Prof Peter O’Sullivan discusses cognitive functional therapy and the myth of “core stability” in relation to chronic low back pain.
Interview by Bruce Bentley, Health Traditions
on “Chinese Medicine: History and Philosophy” published in the Journal “Radiation from Space”
They move towards explaining ’why’ illness occurs. Naturalistic traditions based on natural phenomena such as weather conditions, viruses or diet account for ‘how’ someone gets sick.
The supernatural traditions are fascinating for many reasons, not least they aim to cure by reintegrating the patient back into the community by social means. Forms of supernaturalistic healing involve the work of a medium or spirit healer. A medium is a person who can communicate with the Spirit world. In Thailand, for example, a spirit talking through a medium may explain; so and so is unwell because they didn’t dust down their grandfather’s grave, or he/she has behaved in an offensive way by pissing on a tree where a spirit lives.
These are both transgressions from the social norm, set the person apart from the interests of the group and illness or misfortune ensues.
In response, when a person performs let’s say, the dusting down of the grave, he/she is no longer at odds with his/her social world. To restore health and harmony after urinating where you should not, in Thailand, garlands of flowers or colourful sashes are wrapped around the tree trunk and other gifts are left at the base while the appropriate prayers and apologies are recited.
I’ve heard of many cases where gravely ill people who have performed such rites recover immediately. They get better by restoring their place in the community.
Illness is treated in social terms. Curing is therefore a beautiful cosmology that stitches up frays in the social web and its weave with nature and the universe. It is a huge deep subject and there is much to consider.
As more people embrace holistic therapies for improving health and fighting disease, yoga and massage are becoming more common among cancer patients and other chronic sufferers.
Yoga and massage therapies combine ancient philosophies with modern techniques to ease symptoms and optimize treatment effectiveness.
While most health practitioners do not endorse these therapies as a cure for cancer or a treatment for disease, they do support them as effective complementary therapies.
Many cancer treatment centers now offer yoga classes and massage sessions for cancer patients. And persons with other chronic diseases are utilizing their benefits as well.
Used in cancer therapy and other disease treatments, yoga can be a useful practice. A non-aerobic exercise that focuses on breathing techniques, meditation, and precise posture, yoga has been shown to relieve cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.
While no scientific evidence supports yoga as cancer cure or disease treatment, many medical professionals now recommend the practice in conjunction with conventional treatments.
Not only does yoga help patients cope with their symptoms and side effects, but also it greatly enhances their quality of life.
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that combines physical movements, nutritional guidelines, ethical standards, and meditation to promote whole healing.
The very word “yoga” means “union,” and the practice unites mind, body, and spirit. While yoga has many different forms, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says that hatha yoga is the form most used in cancer therapies.
It is a low-impact therapy that involves gentle movements that most patients can easily handle. Very effective for relieving physical symptoms and side effects (weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and loss of appetite), yoga can also ease the emotional and mental stress of disease (anxiety, stress, depression, and hopelessness).
Thai Massage is a form of massage therapy that dates back through many centuries. The benefits for cancer patients and other chronic sufferers are similar to those of yoga.
Unlike yoga, however, Thai Massage requires no exertion on the patient’s part. Asians have used massage for thousands of years as a means to treat illness and boost the immune system.
Introduced to the United States in the late 20th century, Thai Massage relieves muscle aches, joint pain, emotional stress, mental depression, and it activates internal energy flow.
Cancer patients and others might want to see if their health care providers are open minded and willing to discuss holistic treatments like yoga and Thai massage as part of a treatment plan.
No therapy can guarantee success, holistic or conventional. However a major advantage of holistic therapies is that they generally carry no risks or minimal risks for patients.
Performed by qualified and experienced therapists, Thai Massage may have tremendous benefits for people undergoing medical treatments for cancer and other illnesses. Like hatha yoga, Thai Massage strengthens the body and mind, promotes overall well-being, and provides a better quality of life.
Honoured and proud to have received this award!
Traditional Thai Massage-Annette Caesar
October 11, 2017
Traditional Thai Massage-Annette Caesar
Thai Therapy Specialist of the Year 2017 – Alberta
FB post by: Robert Henderson Massage
Almost anyone who has studied with Pichest has heard him exclaim “Too Much Thinking!” at one stage or another.
He might laugh when he says it, but it is not meant as a joke. It is meant as a warning.
