibited again over a period of time, indicating a need for treatment of these other factors.
Also in the 1930s, Dr. Terence Bennett, D.C., discovered another set of reflexes which affected the vascularity of various structures and organs. (ref: Martin, 1983) Dr. Goodheart discovered that by very light stimulation of these neurovascular (NV) reflexes he could facilitate muscles that tested inhibited. He found that a particular muscle responded to just one reflex, but that most reflexes would facilitate a number of different muscles.
Another major milestone was Dr. Goodheart's discovery of therapy localization. He found that a muscle initially testing weak became strong when the patient touched that part of their body where the dysfunction causing the muscle inhibition was located. A later discovery found that therapy localizing various parts of the body, using a muscle that initially tested strong, indicated the location of a dysfunctional reflex or organ function if the muscle tested weak. (ref: Walther, 1988)
From these basic discoveries, Applied Kinesiology has grown and expanded into a broad and comprehensive field of alternative healing. Dr. Goodheart made delivered the first public presentation of Applied Kinesiology to the charter meeting of the American Chiropractic Association held in Denver, Co, in 1964. I first encountered Dr. Goodheart's presentation the following year at an American Chiropractic Association meeting held at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. I volunteered for Goodheart's demonstration and was so impressed that I encouraged the California Chiropractic Association to invite Dr. Goodheart to California. I attended the Seminar in Los Angeles and volunteered to help with the program. I was assigned to operate the slide projector. In the insueing years I accompanied Dr. Goodheart at many presentations, and eventually becoming a co-teacher. In those days, we often shared the same hotel room, talking long into the night about the ways which these ideas and methods could be shared more effectively.
After working with Goodheart for a number of years, Carrie and I felt that a book for lay people should be written, and encouraged George to write it on numerous occasions. Eventually he said, "If you want a book for lay people, you will have to write it yourself." I realized that a book on Applied Kinesiology for non-professionals needed to be organized quite differently than one for professionals, and it took a while before a workable approach gelled.
A key milestone in this process occurred in 1971 at a Family Therapist Seminar in Tahiti featuring Virginia Satir which I attended with Carrie who was then continuing her professional development as a family therapist. Dr. Edwin Krauser, Ph.D. in psychology and a founder of the California School of Professional Psychology, had a sore neck which I was able to quickly alleviate using AK techniques. Dr. Krauser and others were much impressed with the power of these simple techniques. Virginia Satir was also fascinated and encouraged me to follow through on the idea of a book for lay people.
Many of the participants were already published authors, such as Jane Gerber, Ph.D. Who workded with Fritz Perls, developer of the Gestalt training programs, Yetta Bernhardt, who was the co-author, with George Bach, Ph.D., of "Fair Fight Training" and Roger Sperry Ph.D.., the famed Cal tech researcher in the "split brain" and consciousness. They were all very encouraging and told me that the way to start was to put on seminars and record them to provide a background of material as a basis for the book. The first seminar was held in Pasadena and sponsored by Joseph Heller, then a JPL engineer, who later studied with Ida Rolf (developer of deep tissue massage) and eventually evolved his own body work methodology called Hellerwork. KAIROS sponsored another one of these early seminars. Carrie and I taught the seminars together as a team.
Virginia also invited Carrie and I to join her exclusive group of family therapists who met with her privately for special training and sharing among themselves. Over the years I gave many therapy/demonstrations at the Satir Sharing programs that Virginia held, and continually absorbed valuable insights into communication, psychology, and family therapy which informed and influenced the ongoing development of TFH.
Carrie and I originally called our program Health from Within, which was a combination of verbal communication skills, from Carrie's counseling expertise, and body work skills, from My chiropractic and Applied Kinesiology knowledge. While teaching these seminars, people began to come to us and say that they wanted to teach these same skills to others. This was the beginning of the TFH Instructor's Training Workshop. Carrie and I gathered 9 people who said that they wanted to teach the program. While the book was being completed, these 9 people would come to my chiropractic office once a week for personal training. The trainees would accompany Carrie and I to seminars that we were teaching to learn the teaching skills and training methods. Among these first 9 trainers was Mary Marks.
I originally met Mary Marks as a patient at my chiropractic clinic in Pasadena California. I met her again at an early "Health from Within" class, along with her mother and father, and asked for their help in writing the book. In exchange for chiropractic treatment Mary Marks (a writer), Mary's mother, Pat Gill (an anatomical artist) and her husband , (a nationally recognized graphic artist) worked to get a book together.
Another of the original 9 trainers was Grace Baldridge. Grace was right there in the beginning and served the foundation and worked in the bookstroe for many many years, helping with the annual meetings and a 1001 tasks and projects. She has been exposed to all the new and different approaches to Kinesiology that have sprung up over the years and she still relys on the basics of TFH for remembering wellness in her daily life.
As the book neared completion it was decided, at the suggestion of Pat Gill, that it be called Touch for Health. It was exactly the right title. Mary Marks' father supplied the picture of the Buddha's hand that has become the hallmark of TFH. At last the first edition of the TFH book with the mustard yellow cover featuring the Buddha's hand was printed and published in 1973. (ref: Thie, 1973)
After the first printing of 2000 copies the Touch for Health book it was such a success that within three months a second printing of 5000 copies was ordered. The classes of the first TFH Instructors trained by Carrie and I continued. Mary Marks became the first executive director of the TFH Foundation. More Instructor Trainer Workshops were set up and the students of these classes were teaching TFH all over the U.S.
At the same time that I was developing the TFH manual, I foresaw the need for a professional group for chiropractors and other professionals who wished to use Applied Kinesiology in their practice. I started organization activities at a Goodheart Workshop Leaders Group meeting in 1972 and eventually became the founding chairman of the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK). The bylaws were completed in 1975, and the new ICAK gave out the charter Diplomate Certificates in 1976. Since that time the ICAK has continued to grow with the formation of International chapters and the establishment of a research journal published biannually.
I originally believed, as I helped to organize the ICAK and wrote the Touch for Health book for lay and paraprofessional use, that there would be one Kinesiology organization whose membership would include professionals from all medical specialties, paraprofessionals in the healing arts and lay teachers of the Touch for Health classes.
I put together three seminars with a format of addressing all three levels of understanding of Applied Kinesiology (professional, paraprofessional, and lay). These Applied Kinesiology seminars were the first National meetings of Touch for Health/Applied Kinesiology. The speakers were Dr. George Goodheart, Dr. Sheldon Deal, Dr. Alan Beardal and myself. I also served as chief Moderator. The major Goodheart workshop leaders from around the United States all gave presentations. Joel Shain, a chiropractic student who became an early TFH instructor, took a year off from his chiropractic training to head the development of these TFH/AK seminars. After Joel received his chiropractic license, he developed the Monterey Wellness Center, using the TFH/AK methods and wrote many publications, including Life Without Arthritis, which describes the Monterey Wellness Center's protocols, including the use of Touch for Health. This combination of lay/professional format soon proved unsuitable for the professionals and they stopped coming. After this experience, the Charter members of the ICAK formed the consensus that the ICAK was to be exclusively for licenced to diagnose professionals.
I was disappointed that there existed this chasm between self-care and "professional" care. My original plan of having these methods available to every household was similar to the original goal of D.D.Palmer in the inception of chiropractic. He initially believed that every family should learn to use chiropractic in the home. The chiropractic pioneer H. Hurley, D.C. later wrote Aquarian Age Healing, a book for lay people to learn chiropactic methods. John Barton, developer of the BioKineseiology program, wrote Be Your Own Chiropractor, again attempting to promote the idea that chiropractic is something for every household, not just academically schooled, state licenced, professionals. As this "professionalization principle" repeats itself in massage therapy and Kinesiology, as a legitimizing function, it's important to note the grassroots elements of the history.
THE TOUCH FOR HEALTH FOUNDATION & EARLY INNOVATORS
In the meantime, the organization of the Touch for Health Foundation commenced. It was set up as a not-for-profit educational foundation accredited in the state of California as a vocational training school. A book store was set up as a separate business, since the Internal Revenue Service prohibited non-profit organizations from having the same name as a published book, even though the royalties of the book all went to support the ongoing activities of the non-profit Touch for Health Foundation. The required legal work was completed in 1975.
From this time on the teaching program expanded rapidly. Gordon Stokes joined the TFHF staff as a communication trainer. Carrie recruited Gordon after working with him in Parent Effectiveness Training, where they both were certified trainers. Gordon eventually became proficient in the TFH body work skills and when Mary Marks left the program to enter Chiropractic college he became the trainer of both the communication and body work skills while I filled in on the more technical aspects. I continued in my chiropractic practice and promoted the TFH program as a lay program primarily be taught by lay people.
Gordon Stokes became international training director and served in this capacity until 1986, when he left to start Three-In-One Concepts. Gordon assisted in the first major revision of the TFH book in 1979, at which time the familiar green cover, still featuring the hand of Buddha, was adopted. Gordon also pioneered the integration of the Chinese theory of the Five Elements into the TFH course of study. (ref: Stokes and Whiteside, 1981)
Annual get-togethers open to all who were interested were started. The first was held at Asilomar, near Monterey, California, in 1976. Later, annual meetings were held for many years at the University of San Diego, and soon featured an extensive international attendance.
My sister, Alice Thie Vieira Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and her husband Kim Vieira took Touch for Health to Australia under the sponsorship of Donald MacDowell, a member of the ICAK, a Chiropractor and later Touch for Health Instructor who pioneered the development of Applied Kinesiology and Touch for Health in Australia. Alice and Kim at different times also served as executive director of the Touch for Health Foundation when they were drafted for their leadership. Alice also served on the Board of trustees for a number of years.
Another early innovator was Dr. Paul Dennison, Ed.D. Dr. Dennison joined the TFH faculty as a special faculty member after he was trained as a TFH instructor and presented his concepts of how some of the TFH methods and ideas could be utilized in helping people with learning difficulties. A dyslexic himself, Paul pioneered the application of TFH techniques to correct dyslexia and discovered the concept of laterality repatterning which enabled people whose muscles tested inhibited after cross motor activities to remain facilitated after such activities. This exercise, supplemented by additional coordination and integration exercises derived from TFH and AK, offered a tool for rapid improvement of reading and other learning problems. (ref: Dennison, 1981) Dennison joined the TFH instructor staff in 1983, but left several years later to form an independent organization, the Educational Kinesiology Foundation. Joy Lindsay helped to establish the tremendous effectiveness of Dr. Dennison's work in the Los Angeles Unified School district by actively teaching teachers, students, and parents over a period of several years starting in 1984 and keeping a set of statistics on the effectiveness of the project.
