The relationship of martial arts and healing might not be obvious. Why would someone with martial / combative skills like Muay Thai and close quarter combat self-defense skills also cultivate hands-on healing therapies? In fact, they are not in opposition with each other at all.
Whole Body Balance
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic system built on balance: if one organ or organ system is out of balance, the entire system becomes out of balance as it tries to compensate. The body is an amazing thing, constantly working in self defense to respond to conditions of imbalance to repair them. The concepts of yin and yang, 8 parameters, 5 elements, meridian theory, and acupoints are all about bringing the balance the body needs to heal itself.
In traditional martial arts, a balance of physical and emotional mastery provides the control necessary for self-defense.
But before you can strengthen the body, it needs to be brought into balance. To stay pain-free longterm requires keeping the whole body in balance, no matter what your athletic skill level. Treatment modalities like Tui Na acupressure massage, reposturing, aligning the fascial and myofascial tissue of the body that connects our muscles, has to be part of any whole body training / treatment regimen.
Yin & Yang
Physical trainers can be faced with the limits of their expertise when they work only with athletes, focusing only on fighting and the yang side of training. For example, Muay Thai is a combative art, a hard style that can lead to imbalances and injuries if not balanced with restorative work. It requires you to be on the balls of the feet in a constant fight or flight mode, putting pressure on the knees and lower back.
The fact is that most people looking for a trainer aren’t athletes and simply want to improve the quality of their lives by getting in shape, feeling better, moving better, and being better connected to their bodies. There are dysfunctions often in the way that require yin therapies like “wind and water” Tui Na medical massage.
KES Fitness’s education and practice in various yin and yang modalities allow us to see the body from different perspectives and to help our clients achieve those goals without injury. By teaching martial arts, movement, strength and conditioning, and self-care, we to bring the whole being into balance, in line with the concepts of yin and yang.
Intention Differentiates Application
There is no difference between the techniques used in Tui Na, which are used to create a healing effect and those of “Chin Na” a martial art that uses grasping and seizing techniques for controlling or locking an opponent’s joints tendons or muscles.
The same mouth that a mother tiger uses to rip her prey to shreds is the same mouth she uses to hold her infant cub.
And the Tui Na acupressure points, vital cavities used for healing, are also ideal striking points in martial arts. Striking these points with force can cause injury and even death, by disturbing the flow of blood and/or Qi.
Tui Na Practitioners
Historically there were four groups that contributed to the proliferation of Tui Na, and significantly influenced massage in China:
- Martial artists
- Laymen bodyworkers
Martial Artist as Healer
People often saw a martial artist before a physician when it came to physical injury. Why? Because martial artists had more experience with injury. It was absolutely necessary that they know how to treat themselves and each other.
“Martial artists had to be skilled in Tui Na in order to cure external injuries caused by training or combat. High level martial artists or priests were recognized as the real experts in Chinese massage society.”
“Tui Na was also one of the main methods of treatment and used to be required course study for all Chinese martial artistz. Martial arts training is often long, intense and strendous; Tui Na is the best way to help the body recover from fatigue.”
Cultivating Self-Reliance and Resilience
From martial arts, self-defense, corrective exercise and restorative stretching to Tui Na medical massage manuel therapy, KES Fitness is devoted to giving individuals the ability to feel confident in their bodies, move better, be self-reliant and resilient in the face of danger, normal life events, and injury.
By teaching martial arts, movement, strength and conditioning, and self-care, we to bring the whole being into balance, in line with the concepts of yin and yang.
Learn more about KES Fitness.