Growing up with horses, chasing cattle, hauling hay, driving tractors, plowing fields, showing animals at the local fair, and involvement in FFA, somehow, was not enough to keep Geary in the agriculture world. Sports and athletics seemed more up his alley, but little did Geary know what was to come, nor did he know what adventures were to catch up to him and become a part of his life. Geary’s interest in strength and fitness began long before he opened up his unique version of the equine massage schools by focusing on both horse and rider as well as teaching the Japanese art of Shiatsu massage. With his background of working with World Class Athletes it seemed like a perfect fit to educate both horse and human as a competitive team. Eventually, some wonderful doors opened for Geary, and, look out world, here came Geary! Who would have thought?!
I first became interested in learning massage in 1981, then I studied at the Shiatsu Massage School of Southern California in Santa Monica. After graduating I was asked to manage the school because I had accomplished the most of all of the graduate students in the history of the school, and I was given the honor of being the guest speaker when Dr. Kaneko separated the School from the Clinic. Four years later I was given a very special award, The Outstanding Achievement Award for my contribution to Oriental Medicine as an educator through the use of Shiatsu Massage.
While rehabbing a client who had been injured in a horse related accident (unauthorized dismount or should I say dumped) I was asked if I had ever massaged a horse. I said, “No, but it would be no different than doing a person.” I told her to give me a back and profile picture of a horse, and I would figure out the meridian lines. That evening I had to envision the horse as a person in order to place my lines. Sunday following I had her bring a horse to the gym, and I massaged my first horse. After the sessions, I suddenly had a new direction...massaging horses!
In 1995, a time when few had ever heard of massaging horses, I had to pioneer my way into the world of Equine Athletes. Eventually people were seeing wonderful results with their horses and wanted me to teach them. I bought the Walking W. Ranch from Wayne Willis in Atascadero where I started my first school, and the rest is history.
One of Geary's most meaningful awards he received due to his accomplishments came from the Shiatsu Massage School of California in Santa Monica, CA, from which he graduated. The Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to the top 10 students in the history of the school. Over 2,000 lucky students have had the honor of being taught by Dr. DoAnn T. Kaneko, L.Ac. OMD, Ph.D.
THE BOTTOM LINE—a certification or college degree represents a great deal of work, however, it is only a piece of paper with words on it. What one accomplishes in life puts substance and meaning to those words.
Geary's interest in physical form began long before he opened up his own massage school. For many years, he was a part of the fitness and physical therapy world.
Geary was fortunate to get to know Dr. Harry Sneider, who opened many doors for Geary into the world of "US OLYMPIC ATHLETES" as well as introducing Geary to many other great athletes.
If he believed in you, World Renown Coach Dr. Harry Sneider and his lovely wife, Sarah, would help you on your way to achieving your goals. Harry was always complementary towards Geary and his abilities. One of Harry's statements which encouraged Geary was, “ Every time I watch Geary work out I learn something from him. Geary is the most creative person with weights I have ever seen!” Coming from a man of his caliber Geary became supercharged, and there was no stopping him. The future was wide open, Geary was given the GREEN FLAG TO GO, and go Geary did!!!
Thank you, Harry and Sarah.
In the early 1980's while working with Harry, Geary studied with Carl Miller, 1976 Olympic Weight Lifting coach, in Santa Fe, NM and then met Mike Mentzer, "Mr. Heavy Duty," and trained him in Olympic Lifting. During their training sessions Mike and Geary discussed many interesting and advanced concepts in strength and conditioning.
Geary trained world class athletes Doug Norquest, US Olympic High Jump Team, and Deverik Lampley, US Olympic Track and Field Athlete ranked 4th in the nation in 100/200 meters in the late 1980s.
Below are 1981 photos of Geary from Harry Sneider's book, Olympic Trainer, in the wrestling chapter:
Featured here doing the 1988 IRONMAN Triathlon course in Kona, Hawaii, world-class trainer Geary Whiting and legendary athlete Bob Wieland, the double amputee who walked across America on his arms. Watch Bob and Geary cross the finish line (Geary is wearing the red hat at 4:18 to 4:28) in this video. Bob’s 3,000-mile journey that launched in 1981 took him three years, six months, and eight days. More about Bob and Geary below as Geary shares a remarkable and impressive study on the benefits of Shiatsu massage for athletes.
Bob Wieland, a promising superstar in the sports world, had to take a little side trip away from a promising pro baseball career thanks to his Uncle Sam. With a trip around the world and a new wardrobe guaranteed by this well-known Uncle, Bob was quickly persuaded (drafted) and Vietnam bound in 1969. Three months in Vietnam was just enough time to allow Bob to step on an 82 mm mortar round (designed to disable tanks) and detonate it. Pronounced DOA, when his body bag moved they discovered Bob was still alive and now legless. Bob soon realized he had never seen a 2-foot 10-inch pitcher on the mound and felt that he would not be the first. So now, off to new adventures, actually, many adventures!
It was now time for Bob to go after a new challenge--his famous WALK ACROSS AMERICA--on his arms in three years, eight months, and six days. This was where Geary Whiting and Bob started their journey together. It was after Bob completed his journey walking across America that the two actively joined up and would eventually demonstrate the REAL EFFECTIVENESS of Shiatsu massage.
Bob had already accomplished the New York City and the LA City Marathons when Geary started doing Bob’s bodywork. They then went to NY and LA as a team the second year. Walking with Bob in NY and working with him as needed, which was frequent in the 26.2 miles, they finished better than 17 hours ahead of the previous year's time. In LA, including repairing a right front deltoid injury and a 1-1/2 hour downtime for recovery, they crossed the finish line in a phenomenal 18 hours ahead of the previous year's time. Because of speaking engagements and co-starring with Mario Van Peebles in the weekly TV series "Sonny Spoon," there was no time to train for the LA City Marathon. If Bob had trained (he was in poor shape,) there is a very good chance Geary and Bob would have improved LA time by 24 hours.
Although this was not intended to be a test on the benefits of Shiatsu Massage, it, however, became one of the most unique studies of the benefits of Shiatsu massage and Geary Whiting's skills as a World Class Trainer. As Bob said, “I have had many massages over the years, but none to compare to Geary’s. Geary stands in a league of his own.” You can Google Bob Wieland for his many accomplishments.
When the student is ready, the teacher will be there. Geary looks forward to sharing his world-class techniques with you.
Featured here is Geary with his teacher Dr. DoAnn T. Kaneko, L.Ac. OMD, Ph.D. and his 2005 Canadian graduate student Yvonne Allen, founder of Voice For The Horse, after their 2017 Massage Therapy Hall of Fame induction by Geary at the World Massage Festival.
"It has been a wonderful journey, and I would like to leave you with this thought. When someone thinks what you're going to do is a silly idea, simply tell them, “I have discussed this with my board of directors, Me, Myself, and I, and we collectively think learning Equine Massage is a wonderful idea.”
- Happy Trails Padnas,
TFH Instructor (Touch for Health)
CPT (Certified Personal Trainer)
COD (Catcher of Dreams): My favorite degree!