Phillip Crockford took over as program director upon Gordon Stokes' departure. His main contribution was to re-emphasize the personal responsibility aspect of Touch for Health, as in Carrie and my original vision, in contrast to the increasing tendency towards a therapist-client model on the part of many advanced students. To this end he introduced the idea of the testee being "in charge" of the muscle testing, i.e. making the decision on whether a muscle tested inhibited or facilitated. To get away from the massage table approach, which subtly set up a therapist-client venue, he promoted the idea of the stand up balance. He made both these changes a part of the regular TFH curriculum. Suggested standup balance techniques were first published as part of the TFH Folio and TFH wall chart revisions of 1991.
JohnVarun Maguire succeeded Phillip Crockford as program director in 1986. Maguire's principal interest was working with athletes to improve their competitive performance. To this end he developed the Maximum Athletic Performance (MAPS) course for TFH. It combined a mix of muscle performance improvement and goal balancing dealing with emotional issues, and was used initially with world class triathalon athletes with remarkable results. The MAPS book was first published in 1988. (ref: Maguire, 1988) John Maguire was also instrumental in the development of the video program Touch For Health for Massage Therapists. John continues to teach Touch For Health in his year long training program for massage therapists. John and his faculty teach their program in both Northern and Southern California.
The last director of the Touch for Health Foundation was Rob Aboulache, M.S., who served many years at the TFHF and helped Carrie and I transition the Foundation to the International Kinesiology College by giving the right to the faculty of the Foundation for TFH Instructor Certification. He was also a major player in the development of the TFH/K Association, serving on its board as its president for 4 years after Robert Waldon and Mary Louise Muller each served one year. His efforts have been Herculean and the association would probably not exist today if it weren't for his leadership in it's first few years.
Richard and Norma Harnak, long time Touch for Health Instructor Trainers , took over the administration of the newly formed TFH Association and moved it to Saint Louis, where the second annual meeting of the association took place at the University of Washington. The TFH Association then decided it was better to have the office in Califonia and moved it to Malibu where Rob Aboulache and John Maguire put on the next conference in Las Vegas Nevada. Norma Harnak went on to open a Massage school with Touch for Health as a backbone course.
Judy Levin served as President of the Touch for Health Assoication following Rob Abouache. In addition, Judy has developed what is possibly the most popular video teaching tape for people wanting to learn TFH. Judy has been highly involved in the development of TFH over the years, and has worked with her friend Helen Zweigbaum in decorating the Conference meeting room for many years. Helen used her artistic skills in creating backdrops for the speakers platform which were often passed on to be used in other countries. Such is the community feeling of the TFH Annual conferences.
The faculty numbers have grown as the demand for the Instructor Training program increased to being taught in over 50 countries. Interest in TFH has expanded rapidly worldwide, and is found today in many countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Central Africa, Chile, Colombia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Java, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Venezuela andtheUkraine. The TFH book has been translated into many different languages, including Japanese (limited edition, and a new edition is now in development), Dutch, Swedish, Danish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Slovok, Russian, Spanish, and Braille. With this growth and over 25 TFH Associations worldwide, along with over 20 years of pioneering work, Carrie and I decided that it was time to turn over the responsibilities of the continued growth to those who really were carrying the burden.
In 1990, Carrie and I and the board of Trustees closed the TFHF school for the certifying of TFH Instructors and gave the rights for continuing the certification of instructors to the then existing faculty of the TFHF who then formed the International Kinesiology College, which now exists as a college without walls with headquarters in Zurich Switzerland. Outside the United States, TFH associations were formed as independent organizations. In the U.S., the foundation had acted as a membership organization as well as a research and training facility. With the closing of the TFHF training program, the association activities were turned over to the membership and the North American TFH/Kinesiology Association was formed at the 15th Touch for Health Foundation annual meeting in July of 1990. The TFH/KA is now headquartered in Culver City, California where the growing ranks of TFH/K instructors and practitioners have a valuable resource for networking and promotion.
Touch for Health Education continues the function of a research oriented endeavor through which I continue to gather anecdotal reports on the benefits and outcomes of utilizing the Touch for Health Syntheses. It is also the organization through which I continue to offer seminars and develop new TFH materials such as the forthcoming TFH CD-ROM which William Mariboe, of Denmark, has developed as a one man army and the new book, Remembering Wellness with Touch For Health which I am writing with my son, Matthew Thie.
The latest edition of the TFH book, published in 1992, describes bilateral muscle inhibition corrections. For the previous four years I had been using a new, simpler method of correction that I had discovered. The method is very simple and can be used safely by the patient/student/client. In chiropractic AK practice, the generally accepted method for correcting bilateral muscle inhibition, such as might be found in a 14 or 42 muscle test, has been to correct a fixation subluxation. The reason for the bilateral inhibition has been generally thought to be a fixation in a group of three vertebrae. Chiropractic adjustment of the spine has been demonstrated to restore muscle facilitation. In TFH circles the correction was made by use of the neurolymphatic, neurovascular, meridian tracing, origin/ insertion, golgi cell, or spindle cell techniques. My Spinal Reflex technique, while not involving chiropractic spinal manipulation, is based on the same correlation of muscle inhibition and subluxation in specific vertebrae. A simple up and down massage of the skin over the spinal process achieves the same energy balancing effect.
THE SPREAD OF TFH/KINESIOLOGY WORLDWIDE
As Touch for Health began to spread, it became apparent that a decision had to be made concerning the best way to facilitate/control it's optimal dissemination. There were two major positions. The first position was that it should be made available as widely as possible without any financial return to me. The other position was to make it a franchise arrangement so that every person teaching TFH would give me a royalty. Carrie and I felt that the growth of TFH might be hindered by a franchise model and favored the grassroots, "each one teach one" approach. It was only when the State of California Board of Education came into the picture that we were forced to decide how to finance a school. When we first set up the TFH Foundation as a school the tuition was to pay for the costs of running the school, but the people trained to be certified TFH Instructors were only required to agree to teach only Touch for Health in their classes. They agreed that if they added or deleted significant material to their teaching of the TFH material, they would call their class something other than Touch for Health. Hence the rapid development of so many varied approaches to Kinesiology, which share as their foundation the basic concepts and techniques of TFH. In the years following the publication of the Touch for Health book and the start of regular classes in 1973, many additional "Kinesiologies" have appeared, most of which acknowledge their origin as part of the "Touch for Health Synthesis", which reflects one of the fastest growing alternative healing modalities in the world. The International Association of Specialized Kinesiology has honored Carrie and I with an award recognizing that TFH is the basis of all the other Specialized Kinesiologies (other than Applied Kinesiology and its derivations for licensed to diagnosis health professionals.)
Since a person could be trained to be a certified TFH Instructor by taking the basic TFH training and then the 8 day Instructor Training Workshop (ITW), many people took the training and never actually taught TFH classes. Many of these people took the teacher training because it was the only additional training available at the time in Touch for Health/Applied Kinesiology for lay people and paraprofessionals.
There were, however, a large number of people that took the ITW and taught classes from then on. One example is Peggy Maddocks of California who began teaching TFH in Adult Education and has continued for over 15 years with regular classes, teaching over 5000 people an introduction to TFH.
Others such as Cliff Garner, Ph.D., a retired chemistry professor from the University of California at Los Angeles, took the program into the community colleges, until he ran into opposition from the head of the Quackery Committee of the California Medical Association, who was successful in having the course banned in that community college district along with other alternative medical courses.
Frank Mahoney, the founder of Hypertonics, another spin off of TFH, worked with Athletes and people with learning disabilities with Paul Dennison and taught many TFH courses at Santa Monica City College.
Many other TFH Instructors went out on their own and taught courses wherever they found interest. One chiropractor and TFH instructor, Dr. Dan Golden, was on a trip to a Vacation resort when his plane was delayed for hours. He began teaching his fellow vacationers TFH to help make the time go more quickly in the Airport waiting area. Based on that short introduction to TFH, his fellow vacationers request ed that he teach a class at the resort. Helga Brandt, a tennis professional, taught Touch for Health for years in a Swiss vacation resort as part of her return home each year from Northern California.
Victor Frank D.C. was the first professional to teach TFH in Asia. He was an associate of mine in the Thie Chiropractic Clinic, and as a result was invited to Japan to teach a large group of Osteopaths. The first foreign translation of TFH was to Japanese for his seminar in Japan. (This translation was a limited edition, but I've recently negociated a new Japanese translation which I anticipate will result in a huge TFH movement in Japan.)
Dr. Herb Anderson, a prominent Applied Kinesiologist chiropractor from Boston, donated some Kinesiology work to the traveling pre-Olympic U.S. women's track team. Tracy Sunlund, the assistant coach of the La Jolla women's track club, was subsequently referred by Dr. Anderson to the Thie Chiropractic Clinic(TCC) in Pasadena, CA. DR. Leroy Perry , then a partner at TCC, volunteered as team Touch for Health/Applied Kinesiologist chiropractor. Perry later developed his own methods based partially on his training with me, but largly on hisobservations and training with others in the athletic field, especially the Russians and East Germans, and became one of the most sought after rehabilitation, performance enhancement chiropractors, going to the Olympics and pre Olympic track and field and other sports events at the requests of the athletes themselves. A group of athletes even petitioned the President of the United states to have Perry be an official member of the US Olympic medical staff. Although George Goodheart subsequently became the first chiropractor officially appointedto the US Olympic medical team, Perry continued to work with athletics and has attended all of the Olympic Games since 1976 as an official medical team member of one team or country, but so far has not been a member of the official U.S. medical staff. He now heads one of the largest and most respected sports medicine clinics in the U.S.
Perry eventually split from TFH/AK and TCC to develop his own sports medicine program. Although Perry served on the Board of Trustees of the TFHF for several years, he felt that some of the methods of AK were unproven. I argued that the outcomes and results that chiropractors were getting with the AK methods were more significant than the unorthodoxy of some of the mechanisms . This controversy continued until we went our separate ways.
The concept of having only lay trainers changed as more and more professional health providers became interested and enthusiastic about the program. Bruce Dewe M.D. of New Zealand gave up his medical practice to be the primary faculty member for Australasia with Joan Dewe, his wife. Bruce and Joan developed the Professional Kinesiology Practitioner(PKP) series as an advanced Touch for Health training for professional healthcare providers.
Hap Barhydt retired early from his career as an aerospace engineer to join his wife Elizabeth Barhydt and tour the United States teaching Touch for health. Hap and Elizabeth were later instrumental in developing the Enhanced learning program when TFH was being developed for integration in the public schools. They have since developed their own TFH/Kinesiology-based program, Loving Life. (Check out their website at lovinglife.com)
Sandy Danaher was one of the first TFH Instructors to take TFH across Europe in the late 1970s, beginning in the UK at the Holistic Health center, Findhorn , where many people from different countries would gather to study alternative and ecological health enhancement. As a result of sharing TFH at this center she was invited to other countries in Europe to teach TFH. Others instructors went to India and other parts of Asia and taught TFH at ashrams, centers and retreats. Sister Mary Em McGlone, of the Medical Missionary Sisters, and a TFH Instructor has shared the TFH methods with these missionary sisters in Germany and India as well as founding the Center for Human Integration in Philadelphia Pennsylvania where TFH is a backbone course.
