massage and bodywork professionals

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Saturday, October 16 from 9am-4pm with Boris Prilutsky at Creative Chakra Spa
3401 Pacific Ave. 2A Marina Del Rey CA 90292

(6 CEU hours accepted by City of Los Angeles & NCBTMB)

Pre-registration is mandatory
To register please phone 310-823-9378 or send e-mail to

Boris Prilutsky will teach this seminar that will be uniquely valuable
for all massage/bodywork practitioners.  In this difficult economy, it’s
increasingly vital to know how to most effectively incorporate energy
work with science or evidence-based massage principles, protocols and
practice techniques.  This is, if one truly wants to increase/maintain
their income by consistently and efficiently providing highly effective
stress management massage, orthopedic massage, sports massage and manual
lymph drainage acceleration.
The knowledge that attendees will gain from this hands-on seminar will
enable them to more accurately, efficiently and effectively achieve the
results that their clients desire.  It will also enable them to better
protect themselves from any negative client energies while strengthening
the theoretical foundation upon which they base whatever massage
modality they favor/practice.
This will be a hands-on workshop so (Wear loose clothing, bring sheets, towels, oils and creams are provided)
Upon completion of the seminar, participants will receive a certificate
for 6 CEU hours accepted by NCBTMB and the City of Los Angeles.

Attached is an article written by Boris that provides the basic
knowledge supporting what attendees will learn about and practice during
the class.

To secure your place:
Please mail $150 checks payable to Medical and Sports massage inc.
To: CE.coordinator, P.O.Box4454 N.  Hollywood CA 91617 or call Creative Chakra Spa @ 310-823-9378 to  pay by credit card.

Science of Massage and Energy Work

By Boris Prilutsky

Dear friends. Over the span of 38 years that I worked in the
massage-therapy field, I’ve performed myself and have seen many of my
colleges performing many different types of massage with the wide range
of results. Interestingly, physiological effect of massage alone,
couldn’t explain the obtained results. There were always additional
effects caused by none other than what we would call now as “energy

The effect of “energy” on body became evident for me back in my
postgraduate days, when the group of my colleges and I conducted an
energy related experiment. Several people had the amount of arterial
blood supply to the extremities measured two times by the special ultra
sound equipment. The first time after standing still on one spot for ten
minutes. The second time after each of them performed extensive
visualizing of vein blood drainage and arterial blood supply process
through their lower extremities. Surprisingly, the second measurement
recorded much higher blood supply for all the testers despite the fact
that none of them have moved.( as you know when we staying steel blood
supply to the extremity significant decrease)

Effects of “energy work” are unavoidable in performing massage, thus
practitioners have to be prepared to channel it properly. Without
practical understanding of what’s involved in “energy work” many
practitioners might inadvertently hurt their patients and themselves.

Because “energy work” is so practically important I decided to start my
book The Simple approach to Sports and Medical Massage from the chapter
Science of Massage & Energy Work.

Mysteries and metaphysics surrounds energy issue; different esoteric
theories have been built around this subject. My purpose here is not to
create another theory and or break down the dependency between “mind and
matter” to the Quantum Mechanics level. My purpose is to share my
practical experience in “energy work” and to give manual therapy
practitioners a practical tool that will help him/her to deal with
“energy work” in their daily practice. This method relies not on quantum
mechanics, but on the knowledge of basic anatomy, physiology and

Below I will summarize these necessary facts in the light of their
connection to massage in order use them as reference for further
discussion of “energy work” process. This time I will exclude classic
academic approach of “gross anatomy and physiology”. Because of
practical need of today discussion I am offering practical approach to
the science. In other words exited to referring to anatomical names of
body parts I will offer you the structural anatomy and practical
physiology approach.

Anatomy and Physiology of cardiovascular system

The cardiovascular system consists of heart, arteries, arterioles,
capillary networks, venules, and veins. Blood itself is also an
anatomical part of the cardiovascular system. The human heart is a very
energetic-p fishotential muscle. The fact is that for an average of
about 80 years, without taking a break, the heart performs a pumping
action approximately 80 times per minute. Blood is pumped out of the
heart through the arterial blood vessels (those that carry blood away
from the heart), towards the periphery under pressure, so even
structures such as the brain, which are topographically located above
heart, will get blood supply. Normal blood pressure is considered
120/80. The duty of blood supply is firstly to deliver oxygen,
nutrients, and hormones to all 55 trillions cells in the body, which
compose our different tissues.

