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T'ai Chi Chih

T’ai chi chih is a series of simple, non-strenuous movements known to relax the body and refresh the mind. Moves can be performed by anyone, regardless of age or physical condition. T’ai chi chih can help individuals feel calm, even in the midst of activity, and helps relieve daily tensions and stress based, on principles of relaxed breathing, rhythmic movements, and equilibrium of weight.

T'ai Chi Chuan

T’ai chi chuan is an ancient Chinese martial and healing art. Most obviously characterized by the slow motion manner in which its choreographed movement patterns are carried out, t’ai chi chuan is more accurately defined by its attention to correct body alignment and structural detail. T’ai chi chuan practitioners move slowly and with a minimum of overt muscular effort, opting to rely instead on exact positioning of the body’s structural components to facilitate the transfer of force through the body. This efficient transfer of force reduces stress on both the body and mind. T’ai chi chuan principles apply globally to walking, martial application, bodywork, or any other activity for which economy of motion and efficiency of effort desired.

Taikyo Shiatsu

Taikyo shiatsu is a style using ancient Taoist yin/yang and taijiquan principles combined with the gentle stretching of Zen shiatsu.

From the Eastern perspective, this shiatsu focuses on stretching and palming the meridians, opening channels to induce flow of stagnated energies, and supplying circulation (oxygenated blood) to the organs. The application of the Taoist principles enables the therapist to generate and utilize optimum energy to perform the shiatsu efficiently.

From the Western perspective, stretching increases bone, sinews, and muscle flexibility and enhances mobility.

A unique wave technique—visualizing the energy as an ocean wave forming (potential), reaching the highest crest, falling (kinetic), and expanding (distribution)—is used in this modality. Qigong breathing from the hara, or dantien, is one of the keys to generating efficient energy output.

Taikyo shiatsu emphasizes philosophy, traditional Chinese medicine, essentials, breathing, and taijiquan postural efficiency. The following Taikyo essentials achieve optimum shiatsu efficiency and transmission as well as distribution of energy:

  • Spirit: state of being.
  • Intent: volition or plan of action.
  • Calm: state of mental stillness to perceive.
  • Posture: proper body positioning for optimum operational efficiency.
  • Presence: the sum of the previous above essentials.
  • Intuition: ability to perceive.
  • Breathing: qigong mode.
  • Simplicity: unpretentiousness.

Tantsu Tantric Shiatsu

Tantsu Tantric Shiatsu was invented by Harold Dull, who also created Watsu, or water shiatsu. Tantsu brings Watsu’s in-water nurturing and power back onto land.

In a Tantsu session, the giver cradles the receiver with their whole body. No oil is used; the receiver lies fully clothed on the floor, while the giver kneels or stands beside the person. Like shiatsu, Tantsu is based on point work and powerful stretches to release chi (life force) along the body’s meridians and in the energy centers, or chakras. Tantsu focuses on connecting the chakras and freeing the natural movement of energy along the spine.

Learning to give a Tantsu session involves the giver in a process that leads to a deeper connection with others and with one’s own centers and flows of energy. (Definition adapted from Dull’s book, Bodywork Tantra On Land and In Water, Harbin Springs Publishing, 1991.)

TARA Approach

Developed by Dr. Stephanie Mines, the TARA Approach is a holistic system for the critical transformation of psychological, physical, and emotional shock and trauma. Combining the ancient healing art of Jin Shin with therapeutic dialogues, this approach activates healing from sexual abuse, battering relationships, abusive family environments, neglect, and illness.

Tera-Mai Seichem

Tera-Mai Seichem translates from Sanskrit as "action of compassion." This healing art uses the universal elemental energy rays of earth (reiki), air/ether (angelic light), fire (sakara) and water (sophi-el).

Thai Massage

Also called nuad bo rarn, Thai massage has been taught and practiced in Thailand for approximately 2,500 years. Although the origins are somewhat vague, credit for Thai massage is given to a famous Indian doctor, Shivago Komarpaj, who was the personal physician of the Buddha and Magadha king.

Historically, manipulation was one of four major branches composing traditional Thai ceremonies or magical practices. This is based on the theory the body is made up of 72,000 sen, or energy lines, of which ten hold top priority. Thai massage also involves peripheral stimulating, meaning it acts as an external stimulant to produce specific internal effects. This point serves as the main division between Thai and Western massage.

Thai massage is practiced on a firm mat on the floor instead of on a table, instrumental in the effective use of the practitioner’s body weight. Except for the feet, the client remains fully clothed, so draping is not necessary. Click here to find a Thai Massage practitioner.


This treatment uses the therapeutic benefits of the sea and seawater products to restore health and vitality to the skin and hair. The treatment may include seaweed and algae paste spread on the body, and being insulated with sheets or blankets. Seawater baths may include massage with strong, underwater jets or manual hose massage by the therapist.

Therapeutic Touch

Developed through the collaboration of a nursing professor and a spiritual healer, Therapeutic Touch is an energy healing method in which practitioners, primarily nurses, are trained to feel or sense energy imbalances in the client and to use laying on of hands to disperse blocks and channel healing forces to the client’s body.

The therapist uses a light touch or holds the hand above the body, with the client generally seated. Meditation is used by the therapist to center herself and strengthen her connection to the client’s energy system. Therapeutic Touch has been applied in an assortment of medical situations, including the care of premature infants and emergency room patients. It is known to induce a state of relaxation within minutes.

Therapeutic Touch is considered safe because of its gentle, noninvasive approach. Developers of this technique affirm that everyone has the potential to heal with Therapeutic Touch and may be taught the methodology in one day. Click here to find a Therapeutic Touch practitioner.