Brian Butler was the first TFHF Faculty member appointed for an area outside the United States. He very successfully spread the TFH message in England. He later formed his own organization teaching Balanced Health as the background course, which he says is almost the same as the Touch for Health basic courses he taught for many years. The balance health course materials have included more developments from Applied Kinesiology as taught by Sheldon Deal D.C.. Sheldon has been sponsored by Brian to teach in England for over 10 years.
Natalie Davenport, one of Brian Butler's first trained Touch for Health Instructors assisted Brian for many years and traveled to many places in the world to teach TFH/K. She has been consistently invited back to a particular place in Germany to share the latest uses of TFH/K for over 10 years. Natalie is now the TFH Instructor Trainer for England for the International Kinesiology College
Pat Harrington has been central to the development of the Touch for Health Center in England, a national charity organization, where neighbors and friends gather to help each other with the TFH/K methods. I am so proud and happy to see that these kinds of community based, grass roots institutions are developing. This was the model that Carrie and I envisioned for TFH so many years ago.
In Holland, Yoka Brauer was the pioneer Touch for Healther, followed by Coby Schaatfoorth RN, her student. TFH in the netherlands is now headed by Aria den Hartog, RN a student of Coby's. As an IKC faculty member and TFH Instructor Trainer, Aria also teaches in several African countries. She has recently been instrumental in helping with the reorganization of the Touch for Health Association into the Kinesiology Association of the Nederlands to be able to meet the changing new times. Aria also introduced Touch for Health Instructor Training programs into Hungary and helped them gain recognition as professionals by the Government of that country. The Hungarian Touch for Health edition came out in 1998.
In Australia the Touch for Health program is headed by Toni Lilley Gralton who is the dean of the Touch for Health School of the International Kinesiology College, with Karryn Franks who is co-founder of the Kinesiology School of Melbourne, which has Touch for Health as a backbone course. Toni has written and taught a program she developed for people with pets to be able to utilize TFH/K methods to help their pets more effectively. Kerryn's School is the first Kinesiology School in Australia to receive Government recognition. The other cofounders of the school, also TFH Instructors, were Christopher Rowe and Charles Krebs, Ph.D., author of A Revolutionary Way of Thinking, and leader in the Applied Physiology approach in Specialized Kinesiology.
In Canada Touch for Health has many Touch for Health Instructors. Mary Jane Bulbrook, RN, Ph.D. introduced TFH at the University of Utah nursing school, then also at the University of Nova Scotia Nursing School when she took a position at that school and introduced Holistic Nursing which included TFH. Today the International Kinesiology College TFH school Instructor Trainer is Michael De Lory, who for the first time will be teaching Instructor Training programs in the French Speaking Quebec province as well as in other area of Canada in English. Sharon Promislow has been a pioneer in British Columbia, Canada for Touch for Health and other Kinesiologies and wrote the new book Making the Brain Body Connection (1998) to help people in business utilize the TFH/K methods to, as she says "have a playful guide to releasing mental, physical and emotional blocks to success."
Today, in the United States, many massage schools and some other training programs use TFH as a text book. Other programs have integrated the materials and ideas from TFH into their curriculum. Irene Gaulthier has a massage school in Northern Michigan and has had TFH as part of her curriculum for over 15 years. Irene also has regularly taught TFH in Bermuda and Barbados, which she does as part of her vacations, getting out of the cold Michigan Winters. Irene was honored by being profiled in the September/October 1997 issue of Massage Magazine the largest circulation massage publication with over 60,000 copies published each issue for worldwide distribution.
Jim and Kathy Schmidt, Touch for Health Instructors since the late 1970s and owners of the Bellevue School of Massage in Bellevue, Washington, have Touch for Health as one of their backbone courses. Washington is one of the states that requires insurance payments for massage therapy which now includes Touch for Health.
The IKC faculty members in the United States are affiliated with the Touch for Health Kinesiology Association, which is the successor of the Touch for Health Foundation's membership organization. This group took over the membership responsibilities when the foundation closed its doors in 1990. They continue to be the mutual support and referral organization and have put on annual Conferences since the 15th Annual Conference of the TFHF, this makes the 1998 conference makes their 8th annual conference and the 23rd annual conference in the US for TFH Instructors to come together and share ways to help people more effectively through touch and muscle/postural evaluation.
In Scotland the TFH program is headed by Gail McKerrow, who is a faculty member of the International Kinesiology College, Touch for Health School. She recently opened the Scottish Kinesiology School, 1997 and is training Professional Kinesiology Practitioners after the Bruce Dewe model with Touch for Health as a basic course.
In Norway the TFH/K program is headed by TFH Instructor Trainer Tom Pedersen, who founded the Norwegian Kinesiology School, which is a two year training program for Practitioners with TFH as a basic course. Tom also is very active in the Government's Alternative Medicine Committee of Norway. He is working to develop an Alternative University with Touch for Health Kinesiology as part of the curriculum.
Alfred Schatz of Kirchzarten, Germany, near Frieberg, investigated TFH after witnessing TFH balances at a Health Fair in London. He and his then partner, Susanne Degendorfer and his friend and fellow licensed natural health practitioner Matthias Lesch and his partner Helge Petres all became certified TFH instructors and trained thousands of people in TFH in Germany ,developing the largest Touch for Health Kinesiology training program in the world, the Applied Kinesiology Institute (IAK) of Germany. This program has over 25,000 student days of training in TFH/K programs each year. The TFH basic programs are a major part of this institute. Susanne Degendorfer and Helga Petres now run the TFH programs for the IAK and were part of the original team of 4 TFH instructors that spread TFH through Germany together with all the other TFH Instructors that they have trained.
Jean Francois Jaccard, Holistic Trained Practitioner and massage Therapist became a TFH Instructor, translated the TFH book and charts to French, then became Touch for Health Foundation Faculty member. He has a holistic health center in Geneva, Switzerland and, with his group of Touch for Health Instructors trained by him, sponsored the first International Touch for Health International Conference in Switzerland. He continues to train TFH Instructors in his Institute in Geneva. He has introduced TFH in a number of hospitals and in medical groups. When I toured Europe in 1980 Jean Francois arranged for me to speak and demonstrate TFH methods to a large medical psychiatric group and to the entire staff of one of the major hospitals in Paris, France.
In Belgium, Dominique Monnet M.D. originally appointed as Touch for Health Foundation Faculty for Belgium has developed the Belgium Kinesiology School which trains Kinesiology professionals and Touch for Health Instructors. She has been an important leader in introducing the TFH/K model throughout the French speaking parts of the world. Many TFH Instructors in France have come through her school.
Touch for Health Kinesiology development in France has recently been exploding as a result of the pioneering work of Jean Francois Jaccard and Dominique Monnet. New books on Kinesiology Touch for Health are appearing such as La Kinesiologie, art du test musculaire, equilibrez vos energies (1997) by Dominique & Virginie Bernascon of Paris, published by Editions Jouvence of Geneve, Switzerland, which presents Touch for Health and other Kinesiologies for the public. In 1998, Manuel Practique de Kinesiologie by Jean-Claude Guyard, was published by Chrysalide Le Souffle d'Or. This book also presents the Touch for health approach with additional muscle tests that Guyard, a physical therapist, has developed. Both of these authors have training centers in France, along with a number of other training centers which have developed in recent years which regularly have training programs in TFH/K.
RoseMarie Sonderreger, a psychologist in Zurich, Switzerland became the second TFH Instructor in Switzerland for the German speaking portion of Switzerland. With her husband, Bernard Studer, she developed Integrated Kinesiology, with Touch for Health and Educational Kinesiology as the backbone courses. Their Institute the Zurich Kinesiology Institute was the first to develop a two and then three year diploma program recognized by the government for payment of balances based solely on the Kinesiology training that their institute required. Their programs are so successful that they have between a two and three year waiting list fpr admossion to the Integrated Kinesiology three-year program. In 1997, this group also sponsored the largest conference ever held in TFH/Educational Kinesiology at the University of Zurich, co-sponsored by the Alternative Medicine Department of the University of Zurich, with 749 attendees from all over the world. The presenters on the program from countries all over the world varied in qualification from lay TFH/Kinesiology instructors to College Professors to health professionals licensed in every field from Psychology to Medicine . RoseMarie served for four years as President of the international Kinesiology College and has been active in the development of the professional Kinesiology school of the college.
In Denmark , Grethe Fremming was the first TFH Instructor Trainer and has a school for training people in specialized Kinesiology with TFH as the basic course of study. She and her husband Rolf Hasselbaun have developed the school of Transformational Kinesiology, turning over the Touch for Health Instructor programs in Denmark Lena Jorgensen. Grethe succeeded Rosmarie to the Presidency of the International Kinesiology College. The legal requirements in Denmark prohibit a medical doctor from training anyone but medical doctors, so Henrik Langgaard, MD has taken over the responsibility of spreading the word of Touch for Health to the medical community in Denmark. He also has been the head of "Research Centre for Unconventional Cancer Therapies" in Denmark since 1996. In 1995, Henrik arranged for me to speak to the Denmark Manual Medical Association and at two medical schools and the largest hospital in Copenhagen.
In Brazil, TFH was pioneered by Jose' and Arogoa, an attorney, and his wife, Henny, translating the TFH material to Portuguese and becoming the first TFH Instructor Trainers in South America. This program is now headed by Gerardo Vale and his wife Ivanette Silva of Brazilia, Brazil. He was a former member of the Government as National Assessor. In the Rio De Janeiro area Clovis Horta Correa, was the Touch for Health Faculty member and until recently on the Faculty of the IKC. He developed a program to teach Touch for Health called Balanceamento Muscular. He is president of Instituto Brasileiro do Balanceamento Muscular and travels to Argentina to teach these programs as well as heading several centers in Brazil which teach the program and see clients.
In Spain, the first courses were taught by Brian Butler. Fernando Muñoz Caravaca is the International Kinesiology College's Touch For Health Instructor Trainer today and regularly teaches not only in Spain, but also in a number of South American Countries. Fernando is the head of the Instituto Karuna, which has Touch for Health as its basic course and includes professional training in Kinesiology including the programs of Three in One Concepts and Professional Kinesiology Practitioner.
