Page 1 of 4

pressure points

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2002 8:28 pm
by budomaster
I recently came across a book called Death Touch, The Science behind the legend at the following site
Has anyone read this book? I am thinking about buying it. It was written by a medical doctor and supposedly explains how pressure points affect the body.

pressure points

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2002 9:05 pm
by gmattson
I glanced at the site briefly. . . have a class in a few minutes. . .

Aside from the fact that he is selling a book and on-line membership, I was impressed with his credentials. He is a person who could probably talk with Bill Glasheen and not be insulted if Bill mentioned "tests" and documentation.

Initially, I'd say the book is worth getting. (If you do buy it, please let us know what you think of it)


pressure points

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2002 9:17 pm
by TSDguy
I'm suspicious but interested. He's not an MD, but a DO, and I've seen waaay to many people with a medical background go off the deep end when they get into holistic medicine-- especially if it involves money. Let everyone know if you get it.

pressure points

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 4:09 am
by budomaster
I looked into the difference between a DO and MD and DO's do not practice "holistic medicine." Check out this link to see the american osteopathic association's definition of what a DO is:
There is also a page on the web site that explains osteopathic medicine. In addition, Dr Kelly is practicing at one of the best hospitals in the country. I was also impressed with the testimonials: I think I am going to purchase the book. I will let you know what I think.

pressure points

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 2:44 pm
by Bill Glasheen
Pressure point fighting has been around for quite a while now. When it was new, there was a flurry of interest. This means there was a lot of money to be made, and many "experts" rushed to the scenes with seminars, books, and videos.

There are problems with the arts of kyusho, tuite, and Dim Mak. To start with, they are based - in my humble opinion - on a dead paradigm of medicine. OK, so I will incur a little bit of public and private wrath for that statement. The truth is that the 5-element theory paradigm that folks call TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) historically is a Maoist amalgam of MANY competing methods in old osteopathic (as opposed to allopathic) medicine. It was Communist China's pragmatic response to a shortage of practitioners of modern medicine. It is based on a pre-dissection understanding of how the human body worked. we disregard it all? Not really. In the words of my self-deprecating Chief Medical Officer, "Even a blind squirrel can find a nut now and then." Even though the whole system is a fragile house of cards (it was constructed without the rigorous methodology of the RCT or randomized, controlled trial), and even though it assumes a kind of energy that nobody has proven exists, some things actually WORK. Furthermore, even though all this complex charting and cycle of creation vs. destruction is excessive baggage, some folks actually choreographed forms based on them. And while most forms probably came from more modest origins, many practitioners between author and contemporary athlete taught with the paradigm in mind. So from an anthropologic point of view, it's highly useful to have SOMEONE (like an Evan Pantazi) who can give you the unadulterated explanation of a sequence from that perspective.

Well...where would the modern warrior go? If you listen to the modern lethal force experts, they will tell you that KISS (keep it simple, stupid) is best when the s*** comes down. But life is rarely simple, and we don't often have the luxury of facing someone that we can overwhelm with power. So SOME kind of targeted sequential striking methodology is in order. So where would one start in learning about such? Well you could just go out and get a medical degree and figure it out yourself. Absent that, you can start from where others left off, and then separate the wheat from the chaff. This is the approach of Michael Kelly. It also is the approach of Bruce Miller.

Bruce Miller's Website

I'll reserve my judgement on the book until I have read it. However I can tell you that reading his WebPages leaves me feeling lukewarm. The same old experts in the field are referenced, and these guys have their own libraries of books you can buy that will put their kids through college.

There's another little something I notice that I will share. Most people with advanced training put their credentials AFTER their name. Joe Smith, MD, or Sally Johnson, Ph.D. However some fields that have a bit of an inferiority complex tend to put the title they feel they are entitled to FIRST. Thus you find that a chiropractor will put Dr. Sidney Jones, rather than Sidney Jones, DC. There's nothing extra special good or bad about osteopaths. They are basically a cross between an MD and a chiropractor. Many MDs look down their noses at them, so you get this "Dr Michael Kelly" business going on with the inferiority complex that results.