Tibetan Point Holding

Developed in 1989 by Karen Peterson and John Walsh, Tibetan point holding focuses on prolonged holding of acupressure points to generate emotional release. Lengthy holding allows the client to address internal thoughts as they arise. As many as five practitioners are used to hold pressure points on the client for up to two hours. Treatment needs are assessed through iridology or kinesiology.

Touch For Health

Developed by chiropractor John Thie, Touch for Health combines methods and techniques that include acupuncture principles, acupressure, muscle testing, massage, and dietary guidelines. The method of treatment requires a second person who performs muscle testing. This determines which muscles are strong or weak, indicating if a physical problem or organ malfunction exists.

Once weak muscles are determined, a variety of methods are used as part of a muscle strengthening program. Such techniques include finger pressure on neuro-vascular holding points on the head, and pressure on the acupressure holding points. After the muscles have been strengthened, Touch for Health theory states that energy then flows through the body, improving vitality and the ability to maintain good health.

See kinesiology. Click here to find a Touch for Health practitioner.


Developed by Iris Burman and Sandy Friedland, TouchAbilities Essential Connections is a universal skill set and philosophy for bodywork practitioners. This skill set includes the core techniques that are common to all modalities, incorporating physical manipulation of soft tissue as well as dynamic interaction with the body’s mental and energetic fields. Philosophically based on the idea that the body is a multidimensional blend of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual qualities, TouchAbilities encourages an “in the moment” dialogue between bodies to support optimal function. Its objective is to identify areas where actions, waves, and flows are obstructed or distorted and to apply techniques that reestablish a more functional dynamic.

Trager Approach

Trager is an approach to bodywork developed in the 1920s by American medical practitioner Dr. Milton Trager. It makes extensive use of touch-contact and encourages the client to experience the freeing-up of different parts of the body.

The approach consists of simple exercises called Mentastics and deep, nonintrusive hands-on work, including fluid, gentle, rocking movements. The idea is to use motion in the muscles and joints to produce positive sensory feelings that are then fed back into the central nervous system. The result is a feeling of lightness, freedom, and flexibility.

A Trager session takes 60-90 minutes. No oils or lotions are used. The client wears a swimsuit or underwear, and lies on a well-padded table in a warm, comfortable environment. Extreme pressure and rapid thrusts are not used, and pain is not necessary to make this approach effective. During the session, the practitioner makes touch-contact with the client in such a gentle and rhythmic way that the person lying passively on the table experiences the possibility of being able to move each part of the body freely, effortlessly, and gracefully on her own.

The practitioner works in a relaxed, meditative state of consciousness. After getting up from the table, the client is given instruction in the use of Mentastics, or “mental gymnastics,” a system of simple, effortless movement sequences, to maintain and enhance the sense of lightness, freedom, and flexibility instilled by the table work. It is a powerful means of teaching the client to recall the pleasurable sensory state that produced positive tissue change. Because it is this feeling state that triggered positive tissue response in the first place, every time the feeling is clearly recalled the changes deepen, become more permanent, and are more receptive to further positive change.

Changes described have included the disappearance of specific symptoms, discomforts, or pains; heightened levels of energy and vitality; more effortless posture and carriage; greater joint mobility; deeper states of relaxation than were previously possible; and a new ease in daily activities. Click here to find a Trager Approach practitioner.

Trauma Touch Therapy

Trauma touch therapy was developed to address the needs of clients affected by trauma and abuse, including sexual and emotional abuse, battering, the trauma of war, surgery, or criminal violence. Focused on empowering the client, this technique combines therapeutic movement and breathwork with psychotherapeutic elements to bring body and mind together in holistic healing. The pace of therapy is determined individually according to the client’s need. Relearning touch from a healthy perspective is a major focus of the therapy. The trauma touch training program was developed in 1993 at the Colorado School of Healing Arts.

Trigger Point Myotherapy

Trigger point myotherapy is an integrating, noninvasive therapeutic modality for the relief and control of myofascial pain and dysfunction. The goal of treatment is the client’s recovery from, or a significant reduction in, myofascial pain. The treatment goal is achieved through a systematized approach.

Treatment consists of trigger point compression, myomassage, passive stretching, and a regime of corrective exercises. Success may be measured subjectively by the level of pain reduction experienced by the client and objectively through increased range of motion, strength, endurance, and other measures of improved function.

Trigger point myotherapy relies heavily on client-therapist interaction, including verbal and nonverbal elements. The myotherapist encourages the client to be personally responsible for their improvement, with attention to such factors as nutritional intake, stress, proper exercises, mechanical abnormalities, and other physical components. These elements protect the client from delayed diagnosis, delayed treatment, or contraindicated treatment. Click here to find a Trigger Point Myotherapy practitioner.

Tui Na

Tui na (pronounced t-weigh na) is a Chinese system of manual therapeutics with a wide range of techniques and indications. The term first appeared in the Ming Dynasty text Pediatric Tui Na Classic in 1601, and combines the names of two of the hand techniques, tui meaning to push and na meaning to lift and squeeze. While traditional Chinese medical precepts form its theoretical basis, clinical experience governs its application.

Tui na facilitates healing by regulating the circulation of blood and qi (vital energy), which controls body function and enhances resistance to disease. Practitioners recognize more than 365 hand techniques, although these techniques can be generally grouped as pressing, rubbing, waving, shaking, percussion, or manipulating. Techniques range from light and soothing to strong and invigorating. Click here to find a Tui Na practitioner.

Turaya Touch System

With Turaya Touch, using the body’s system of light energy, practitioners place their hands on various parts of the client’s head, back, shoulders, and abdomen. This technique brings about a feeling of deep relaxation as it releases the energy blocks causing mental and physical distress. Turaya also unlocks creative potential at the cellular level.