The first Spanish translation was done by Lilly Visaraga of Venezuela, and was never published. Only photo copies were made for a few classes. Marge Murray of Wisconsin, an IKC faculty member, translated another Spanish version (which is now out of print), with Elsa Jacobowitz RN, and TFH Instructor to use in her training programs in Mexico,. Ilsa teaches Touch for Health in her native Chile and Nicaragua as well as Utah where she now lives. In 1998 a new updated version of TFH was translated by Juan Carlos Monge, a physical therapist from Barcelona Spain. He has also translated and printed all the TFH charts and folios and he with his wife Francesca Simeon head Vida Kinesiologia School and clinic. In Spain, many physical therapists utilize TFH as part of their professional physical therapy practices. Juan Carlos and Francesca also sponsored the International Specialized Kinesiology Conference in Barcelona, Spain in 1998. They also have developed in 1996 a program for training professionals in a deeper understanding of the Techniques used in Touch for Health I, called, Working Deeper From the Beginning.
In Austria, the IKC Touch for Health Trainer is one of the most widely read Alternative Kinesiology Trainers, Do-Ri Rydl of Vienna. Her books are in all the bookshops in Austria. Her courses are filled and she has written a weekly newspaper column in Vienna. Touch for Health forms the backbone of her Institute courses.
In Italy, Maurizio Piva heads the program of training Touch for Health Instructors and the Italian Kinesiology Institute. The Italian Kinesiology Association which is composed of people trained in Touch for Health and other Kinesiologies by the Institute is working for recognition by the Italian Government as a separate Profession of Kinesiology. This training program is anticipated to be of between three and four years in length and cover not only specialized Kinesiology courses but other more standard health curriculum courses.
The present IKC Touch for Health Instructor training faculty for the U.S. are Paula Oleska, of New York and a native of Warsaw Poland, where she also gives Instructor Training programs; Marge Murray of Wisconsin, previously mentioned related to her teaching in Mexico, and a leader in developing goal setting prior to balances; Arlene Brown Green of North Carolina, who has taught thousands of people the basic TFH courses and received the annual award for the most people taught in a single year several times. She is now is teaching others to be TFH Instructors along with other Kinesiology courses.
Carrie and I have never changed our minds about the need for a meeting of lay, paraprofessionals, and professionals who utilize the TFH/K approach in their work and lives, so each year we try to lend support to these gatherings where lay and professional speakers present papers and give demonstrations of their latest ideas. I have presented at every one of these meetings.
Sheldon Deal D.C., has presented at all but the first two of the meetings of TFH/K. Sheldon has been a tremendous personal friend and invaluable friend to TFH/K, devoting untold time and economic resources to the support and enrichment of TFH/K over the years. Sheldon has served as chariman of the ICAK and is currently chairman of the international examining board of Applied Kinesiology. Sheldon's presentations have always been eagerly aticipated for their succinct delivery of the latest developments in the field of Applied Kinesiology that are of value and applicable in our personal lives and/or in our work as instructors, consultants, therapists, etc..
When I was President of the Touch for Health Foundation and head of the faculty, one of the requirements to remain a Touch for Health Instructor Trainer was to present a paper at the Annual Conference. If a person desired to become a TFH Instructor Trainer, they would present a paper so that all the international faculty, who must approve of them joining their ranks, could see them in action. It's my feeling that all idea are valuable and deserved respect, even if I don't agree with them. When calls for papers for these conferences went out , no paper was rejected outright. Some papers were commented upon and sent back for revision so that they could meet the standards of the conference. This allowed many people who later developed their own Kinesiology programs to introduce their ideas to a worldwide audience which attended the TFH conferences at the University of San Diego each summer.
Among those were Jimmy Scott, Ph.D., who began his career at the National Institutes of Health and later was on the faculty of the University of California Medical School in San Francisco. His interest was in the use of muscle testing to help people overcome allergies, environmental pollution and geopathology. He developed what is now a worldwide group of health workers using his method which he calls Health Kinesiology.
Richard Utt was given up as a goner by the Veterans Hospital, told to go home to die, and to have his wife call the hospital to arrange for his funeral. This so angered this young man that he sought out a naturopathic physician, Dr. Sheldon Deal, on the advice of a friend. Richard improved under Dr. Deal's care and became very curious about the muscle testing procedures and their basis in meridian therapy. Dr. Deal recommended that Richard become a Touch for Health Instructor , which he did. He then continued to study and presented his ideas at the TFH Annual Conferences. These ideas developed into another Specialized Kinesiology protocol called Applied Physiology. Many health professional utilize his methods exclusively or in conjunction with the biomedical treatments they had previously been trained to use. Touch for Health is a prerequisite to the Applied Physiology training programs.
Wayne Topping Ph.D. became a Touch for Health Instructor in the late 1970s and presented and continues to present his work at the TFH/K meeting. Wayne developed Wellness Kinesiology. Wayne has written 8 books on TFH/K and presents his materials all over the world and trains others to present his Wellness Kinesiology. Wayne also continues the training of people in Touch for Health and BioKinesiology which was developed by John Barton to help lay people help themselves.
A special note needs to be made about Rev. Jim Reid, the Baptist Chaplin of the Las Vegas Strip, who took up Touch for Health after leaving that position. Jim studied all the various Kinesiologiesand developed what he called Christian Kinesiology. Jim was the founding President of the International Association of Specialized Kinesiologists as well as a member of the TFHF board of trustees and taught classes in Touch for Health at the extension division of the University of Las Vegas.
Many different religious beliefs are held by the users of the TFH methods. The biggest criticism of TFH in the religious communities has come from those that seem to be least informed. A couple of books on the "New Age" by Christians have warned that TFH is "new age" and therefore dangerous or even "of the Devil". As Christians, Carrie and I were concerned about these criticisms because the authors of the books made no attempt to talk to us before making these comments in print. We went to see the Reverend Peter Wagner Ph.D., a member of our church and head of the WorldMissions Department of Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. When he and his wife Doris heard the story they laughed and Peter pulled out a book which said similar things about him. He said, "The Lord knows the truth and these people need prayer for their salvation." A number of years ago one of our Christian friends, William Borrman, D.C. of Wisconsin, wrote an apology for Applied Kinesiology. He argued that AK is of God, using bible references in both the Old an New Testaments which indicate the need for healing with touch. Although this did not change the minds of many who had already made up their minds without any real investigation, Carrie and I have presented Touch for Health at many Charismatic Christian programs with very positive reception. I currently head the Touch Healing Ministry of the Malibu United Methods Church, where I use the TFH methods in the context of healing ritual.
There have been a number of books written attempting to explain what is "Kinesiology/Touch for Health". One of the earliest was What is "Kinesiology"-An Introduction to the History, Development and Current Use of Muscle Testing by Gordon J Dickson,(1990) privately published in Australia. This book was sold primarily in Australia through the Austrailian Touch for Health Association. This book was written "to fill the gap … in presenting this information in a readily approachable form to the general public." A second book, published by Thorsons, an imprint of HarperCollins, called Thorsons Introductory Guide to Kinesiology Touch for Health by Maggie La Tourelle, with Anthea Courtenay in 1992. "This is an information book covering the wide scope of Kinesiology; it is not intended to be an instructional manual…" A Third book for the public trying to explain the TFH Kinesiology approach is by Ann Holdway called Health Essentials' KINESIOLOGY Muscle Testing and Energy Balancing for Health and Well-Being published by ELEMENT with offices in UK, US and Australia in 1995. This book is one of a group of books " …to help the newcomer by presenting high quality introductions to all the main complementary health subjects…" In 1997, Leila Parker published her Touch For Health Kinesiology, a Conceptual Overview , the objective of which is to, "introduce you to TFH, it's background, concepts, philosophy, and some of the basic procedures involved". There have been many other books written since the introduction of Touch for Health which have helped to let the general public know about the value of TFH Kinesiology and give information on where to find help and more information on its use in the home and professionally.
Dr. Philip Maffetone, an applied kinesiologist who studied TFH with me while attending chiropractic college has supported the TFH programs and written a number of books utilizing the same principle as advocated in Touch for Health Kinesiology among which are in Everyone is an Athlete,(1990) and, Training for Endurance-Guide for Triathletes, Runners & Cyclist, (1996). Phil has contributed to the TFH Conference programs by giving excellent presentations on how world class athletes are benefited by the principles advocated in the TFH protocols.
Yogi Bajian, of the "3HO", the healthy happy holy organization of Sikhs was an early patient of the Thie clinic and advocate of his students becoming TFH instructors and utilizing applied Kinesiology. They later integrated it into their entire program. Jas Wan Singh MD, a young American medical doctor from the 3HO group, learned TFH and then was among the first medical doctors to be part of the ICAK and along along with John Diamond MD. Both of these doctors were part of the ICAK committee to develop ideas on how to integrate Applied Kinesiology with other medical practices.
There's really no end to the list of people, institutions, concepts and programs that have had their start, or important inspiration in the basic foundations of TFH. And the subsequent development and dissemination that the TFHS has enjoyed through the participation of so many people is without measure. Please forgive me for not mentioning everyone who has helped in this endeavor. I plan to have a comprehensive update of the TFHS tree diagram to include in my forthcoming book, Remembering Wellness, so be sure to share with me all of the latest information! Thanks to all of you and those of you to come who will join in the Touch For Health Synthesis vision of making the world a better place through touching for health.
I would like to mentionsome of the former members of the Board of Trustees of the Touch for Health Foundation who served as volunteers over the years and gave invaluable advice, spoke at our meetings and personally advised Carrie and I. Special thanks for that sage advice and devotion go to George Goodheart, D.C., Fred Stoner, D.C., General Dwane Fawe, retired, United States Marine Corp and professor of Law at Pepperdine University, Lennard Duhl MD, psychiatrist and professor Public Health and Urban Planning of the University of California at Berkeley, Sheldon Deal, D.C.,N.D. past chairman of the ICAK and President of the International Examining Board of Applied Kinesiology, Lindy DeWit, Ph.D., executive of the Girls Club of the San Gabriel Valley for many years, Richard Beryn Ph.D. Communication Professor of the University of Southern California and Keynote speaker for IBM, who presented some of the most inspirational programs at the Touch for health Annual meetings, Coby Schaatfoorth of Holland, a pioneer in the holistic nursing profession who helped bring Touch for Health to Isreal as well as her native Holland, Gordon Stokes, Warren Jacobs, M.D. and Bruce Dewe, M.D. who has pioneered the professional practice development of TFH Kinesiology Approach world wide with his Professional Kinesiology Practitioner training.
THE CURRENT PERIOD OF TRANSITION FOR TFH/K
Issues Of Politics, Economics & Efficacy in Kinesiology
Political issues in the field of Kinesiology need to be understood in terms of the most judicious use of power. Who has the right to use, teach, write about, publish, develop, change, and practice the methods of Kinesiology? Who should be allowed to charge a fee for these services, or be compensated by governments or insurance companies? Who has the power to certify or license instructors or practitioners of Kinesiology? Who can regulate, limit, enforce, censure or punish those who are working in the field of Kinesiology?