Arterial Blood Flow

Arterial blood distribution first goes through arteries, then
arterioles, and then thru the huge network of capillaries - tiny blood
vessels, some so small that they will only allow the passage of one red
blood cell at a time. It is on this microscopic level of vessels where
the basic metabolism - the gas exchange, occurs. The surrounding cells
consume everything they need (oxygen, nutrients, etc.) from the
capillary blood supply. When this exchange of material happens, the
arterial blood is spent of its supplies and will be given up to the
venous blood circulation.

Venous Blood Flow

Venous blood flows toward the heart slower than arterial blood flows,
and is under less pressure. As venous circulation works its way toward
the heart, it will be cleaned passing thru the liver and kidneys,
allowing metabolic waste products to be removed from the body. It will
then flow thru the lungs, satiate with oxygen, and will be ready to
repeat the circulation cycle again and again, 24 hours a day, 7 days a
Venous blood drainage is supported mechanically by muscular contraction,
which occurs whenever we move. All the way throughout the venous
circulation there are valves located on the interior of the vessels.
Valves open only when blood flows towards the heart. Rhythmic
contraction of the muscles supports venous blood drainage. During
massage, we activate a similar mechanical action by performing squeezing
techniques only towards the heart, in the direction of venous blood
flow. Thus, we mechanically accelerate the flow of venous blood drainage
significantly and substantially increase local arterial blood supply to
the tissue. This movement goes against the flow of arterial blood, but
its influence can’t disrupt arterial blood flow as it is under the
superior pressure.

The acceleration of venous blood drainage described above belongs to one
of the factors of the physiological effect of massage: direct, local
mechanical factor. The second factor is an indirect effect, achieved
through the nervous system pathways, and is not limited to the local
area being massaged. Neuro-reflexive aspect is the main power of massage

Structural anatomy of the Central Nervous System

The central nervous system is composed of the spinal cord and the brain.
Much processing of afferent perception information and efferent
responses happen in both upper and lower centers. The peripheral nervous
system originates from the spinal cord and provides innervation to
inner organs and systems, to the somatic parts, such as skin, connective
tissue, muscles, etc. At the very endings of the peripheral nervous
system, there are proprioreceptors located in skin, muscles, connective
tissues, etc, that respond to touch, pressure, temperature, vibration,
pain, etc.

The moment you touch proprioreceptors, you cause generation of action
potentials (afferent impulses), which will stream and stimulate the
central nervous system including motor, vasomotor, and other centers.
Due to this stimulation, organs and systems of our body reflect by
vasodilation, increased blood supply, relaxation of muscles, etc. This
is what reflexive therapy is. Reflex is the body’s involuntary reaction
to an original stimulus.

In the case of reflexive therapy, this reaction is expressed by the
above-mentioned positive changes in functions of organs and systems,
which will include reduction of left atria work due to vasodilation.
Please keep in mind that stress causes vessels to constrict (arteries
carry enough smooth muscles and nerves to constrict).

Peripheral vascular constriction amplifies peripheral vascular
resistance. Peripheral vascular resistance is a main opposition to the
left atria work ( left part of the hard responsible for ejection of
arterial blood to the circulatory system). Increased peripheral vascular
resistance immediately responds by increasing left atria work in order
to overcome such resistance.

Significant increase of cardio work can lead to stress-related heart
attacks, and can accelerate the development of arteriosclerosis. In
order to achieve reflexive therapy results, massage therapist must
perform massage in the inhibitory regime.

Inhibitory Regime

Every nerve receptor has its own level of adaptation - its ability to
produce electrical activities, also known as impulse or action
potential. To work in the inhibitory regime means to keep massage
manipulation in a rhythm of 70-80 movements per minute while gradually
increasing pressure and minimizing disconnection. Consequently,
receptors will not increasing production of action potential, but the
flow of afferent neural impulses from the contact area of our hands will
The motor and vasomotor centers include pain-analyzing systems,
responding to this kind of stimulation by vasodilation, muscular
relaxation and other positive changes in functions of organs and systems
do to re-polarization of the neurons. This approach aims at reducing
the sympathetic tone and restoring balance in activities, between the
sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous

The status of these systems functioning in balance is one of ultimate
health. To bring about this balance is the bottom line goal of stress
management massage therapy.

The philosophy and ultimate goal of Chinese medicine treatments is to
balance the activities of yin and yang (active and passive energy).
Disorders are most often defined as stagnations, or blocks of chi flow.
In my opinion there is a direct correlation between the conventional
explanation of the mechanism of massage and the oriental medicine
explanation. The electrical stream that we create via massage, causing
flow- distribution of the chi- energy, what in turn leads to balance of
sympathetic and parasympathetic activities; balance of yin and yang.

