Add as bookmark

Turning Massage from a Yang Therapy into a Yin Therapy

by Peter Smith(more info)

listed in massage, originally published in issue 264 - August 2020


Republished from


What on Earth Do I Mean by That?

I have been a bodyworker since 1982, starting with Spinal Touch, then briefly Orthobionomy and finally settled mostly on Hyperton-X all during my training as a homeopath from 1981-4.

I describe myself as an eclectic holistic practitioner. Having had issues with my back in my early 20s, I have always been keen to seek relief where possible. Wearing my suit of body armour – protecting myself from old injuries – I have often used massage over the years. I have never had any formal massage training myself.



Hyperlink to


As a receiver of massage, a punter if you like, even at the hands of really good therapists, I frankly hated the pain involved in releasing my sore and tender muscles. I still do! Okay, I am a wuss! (This is my cunning plan for getting more people trained up in Gentle Muscle Release – GMR … I will be able to get them to release all my muscles … and then have a lovely, easy, pain-free massage!)

During my career, I have achieved pretty good results helping people in pain without causing them any further pain. My clients like that! (As I have said, I like that myself, too!). As the years went on, I continued using what I’d learned from Frank Mahoney’s Hyperton-X while gradually moving away from the complicated kinesiological muscle-testing; back in the day when I was working flat out, the complexity required was hard to fit into a busy 9:00 – 6:00 day with clients every 30 – 60 minutes. The most important bit was that I was continually achieving really good results.

As we develop our ‘muscle-memory’ i.e. we start to work without deliberately thinking “What do I do now?” and we can get our ego out of the way, we free ourselves to be able to listen to our intuition. I am continually getting impulses to “Try this” as I work.

For the last 15 to 20 years, tired of having to explain to clients that Hyperton-X is a play on the word hypertonic – too-tight – it became easier to refer to what I did as Gentle Muscle Release (GMR). It does what it says on the tin and is meaningful to most people.

  • It is such a good tool. 
  • It is painless. 
  • It’s pretty effective in most cases. (Not all, of course!) 
  • It is such a user-friendly therapy. 
  • It is kind to the clients and above all …
  • It is extremely kind to the therapist!

Defining Yang and Yin

Let me define what I mean by ‘yang’ and ‘yin’ in terms of bodywork.

Conventionally (and non-judgmentally) speaking: the therapist is ‘yang’: active; doing something to the client; for the purpose of this example: ‘male’.

Conventionally (and again non-judgmentally and non-politically-correctly) speaking: the client’s role is normally ‘yin’: passive; receptive; non-engaged; something is being done to them; hence GMR is more ‘female’ … intuitive and ‘inviting’ the muscle to release itself with the aid of the client’s brain.

Why is GMR ‘Yin’?

What makes GMR ‘yin’ is easy: It’s all about putting the client in charge. The clients’ brain does all the work!

The therapist is ‘simply’ a focussed and intelligent ‘facilitator’; the therapist is not ‘doing’ anything.

The client is ‘doing’ it all in a gentle, painless and empowered way, guided by the therapist.

Another way of saying it is that the therapist becomes a clever and intuitive ‘body-untangler’; almost like a detective. By analysing and understanding what is going on, gradually they begin to ‘feel’ what else needs to be done.

The therapist thereby ‘ups their game’. From being an already skilled and effective massage technician – with previously-established ‘limitations’ based on what has been the old norm – suddenly the massage therapist can begin to do what they could not previously do: to begin to create lasting if not permanent changes in their client’s well-being by showing their client’s brain how to achieve the necessary releases of those hypertonic, injured muscles. (In the past, one might think: “This is above my pay-grade; I had better refer them to an osteopath or chiropractor. It is not my job to ‘fix’ things”

[N.B. – Caveat: Of course, if a client has a badly trapped/impinged nerve, it is above one’s pay-grade – refer onwards …always!

In turn a chiro or osteo also knows when “discretion is the better part of valour!”]

What Now?

I hope that this will encourage you to explore our website to find out more.



 “Wow!  A simple effective treatment that made me feel fantastic. 
The “Gentle Muscle Release” technique helped to restore the balance into my body.
 I’m really looking forward to learning more about the technique.

“I have been in practice since 1997 and work with many different modalities,
so discovering the Gentle Muscle Release technique is a real bonus.”

