Integrative Body Works
David Parker  CMT
Sebastopol, CA

My Bodywork Practice


Acupressure is one of several forms of Asian bodywork (other types include shiatsu, tui-na, etc). Bodywork is one of the three branches of Chinese medicine, along with herbal medicine and acupuncture, and is probably the oldest of them all. Both an art and science, this type of treatment is directed towards maintaining free-flowing movement of qi (chi) and blood throughout the body's system of acupoints, meridians and organs. It involves both physical and energetic manipulation of the points, channels and tissues with light to deep pressure. Acupressure is helpful in addressing various health imbalances, injuries and pain problems, and will add depth and longevity to any treatment.

YSB Energy-Bodywork—

This unique style of bodywork is part of the traditional Chinese martial and medical arts system called Yin-Style Bagua (YSB). It dates from the mid 1800's and was passed down in a strict teacher/disciple path through four generations. The first two YSB lineage holders were retained by the Imperial Court of China in the latter Qing dynasty, and while there further enriched their medical system through interchange of knowledge with the high level court physicians. The last lineage holder, Dr. Xie Peiqi, decided to open the system and teach it freely in the last years of his life so more people could benefit from it. YSB energy-bodywork is based on the theoretical framework of the Yi Jing (I Ching or book of changes), it emphasizes "qi before strength", meaning before physical force is used, qi must be present in the practitioner and patient. The system is comprised of twenty-four basic hand techniques. Each basic method has eight main variations or combinations. As it requires a strong and sensitive qi in the therapist, the YSB system contains several qigong sets designed to strengthen and heal the practitioner, and one specifically for bodywork skill development. These exercises are often taught to the patient as well, as part of their treatment.

YSB energy-bodywork is a "hands on" style generally using light to moderate physical pressure, and strong energetic flow. Some of the techniques resemble western massage strokes; there are point pressing methods similar to acupressure, and there are methods like combing, tracing, vibrating and patting that are specific to Yin-Style Bagua. Each technique can have two or three distinct forces or movements contained within it, and often these forces are invisible from the outside. At its highest level of application, this is a sophisticated system of Chinese medicine that pre-dates TCM ("Traditional Chinese Medicine" which was standardized in the 1960's and 70's).

The work is very comfortable, nurturing and strong, reaching deeply into ones system to balance yin and yang and flow qi. Traditionally it was performed with the patient clothed and without oils or lotions. Recipients often quickly enter a state of relaxation and restfulness much like meditation, allowing the work to bypass the "analyzing mind" of the receiver, and integrate at a deep level.


Also spelled Chi Kung, (say chee gung), qigong literally means breath work, or energy skill, and is a general term that refers to hundreds of different exercises from Taoist, Buddhist, and martial arts traditions. Some are very modern and others are thousands of years old. The word itself is fairly recent, dating from the 1950's. The traditional word for qigong is daoyin, which means guiding and leading. Qigong can involve movement and stretching or be still and meditative; most all qigong exercises include focus/awareness of the breath and some utilize sound and vibration. The third element in most qigong is practicing the mind, which can be quieted or involved in active guiding. There are self-exercises to develop the level and integrity of qi flow in the practitioner, and there are treatment methods where the therapist's energy is directed to affect the client's system for balancing and healing purposes.

I use Qigong in my work in two ways. I practice self-exercise regularly to make my own system strong. In treatment it is not my intention to put my qi into the client or to do anything "to" them. I rather focus on my own center (dantian) and then connect energetically with my client (there is nothing mysterious about this, when anyone comes near or touches another, the two qi fields overlap and interact). I keep strong qi in my hands and circulate it in my own system, which then creates movement of my client's qi. I also like to teach qigong exercises that are appropriate for each individual. Everyone can benefit from this, whether you want to help address health imbalance, or just enhance your well-being. Even fifteen minutes of daily practice can start to create real, lasting change within a few weeks time.

Swedish/Sports Massage—

Firm European and American styles utilize various strokes and techniques including movement (i.e. range of motion and muscle/fascia stretching) to increase local circulation and remove the irritants, such as lactic acid, that cause muscle fatigue and soreness. This type of massage lengthens and softens muscle tissue and promotes movement of blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body.

Massage therapy has many well-documented beneficial physiological effects.  Chief among these is the reduction of stress in all its forms and symptoms, something we all can benefit from in today's fast paced world. Massage can aid in injury prevention and recovery and help optimize your physical and mental performance. Therapeutic massage can be invigorating or relaxing and it feels great!

Neuromuscular Therapy—

NMT accesses nervous system reflexes through pressure point work and specific stretches to release deep or chronic pain and tension patterns. This work can produce dramatic results in instances of pain or restricted movement due to old injuries, repetitive strain syndromes, and postural imbalance. Neuromuscular therapy was pioneered by Stanley Leif in the early 1900's and further developed by Boris Chaitow, Dr. Leon Chaitow ND  DO, and Dr. Janet Travell MD (JFK's physician), among others.

Moist Heat and Cold Therapy—

Both of these treatments increase local circulation and relieve pain. Cold can relieve local inflammation in the case of an acute injury, and heat helps to relax and soften contracted tissues and makes subsequent bodywork more effective and comfortable.


Your Treatment—

Your first appointment will last about one and one half-hours. You will fill out a brief intake and medical history, and we will take some time to talk over your situation and goals, and put together a treatment plan. Regular sessions run 75 minutes and will usually combine two or more of the above treatment styles. If we are including movement or qigong, we'll generally practice that first and spend the rest of the time on the table. On subsequent visits, we'll assess our previous work for effectiveness, and make adjustments to the current session accordingly. I encourage my clients to be actively involved in their own healing.

Special needs can be accommodated, including longer or shorter sessions and the option of appointments in your home. My office is located within five minutes of downtown Sebastopol, Sonoma County, California.

Office Hours—

My office hours are generally 9:00 AM— 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Some evening and weekend hours are available by advance arrangement. Available hours within that time vary according to my teaching  schedule and other commitments.  If possible, try to book appointments two or more days in advance to get the best choice of times.


Office Appointments (1-1/4 hr)are $75, with a client set sliding scale of $5-10. Outcalls run $70/hr, plus travel time at $60/hr. ($20 minimum)
Please call me at 707.824.9630 for more information or to schedule an appointment. You can also email me at— ibw(at)Qigongfu(dot)com

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©2002 Integrative Body Works  David Parker CMT     Updated 11/15/07