Optimum health is based on two broad areas – genetic makeup and environmental influences. We can’t do anything presently about the genes we inherit, but we can control, for a large extent, our environment. By environment, we mean the air we breathe, the food and water we consume, the amount and kind of exercise, our relationships, and our emotional attitude.
Much has been written on this subject. The area that usually gets the least discussion is the importance of relaxation. Relaxation allows the processes of the mind and body to function naturally and optimally. The chi or guiding energy must flow freely; the blood must move without restriction; the muscles must be able to reach their full range of movement; and the organs must do their job. Tension restricts these essential functions.
Michael Gilman, recognizing these truths, developed the Ting Fa Theraputic Approach as a way for an individual to release and open his or her own body through solo exercises (Opening the Gates Chi Kung covered in the Chi Kung section), and by giving or receiving a body working session.
Ting Fa is a Chinese term with deep meaning. Ting means “to listen with all ones senses” and Fa means “to act at the appropriate time”. So in this context, Ting Fa means that the practitioner listens to the clients body/mind with all his or her senses, especially touch, and when the energy blocks are understood, the practitioner instructs the client how to open and release.
In a Ting Fa session, which usually lasts an hour to an hour and a half, the student (called that because the practitioner is actually giving the person who is receiving the work a lesson on how to be more open) lies comfortably on a table, and through the use of touch, is gently guided and encouraged to let go of old habits, ways of moving, habitual responses, and is shown new ways of being.
The general response to a session of Ting Fa is the feeling of being centered, of experiencing the mind and body as interrelated and one. The tension has dissipated, leaving an overall sensation of well being and contentment. The student is left with the knowledge (actual experience not theoretical) of how to be different. With this knowledge, the student now has a choice in the ways of being, allowing the mind and body to open to natural movement and response.
After a session, a student can keep his or her internal learning going by practicing Opening the Gates, which was designed to compliment the table work. Together these make a powerful system to aid an individual to take control of his health and well being. This class is offered each morning at the studio or look at the workshop section for the next training in Opening the Gates.