Will we work together for international recognition of Kinesiology as a distinct profession, or let the practice be individually licenced in some countries and considered part of the domain of existing professions (such as medicine, massage, or chiropractic) in other countries? Will we all remain vigilant to ensure that at least the basic level of Touch For Health Instructor may be attained by any layperson without prior academic training, or will there be an ever higher academic requirement for people to touch each other for health? These are questions which are playing themselves out every day. Will they be answered through agreement and consensus, or by the chance results of our disparate efforts?
We need to be realistic about thePowers that be, government institutions and international, national, and local law, as well as organized professional institutions and business associations. We have seen that in the U.S., the American Medical Association has managed to establish their dogma of Medicine/Science as almost a state religion with the AMA as the high priesthood. We have experienced decades of witch hunts, where "Quack busters" have used their self-referential standards to judge alternative healing models and essentially persecute many healing practices nearly out of existence. However, it is the very magnitude of that success, and the subsequent failing of modern medicine to adequatly address the health needs of the people that has resulted in our current resurgence of alternative world views and healing practices, which are now being honestly examined and integrated with the best of allopathic medicine.
We need to be aware of varied laws, and cultural customs by country and by location that constitute real limits in the way that we may teach or practice Kinesiology . We must identify the instances where it is appropriat to work within existing systems (such as combining TFH with other healing methods under another professional licence, massage, DC, MD, etc.). We must also explore our options for working outside the limits of regulatory systems, such as the TFH Instructor model which bipasses the professional licensing issue with a lay, grassroots teaching approach. We need to determine to what extent we can regulate ourselves, and promote open discussion of techniques, ideas, and objectives with a maximum degree of inclusivity, and a minimum of recrimination.
We need to be a united politically in the area of regulation. Our internal politics must be kept internal. Our joining together for external political cooperation is essential to ensure the greatest public benefit from our safe, economical , health enhancing programs. The chiropractic profession did not make any major governmental gains until they could put make a united appeal to the government. They had to decide among themselves first what they wanted from the political bodies and come to them unified. This is what TFH/K must do if we seek recognition from any government institution.
The original model for the TFH program was as a lay, self-care, grassroots approach. The system is so safe and so simple that no training and certification need be required before anyone can safely use it in their daily lives. With the development of professional TFH instructors, consultants, and Professional Kinesiology Practitioners, do we need to establish a new set of regulations and standards? Can we all agree on general standards of care, reasonable and necessary fees for services, professional ethics and rules of conduct? Will we keep our training requirements to the MINIMUM needed so that these safe techniques can be spread as widely and quickly as possible, or will we join so many other health professions in a never ending increase in the number of hours and years of study required to practice TFH? How will we regulate ourselves, deal with complaints against individual practitioners, and how will we respond to the efforts of outside agencies to define the limits and procedures of Kinesiology practice, whether they be insurance companies, governmental legislators, third party vendors or agents, or consumers/ consumer groups?
I believe that right now, and moreso in the future, we have more in common ideas and goals than we do differences. Will we always have complete agreement? No. Will there be times when we have diametrically opposing views, or feel that other members of the TFH/Kinesiology community are, in fact, doing the wrong thing or behaving unethically? Sure. None of us are perfect and we will all make mistakes. And we are all unique and cannot agree on everything. But we need to maintain our sense of common purpose , or professional regard, in an effort to promote a MAXIMUM of possibly correct variations of TFH/K that will benefit people and a minimum of controlling, narrowing, fossilizing rules and dogma. Of course, we want professional standards, but we need to focus most of our energy on what we agree with and support and want to promote, and a minumum of time attempting to control, censure or punish. That which is truly not of any benefit will die out on its own. A house divide d against itself cannot stand. Let us nurture what is good in each other, an let what's not good expire through lack of attention.
Is goal in critisizing one another to nurture or punish? The goals are conflicting. Within the Judeo Christian tradition, the answer is easy, "Vengeance is mine sayeth the lord", "Judge not lest ye be judged." And "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Yes, there are times when we must unequivocally state to others that we believe what they are doing is wrong, but we must always do so with their ultimate benefit in mind, knowing also that we are not God, and we may not know what is the best path for another person.
We need to be able to distinguish between people who we respect and ideas or practices which we criticize. Whenever we can have discussion about competing ideas, to enrich and increase our understanding of each other, rather than argument to decide who is right or wrong, we are remembering wellness. We really can't control the behavior of others, so let's agree where we can, agree to disagree where we can, and where we cannot merely disagree, to focus our condemnation on harmful behavior, not on human beings, letting each approach the common goal in his or her own way, so long as we are helping people and not harming them.
Like members of a family, we will undoubtedly have conflicts, and we needn't shrink from some collision of ideas and purposes, so long as we recognize our common bond and common purpose like siblings who grow up together and tussle like young tigers, but still maintain their love and value of each other, and fiercely protect members of the family from any outside attack. We must recognize that we will find that there are times when we have competing or contradictory ideas and practices, or we have competing economic issues. We need to maintain mutual regard, multiplicity of possibly valuable views and techniques, EVEN SEEMINGLY DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSITE OR CONTRADICTORY concepts and approaches to helping people. This is a testimony to the multiple ways in which the whole Soul (the whole person, physical, mentally, emotionally & spiritually) may function, and not a question of the right way and the wrong way. We need to realize that whenever we percieve our fellow Kinesiologists as market competitors, and seek to degrade their validity on the basis of their particular technique, their hours or years of training/experience, or their level of competence, we shoot ourselves in the foot, as we degrade the validity of the whole field. If we instead take the approach of cooperation for a common goal, cheering each other on to ever more effective means of sharing our knowledge and facilitating healing and health, then we will find we are all better off. This is remembering wellness in the political arena.
The Simple, extremely safe, and powerful techniques of TFH were originally presented for all people because I felt that these techniques did NOT require a great deal of training to be used both safely and effectively. I still maintain that it's quite possible to learn to use the TFH energy balancing methods simply by reading the book and practicing with family and friends. Some of my colleagues in chiropractic felt that these techniques should be kept within the realm of clinical chiropractic, used only by DC's and paraprofessionals under their supervision. In the 30 years since I have made these techniques available to lay people, I think it has been proven a million times that they are safe and beneficial with minimal training. Although many professionals will undoubtedly want to continue their studies into the thousands of hours and years of study, I hope that we will not be attempting keep these techniques from those who want to use them after only 60 or 80 hours of simple training. There will always be enough sick people for everyone who wants to help heal them. And if we run out of sick people, there will always be a need for energy balancing for increased health and vitality, enhanced personal bests and more frequent peak performances.
The economic issues include the ability for individuals and institutions to remain solvent while they disseminate this information. One of the approaches to this issue has been the trend of professional fee-for-service practices of kinesiologists. As we develop the most viable and ethical ways to develop Professional Kinesiology Practitioners, I think we need to develop in parallel the original teaching model of TFH which allows individuals to remain solvent while teaching others to do their own self-care. Another economic issue is one of access. We want everyone to have an opportunity to learn these techniques, regardless of their economic circumstances. This will require outreach, scholarships, internships and so forth. We have almost no scholarship funds. Almost every Kinesiology teaching institution is nearly 100% tuition driven. As we grow and become more established as lasting and valuable educational institutions, we need to envision receiving endowments from both public and private sources to fund research and ever greater access to Kinesiology for all people (and all creatures).
Now is the time to envision what we want TFH Kinseiology to look like 25 years from now at the Golden Anniversary of the publication of the TFH book. How are the people "in the field" that are earning their living and supporting families and putting children through college, and saving money for retirement going to be able to practice Kinesiology and pay the bills? Will Kinesiology be integrated into established medical systems, recognized by insurance and Managed Care organizations,and government programs. Will access to Kinesiology be eventually considered an integral aspect of universal health care? Can we offer these techniques to be used within the bio-medical model and the state/insurance power structure without losing our authority to define the TFH healing model, and to decide on our right to teach and practice TFH/kinesiology?
If you are more interested in the Efficacy (the extent to which a given process contributes to the richness of your experience of wholeness and wellness) than in the Mechanism (the "scientifically provable" explanation of the "cause" and "cure" of "disease") then the Remembering Wellness approach to the TFH Synthesis will appeal to you. You may find a deeper understanding of yourself as a unique Soul and a richer appreciation and experience of wellness and meaning in your lived life using this simple method of tapping into the Soul's natural and mysterious recuperative powers. If these techniques must first fit into your preconceived sense of the possible from a western scientific worldview , then you may be disturbed by the mystery accepted in process of Remembering Wellness with Touch For health.
I once met a man on a plane who asked me what I did for a living. I told him that I was traveling and promoting TFH. When he asked me ," What's Touch For Health?" I demonstrated a simple muscle test of his opposing grip of the thumb and little fingers. Although he had just experienced a change in the relative strength of grip , he said, " It doesn't matter what I feel. What you do can have no effect". I believe he meant that since there was no "scientifically valid" explanation for how his muscle got stronger, he was not willing to recognize that it had gotten stronger. This is a classic case of orthodoxy enslaving our experience within predefined limits. If the limits of your health and wellness are already predefined, I encourage you to cast off your shackles and open your Soul to the possibility of miracles. Just as the mind has an amazing ability to affect healing, it also has an amazing ability to limit our experience. This is great when we are struggling to survive and we need to limit our perceptions to avoid being overwhelmed. The vast potential of human experience is too great to take in all at once, but let's leave our definitions of the possible open ended enough to allow our experience of life to become deeper and richer.
One model of science states that "real" science involves testing theories by repeated and independent experiments. This model is spoken of as robust at certain statistical levels, and less robust when there is more "room for chance". This model is very good for certain concrete material objects which our modern technology allows us to build. But when it comes to human beings, there are too many significant variables that cannot be controlled in isolated experiments. We cannot and do not seek to prove that any single aspect of our intervention has any singular effect. We seek to have a highly integrated, and individual, subjective PROCESS, which can be shown to consistently yield positive results while simultaneously having negligable risk of harm.
When we remember wellness with TFH, we recognize that what the person feels (emotion) , believes (faith) or thinks (cognition) at the time of the muscle testing makes a difference in the outcome of the testing. None of these factors can be controlled in the (blind, double blind, or triple blind) Random Clinical Trial, the so-called gold standard of "scientific" evidence of efficacy . We must adopt research on the outcomes of what we do. We need to concentrate on what happens in real life situations, rather than trying to control for a single discrete mechanism that is proposed to explain the results of the Kinesiology interventions. We cannot allow ourselves to be pressured into explaining Kinesiology from a solely materialistic point of view.