It's no different in martial arts. Some people refer to themselves as "Sifu Johnson." It's...pretentious. It just isn't done by those that are secure in themselves and what they do.

So...this colors my feelings about what I have read a bit. I prefer the factual, understated marketing that I routinely see from reputable sources. But that can be deceiving. When I saw the advertising for Karate Kid, I thought it would be trash. The movie was a pleasant surprise (even though the sequels were typically bad).

What would I do? I'd buy the book, but take what you read with a grain of salt. I'll probably pick up a copy, but then I buy lots of books anyhow.

- Bill

pressure points

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 8:51 pm
by budomaster
I appreciate your input. I can see there is a great deal of experience and wisdom in your words. However, with all due respect, I disagree with you on two points. First, DO's are not a cross between chiropractors and medical doctors. After researching this and speaking to a number of DO's (I am also a physician) I learned that chiropractic was actually derived from osteopathic medicine. The founder of chiropractic, a man named Palmer,was actually an osteopathic medical school drop out. I also do not agree with your statement about the use of the title Dr. I have an MD but I often use the title interchangably with Dr. and without much thought. In addition, on the book, Dr. Kelly's name is clearly written with the DO after it. There is no Dr on the cover of the book. After reviewing the site again, I got the impression that he was actually proud of his Osteopathic training as evidenced by the separate page on osteopathic medicine and the mention of it on his credentials page. (DO is also after his name on the credentials page) So although I agree that perhaps their are individuals who are insecure and use the title of Dr, one can not assume an inferiority complex because a person uses the title. I also do not know of any MD's who snub their noses at DO's and some of the best doctors that I know are DOs.

pressure points

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 9:23 pm
by Bill Glasheen
Points well taken.

You know how medical types are... Surgeons think GPs and FM specialists are on a lower tier, Orthopedists look askance at DO manipulations, etc, etc. It's all good to me. We treat DOs like any other primary care MD in our health plan. They certainly can function in every aspect as a PCP, and they have this other holistic perspective that they come from.

I will admit a healthy skepticism when it comes to manipulations. Some of it definitely works, and there are clear, evidence-based medical guidelines that promote such care under certain circumstances (such as for low back pain). But like a lot of medicine, the treatments are often applied where there is little evidence that it does any good. I've heard many explanations for how manipulations work that just don't make sense, and (again like a lot of medicine) some things work but nobody really knows why.

You are certainly a different kind of consumer of such products, so I take it you will appreciate what you are reading better than most.

I like stuff Bruce Miller writes because he is both a physician's assistant and a practitioner of various eastern massage arts. Bruce puts both disciplines into practice, and seems to be able to translate from one domain to the next with a proper "BS" filter. He is unabashedly "Western" in his view of how things work. The only problem I have with Bruce's stuff is that he could have used a good editor. There's way too much in the way of grammatical and spelling errors on his website and in his books. It makes you wonder about the quality of the substance of what he writes about.

Perhaps this fellow will similarly give us that unique perspective. I did notice that he too had a few typos on his website, but perhaps the substance of his book is good enough. You and I both know that an MD doesn't make someone an authority on a subject or even make them reputable or a decent writer. There's a lot of "stuff" out there in the bookstores in the "diet" area that's pure junk. So even with all the proper credentials, I remain skeptical.

Thanks for posting. Let me know what you think. And as I said, I'll probably get a copy myself.

I'd also like to recommend you come online and chat about this. One of my karate students - Ian Jenkins - is now doing his residency at Beth Israel hospital (I'm sure you've heard of it). Ian has read many, many books on the subjects of kyusho and tuite. He can talk all the language, and has quite the sharp tongue when critiquing things he thinks are "BS." You'll get some lively discussions with him around (when he isn't doing a 36 hour on-call shift).

If you're going to get something on Bruce Miller's site, I highly recommend the reflex points book. That type of targeted striking has MANY more practical applications than the straight pressure point or even "Dim Mak" stuff. True Dim Mak (death touch) is impractical for most applications, even if all of it worked. And many pressure points are pain-based. There are many nonresponders to pain-based techniques - particularly trained fighters and bad guys on drugs.

