Sensing Your Body Rhythms
When doing treatments, the physical therapist sometimes feels heat, vibration, denseness, coolness, empty spots, torsions or electrical prickles and at other times senses waves of movement, suction, adherence, whirling or solidity. The hands can be trained to feel many more sensations, similar to training the palate to differentiate between subtle tastes, textures or consistencies.
Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) is a body of knowledge that categorizes and catalogues numerous manual sensations. Some sensations tell you where a problem may be in the body, similar to a metal detector locating jewelry or coins buried in the sand. Other sensations differentiate between problems in the blood vessel, bone, and lymph, and certain sensations indicate whether an organ has toxic overload.
It sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? Consider the fisherman who knows the size of a fish on his line and what direction it is swimming, or the trained musician able to identify individual melodies and harmonies of specific instruments in a symphonic piece. Some athletes know they’ve hit a home run even before seeing the ball going over the fence. You can train yourself to tune in to particular vibrations, forces, and energies to obtain information and predict or plan for future action.
Feeling these sensations under the hands is like plunging your hand into a river and feeling the direction of the water’s flow. If a large boulder were in the middle of the river, you could feel the water molecules bouncing off in a different direction than the normal water flow. With practice, you could tell how far the boulder was from your hand, even its shape. It’s like a signal is sent from the source and you wait for the signal to be reflected back similar to sonar and ultrasound.
You can train your own hands to become this sensitive. Place a tablecloth on a large table and have someone blindfold you and put various objects of different weights and shapes around the table. You then gently pull one corner of the tablecloth to sense the various objects. Try to estimate the distance away from the corner, the weight and size of the objects and how many you perceive.
In qigong classes, students learn to be in tune with the flow of energy in the hands, feet and body. With practice, they can detect the energy channels acupuncturists use to move energy within the body and can move this vital energy in the channels without needles. Most people can be taught how to feel the body’s lymph motility to determine if a food will be healthy for them or not. Perhaps 1 in 10 people who do not study qigong will be able to do it, whereas 9 out of 10 qigong students will be successful.
Body parts play an incredible symphony with different rhythms: breathing, circulation, lymph movement, digestion, and sleep. Each individual organ has its own inherent movement. IMT has identified ways to sense these individual rhythms and to harmonize them.