I am currently researching a manual therapy technique contemporarily derived from a renowned therapist in Melbourne, Australia. This man was very much a legend in the 1930s to the fifties.

I understand he travelled to the US after WW2, along with two others, and studied some techniques that have since evolved into a major contemporary therapy. It has been suggested that their study was with a Japanese therapist and that some aspects of the work derived from martial arts.

I note that many of the early martial arts exponents were also healers, usually members of that disparate group known universally as ‘bonesetters.’ There appear to be few references to contemporary martial arts exponents also being healers.

With this technique there are ‘moves’ over specific points that begin a treatment. These moves, while also structurally effective, are called ‘blockers,’ the idea being that they alert the body to the moves that follow, highlighting the area, generally below the ‘blockers.’ For instance, medial moves over Erector Spinae in the lumbar region (circa L4) are initiated before working on the buttocks region.

Blockers are also initiated at about C7 (circa a line level with the inferior aspect of the Scapulae) for middle back treatments, and also before work on the upper back when two sets of ‘blockers are inserted at the C6/C7 region. The latter is the only instance of the blockers being inserted before work above the blocking points.

There are also holding points also referred to as ‘blockers,’ on the Sacrum and the origin of the hamstring muscles.

The concept that holding points, strikes or manoeuvres at specific points serve to affect nerves seems to be have been used in some martial arts for some time.

With martial arts exponents of old developing an understanding of nerve involvement for disabling opponents, along with their ‘bonesetting’ skills, the story of our man learning from a Japanese therapist who taught ‘the blockers’ as part of a treatment, seems have some merit. But I’d really like to be able to tie it down a little more substantially than that.

Can you point me in the direction of material or someone who might provide an explanation of this ‘blocking’ concept? Maybe you might know someone who knew of the Japanese therapist or concepts that he was teaching?