Thinking is a function of the third chakra and you use a particular third chakra energy in the process of thinking, or in the process of using your rational mind.
This energy is called air energy (unlike second chakra energy which is water energy, or fourth chakra energy which is fire energy).
Air, by nature, dries things out and when there is too much of it in your body, it dries your body out too much.
This results in a hard, tight, inflexible body.
In particular, too much thinking affects the solar plexus, mid-back, outsides of the rib-cage, upper digestive tract, stomach, gallbladder, the shoulders (trapezius), sides of the neck, the lower jaw, the psoas, the glutes (or the ‘boomerang’ as Asokananda used to call it) and the fronts and outsides of the thighs.
That represents a substantial part of your body.
Thai Yoga Massage is known to be very beneficial in reversing hardness in the body and bring calmness to the mind. It balances the energies, promotes flexibility, and aids the receiver to return to a state of well-being!
By: Bob Haddad
In: Thai Massage & Thai Healing Arts – Practice, Culture and Spirituality (page 9)
So, what is Thai Massage? Well, for one thing, it’s not “massage” as we know it in the West. In fact, it is unfortunate that the term “Thai massage” has become so popular because that second word, massage, is misleading and inaccurate. Massage tables and oil aren’t used, there is no rubbing on the skin or kneading of the muscles and the receiver remains clothed. The goal is not to work muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, organs and soft tissue, though these anatomical elements are positively affected by the work. Neither is its purpose to simply stretch and apply passive yoga to another person on a floor mat. At its essence, nuad boran is a balanced blend of physical, energetic, and spiritual healing techniques and concepts. It is the skilful combination of applying both broad and targeted acupressure, finding and dissolving blockages, stimulating energy lines (sen), opening and toning the body with yoga-like stretches, and last but not least, allowing and enouraging the receiver to engage in a process of self healing, deep relaxation, and renewal.
to the depths of my soul.
His soft voice was tinged with sober earnestness.
He led the way into his prayer room, through a doorway I hadn’t noticed before.
It was at the far end of his Thai massage room…I had just arrived in Chiang Mai for further study.
Chiang Mai is a hub for Thai massage training.
My initial forays had begun 10 years earlier.
Over the years I’d heard of some of the legendary old masters
of this ancient healing art.
On this trip, I hoped to make contact with one or two of them
and deepen my experience.When I asked around the small closely-knit community,
I was a bit frustrated at the responses I received.
Everyone referred me to a young man with the dubious-sounding name of Poo.
I would try to make my request a little clearer.
“Please, I have come a long way. I would like to work with one of the OLD masters, while it is still possible.”
In every instance, I was met with the same response.
“You go to Poo! He is the best.”
I felt as though I was being stonewalled, unable to reach any
of the old masters.
Thais are a mysterious bunch….
Every single one referred me to this young fellow.
“But he’s only 35!”
It didn’t matter. Case closed. “You go to Poo.”
I had never heard of him. He was a kid, for heaven’s sake…
and if he was that good, he probably wouldn’t see me on short notice.I made the call.
“Come my house tomorrow-2pm.” Click.
With the help of a patient tuk tuk driver, I was dropped in front of a house
in a crowded neighborhood promptly at 2pm.
I knocked on the door and a voice answered from the back of the house
I opened the door and stepped across the threshold into a large dimly-lit room. My eyes were still adjusting from the bright afternoon glare
when I heard a man’s voice.
“Oh! You’re losing the vision in your right eye, aren’t you?’My jaw dropped! That was my only health concern.
I had been steadily losing vision for some months. I knew that I would have to seek out a specialist as soon as I got back to the States. I was very worried about what they might want to do and what it would cost, as I was uninsured.
Now no one would know that just to look at me!
How did HE know?Master Poo registered the look of fear and surprise in my reaction.
He flashed me a big grin and exclaimed, “Oh! No worry! Lie down…me fix!”
Thai medicine in a nutshell… compassionate, cheerful, no need to worry
the patient with frightening details.Now, over the years, I had seen and been the recipient of some of the impressive results of Traditional Thai Massage in addressing a wide range
of conditions, such as structural, muscular-skeletal, PTSD, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being, but I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around this one.
Nevertheless, I removed my shoes and laid down on the mat.
After he prayed, he began his work.
