Dr. Geary Whiting PhD
If ever there were to be a study on how effective massage is for the human body, which would also apply to horses, dogs and other animals, it would have to be my own “unofficial documented test” with Bob Wieland. So, just who Is Bob Wieland? Bob Wieland was a house hold name from 1980-1990. What gave him his fame was his famous “walk across America...on his arms! This journey took Bob Wieland, (a double amputee from the Vietnam era) on a fabulous journey across America starting from Orange County California to Washington DC, 3000 miles and a time of 3 years, 6 months and 18 days. Bob was also the World Record Holder in the Bench Press at a whopping 507 lb lift competing against able body lifters. We call him Mr. Inspiration, often imitated but never duplicated; a true example of the human spirit and quest for excellence. His journey is recorded in his book, “One Step at A Time”.
I first met Bob at Ambassador College in Pasadena California in 1980 where I worked in the Athletic department. I had not heard of him prior to our meeting. Dr. Harry Snider introduced us and then we had some workouts in the gym together.
After I graduated from the Tao healing arts center in Santa Monica, Ca, under the tutelage of Dr. DoAn T. Keneko, Bob and I started training and getting ready for the New York City Marathon. He had done it previously, but this year was to be much different. It was actually a mind blowing experience. I walked along side of Bob for the 26.2 miles of the Marathon. I worked on him as needed. Sometimes we would pull off of the course, and do a full treatment. Other times, I would give him a quick sholder, neck, arm, or hand treatment. It just depended on what needed to be done. When we crossed the finish line the massage sessions on course had lowered Bob's time from previous year by better than 17 hours. No, that is not a misprint - 17 HOURS!
Next on the race agenda was the LA City Marathon. Unfortunately, Bob was not able to train for this event as he was the co-star of the TV series titled, “Sonny Spoon”. In that series he played the part of “Johnny Skates”, the legless wonder on a skate board, who was always rescuing Sonny from the bad guys. With the TV show, and various speaking engagements it left no time for training and he in fact was a little run down from his hectic schedule.
Because Bob was not able properly prepare he pulled a front deltoid muscle at mile marker 5. He was in pain. I took him out of the race and worked on him. I rested him and 90 min later we were on course once again. Unbelievably, Bob crossed the finish line by a phenomenal time of better than 18 hours from the year before! I am truly convinced, had we trained for this event, we could have knocked off 24 hours off Bob Wieland's time.
Adventures such as these are very important, it simply makes the statement, if you want to be a great athlete and not just a backyard armature then you need to have SERIOUS body work done. You need to be learning and applying the techniques I teach in my school for both horse and human so you can help your horse or loved ones.
With the many World Class Athletes I have worked with since 1981, helping then set world record runs, jumps and lifts, it is not difficult to understand why my students do such a great job massaging horses. And so can you, it is unbelievable how easy they are to learn. The story of Bob Wieland and Geary Whiting is one to be taken seriously, lowering times such as we did simply makes a statement. Bob’s story is just one example of how effective shiatsu massage is. Shiatsu Massage is powerful stuff and it is effective.
That brings us to talking about horses. No horse should ever be without body work, especially horses that are put under such high physical demands. As a wise person once said, “Horses were meant to be ridden on the ground...not into the ground”. It is so sad to see what is happening to them today. Because of drugs and lack of proper body work they are needlessly breaking down. This is happening because a number of Veterinary Medical Associations have lobbied to essentially take massage out of the equation. There simply is no sound excuse for this nonsense.