Thirty years ago a therapist arrived at work. He had a busy day ahead: and work-generated injuries to both wrists. His first client of the day was a Russian opera singer by the name of Anton*. Think classic, rather rotund opera singer: that was Anton. Anton liked DEEP Massage. Anton would not be satisfied with the gentle stroking work that the therapist could offer without pains shooting up his arms. And just as the therapist realised this, and panic struck in, his body wisdom took over and NO HANDS was born.
The very first stroke we teach as part of the NO HANDS PRACTITIONER training, the Slump, is what happened next. Gerry (Pyves, NO HANDS founder and the therapist in the story above) lost consciousness and in doing so fell on the very SOFTEST part of his forearms on to Anton’s back.
And Anton LOVED it.
His familiar, satisfied “uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh” sound woke Gerry from his somewhat catatonic state – and so began the process of working out how, consciously, to recreate the incredible stroke that is the Slump. Then progressing on to exactly the same process for the strokes that make up the rest of the NO HANDS lexicon. You can read the full story of the beginnings of NO HANDS in The Principles & Practice of NO HANDS Massage.
Every stroke Gerry developed had to meet two simple criteria:
- To be completely zero strain for the Practitioner
- To be as powerful, if not more so, than it’s Swedish Massage equivalent
For every stroke we still teach there are at least 5 that got discarded along the way.Because they didn’t get consistently GREAT results from clients. Because some body shapes /strengths struggled to do them zero strain. Because an even more potent stroke came along that did the same job better.
These strokes absolutely answered the issue that started NO HANDS – of creating a way of working that wouldn’t injure the therapist, that wouldn’t cut short a career hard won and much needed by the planet. But what was really fascinating was that NO HANDS clients were walking away with far more than most traditional Massage clients even imagined was possible from “just a Massage”.
What was going on?
Gerry’s commitment to offering his clients the most potent treatments he could meant that the complete NO HANDS Massage system ended up combining powerful psychotherapeutically-informed communication with strokes which went beyond just “muscle and bone” to the very core: the nervous system.
Unwittingly he had created an approach which created such a sense of somatic safety, in many ways entirely bypassing the conscious brain, that clients were walking away with far more than from your “average Massage”. They were experiencing psychological shifts and releases many psychotherapists would expect to see only after several years of intensive work. And these clients were seeing these changes after just one or two sessions.
it took a good few years to truly understand how this was happening but with neuroscience and trauma research having come on leaps and bounds it became clear NO HANDS treatments were having a huge impact on psychological traumas clients were carrying – often entirely out of their awareness.
Having started with zero strain the NO HANDS training now goes right the way through to our certified TRAUMA DISCHARGE THERAPY , a comprehensive bodywork therapy which safety yet powerfully is enabling clients to let go and depotentiate traumas which have, in many cases, been with them for decades.
But one thing remains the same: the best way to understand what NO HANDS can offer you & your clients is to Take Time Out and Feel It. Find your local therapist here
* name changed to protect the client’s privacy