Phenomenon of Piezoelectricity

The piezoelectric phenomenon is described as the ability of both
inorganic and organic substances to generate electrical potential in
response to purely mechanical deformation. During the performance of
massage therapy, we are deforming the tissues, cells, and molecules
thereby generating/creating piezoelectric charges. In massage, the main
cause of piezoelectric phenomenon is the deformation of collagen
molecules (elastin and keratin also carry piezoelectric properties). As
we know, molecules are surrounded by large amounts of extra-cellular
fluid (at least 70-75% of our body is water). By performing massage we
not only generate electrical impulses that travel thru peripheral
nerves, which in term make their way to the central nervous system, but
also generate piezoelectric charges of electricity. These piezoelectric
streams move out in all directions, thru extra-cellular fluid and other
molecular structures, creating streaming potentials that travel to the
inner organs and there create massive additional afferent impulses.
These afferent impulses from inner organs in turn further stimulate
centers within the central nervous system and increase the power of
reflexive therapy (positive changes in function of organs and system due
to original stimulation by massage). This phenomenon of
piezoelectricity also explains much in the mechanisms of acupuncture and
acupressure. I have always believed that the oriental methods of the
treatments are bottom line, reflexive therapy. When performing massage
techniques, especially kneading/petrissage, try to imagine (to see with
your hands what eyes cannot see) the massive phenomenon of
piezoelectricity on top of the action potential formation from the
deformation of proprioreceptors. Whenever we touch the body, we are
causing the creation of these electrical charges. Please always imagine
these energetic streamings and you will heal your clients much more

Sense of Touch

A therapist while doing massage cannot observe the aforementioned facts
about anatomy, physiology and the factors of reflexive therapy.
Therefore a massage therapist has to be able to maintain a mental
picture of anatomical and physiological processes based on his/her
preexisting knowledge. This mental picture helps a massage therapist to
be in control of what his/her hands are doing and why are they doing it.
It assists practitioners in developing their sense of touch.

Sense of touch is ability to sense with our hands what our eyes cannot
see. For instance, when we look at our client, we cannot see what an
anatomical chart of the cardiovascular system would show us, but we have
the ability to imagine the physiology of the cardiovascular system
under our hands. We can develop our sense of touch to the degree that
will allow us to perform energy work.

Using Sense of Touch for Energy Work

Thought is energy. Thinking, envisioning, imagining, projecting, are all
electrical activities in our brain, and these impulses create energy
fields (electromagnetic fields) around us. These electromagnetic fields
can protect your personal state of energy from disturbances and will
increase the power of all activities caused by your hands-on massage.
Energy work positively influences our hands-on therapy efforts and
allows us to manipulate the energy of our client(s). By focusing and
projecting our understanding of anatomy and physiological processes
transpired in our patient while we’re doing massage, allows us to
increase our powers of healing to the maximum extent.

Pathology & Energy Work

Our skeleton consists of about 206 bones. Everywhere where two bones
meet they create a joint, held together by ligaments - very strong,
elastic, belt-like, soft connective tissue - which hold the two bones in
place, surrounding and stabilizing the joint. Cartilage covering the
surface areas of the ends of bones where they come together creating
joint-arthra. Cartilage, providing a smooth, frictionless apparatus to
allow the surfaces to articulate against one another. If this cartilage
becomes inflamed, deformed, or develops fissuring, and/or erosion, this
kind of pathology is called arthritis; inflammation in the joint (-its
meaning inflammation). If a joint region is sprained (pulled), or
strained (overloaded), very possible that tendons - extensions of
muscles attaching them to the bones - can develop inflammation, as well
as ligaments, bursa, muscles, etc. In the case of sport-related injury
in the knee region for example, there may be physical effect such as
contusion, twist, and sprain, strain, which can cause a person to
develop arthritis, periarthritis and more.

For a therapist it is extremely important to understand that in any case
of inflammation, whether it be arthritis, tendonitis, or bursitis, the
_expression of these pathologies will be swelling of the tissues,
excessive volume of extracellular fluid accumulation, and stasis of
venous blood, which disallows arterial blood supply (oxygen and
anti-inflammatory hormones like hydrocortisone). In the inflamed areas
the demand of blood supply, will be increased much more than the regular
blood supply can deliver. Pain is a signal/message about swelling of
the tissue, stasis of venous blood, which decreases arterial blood
supply (oxygen supply), accumulation of excessive amount of
extracellular fluid, and constriction of muscles.

