Mission statement ii
In 1999, I thought I made a huge discovery: many chronic musculoskeletal disabilities are due to a lack of oxygen and blood flow because the involved tissues have too high an interstitial fluid pressure. Several years later, I realized the idea wasn’t new at all and in fact was the cornerstone philosophy of manual therapy in ancient eastern cultures.
I first read the works of Franz Boas, a noted Pacific Northwest anthropologist, over thirty-five years ago. Two things that he stated impressed me the most: firstly, try not to force the facts to fit the hypothesis, and secondly, in the main, the mental characteristics of man are the same all over.
Again, Boas stated that mental characteristics of man in different cultures are the same and that their knowledge is determined by the stage of their culture. This means a tribe in Indonesia will have similarities to a tribe in Mexico or a tribe in Siberia would have similarities to one in Alaska. Since the West Coast First Nation’s cultures are over 12,000 years old, there should be many similarities to Eastern cultures. This similarity to The East would also be true for indigenous cultures in other parts of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and Islands of the Pacific.
The concept of Qi (ch’i) is well known in Eastern traditional medicines. One of its meanings is air. Yoga and Thai Massage, for example, share the fundamental bases of breathing and getting the air from the lungs to various body parts needing it. [Qi]
So, why aren’t similar manual therapies being practiced in First Nations communities today?
Continuing with this reasoning, I feel that this type of manual therapy was, in fact, practiced in the Americas and Pacific. We know all too well what happened after the Europeans’ arrival. First Nations’ cultures and traditions were bleached-out after their colonization and simply lost after so many deaths due to infectious diseases.
It’s my wish to re-introduce the concept of restoring oxygen supply and blood flow as a mechanism of action of manual therapy to indigenous cultures of the Americas and the Pacific. Knowing this will still leave space for differences where each nation will have room to add their classical approaches and specific techniques.
I would be happy to demonstrate and perhaps teach several procedures to interested members of the community.
A lack of oxygen and too high of the interstitial fluid pressure are being found to exist in many disorders. Modern imaging techniques and biochemical analyses are bearing this out. Regarding manual therapy, many long-held Western views of epidemiology and research are now being shown as wrong.
Future research will be testing the hypothesis: a lack of blood flow and oxygen is a cause of many ailments while restoration of blood supply and oxygen are the remedies. This science will advance traditional First Nations medicine.
It’s my hope you will collaborate with me on this endeavor.
Teaching band members with this ancient art will not be an easy task. Hopefully, once various groups of people have seen this therapy and understood my idea, they in turn would help lobby the appropriate government departments and university faculties for help in this endeavor.
By offering education, this opportunity could lead to further career ladders and help create a self-sustaining First Nations community. Through such development of health training, traditional healing practices would be strengthened.
I understand that in the past, high levels of success are present when development(s) of initiatives are planned, implemented and evaluated when under direct community control. By encouraging the First Nations to aspire to a therapy that is designed and delivered within their own community, their unique cultural ways and traditions would be restored.
It is my vision to restore and improve cultural healing traditions to the First Nations peoples.