- Bill

pressure points

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 10:04 pm
by uechiwoman
TCM is based more on the Eight Principles (Yin/Yang, Hot/Cold, Interior/Exterior, Deficiency/Excess) for differentiating syndromes. It is the one system that was promoted by Maoist China to the exclusion of other systems for the treatment of disease. TCM uses some of the principles of 5 Element Theory without the spiritual/mental aspects that were once attached to them. (No room for spirit in Moaist China).

Five element theory was written about in the Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor in 300 BC. I am a Five Element Acupuncturist, a tradition that has different roots than TCM. In my experience acupuncture does work and I use Five Element Theory all the time. Image

The theory is based upon understanding each meridian in depth and how the meridians are balanced in each person. The chart is just shorthand for a much larger understanding of the meridians and how they interact.

Athough the body has wonderful ways of rebalancing itself please be careful practicing point striking. If you start to get a headache, feel dizzy or otherwise feel ill, you need to stop and let your body reset.


[This message has been edited by uechiwoman (edited May 23, 2002).]

pressure points

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 10:18 pm
by Bill Glasheen
Thanks for the clarification, Heather. The term "TCM" gets thrown around a lot, and I guess I used it improperly.

I don't argue that SOME of acupuncture works; I just contend that the underlying paradigms could use some updating. If that happened, then perhaps more of it could work. Actually there's quite a body of peer-reviewed literature out there now looking at acupuncture for the treatment of various illnesses and conditions. The reviews are mixed. It was equivocal enough for the Technology Evaluation Committee (a national board of medical experts that reviews new technology and makes insurance coverage recommendations) not to recommend it for many conditions. But there are indeed many uses. Most health plans like ours get past the medical necessity vs. consumerism issue by negotiating and providing discounts to members for such services rather than explicitly covering them under insurance policies that contractually only operate under medical necessity.

Even Westerners need a little correction now and then. We used to think mass was a constant; then came Einstein... Many modern day physicians still think they can treat most bronchitis with antibiotics, in spite of evidence to the contrary. And many surgeons are quick to perform laminectomies when most people do better without going under the knife.

- Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited May 23, 2002).]

pressure points

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 6:19 pm
by budomaster
I am listed as a computer analyst? I don't remember listing anything about my profession when I registered. I guess I failed to go over the form when I registered. I was at work and tried to do it quickly. I guess the saying that a stitch in time saves nine has some merit. I really do not care what I am listed under but if it is
a concern, please tell me how to change it.

No, I do not know anyone associated with the site. Why do you ask?

My brother-in-law is a DO so that is how I found out about it.

I agree that there is a lack of scientific evidence associated with the manipulations. I also think that too many people who practice this sort of thing make too many claims that are unsubstaintiated.

I am very happy that I joined this forum. I appreciate the healthy exchange of ideas and opinions without any sort of flamming.

pressure points

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 6:36 pm
by Bill Glasheen
When you register, there is information to fill out that can let folks know about you. Just click on the face with a question mark box on the top of someone's post to read the details. You are registered as a computer analyst from Iowa.

As an aside, we keep records on folks that register to keep the flamers off the forum. As you know, these Internet forums can be quite the Cyber Wild West when unmoderated. Now and then we have to block someone that doesn't have anything better to do than be a pain in the butt.

As to your registration information, I'm one of those crazy people that reads food labels before buying, and reads documents before signing. Go figure... Image

What kind of physician are you?

- Bill

pressure points

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 6:43 pm
by budomaster
I am an internist in NJ. Where did Iowa come from? I guess I really messed up the registration form. Sort of embarassing.

pressure points

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 6:58 pm
by budomaster
I am going to start reading food labels

pressure points

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 10:08 pm
by Glenn
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by budomaster:
Where did Iowa come from? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm surrounded by Nebraskans who would love the opportunity to answer this question!


pressure points

PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2002 5:41 am
by Bill Glasheen

You wrote <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
I am also a physician
Just curious... How come you list yourself as a computer analyst? And you seem to know a lot about DOs.

One other quick question. Do you know anyone associated with that website (either Michael Kelly or Erle Montaigue).

Thanks. BTW, I bought the book anyhow. You got my curiosity peaked.

- Bill