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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
Touch & Movement Therapies

For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.


  • The Bowen Technique
  • Zero Balancing
  • Kahuna
  • Chavutti Thirumal
  • Indian Head Massage
  • Shen Therapy
  • Eutony
  • Hakomi


    This non-manipulative, hands-on technique was pioneered in Australia in the 1950s by a bodyworker, Tom Bowen. He taught his method to an Australian osteopath, Dr. Ossie Rentsch, who continued Bowen's work after is death in 1982, training practitioners in Australia, North America, and the UK. The Bowen technique is said to stimulate "energy flow", enabling the body's self-healing resources to restore harmony.

    The therapy is carried out on a soft, low treatment table with the patient in loose clothing. The practitioner makes a series of light, rolling movements on the muscles and tendons with his fingers and thumbs. This is believed to encourage circulation, increase mobility, and promote lymphatic drainage of waste products. Often only 2 to 3 sessions are given, each of 30 to 40 minutes.

    The technique claims to benefit any condition, especially back and joint pain, sports injuries, bronchitis, and menstrual problems. Most conventional health care providers who encounter it would probably find it slightly bemusing.

    The Bowen Technique Therapy


    An American osteopath and acupuncturist, Fritz Smith, developed this touch technique combining aspects of Western and Eastern medicine in 1975. It has a following today mainly in the US.

    Zero Balancers believe that the body has an unseen energy field, which is related to the musculoskeletal system. Treatment aims to promote a smooth flow of energy through the body, improving posture and inducing a sense of harmony, which boosts the body's self-healing ability. Attention is paid to "foundation" joints, for example in the foot, that act as shock absorbers for the weight-bearing skeleton, and to breathing patterns, eye movements, and stomach rumbles (said to indicate energy flow).

    The practitioner applies gentle finger pressure to stretch and hold you, while you lie fully clothed on a treatment table. Three sessions of 20 to 40 minutes each may be recommended, with more as required. The therapy claims to heal past emotional or physical traumas, and while conventional practitioners are skeptical, they generally feel it is harmless.

    Zero Balancing


    An ancient system of massage originally practiced by Hawaiian kahunas (healers), kahuna aims to help patients accept their body and love themselves. Greater self-love is believed to encourage recognition of the beauty of the surrounding world. The practitioner massages you with sweeping, rhythmic strokes as you lie naked on a treatment table. Treatment takes two hours, with sessions every 2 to 3 months of as long as desired. Treatment is said to speed up the "vibrational rate" of body cells, but most conventional practitioners dismiss this claim.

    Kahuna Massage


    Part of the Ayurvedic system of medicine, this form of massage comes from southern India, reputedly developed to promote suppleness in Kathakali dancers and practitioners of kalaripayattu, a martial art. It is beginning to be practiced in the US and UK as a specialized form of massage to stimulate the circulation, lymphatic system, and digestion. You lie on the floor with body oiled, while the practitioner, hanging onto an overhead rope, uses his feet and toes to apply firm, continuous strokes, said to stimulate the body's nadi (energy lines). Sessions last 90 minutes, and are usually given every 2 to 3 months. Conventional medical practitioners generally consider it a curiosity.

    Chavutti Thirumal


    This Ayurvedic head massage, traditionally used by Indian women to keep their hair lustrous and healthy, is said to relax the thin layer of muscle covering the head, improving blood flow, nourishing hair follicles, and alleviating anxiety and stress.

    Indian Head Massage

    Practitioners massage the shoulders and head with alternate firm and gentle strokes, using warm oil (coconut, sesame, almond, or olive). Sessions last 20 to 30 minutes and are usually weekly. Most conventional medical practitioners consider this therapy to be harmless and relaxing.

    Precautions: Avoid Indian Head Massage if you have a severe scalp condition.


    This mind and body therapy was created in 1977 by an American bodyworker, Richard R. Pavek. He believed that painful emotions, if repressed, stay in the body, affecting behavior and health. Love, sadness, and grief are said to affect the heart and chest; fear, excitement, and anger the digestive tract; and shame, inadequacy, and confidence the genitals. As you lie on a special table, the practitioner places her hands on your clothed body to direct natural "energy" through your key emotion centers in patterns designed to release repressed feelings. Ten weekly treatments may be recommended, with sessions of 60 to 90 minutes. Used for PMS and psycho-emotional ailments like anorexia, SHEN is unknown to most conventional medical practitioners.

    Shen Therapy


    Eutony was developed in the 1930s by German-born Gerda Alexander, who observed through her involvement in dance that pupils tended to follow their teacher too closely. Better known in Canada and South America than in the US and UK, eutony is a form of movement therapy in which patients achieve self-knowledge by exploring their own movements, and is often practiced as part of psychotherapy. Sessions last 60 to 90 minutes, and length of treatment varies widely according to the individual. Eutony claims to treat musculoskeletal disorders and conditions linked to psychological problems, and seems to be well regarded by conventional practitioners who know of it.



    Developed by an American psychotherapist, Ron Kurtz, in the 1970s, hakomi treats the patient mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to promote self-healing. Practitioners help patients enter a state of "mindfulness" (awareness of the moment) to explore self-limiting attitudes that may be reflected in physical traits, such as posture or facial expression. Hakomi is used for any physical condition caused by emotional problems. It may be continued for years with sessions lasting 60 to 90 minutes. Hakomi is a therapeutic method for individuals seeking to heal wounds from the past and begin living their lives in loving presence.

    Hakomi - Ron Kurtz, Founder


    Borrowed from a Hopi Indian word meaning "who are you?" Hakomi is a ground-breaking method of body-centered psychotherapy that encourages the therapist's loving presence as the most supportive state of mind for the client. It's seeds took root during the 1960's and 70's, at a radical time when pioneers like Fritz Perls, Moshe Feldenkrais and Carl Rodgers were shattering the boundries of traditional therapeutic approaches and Humanistic Psychology and the Human Potential Movements were gaining in popularity. The body was given much more credit for processing its own wisdom and as a result, patients were having rapid breakthroughs with lasting positive change. Deeply affected by his experiences at Esalen and explorations into Gestalt, Rolfing, Bioenergetics, Group Dynamics, Transpersonal/Interpersonal Counseling, Yoga and Buddhism, Dr. Kurtz formally began offering his new somatic psychotherapy called Hakomi in 1979. It has since evolved into what is known as The Refined Hakomi Method and The Ron Kurtz Legacy Teachings.

  • Educational Materials

  • ABOUT RON KURTZ DHL (Doctor of Humane Letters)

    Dr. Kurtz developed the Hakomi Method over a period of 39 years. He has been leading workshops and trainings internationally for decades. He founded the Hakomi Institute in 1981; Ron Kurtz Trainings, Inc. in 1990; and with several colleagues the Hakomi Educational Network (International), and in 2010 he formed the new Ron Kurtz Center in Ashland, Oregon. Dr. Kurtz has written or co-authored three books: The Body Reveals, Body-Centered Psychotherapy, and Grace Unfolding. Ron and his daughter Lily are currently at work on a collaborative revision of his title: Body-Centered Psychotherapy. In 2008 Dr. Kurt received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Association for Body Psychotherapy as well as an honorary doctorate from the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. On January 4, 2011 he died of a heart attack in his hometown of Ashland, Oregon.


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