Human beings are spiritual beings and their holistic changes in the whole Soul will always remain at least partly a mystery within the limits of materialist measurements. We, as humans and as Kinesiologists, can profit from a consideration of the holy nature of life, when we see each life as a sign, an icon, an image of some aspect of the divine. This spiritual approach to Kinesiology will deepen our sense of community with other Kinesiologists, reinforce our sense of mission in sharing the value of all Kinesiologies and highlight the sacred nature in each person we touch for health. We can move beyond the utilitarian and functional results of Kinesiology and integrate a theological/spiritual approach to each Soul, we work with. We need tbe aware that there is a spiritual aspect, a dynamic journey, a relation to God, the ultimate reality, in everything we do. When we respect and draw upon our mystical and spiritual qualities we can have efficacy with the people whom we touchthat is beyond understanding.
Remembering Wellness with Touch for Health
Excerpted from the forthcoming book Remembering Wellness
Who is your primary Care provider? You are your primary care provider. You are the one most qualified to assess your own experience of lived life and health. You are the one most qualified to appreciate the meaning of your experience as a unique Soul, created with your own individual purpose within the Telos of the universe. To care for your whole self, your whole Soul, you need to take some time each day to assess your own experience, whether you are living your own life, the life that you were made to live and the life that will fulfill your unique Soul. You need to Remember what Wellness is for you in the context of your own unique lived life. You can then make the shifts in your energies, the changes in your postures, attitudes, choices and actions which will allow balance among the Physical, chemical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of your whole Soul. You can come into harmony with your history, your context and your purpose. This may mean simply inhabiting your own space, being present in the moment of your own Soul, or it may mean embarking on a journey of self discovery which may include responsibly requesting assistance, council or therapy from others, whether your friends, your family or a professional health practitioner or other "expert".
Touch For Health is the name of the manual which I wrote in 1972 introducing a System of concepts, methods and techniques integrated within a holistic world view, which lend themselves to creative participation of individual souls in a process of whole person assessment, stimulation and balancing of subtle energies to increase harmony for the fulfillment of each individual's unique purpose. Touch For Health in practice is an ongoing process of remembering to be well, remembering what it is like to be well, and imagining what wellness can be. Now that I have retired after 35 years of chiropractic practice, I am able to devote the time to write Remembering Wellness the follow-up to Touch For Health which so many people have requested over the years. Remembering Wellness expands upon and contextualizes the concepts and techniques of Touch For Health.
We all have moments when we find that we do not have the energy to do the things that we want to do, or else we cannot control our energy in an appropriate or effective way. Sometimes, if we stop for a moment to remember what we already know about our own Soul, we can recognize our own mistakes or unreasonable expectations and make a change. But so often we get out of touch with our selves- our own body/mind/spirit becomes a mystery to us. We forget our own Wellness. Perhaps we are able to benefit from the attention of a professional specialist who treats some named malady, but find that relief of individual symptoms still leaves us wondering, "What is going on with me?"
Two people can work together, using a system of safe, simple techniques to assess, stimulate and balance the energy systems of one another's soul --the whole person-- with a high degree of consciousness and integration of all of its aspects. Touch For Health offers many excellent ways to assist ourselves, our family, friends, and our clients to Remember Wellness and to reclaim our own consciousness of and role in our own health.
Remembering Wellness with Touch For Health (TFH) has its origins in the insights of Chiropractic, Osteopathic, and Kinesiological studies. Taking the understanding of posture and the concepts of innate, distributed intelligence which functions in the whole person in a massive parallel process, we then integrate the subtle energy assessment techniques of the Eastern meridian models, incorporating western bio-feedback methods of manual muscle testing, or Kinesiology. In this way we are empowered with a truly holistic concept of health coupled with simple yet highly effective methods of enhancing our experience of our individual health and wholeness. The Touch for Health system as it has developed over the past 30 years is now seen as a major modality in many of the body work systems.
Remembering Wellness through the TFH approach involves an alternative paradigm of health and wholeness. In the twenty five years since I first began to widely share the holistic world view its' understanding and influence in the West has greatly expanded. However, much of the public and scientific/medical community remains locked in a narrow, exclusive, materialistic perception of health. The shift in attitude which comes with the understanding of the TFH paradigm contributes greatly to the potential for healing change for individuals working with their friends and families and those in the healing professions ministering to their clients. Remembering Wellness is the ongoing process of grasping this paradigm and unleashing its power within our lived lives.
The vast explosion of scientific and medical information which has been and continues to be generated makes it impossible for any one practitioner to know everything that is known about the body's functions even within the limited parameters of biostatistical normalcy. Medical specialists have highly developed knowledge of specific aspects of the human body and often, especially in cases of extreme disease and acute trauma are able to achieve results that were never before possible. There are very few of us who, in case of some extreme medical emergency, would not want access to the full arsenal of surgical procedures and pharmaceutical therapies of modern medicine. Yet once our knife wounds are sewn shut or the symptoms of our named diseases are treated, once we are cured, many specialists find they have neither the time nor the training to help restore our experience of health in our lived lives.
The responsibility for assessing our own health or illness and seeking out the assistance that we feel we need falls back to our own self. Therefore, the authority must also remain with the person, the Soul experiencing pain or suffering. The Soul which is having interference with health and inhibition in reaching the goals of a life, with at least some happiness and sense of well-being must remember his or her own wellness, and assert his or her own definition of wellness. With this restoration of authority to the person suffering or malfunctioning comes the responsibility to know one's self as a Soul, a whole person. We must recognize that we are important to the world for just being who we are and fulfilling our reason for being here on earth.
Touch for Health was designed to be a methodology that is complementary to other methods as it does not claim to help any and every human situation all by itself. Although TfH may alleviate much discomfort, you, your family, friends or your client might also benefit from prescription drugs, surgery, herbs and other pain or discomfort relieving products , vitamins, minerals, psychological counseling, massage and body-work in conjunction with TFH.
Remembering Wellness with Touch for Health is used first as an enhancement to our wellness and as a supplementary, complementary or integrated element of other therapies. However, TFH has also been found to be of great benefit for those who are not sick by any medical definition, yet have specific symptoms, have been to a professional and have been told that there doesn't seem to be any organic cause for their suffering. The professional recognizes a genuine complaint, but is unable to pinpoint a specific cause. Those who have been told that they simply need to learn to live with the limitations, or pain of age/physical condition and reduce certain activities, may want to remember and focus on wellness. Those who take pain or tranquilizing drugs, sleeping pills, or receive methods of massage or physical therapy that provide only temporary relief of ongoing symptoms, or have been told, "You will need to take medication for the rest of your life", may find that a process of remembering wellness through practice of the TFHS will produce dramatic results in their experience of living life.
To gain a maximum benefit from Remembering Wellness it is helpful to examine the assumptions of dominant orthodox world views and compare them with our own beliefs. We may intellectually accept alternative perspectives, yet still act in our lived lives as if these truths are not really valid. We as part of the Western Cultures and Societies are suffering from oppression by the dominant belief system which we often accept to a greater extent than we imagine. This paradigm has already shifted, but so much of our daily experience and so much of our language remains limited by the dominant paradigm, it is difficult to "talk the talk" much less "walk the walk." Remembering Wellness involves re-inventing for ourselves our concepts of health, touch, pain, imbalance, illness, the meaning of Soul and purpose in our lives. We need to examine our idea of "therapist" and "patient".
Most everyone accepts on some level the idea that each of us is a unique Soul. But so often we find it hard to see the relevance of this fact in our lived lives. Our individuality seems to get deposited in separate compartment of our lives labeled "psychology" which has, at best, secondary importance in our experiences and activities. Our Soul is placed in yet another compartment with other abstract "religious" ideas that may have some bearing in some theoretical afterlife. In the here and now we are constantly confronted with the assumption that, for all practical purposes, we are all alike.
How often we assume that if a treatment works for one person, it will work for others without consideration of the uniqueness of the individual and the other factors of their particular life. Everyday we hear people say things like, "chicken soup is good for a cold" or, "aspirin is good for headaches." It is really a very comforting concept in our fast-food, quick-fix culture. The idea is that for each named disease, as identified by particular symptoms, there is one cause and one cure. It is very convenient to simply take a pill, be "cured", and get on with more important things. This allows the doctor to see a maximum number of people, and the patient to go through the least amount of bother describing the minutiae of their life to the busy doctor. Once the basic symptoms are described, a specific drug can be prescribed.
But why, then, do we hear so many complaints that doctors don't listen to their patients? The doctor is in a hurry. Tests and Machines and Laboratory Procedures yield the truly relevant information. Your opinion as to the significance of your illness, what it means and how it is effecting your lived life is perhaps something to take up with your therapist, who is paid to listen to how you feel, and not your doctor whose high tech machines and lab tests will tell him all he needs to know. And how many patients would be satisfied leaving a doctor's office without so much as a pill? Perhaps we are happy if we get a "clean bill of health". Our Cholesterol is normal, our fat content as a percentage of body weight is not too bad, our heart continues to beat, our CAT scan shows no ominous abnormalities. But are we any healthier? Do we have a rich sense of our own wellness, or are we simply "not sick"?
Health is not merely the absence of signs and symptoms. Wellness is not defined by the biostatistical parameters of "normalcy". Health is an experience of well-being, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially, as a Soul (a whole person including the physical person, the mind, the passions, the emotions, and the volition) in a lived life. When we experience health, we fulfill the role of the healthy person. We work towards the realization of goals and a sense of fulfilling our mission in life with some happiness.
Our doctor may only want to discuss the objective condition of our physical body, our psychologist addresses our psychological issues, our priest the condition of our soul. And with each subdivision of the whole Soul, we are constantly confronted by the notion that we are divisible into parts that can be treated individually. A hip specialist will treat the hips only, pain in the knee requires a knee specialist. It is left to the individual to re-integrate the council of these professionals into a vision of ourselves as whole Souls
The assumption in specialization that one part can be treated separately from the rest of the person is partially true. Western emergency medicine is truly miraculous in it's ability to preserve life in cases of catastrophic injury. But in the focus on individual parts, many medics have lost site of the whole human beings they mean to help. Consciencious doctors will do their utmost to help their patients make an informed decision which takes into consideration all the alternatives to drugs,surgery or therapy as well as the clearest possible picture of the meaning of any ailment and any possible remedy within their patients' lived lives. But in practice we find that many circumstances,philosophical, political, economic, academic and personal, combine to deprive us from really making a decision that takes into consideration the whole Soul.
Remembering Wellness from the TFH perspective involves assessing and addressing a maximum of factors and dimensions that make up the whole truth of our experience. The whole truth relates to the complete person. The mind, emotions, spirit, body, volition, intentions, etc. are all aspects of a Soul, created uniquely to have a specific purpose in a lived life. The entire Soul is effected any time anything is changed. Any event that occurs impacts our whole being--physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual. Any event changes physical structure as well as emotions, energies and thoughts. Perhaps we are not aware or conscious of an event which has effected us, yet there may be some effect on the way in which we are conscious.
