The Charity Health Project
Many years ago I met the inspiring Kay McCarroll in London. So impressed was I by her devotion to the art and science of kinesiology and the work of ‘Touch for Health’ author John F. Thie, DC (1933-2005), that I was happy to help her produce and publish (under permission from the founder) a Hindi Edition of the ‘Touch For Health Manual’. Kay proposed to take 500 copies to rural India and offer an health alternative to unaffordable and drug-based treatments. She proposed to train non medical practitioners in how to use authentic and no-cost therapies to treat themselves and their families and their society.
The Book Production
We found a translator who supplied us with neatly handwritten Hindi translations from the English text and I set about redrawing a large range of meridian diagrams, annotated with Hindi labels. The result was printed and bound by two obliguing staff members of Prontaprint (Marble Arch) and Kay had a stock of teaching books that she had personally funded for free distribution.
Meeting up with Kay some months after, I enquired of her trip and how the books were received. The villagers were keen to learn although it did throw up one unforseen problem. Some of the poorest people were so illiterate they had poor facility with the written word of their own Hindi national written language.
But there was always someone they could ask and I would love to know if Kay is still in touch with any of those students or villagers and if they still practise her kinesiology teachings to this day.
Five stars, Kay, one of life’s Dear Hearts. Blessings from your friends. Do get in touch (as it were!)
What is Touch for Health?
Touch for Health was created by John F. Thie, DC (1933-2005). The first Manual was published in 1973 and launched a worldwide movement in a holistic approach to health which teaches the restoring of our natural energies. It is a practical guide to natural health using acupressure, touch and massage to improve postural balance and reduce physical and mental pain and tension.
Below are some sample techniques and suggestions for complementary therapies and unique ways to put them together. Ros and I are still very much learning these ideas as we practise them in our classes. In order to show you just how versatile and useful this work is, that we have extracted examples of some of the ideas. Please buy the book and visit the site: http://www.touch4health.com/index.html (or click on the banner below).
The following are a few techniques that have been designed to be simple, easy and effective. Their simplicity is deceptive as the results are often profound. They may be used by anyone without any prior learning or health care experience. Clinitions and practitioners use them with great benefit to their patients or clients, and many families enjoy them at home. These techniques have been tried by at least a million people throughout the world and are found to be consistently effective, in subtle or dramatic ways.
T H E B A L A N C I N G P R O C E S S
Before we start a balancing session or any challenging activity, we may want to quickly achieve a general balance and clear random energetic confusion. If we ‘Zip Up,’ ‘Switch On’ and ‘Tune In,’ it helps develop a mutual sense of energy flow by clearing away and energetic scrambling or reversals which might confuse the results of the muscle tests. These exercises may be performed as a short break from any activity to clear the mind and get back on track.
These basic exercises are usually used as Preliminary Balancing activities before any TFH session, but may also be used as Stand-Alone Energizers. Try them first thing in the morning, before/during/after any challenging task, to clear your head during a workbreak, or whenever you need a ‘lift’.
This is a simple exercise we can do for a quick general balancing and for reducing unexpected results when muscle testing. For example, this is how we would Zip Up the Central Meridian which runs straight up the centre of the body. Zipping a finger or the hand from the pelvic bone to the lower lip reinforces the normal flow of energy in this major meridian and serves to help clear general energy blocks, especially related to energy which needs to leave the body.
T E C H N I Q U E
Within 3” of the body to either side of the meridian line, is considered to be completely within the meridian path. It is not necessary to make contact with the skin or even to touch the clothing – try to feel the energy. Trace it 3 times.
‘Switching’ (energetic reversals or other types of confusion) is apparent during reading or writing when numbers or letters are visually reversed or when we mix up people’s names, etc. Switching often occurs when a person is under stress. This means that if we start testing and balancing without attending to this confusion, it may hamper our efficient progress. Especially when we are first learning to muscle test, it is helpful to reduce confusing results due to switching. For this reason it’s a good idea to Switch On before a balance:
T E C H N I Q U E
Since the acupuncture system of the whole body is repeated in the ears, we can balance the whole system just by working with the ears with a technique called Tune In. Massaging the ears has some surprising benefit. IN the TFH system we associate this exercise with the reflex of turning the head in response to sounds, so first we check the range of motion of the neck with an indicator muscle (see Clear Circuit/Accurate Indicator Muscle page 41-44; Auricular Exercise page 251-252.) This exercise helps with any range-of-motion issues and also helps us to focus our attention.
T E C H N I Q U E
Although one of the simplest techniques in the TFH system, it is consistently emphasized by students, instructors, and practitioners as immediately effective, and often very powerful in its results. This one simple exercise may change your life. (Just hold your forehead and focus your awareness on the stress you are experiencing related to past events, present efforts or future challenges.)
The TFH Emotional Stress Release technique, though extremely simple and easy to use, has been found to be profoundly effective and helpful by thousands of people in almost any type of situation. Don’t forget to use it often and early!