Angela Lewis  PGCE HND ITEC Dip


“How to Release a Client’s Hands”

Look at this short 6-minute video we shot on How to Release a Client’s Hands” – it is how we teach the client what we are doing before we ask them to lay down on the massage table, by in effect, training their brain in how GMR works before we start a session – as well as gently blowing their minds! (This series of releases is fantastic for musicians and others such as determined knitters with sore thumbs and fingers!)


This GMR is FUN!

What is more, it can seriously and irreparably damage whatever preconceptions you have been holding about what is and isn’t possible!

Joking apart – and this is why I decided in 2016 that I needed to get GMR out there to other bodyworkers – I learned from Gerry Pyves’ research (NO HANDS MASSAGE© fame) that, shockingly, 78% of massage therapists and bodyworkers unnecessarily and avoidably damage themselves at some time in their careers – some so badly that they end up have to retire prematurely.

Wanted! Far-Sighted Therapists Wishing To Learn GMR & Eventually Join The Academy As Trainers

I formed The Gentle Muscle Release Academy to bring this novel way of working into the mainstream, for the benefit of therapists and their clients. The ThinkTree team have been wonderfully helpful and enabled me to launch GMR so much more effortlessly than I ever would have imagined was possible.

The Academy needs more than a couple of people to teach GMR to the more than 100,000 massage therapists and bodyworkers currently and unknowingly – and avoidably– wrecking their bodies and causing discomfort to their clients by over-efforting.

ThinkTree Hub Awarded the GMR Academy Level 3 Diploma Accreditation in December 2019 for this novel training approach.

“I have a Dream”

My dream is to see this simple and effective way of working taught routinely in all Massage Training Schools and I need to attract some ‘live ones’ who share the same vision so that we can work together collaboratively to bring GMR into the mainstream. As our Workshops will contain a maximum of 10-12 learners, you will understand why we need your help in reaching the rest of the profession. (See our Mission Statement below)

From the “On the Shoulders of Giants”& “Nothing New Under The Sun”Departments …

I would like to formally give thanks to those who have taught me over the years, those like Frank Mahoney – who used to use HYPERTON-X with the 1980’s US Marathon Team, thereby massively reducing injuries by only sending out athletes onto the track who had been ‘released’ and returned to a state of balance. Big thanks to my Homeopathic mentor Robert Davidson who said in 1982:

“Don’t just be a cerebral homeopath – learn how to work with peoples’ bodies; most people are rarely if ever touched.”

If all this hasn’t convinced you to take the first steps into an exciting and fulfilling way to work in future – or even to explore rehabilitating your injured bodies with a view to returning to work …

You leave me no choice but to raise my voice, now and say:

“Health Warning!”

You are working way too hard – you are paying the price … and it is unsustainable!

  • Transform your massage practice with this extra understanding of how to work easier! both you and your clients will love it;
  • Protect your body by working more gently and efficiently – reduce the risk of injury (talking to 78% of you therapists who work so hard they hurt themselves … rsi and chronic back neck and shoulder problems etc!);
  • Develop the skills to be able to resolve long-standing injuries in your clients
  • Claim your £50 discount as a ThinkTree member;
  • For full details of this amazing course visit
  • Our Mission Statement and Ethos can be found here:


Republished from


  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Peter Smith

Peter Smith RSHom FSHom has been a Registered Homeopath in practice in Cornwall, England since 1984. Since first becoming involved in the Lowermoor Water Poisoning Incident of 1988, which took place in N Cornwall in and around Camelford, he has been searching constantly for ways in which to help not only those affected by the aluminium sulphate but also the patients in his practice, to cope more effectively with the increasingly serious environmental toxic load which we all face. Drawn towards an eclectic approach, he has integrated Complex Homeopathy into his regular Classical/Practical homeopathic approach. Peter has been a bodyworker since 1982, starting with Spinal Touch, then briefly Orthobionomy and Hyperton-X, now referred to as Gentle Muscle Release (GMR) as well as developing tools or techniques for panic attacks, anxiety, stress ‘grounding’, ‘centre-ing’ and assertiveness. Peter may be contacted via

  • College of Ayurveda UK

    Diploma in Āyurvedic Medicine, 4-year self-paced distant learning program in Āyurvedic medicine.


    The FLEXXICORE exercise revolution: transform your fitness regime with 2 exhilarating exercisers

  • health & fitness books

    Massage, sports injury, holistic, healthcare and specialists books written by leaders in their field

top of the page