We believe that there is more to life than just the material world that can be measured with the five senses. This world view does not deny that the observation of things with the five senses is important. However, there is more to it than that. The TFHS incorporates safe and simple methods of assessing and addressing emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of the whole person as well as the sensory, physical, structural, postural and chemical.
We can illustrate our holistic model of health by imagining a four-sided pyramid. Each side represents an aspect that is equally important to the integrity of the whole: structure, chemistry, the mind (conscious and unconscious) , and emotion. The base of this pyramid, upon which all else is founded, is spiritual TRUTH and LOVE. The pyramid is located within a context and environment that has significant past, present and future dimensions.
In the course of human history the separation of truth and love, one pursued in the scientific community and the other in the religious community, has made for both unloving aspects of our sciences and untruthful aspects of our religions. Each day we make choices that either make us more fully what we have been created to be or bend our being to some other image of what we or others want us to be. It is helpful to consider how this is so in terms of each different aspect of the pyramid of health, but it is important not to lose sight of the interconnectedness of each aspect. What effects one aspect of the whole Soul effects all of the other aspects, chemical , emotional, structural, mental and spiritual. In order to truly understand how we all function we must see that we are each created with a unique intelligent design and purpose for our lives and what our lives represent. Therefore, if there is a plan and a purpose, there must be a Planner. There must be a God.
When I say the word God, what image do you have? Stop a moment and think about what feelings you have when you hear the word God? What to do you feel about the feelings you have right now? Does contemplating God change your posture, your attitude, your stance? What do you believe in as the ultimate reality? We all believe in something, even the atheist believes that there is no God.
The TFHS is based on the Intelligent Design theory. W e are designed by God and the way we function can be seen as part of a grand design. We do not invent anything in healing, we only discover how the grand design works. We believe that there are reflexes on the surface of the body that will effect the internal functioning of the person by touching these reflexes. We believe that the muscles relate to these reflexes as indicators of the functioning of the internal processes. There is a natural recuperative power designed into the whole person, culture and community. The human being and the world we live in also are intelligently designed.
Remembering Wellness with Touch For Health involves asking ourselves the big questions. Is there a power outside yourself that is greater than yourself? What is the image of the "Ultimate Reality" in your belief system? If you do believe that there is something greater than yourself, do you believe that you can draw on this power to have more abundance of wholeness in life?
In the energetic healing model, it is assumed that the human being draws on energies beyond those derived from the chemistry of ingested food. What that energy is called will depend on your belief system. In the Touch for Health(TFH) I say that we are working with that power in a cooperative manner to allow the natural healing system that is designed into us to function effectively with the TFH interventions which help to balance us as Souls, meaning everything about us. My belief is that we all have this power/energy working and it is the balancing of this energy that allows us to have it work most effectively through us as a whole Soul. We may choose to say there is a power or energy that is beyond our conscious control, and even beyond the limits of our individual being and understanding. And there is clearly a pattern and structure to the way this energy functions in our lives. But it is another step to say that there is an actual Personality and a Plan and Intention directing this energy, that there is God, and a Divine Telos of the universe.
It's my firm belief that God does have a plan, and that each of us has been created by God with a specific purpose. It's also my firm belief that whether you agree or not, it's of great personal value to contemplate that mystery. Deep down, we all have beliefs about the purposefulness of all creation(Telos) and our individual purpose within it. Most often our beliefs are implicit in our perception of reality andwe are not consciously aware of our own assumptions. Belief in or about God can be an ongoing process of discovery, or a lingering doubt, a nagging question, a denied , or neglected dimension of our lives. Neither accepting nor rejecting God frees us from the lifelong task of living in harmony with our highest values, our deepest beliefs, and putting our energy into what, in the end, really matters to us. If we hang your goals on our highest truths, life tends to have more MEANING, if not structure and endless bliss.
Whether we see the world as inherently benevolent, loving, and the Life principle as Love or we see the universe as inherently indifferent and without Personality or intention is a profound and crucial factor in our Wellness. Even if the Universe IS indifferent, we still are left with the challenge and responsibility of finding meaning and purpose and GOODNESS in our lives. It may be that ultimately nothing means anything, but to US, our lives are still potentially very meaningful.
My belief is that God is everywhere and infinite. God is always involved, the question is coming into balance with that involvement. It's always partly a dance or SEEMING contradiction because of the limits of perception. The fullness of living cannot be analyzed, dissected, and coldly understood. Analysis can be a helpful process, but by it's very reductionist m nature, it is incomplete as an experience of wholeness of being. Religions are paths to a special kind of epiphany in which our consciousness transcends the limits of perception. Remembering wellness with TFH is an approach which seeks to integrate this epiphany and consecrated moment with our everyday walk. Life becomes a serious of small and large epiphanies, of mindfulness of Wellness.
There will always be a question and discussion about whether all paths lead to the top of the mountain, or if there is One True Religion. Do some religions merely meander in the foothills while others lead to true transcendence? It's very beneficial to consider the possibility that, although our own beliefs may be the best for us, they might not be the best for everyone. We cannot insist on our own dogma for everyone. There isn't only one right answer , whether religious, scientific, or professional. No answer will ever be perfect or even for ourselves. We need to remain open to the flowing, shifting, changing circumstances , while maintianing our equilibrium for our individual and group purposes.
Science, in many of its manifestations today, has become a religion. It is not science, it is Scientism. The more dogmatic, ossified and politically correct that "valid" science becomes, the more religious science becomes. Many organized religions have similarly become codified and no longer examine their beliefs and seek the truth, but rather claim to know the ONE TRUTH. Spirituality is a scientific process in that it is a search for truth. Science is spiritual in that it seeks a full understanding of creation, life, existence. But the tools of science have been reduced to so-called "objective" measurements, and left out what most people find most real and most meaningful in their lives: their own personal, subjective, individual, emotional, mental, spiritual reality.
There is an almost overwhelming prejudice that orthodox medical procedures are highly scientific and that orthodox medicine is really the only scientific health care. Yet 85% of all medical and surgical treatment has not met the current scientific criteria for being proven effective. The FDA program to encourage doctors to report adverse effects caused by drugs and devices generated more than 4,000 serious reports in its first eight months of operation. (FDA Medical Bulletin, May 1994) They define "serious" as any one of the following: death, hospitalization, disability, a life-threatening condition, a congenital anomaly or intervention to prevent permanent damage. Sixty-five percent of the total number of reports were reactions to drugs. (Want to encourage your doctor to report? Call 800-FDA-1088 to get reporting forms and other information. Its called MEDWATCH. It is very important to gather this data.)
Historically, all religions began as science, the best, most thoroughly thought out and tested truths known. When religion becomes codified in narrow and literal interpretations of spiritual truths, it ceases to be scientific. In the same way, when science becomes a religion, a scientism, with a set of assumptions that are assumed to be the best and only representation of reality, it ceases to be scientific or true. Both science and religion are Processes for seeking truth. Likewise, Remembering Wellness with TFH is a process of seeking the personal truths that will allow us to experience health and wholeness. We must remain open to the many possible forms and aspects of truth in our lives to remain balanced. When we have a dogma that all must follow or be damned as unscientific, sinners, quacks, infidels, we can quickly find ourselves in ever narrowing circles of existence.
Touch in the context of "Touch for Health" is coming in with mutual regard in the spirit of Martin Buber's "I" and "Thou" communing. This is the idea that we simultaneously have high regard both the self and the other person. Touching for health is a specific, caring, considerate, conscious, consenting manner of coming in contact for the purpose of improving health and maintaining wellness, as contrasted with coming in contact for erotic sex or punishment.
Physical touch is the only one of the five senses that is usually thought to be a dual mechanism in the sense that in order to physically touch someone they must also touch you. New understanding in science recognizes that we may be touched by others on multiple energy levels. We have always recognized the multiplicity of the levels of touching and being touched. It can be physical, emotional, spiritual and social and usually is a combination of all of these elements. Of course it's even more powerful when we approach others with compassion and love and prayer, for the purpose of making their lives better.
In contrast to the Rmembering Wellness approach which seeks a maximized personal sense of wellness and meaning, the dominant focus of medicine is on the pathological. In the allopathic, or disease-centered, tradition of health care, we find there is an almost exclusive focus on "what's wrong". Symptoms of pain and discomfort are interpreted to "mean" that there is a certain named disease present and all subsequent efforts are aimed at curing or getting rid of the condition. The eradication of symptoms such as pain is seen as an end in itself.
No one wants to be consumed by suffering, this is not wellness. We may need some immediate remedy for a particular pain even to begin to assess the status of our Soul, but if we blot out the pain entirely, what else are we blotting out? Pain-killing drugs tend to suppress more than pain. If , by virtue of a pain relieving therapy, we are reduced to a drug-induced stupor, we may not be "ill", but we are clearly not experiencing much "wellness". If we can remove pain and "go about our business" we may be tempted to call this wellness, but perhaps we have only achieved a shallower range of experience which allows us to function in spite of whatever wounds to the Soul go unheeded .
Pain-killing medications are not "bad", nor are pain-killers the only method of treating pain that can be used out of the context of the whole Soul. The pain pill is just one form of therapy that may take away pain but also take away sensation, feeling, and meaning at the same time. We may avail ourselves of any number of therapies that will allow us a pain free and simultaneously meaningless existence.
Pain in the TFH model is seen as a disturbance in the energy of the Soul and, as such, affects the whole Soul, not just the nociocepters (pain nerves) and the pain centers in the brain. Pain-killers and other pain relief techniques may indeed facilitate our ability to address the Soul holistically, but our approach to pain, like our approach to life, begins with the consideration of the unique form and purpose of the individual, whole Soul.
However, this is not to say that Remembering Wellness is always focusing on and digging out the painful areas of our Soul. To always be dwelling on pain is not to be experiencing health and wholeness. In the life cycle of the Soul we strive to be in a role of being healthy as much of the time as possible, but it is also part of life that we experience downfall, injury, illness, impairment, and dying. It is important to recognize our current health context and operate within a role that is appropriate.
Yes, we assess and address our pain and grief, our hindrances and blockages, imbalances and weaknesses. We don't want to repress our experiences and their meanings. We don't want to deny the reality of our Soul and our situation. But we look at these issues of the Soul from the perspective of Remembering Wellness. First we focus our attention on the experience of wholeness that we know is our potential. Then we consider what blockages in the flow of energy are keeping us from our full potential. The muscle-testing biofeedback techniques of Touch For Health allow us to make an assessment of the balance of energy within the whole Soul as reflected in the state of the physical body. Remembering Wellness is an ongoing process of expanding our vocabulary to describe the full range of possibility of our own unique experience of life. This means learning, imagining and inventing not only many new words to express our goals, aspirations, dreams, desires, joy, happiness and ecstasy, but also a rich vocabulary to give voice, meaning, and fullness to our pain, suffering, defeat, failure and despair. Remembering pain is part of remembering wellness where it is part of the process of allowing our life energy to flow and take us through the full range of our emotions, our thoughts, our actions and movements, our chemistry, our spiritual journey.
