Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

The Tao of Manual Therapy: Unconscious Pain Relief

  • Broadcast in Education



Follow This Show

If you liked this show, you should follow thrill96.

In Taoist philosophy the word Tao is not generally considered to be a 'name' for a 'thing': it is a reference to the natural order of existence, often referred to as the "eternally nameless”  to distinguish it from the countless 'named' things which are considered to be its manifestations. 

However, current manual therapy "names" many causes of pain as well as naming treatments and modalities. Unfortunately, many therapists (PT, ATC, LMT, DO, MD, DC) may not recognize current neuroscience research relating to pain as well as the bodies ability to SELF-CORRECT. 

Our guest today is Gary Shapiro, who is a physical therapist and long time Tai Chi practitioner. We will discuss the spontaneous motion that emerges from people first described in the medical literature in 1852, known as ideomotor movement—unconscious movement that is associated with a thought or thoughts. Ideomotion is not only associated with our thoughts, but also serves the purpose of correction by reducing the mechanical stresses on pain sensitive structures in the body. Combining ideomotion and the primary tenets of Tai Chi, patients learn to heal themselves by "getting out of their own way." 


Before Gary embarked on a 25 year career as a physical therapist and Tai Chi enthusiast, he also served the United States as a navigator in the United States Air Force.