Bear in mind that all these processes and physical _expression of pathology in most cases, cannot be seen from the outside.
It is extremely important for the massage therapist to understand the
pathology to the degree that he/she can begin to heal by simply placing
the hands on the region and imagining all the above-mentioned
expressions of pathology. There is no doubt, that if, additional to
energy work that I described before, we will perform techniques for
acceleration of venous blood drainage, edema reduction, trigger point
therapy, etc. then rapid and sustained results can be expected.

To make all of the things mentioned above a little more organized, I
Kahan proposes the following structure in massage therapy approach:

A. Knowledge - this is your memory of the facts, i.e., structural
anatomy and physiology, as well as pathological developments in cases of

B. Understanding of Knowledge - this means more than just memorizing the
dry facts about the structure and function of the region, or the
symptoms and signs of a disorder. It refers to your capability to
picture these components living and functioning in the normal situation
and to picture what is occurring in the pathology situation.

C. Knowledge and Visualization. When knowledge and understanding are
combined inside of you (this place could be in your heart, or your soul,
somewhere inside where your sense of touch lives) it is transported to
your hands, with which you perform soft-tissue mobilization as well as
energy work.

A person may have knowledge about _expression of pathologies such as
bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, etc, but if he/she applies excessive
pressure on the region, we can all agree, his/her understanding of this
knowledge is apparently very limited. By placing our hands on a
sick/injured area and imagining what is going on under our hands, we are
creating active thoughts (energy matter) that, in addition to all
positive physiological effects of massage therapy, allow us to
manipulate chi in such a way that the healing process will be amplified
to the greatest extent possible.

Placebo and Energy Work

Human body has a boundless potential to heal itself. In any double-blind
study, approximately 20-28% of study subjects respond with a great deal
of improvement to the placebo. Mind is ready to accept either the real
medication or other therapy. For example, there are many documented
cases where patients cure themselves of cancer by eating, or drinking,
or doing what they believe the cure is. This means that the placebo can
help a person to activate some mechanism, (yet undefined by medicine),
that has a possibly unlimited power to heal the body. There might be
many other, similar to placebo, built in mechanisms that can activate
the natural power of a human body to heal itself.

I surmise that this healing power can be activated through our
manipulation of chi, and I also believe that it is some dominantly
psychological aspect, which would allow us to do this. Somehow, at the
time of energy work, our patients own ultimate self-healing powers are
activated, by passing psychological- placebo starter. The very important
for us to understand, that therapist heal the client, by stimulating
the clients power to heal their own self.

Hippocrates said that the nature of the human body is to heal illness,
and the doctor (or anyone involved in health care) should be a servant
to this capability.
Dear fellow therapists. Please view the material I presented in this
article as a puzzle that you have to piece together. Electrical
activities occur in our body 24/7. All organs and systems communicate
with the central nervous system as well as with each other through
electrical impulses and biochemical reactions. Constant movement of
electrical charges in our body induces electromagnetic fields around us.
The task of a massage therapist is to adjust and channel this energy
toward self-healing/stimulation, as well as toward increasing the power
of a massage therapy session.

Why and what precisely is the mechanism of “energy work?” How exactly it
happens that directed flow of our thoughts penetrates the barrier
between the body of the therapist and the patient and affects positively
the electro-magnetic field in the patient body?

The answer to this question is similar to the answer of why moving
magnetic field indices electrical current – that’s how our Universe is
constructed. We all agree that massage therapy is about results. As a
massage therapist just like an electrical engineer we can use these
phenomena to obtain stable and consistent results, with or without
complete understanding of its microcosmic nature.

I would highly recommend that you start from practicing self chi
manipulation. Therefore please pull out an anatomical chart and while
you re-read the article try to imagine structural anatomy and
physiology. Focus on stomach area and imagine the clockwise peristaltic
action of the digestive system for a few minutes. In doing this, you
already start manipulation/distribution of your own energy. As you read
the material on physiological effect of massage, imagine the
acceleration of venous blood drainage, arterial blood supply process,
and electric streams. All proposed techniques for self chi manipulation
will help you to stay healthier and will create your protective
electro-magnetic field. At the time of a hands-on massage imagine all
the processes that you stimulate in your clients body. During your
hands-on performance, combine the imagination of the processes (energy
work). Your electro magnetic fields will not only protect you from
energetic influence of your clients, but will also increase your healer

In summary:

Please remember that: what sets therapists apart is the level of sense
of touch. A more developed sense of touch will allow a therapist to
achieve better and faster results do to incorporation of energy work.

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