Chi Institute of Holistic Healthcare
Tensiology Training Program
History of Tensiology
In 1999, I went to visit my brother in Shanghai, who had a terrible back
pain. Instead of hospital, he asked me accompany him to a blind massage massage center
in Shanghai. After he was situated, I was astonished by this blind, silent man,
who oddly worn a pair of sunglasses but seemed to know exactly what bothered my brother.
I was so curious that I booked a session. Holy cow! Another blind therapist indeed knew
every spot on my back that was sore. My hunch from a decade of neuroscience research told me
these blind therapists use touch to discover source of pains, injuries and
discomfort in the body without being told. I personally
sought out more treatments from many blind massage therapists in China, from expert
physicians in hospital to novice sole proprietors; and the results were
excellent. After I started up Chi Wellness Longwood Clinic in Boston on the morning of September,
2001, I hired a female massage therapist, Ms. Tang from Hong Kong, who knew little English.
She had been blind since birth and was taught by teachers from Beijing. I had opportunity to
observe her closely in treating pains, stresses and insomnia. I went back to China in 2004,
and studied and worked with teachers at China Blind Massage Center in Beijing (some taught Ms. Tang too).
I made a documentary film, the Healing Touch of the Blind (2006), about how blind people study and
practice their healing art in China.
I had read in literature that the visual cortex is engaged in tactile task in blind
subjects but not in the sighted and tactile acuity is enhanced in the blind (Goldreich & Kanics, 2003.
J. Neurosci 23(8): 3439-3445). I hypothesized that blind massage
therapists have heighten tactile sense which allows them to discriminate subtle
signs between healthy and pathological issues. I decided to become blind myself by shutting down my own eyesight
while working on others. I found my fingers became more sensitive and intelligent in tracking tight or
inflamed muscles as well as the painful areas. I discovered all soft-tissues, including muscles, ligaments,
organ systems, blood vessels and nerves, could be tense and relaxed by fingers. I coined the word, tensiology in 2006 hoping to
develop a new discipline to study the structural and functional properties of hardening soft-tissues
in the human beings and their clinical implications. The objective of tensiology is to understand the
structural, functional or dysfunctional (pathological) processes underlying the tension and relaxation of soft-tissues.
I develop tensiology therapy to relax soft tissue tensions associated with muscle spasm, organ spasm, neuromuscular
spasticity and rigidity caused by injuries, inflammation, neurodegeneration or autoimmune process.
A session of Tensiology therapy consists of three steps:
- Mapping of tensions. Practitioner uses tactile sense of
fingers to detect and map out tensions in soft tissues, including spatial
distribution and the depth of tensions.
- Relaxation of tensions. Practitioner uses the thumb
(sometimes other fingers) to relax tensions layer by layer by back and forth
crossings (perpendicular with muscle fibers) or circular motions with rhythmic
- Assessment of relaxation. Practitioner uses tactile
sense of fingers to assess the degree of relaxation on each treatment area.
A session may last one to two hours. Most patient feel sore
afterwards (not unlike a good physical workout), and the same time a deep and
lasting relief of their symptoms such as pains, spasticity or numbness. As for
general well-being, they feel more relaxed physically, mentally and emotionally,
warmer in basal body temperature, and better circulation.
Treatment Program of Tensiology Therapy
There are two treatment principles when applying Tensiology
therapy to chronic conditions:
- First, the treatment must be progressively deeper. Over the
course of treatment, practitioner should feel the volume of the tight soft
tissue getting smaller; and the tension in the deeper layer is tighter than
superficial layer. In the deepest layer, tension may feel like a knot.
- Second, the treatment must generate sustainable relief of
tensions hence their related symptoms such as aches, pains, spasm, rigidity,
spasticity, ataxia, generalized anxiety, fatigue, etc.
In most of muscular conditions, knots in soft tissues can be
eliminated. In neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's
disease, tensions or knots may not be eliminated.
Nurses, Nurse practitioners
Physicians, Physician’s assistants
Massage and physical therapists
Other health care practitioners
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Cerebrovascular Diseases (Stroke)
- Digestive Diseases
- Infertilities and Women’s Health
- Inflammatory Diseases
- Mental Health
- Muscular Diseases
- Neurological Diseases
- Pain Management
- Weight Problems
Please email a cover letter, resume and statement of purpose.
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Provider of Acupuncture, Herb, Massage & Tai-Chi in Massachusetts