Fine Tune Your Body

Learning the art and science of body tuning.
By Cara Lucas

Everybody has them— backaches from sitting at an office desk too long, a stiff neck from sleeping in an awkward position, or an overuse injury from years of athletic competition.

Whatever the issue is, at some point in your life, you will welcome the help of a professional in treating your ailments. Restoring peace to your body is imperative to leading a fruitful life, and ultimately, we all hope that doctors can help us feel “normal” again.

However, a solution is not always so cut and dry. Left in the hands of the wrong physical therapist, chiropractor, or masseuse, treatment can leave you feeling even worse. One New York City doctor, however, lessens these disappointing outcomes and, just as you would tune a delicate instrument, helps restore your body so it can function beautifully (and at its best) once again.

The Body Tuner

Classical music plays softly. A comfortable breeze blows in through the open windows. Even the birds seem happy outside. Spring insists on coming early, and today one can finally feel it in the air.

In the typical, small space in New York City, one would be hard pressed to figure out whether the studio belonged to a musician, dancer, or singer. But, in fact, it houses a doctor’s office. The enchanting, relaxing atmosphere is part of the appeal for patients. The emotional tranquility the office provides allows their minds to unwind, thus relaxing their bodies, as well.

Dr. Schmuel Tatz quietly works on a patient, massaging her tight calves, manipulating her feet, legs, and back in places only hands of experience know how to do. By trade, he is a physical therapist. But Tatz knows that, just like a piano or guitar needs tuning, so does the body. This is why he calls himself a body tuner.

“In body tuning, there exists many different techniques that work together to take care of the body. Each individual technique has its own answer for everything. There is no one answer,” explains Tatz. “To know how to truly help the body, you need to know many different approaches… It’s taking the best from all these different approaches and saying ‘This is what’s best for this’ or ‘This is what’s best for that.’ This is body tuning.”

Take the concept of proper nutrition, for example. Just like one benefits from different nutrients, vitamins, and sustenance from various foods, the body also benefits from different vibrations or corrections. Tatz explains that knowing only one technique limits the ability to help a greater amount of people.

“If you know only one technique and treat everyone with the same vibrations, this works, for maybe ten [percent]. But if you know many, you can help more people.”

The Process

Although he downplays it, Tatz’ work is an art. Physically restoring the body to center is his specialty and many of his patients couldn’t carry out daily tasks if it wasn’t for his talents.

The Lithuanian-born physical therapist is renown for his ability to re-establish peace in the body. In New York, he has worked with famous ballet dancers, musicians, and news anchors. People in various fields from all over the world come to see him, hoping that he can work wonders—and he doesn’t let them down.

Tatz uses a healthy concoction of conventional physical therapy, injected with doses of yoga, osteopathy, acupuncture, tai chi chaun, and reflex therapy. This eclectic mix allows him to approach the problem from different angles, using an arrangement that works best for the individual. Body tuning is not yoga, although there is stretching involved. It is not chiropractic, although there are certain adjustments that he makes. It is not massage, although Tatz digs deep into tight tissues. Body tuning is its own entity—almost like a type of art form.

However, don’t think for a second that this art is based on intuition or a hunch. Tatz has a solid education, many years of experience, and numerous certifications. The result of his hard work has produced the ability to know what works and what doesn’t. He stresses experience and education as the most important aspects to look for in a good body tuner.

While it may sound complicated, the process is quite simple. Little is said as a patient walks through Dr. Tatz’s doors. Patient sits. Patient lies down. Dr. Tatz looks. Dr. Tatz listens—with his hands. Yes, you read correctly—his hands. By touching the body he listens to and learns what it needs; this provides an avenue for improvement to take place.

The Result

Take a guess as to the real key to his success? Dr. Tatz will readily tell you it is a motivated, involved patient.

Tatz claims that he is not a miracle worker. What really contributes to a full recovery is the patient’s persistent effort in getting well. You see, the body has memories just like the mind. It remembers the way you slump when you sit or tense up when stressed. Tuning the body can correct the physical mechanics, but it is up to the patient to correct their mental habits that cause the repeated, poor physical tendencies.

Take, for instance, the example of proper nutrition again. In the morning, you eat breakfast. But you cannot eat both lunch and dinner at the same time as breakfast. You have to space out your meals throughout the day in order to get long-lasting energy from your food. If you are sick, you don’t take all your medicine at once, either. You take the doses depending on what the doctor (and prescription) tell you. But you keep taking it. It is the same with body tuning: you must commit to maintaining your body and put in the necessary effort at the appropriate times.

Tatz explains that there is no quick fix for body pain. Many patients tell him about visiting chiropractors for a speedy five-minute adjustment or a physical therapist whose treatment consisted of doing random, machine exercises—all similar stories of doctors who did not spend enough hands-on time with their patients. Similarly, doing several hours of therapy per week is not good either, especially if you are doing the wrong type! People come to him looking for answers, wanting to know why they can’t get rid of their pain.

“Many people think that more is better and they tend to overdue it. You must put in therapy time, but we have to establish how much is too much,” explains Dr. Tatz.

Ultimately, both doctor and patient have to be committed to tuning the body. Tatz uses this unique approach to treat even the most tough and non-relenting problems. And although he has worked with famous musicians, dancers, and athletes, he treats everyday clients from all types of backgrounds. From sports injuries to arthritis to sinus problems, there is a solution according to Tatz. It is no quick fix; body tuning fines tunes the patient and sends them back into the world to, hopefully, make sweet music once again.