Many years ago I studied a mixed internal/external system of gongfu called Lan Shou (Open the Door) with George Xu. I was training 6 hours every day. One of Lan Shou's specialties is the development of ripping and tearing power. We were practicing techniques designed to rip off limbs. It was a lot of fun, no one ever actually got a limb torn off. Injuries were infrequent but when they did occur we used the same basic body of knowledge and experience to fix people that we were using to rip them apart. Years later I learned that we were practicing Tuina (healing massage, literally: push-pull).

When you train to tear off a limb you have to develop specialized Yi, often translated: intentionality. We trained our ability to see weaknesses in peoples underlying structure which could be leveraged to rip a muscle, tendon or ligament. The side effect of all this training is that I would get on the bus and see everyone's chronic physical problems. I would look at someone and imagine myself ripping them apart as if they were a chicken. In my mind each person would come apart in a unique and different way.

The more I trained, the more weaknesses I saw in everyone's underlying structure. It got weird. Finally I decide it was too weird walking around ripping people apart with my mind so I stopped doing that type of practice.

Still, I developed the ability to see and correct alignment problems, and to spontaneously create simple exercises that release tension and increase mobility in joints. This ability is a kind of intuition.

All forms of healing, medicine, and bodywork rely on intuition to some extent. Intuition and clairvoyances are closely related, the difference is that clairvoyance includes a claim of certainty. Superior forms of medicine attempt to verifying what is perceived through intuition, both before and after treatment. Clairvoyant claims are usually self-verifying, and tend to be dismissive of challenges.

In my experience, bodywork is between 60 and 90 percent intuition. The other 10 to 40 percent is technique. I strongly encourage people to develop their intuition, and to reject clairvoyance.

While we can get very technical about mechanisms of injury and repair, we can never be certain what causes healing.