LEARNING TO REMEMBER WELLNESS
The strength of the TFHS is that it is a safe and simple process, a "daily hygiene" approach to holistic health that can be done as easily and as efficiently as brushing our teeth and bathing on a daily basis. Just as it's inefficient, dangerous and costly to wait until some major pain occurs in our teeth to pay any attention to them, we don't want to wait for some major illness to remember wellness.
How do we balance our energy toward the fulfillment of our unique Soul? What is the most important aspect of an energy balancing? I have found in my years of Chiropractic service, just as thousands of healers throughout the ages have learned through experience, that it is probably more important to allow a person who is suffering to express their pain and it's meaning than to perform any given therapy. If I had to choose whether to only listen to the complaint and perform no therapy or perform only my chiropractic therapy and listen to no complaint, I would almost always choose to listen. This is a safe bet because I know that the Soul heals itself and I can only facilitate it. It's a well known statistic that, under basically ideal conditions, 80% of patients will get better regardless of the therapy involved. By listening, I do no harm and may really help a portion of the remaining 20%, but if I perform a one-size-fits all sort of mechanical procedure, without regard for who I am touching, I may do some harm to the unique Souls who I touch. By inhibiting their expression of their own individual personality, and their own experience, I am disregarding and threatening their very existence!
So the first thing we do to facilitate remembering wellness is to listen to the Soul with whom we are working, hear what seems to be the problem at this particular moment in time, and establish a clear image of what the person wants to have happen. In the TFHS this process is called Goal Setting, and again, if this were the only part of the process I were allowed to do, I'd feel like I was doing the best thing. Since human Souls are dynamic, and their balance of energy is always shifting, and no one is more truly qualified to know what is right for themselves in any given moment than their own selves I would probably be better off doing nothing than guessing what was right, in that particular moment, for that particular person, without engaging the Soul in the process. We manage the infinite aspects of the whole Soul by attempting to address the Soul's need at the moment and in the context that we come into contact. Knowing that each thing we do affects all other things, if we establish a goal that is appropriate for the Soul at this moment we will most efficiently address the whole Soul.
For each unique person and each unique balancing we choose a unique goal. This process is described in the TFH Manual, but I have found it so powerful that I devote an entire chapter to Goal Setting in the forthcoming book, Remembering Wellness, and discuss in detail the goal setting protocol that I am currently using. Once we have chosen a goal, we then use a variety of metaphors to bring "on-line" a maximum variety of aspects of our whole Soul in order to stimulate the parallel processing of the Soul's own natural and mysterious, even miraculous healing process.
With the Goal set and the Soul engaged in a meaning rich exploration of purpose, we can then begin whatever Kinesiological or other other healing modality that we prefer for balancing our energy. Yet, we have already taken powerfully therapeutic steps. Whether you substitute your own quiet contemplation for all of the Kinesiology and acupressure of TFH, or think of some other therapeutic modality in place of those letters, I believe that the process of Remembering Wellness can have a profound meaning in your lived life. In Touch For Health we follow Goal Setting with the western bio-feedback technique of manual muscle testing or Kinesiology to make energy assessments within the Eastern energy models. These assessments would otherwise take years of training in sensitivity to the flow of energy throughout the systems of the soul.
It becomes easier to see how everything in the universe effects everything else when we begin to see how we are effected on so many levels by so many aspects of our experience. Every time we touch someone, physically, emotionally, intellectually or spiritually, the effect is exponentially expanded by the subsequent contacts of the people we touch. The interconnectedness of all people is an easy mathematical fact to prove. The meaning of the phrase," If you want to save the world, start by saving yourself" becomes more clear as we remember wellness in terms of fulfilling the purpose for which God has spoken us forth to be.
You may be able to remember your own wellness and fulfillment of your Soul in private meditation or prayer, but you may very well find that the processes of Remembering Wellness with Touch For Health are highly beneficial additions to this practice, as well as alternative, supplementary, and complementary to other therapeutic modalities.
You might want to make the pilgrimage to Santa Monica and take my Six Day Remembering Wellness with TFH Training to learn how I am currently contextualizing and applying the TFH methods. Or you may be one of the people who choose to road test the book and CD and learn how to apply the Remembering Wellness concepts through your own experience, giving me feedback, and reports that in turn will teach me how to improve my practice of TFH. The book and CD are two of the ways I'm trying to share this information with as wide an audience as possible for the greatest benefit.
Touch For Health/ Kinesiology in the New Millennium
My original vision as a health professional was to be able to train my patients to be able to help themselves to improve their awareness and participation in their own experience of health. I developed a simple program of assessment and balancing of subtle energies through muscle testing and acupressure. My patients were able to bridge the gap between feeling "not well" or imbalanced and feeling "sick enough" to consult a professional. They improved their own preventative self-care habits and increased the benefit of professional health care. This was so successful that lay people who experienced the benefit of TFH wanted to "pass the word" as TFH instructors. This fit well with my model of TFH for personal health promotion. I envisioned a grassroots sharing of information and assistance among family and friends in the community as a support and supplement to the expertise of health care paraprofessionals and professionals.
Since that time thousands of lay people have become effective instructors of TFH and spread these simple, safe, yet powerful techniques throughout the world. Many lay people are in fact able to have a career as a TFH instructor. Experts have developed and adapted the Touch for health system in the specific contexts of their professions, which include religious ministry, psychological counseling, education, etc. Within the health-care field, TFH has proved beneficial across the spectrum in the context of nursing, chiropractic, massage therapy, and various other modalities including traditional Western medicine.
In fact, use of TFH together with standard medical care, before during and after more invasive medical procedures, is an area of very positive results and vast potential future growth and benefit. TFH has been beneficial in reducing apprehension and stress, increasing the effectiveness of medication at lower doses, reducing the impact of side effects and reducing recovery time from surgery. So far, the use of the subtle energy model of TFH integrated with the biomedical model has been mostly informal and anecdotal. But the benefits make this a high priority for formal and specialized training for integration with the medical model as well as formal study and documentation of outcomes. As an adjunct to traditional biomedicine, use of Touch For Health as part of a preventative, Wellness program can contribute to decreased need for drugs or surgery, fewer and shorter hospital stays, faster and more complete recovery, and enhanced awareness and experience of health.
Touch For Health has proven to be an minimalist approach which compliments the high-powered technology of modern medicine. Both the danger and the expense associated with drugs, machines and surgery have made us all aware of the need for something like TFH that will allow safe, inexpensive, and effective interventions that start the natural healing system in a holistic, health promoting way. Where minor or mysterious, medically unexplainable symptoms can be ameliorated through lay assessment and balancing TFH proves a boon to everyone who's not really "sick" but doesn't really feel "alive and well". Where symptoms persist or are severe, TFH aids in individual self-awareness and self-responsibility in seeking professional help before a medical emergency. TFH advocates awareness and attention to symptoms rather than denial or dismissal of "minor" symptoms as insignificant. TFH also advocates a wellness centered, life-affirming approach which results in health-promoting and preventative action rather than disease-centered reaction.
This is perhaps most dramatically evident on the field of athletic endeavors where TFH is of great benefit for more frequent peak performances, enhanced personal bests, reduced injury rate and decreased recovery time. TFH promotes a whole person approach which helps balance not only an athlete's training program, but also to balance training and competition with other areas, purposes and relationships in life. TFH is easily learned by athletes who can use it to assist themselves and other athletes. TFH integrates very well with the advanced techniques of sports trainers, physical therapists, and sports doctors. World-class athletes from around the globe have reported delight at having done their very best and experienced more rapid recoveries through use of TFH.
Great benefit has also been seen in the context of the classroom. Related Kinesiologies, such as EduK, have had tremendous results and corresponding growth applying the TFH subtle energy model to the learning experience, particularly among children. The education of teachers and children in a holistic, wellness approach to life and learning is perhaps the greatest contribution we as TFH instructors can make to humanity. TFH helps increase the effectiveness of learning and teaching. TFH also aids in identifying where learning is blocked and which learning modalities are most effective for each individual. Perhaps most importantly, TFH facilitates the discovery of each person's natural gifts, and the experience of their fullest potential. TFH fosters an early and ongoing awareness of each person's unique design and innate ability to improve their sense of well-being, transform their attitudes, enhance their sense of purpose, and increase their ability to function. The Continued growth of TFH/K in the context of education could have an infinite positive impact on the lives of our children, on our communities and nations, our world and the universe.
TFH/K is one of the ways that the special ability of healing can be discovered and developed in all people. Some people are particularly gifted in healing, but our present system of training healers isn't really geared to identifying and encouraging naturally gifted healers. In the effort to protect the public, we continually increase the requirements that must be met before any healer can have contact with any "patient". Many healers are thus prevented from exercising their gift because of financial or philosophical barriers, while others pay the high price in time and money only to find that they aren't happy in their career. There need to be more opportunities for all health professionals, surgeons, kinesiologists, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, internists, osteopaths, naturopaths etc., to be sure that they have a gift of healing, or at least some aptitude and a real desire to be healers, before they start into years of preparation for the professional schools. Learning the basics of TFH is an excellent low-risk first step for anyone considering a career in health care, and can facilitate the discovery and development of the gift of healing in many people who might never have considered the possibility that they could be healers.
TFH has also had an awe-inspiring impact among the retired and elder population. With the increased mobility and individuality in our societies, there has been an unhappy disintegration of families resulting in a large amount of neglect of older people and a huge loss of wisdom and caring that older people have traditionally provided our young people. I have been deeply moved to see my elders thriving in second or third careers as TFH instructors, full of life and energy in their old age, helping themselves and others truly enjoy their "golden years". In the U.S we are experiencing a crisis in public education. Retired people represent a potential volunteer army that can serve in schools as teacher's aids or visiting teachers. We can provide the fundamentals of TFH and the wellness approach to life, together with grandparent-like interaction that so many children lack. Other elders, and children trained in TFH methods, could be of vast benefit in convalescent hospitals and retirement homes, supplementing traditional medical care, possibly reducing the need and cost of medicine, enriching the sometimes isolated lives of the elderly and infirm, and increasing the sense of purpose and richness in their own lives.
I hope that you will be able to Remember Wellness in your unique walk of life and that the TFH/K methods will be part of your daily hygiene, in addition to any other healing practice, and be able to have more peak performances and personal bests, more rapid recovery from injuries, more effective relief from chronic problems and be able to fulfill the purpose(s) for which you were created and have a more exciting, enjoyable, graceful life. Share Touch for Health gently and lovingly with those who are ready to accept the help they can receive with the TFH methods. Not everyone will see what you see, or feel what you feel. Stay the course, for the sake of those who will. Thanks for sharing the Vision!