Moving beyond the familiar form, he initiated the session by placing a heavy thumb into a spot on my right forearm. I winced! It burned like fire!
I didn’t even know that problem existed.
Poo quietly and expertly followed the path of that nerve all the way up my arm to its source in my neck. He gently expressed sympathy for the pain I was experiencing. I could tell there would be bruising as he worked nearly to the bone. It was therapeutic pain and it needed to be endured.
Then slowly he began to teach me.
“Your muscles are so tight that they are choking off the blood and lymph supply to the eye and the optic nerve is dying prematurely.”
He continued to work, tracing several nerve pathways, manually freeing
the nerves from the dense muscle fibers.
What he said made sense.
What he didn’t know was that for 10 years, I had run around with a phone crooked in that ear for 12-16 hours a day, 6 days a week.
I had been a manufacturer, working the phones as well as the assembly lines under stressful conditions.
I had retired from that line of work, but my muscles were still locked
into the old configuration.
He worked on me for several hours, venturing deep into places under the arm, under the shoulder blade and through my neck to the occipital ridge,
leaving bruises all the way.
He was giving all the therapy that was possible, knowing he might only
see me one time.
I began to appreciate the guidance I received in being sent to Poo.
He was the best… He was only 35, but his work was brilliant…
beyond anything I had experienced before.
On my evening walk, I met a couple of other foreigners
who were there to study Thai massage. I urged them to meet Poo.
Each day, I brought another student or two to him.
He let me sit in on the sessions and learn.
It was valuable as well as challenging time.
He was so patient with us, giving us entire days of in-session instruction.
It was a rare opportunity.
Then one day, as he was saying goodbye to the students, he asked me
to stay behind.
After they left the studio, he led me to the nondescript door at the rear
and beckoned me to follow him inside with those fateful words…
“I give you this for an example…”
I stepped into a room that measured about 6′ x 8′.
Fully 2/3 of the room was an altar. The remaining space had a thin sleeping mat on the floor…similar to a yoga mat.
I blanched slightly at the altar with its trappings of fresh flower strands, fruit, a large statue of the founder of Thai massage, Dr. Shivago Komarpaj and various paraphernalia.
I heard a fearful voice in my head branding it a ‘heathen altar’.
“This is my prayer room,” he said simply. “I sleep here 5 nights a week.
The other 2 nights I spend with my wife and daughter.
When I go to bed at night, I pray for 2 hours and then I sleep for 2 hours.
Then I get up and I chant for 2 hours and I sleep for 2 hours.”
He did this all through the night.
This was a level of dedication to God and humanity that I had never
Indeed, in my recollection of Christian churches, an annual all-night prayer service would be quite an event. I had never made it past 1 or 2am myself.
I was sharply and deeply humbled.
These people had left us in the dust!
Poo had related this without the slightest trace of ego or pride…
much unlike us, who got ridiculously puffed up about such small acts.
For Poo, this was a matter of fact, something done for years on end…
Simply due service.
I thought ‘That’s how he knows!!’
What had happened with me had happened with everyone I brought to him.
He always knew exactly what was needed without a word being spoken.
‘That’s how it’s done. He walks THAT close!’
He began to teach me about his altar. Item by item, he showed me how each object or photo represented something or someone that he was praying for.
Nothing evil here… Such misrepresentation of their faith.
I took a valuable lesson that day regarding such ill-willed teaching
in Western religion.
I saw a stack of textbooks among the offerings.
“What are these doing here?”
“These are for my future students. I am praying for them already.
I pray for the right ones to come at the right time…and for all the others
to stay away until the right time.”
I was to learn later that he always recognized his students when they arrived on his doorstep. He had met them in spirit 2-3 years before…
in the dream state…in his prayer time.
Their preparation had begun long before their physical arrival.
Astonishing to me, but normal to him.
That approach…that prayer…was so insightful.
When the time came for me to take up the work of Thai massage,
I applied that prayer to my practice.
“Bring the right ones at the right times…and keep all the others away…
until the right time.”
So very un-American! We who like to grab all the business that we can.
It made for a much sounder and saner practice for all concerned…
Praying for my people ahead of time…
Engaging the practice in a far better way…
It was to be our last meeting.
He gave an incomparable example that echoes daily in my heart.
These things I will never forget.
p.s. Three weeks after our session, my sight was fully restored.