By gently holding your own (or another person’s forehead, it allows you to feel calm, think clearly and function effectively in times of stress, trauma, overload, accident, pressure from work or relationships, etc.
A light touch on the Neurovascular points has a soothing effect on the meridian energy of the forebrain, where new options and ideas are processed.
This technique may actually bring blood to the forebrain, rather than shunting blood to the back brain and extremities in a survival response. It is the higher-order thinking centre of the forebrain that enables us to be creative and think of new solutions, if we can keep from feeling overwhelmed.
In times we may switch into survival response: ‘fight or flight’, or paralysis. We may revert to less effective behaviour patterns that we learned for survival but which may not be the most appropriate in the present – anger, fear or reactions based on past experiences. Using ESR, we can think of new solutions and choose how to respond to stress and current circumstances. If you’re alone, just hold your own points while you mentally visualize or talk yourself through all the aspects of the stress. Sometimes it’s nicer to have someone else hold our head for us. We can further refine the technique by checking an Indicator Muscle (IM) while thinking about the stress.
We have not necessarily changed the memory of the trauma or stress. We have changed our reaction to the memory of the trauma or stress. Now we may have a more clear and measured perception or recollection of events, and be better equipped to respond appropriately, rather than to simply react with a habitual or unconscious response.
T E C H N I Q U E S
Depending on your degree of agitation at the time, you may want to start your energy balancing with ESR, or you may want to start by formulating a positive goal and doing at least a 14-minute balance. Now, whilst thinking of stressful events, issues or ideas, check an Indicator Muscle (IM). The Pectoralis Major Clavicular is good, since it relates to the Stomach Meridian. The Stomach Meridian has a particularly strong emotional component. Many of us do a lot of emotional processing in the general ‘stomach’ area (think of ‘butterflies in your stomach’). We may even be nauseous, have a ‘stomach ache’ or interference with digestion. Some cultures also ascribe many of the emotions that we relate with the ‘heart’ to the stomach. Another good muscle to use as an indicator is the Supraspinatus, because of its association with brain function and the energy of the whole system. Or, you might balance these two muscles first and then use the usual Anterior Deltoid test as your indicator muscle.
Test the IM while thinking of the emotional stress. If the muscle unlocks, hold your Frontal Eminences (or have your partner hold them) while still thinking about your stress. It may be necessary to think this through several times. You can verbally describe the stressful situation, then repeat the process silently, or simply think quietly about the different aspects of the stress. When you feel you have held the points long enough, retest the indicator muscle again while thinking of the stress. The IM will lock when the process is complete.
In the Touch for Health System, we integrate seven types of Touch Reflexes to facilitate and balance muscle function, postural alignment and energy flow. The following illustration (Neurolymphatic Massage points) show all that are stimulated with firm pressure, either as a general energiser, or individually in relation to specific muscles and energy circuits.
Using principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine and Five Element Theory, we can assess the pattern of Energy blockage/imbalance, and choose a key point that will balance the whole system.
Once you know how to use an individual muscle as an indicator for bio-feedback, you can see which colours resonate with you related to your current goal(s) or stress. Applying ESR and Visualisation in this context, we have a quick protocol for a global balance of the Five Elements/Meridians/Posture. This is a fun way to balance, needn’t take very long, and often has immediate emotional as well as physical benefits.
We can also combine ESR with the Five-Element Colours as a quick balance of the whole system. This quick balancing of the Five Elements often results in a lot of mental, emotional and even physical relief from pain, tension, etc.
You can extend this technique by considering psychological colour theory and the positive and negative associations/emotions/life issues related to each colour. You can even Muscle Check each positive and negative aspect individually to see which are indicated, and do ESR to defuse each negative, and infuse each positive aspect.
Do the usual pre-checks. You can set a goal first, or just balance the colours for general benefit.
Check and balance Central & Governing Meridians. To further emphasize the colour-related energies, test Teres Major (Governing Meridian) whilst visualising bright sunlight. If Teres Major unlocks, balance with ESR while visualizing bright sunlight. Balance Central (Supraspinatus) in the usual way.
Choose a colour from the Five-Element diagram on page 75 and test an IM while looking at the colour. You can start with Wood/Green related to spring and birth, or choose the colour that draws your attention.
Check and balance each colour, one at a time, in the order of the Creation Cycle. Then check each colour again in the order of the Creation Cycle. For any colour that unlocks the IM, do ESR whilst visualizing the colour and anything (positive or negative) that it might represent for you, perhaps related to your life or current goal. You can think about any related aspect of the Five-Element Metaphors, or think about your personal meanings of the colour, literally or metaphorically. Typically we might consider the Five-Element Emotion related to the colour/Element. When the IM locks, whilst looking at the colour, move on to the next colour. See page 75 for the sounds related to the Five Elements.
Finally, recheck both Sheng and Ko cycles to ensure all colours are clear.
Balancing: 1973 and Beyond
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 over 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.