The Tong Ren Method

Uncategorized Nov 04, 2019

Inspirational Healing and the Tong Ren method.

By David Holt DO, HMD

In the Fall of 2009 I encountered a method of healing which appeared to be both peculiar and fascinating:  Tong Ren.  In the previous four years or so I had been emphasizing the practice of integrative medicine in the care of folks with a diagnosis of cancer.  This was a tremendous opportunity to explore the limitations of both orthodox and alternative healing methods and there were many cases where the best we could do was provide relief and comfort until their passing.

The Tong Ren method was devised by Tom Tam, an acupuncturist in Boston Massachusetts over a decade ago.  He is well known for getting very good results in a wide variety of challenging cases and a large portion of his clientele are diagnosed with cancer.

The technique is disarmingly simple and based on a system which sees that meridian and other blockages in particular patterns are responsible for a given illness.  Rather than the introduction of a steel needle into a point directly upon the client’s body, the conscious attention and intention of the therapist is held upon a resonant point of a model of the client and stabilized through a tapping motion.  Most often the method is practiced with a hammer and acupuncture doll.

It had been my prior experience that indirect healing methods often proved more successful for the client’s healing than direct.  For instance, if one is applying a manual therapy to address a neck rotation restriction, this could be done by forcing a correction in the direction of resistance, or actually following the strain where it “wanted” to go, in the direction of ease, for a release to occur. 

Naturally when we bring a mother tincture toward a given homeopathic potency we are “removing” it from its physical expression toward the formless informational-energetic pattern from which it was conceived.  Tong Ren seemed to be “diluting” the physical patient themselves in this case rather than a remedy as the therapy is directed toward a map or model of the intended subject.    

It seemed easy enough to try, so I simply opened up an anatomy book and pulled out a pencil and began tapping away on a few challenging patients.  Nothing too elaborate at first:  “Where does it hurt?”  “Right here” they say.  I would begin tapping with a simple intention to open, balance, or integrate that point into the whole.  I began to see very remarkable results initially.  There are a few common challenges often encountered in those with cancer:  tumors getting larger and more numerous; the wasting syndrome with dramatic weight loss and poor appetite; and water retention to name a few of the most common.

In over 80% of those where there was sufficient rapport to conduct a session and enough vitality left to work with, there were marked changes either instantly or within the following 48 hours.  One patient without any appetite for weeks was given a ten minute session after which they reported being “famished” and consumed a full plate of steak and potatoes moments afterward.  Another woman with over 20 lbs of water retention not responding to diuretics, spontaneously cleared (urinated) nearly all of it within the first week after her session.  There were still some encounters where there was little or no response, but it was the minority of folks to be sure. 

As their was no need for a direct contact with the client, I shifted my practice toward a remote healing setup and for the first year would simply render a session with only email notification.  In the following year I found that a live over-the-phone meeting provided increased rapport and therapeutic results.

As of January 2012 I have completed over a hundred classes open to the public on this healing approach and over 3,000 one-on-one sessions.  The most important thing I discovered in this new type of practice goes far beyond the Tong Ren technique per se.  It confirmed my suspicion that there is an invisible healing dynamic going on behind-the-scenes within every therapeutic encounter any of us make.  There were two major questions I would ask to explain the presence or lack of results in each case: 

1)     Is there a mutual recognition between the client and therapist that there exists an unerring inherent therapeutic agency that exists within each of them?

2)     The practitioner’s own “radiance of being” and quality of witnessing represent the ultimate inspiratory catalyst for healing.  Is there sufficient “power” available within that field to get the job done?

Therefore, irregardless of the type of intervention we make--what we “do”--the quality of our presence is what really carries the potential to transcend the bounds of what we currently think is possible in this field of inspirational healing.

Let’s bring this conversation back down to Earth for some very practical considerations.  “So if that’s true, then how can I realize this ‘radiance of being’ within myself to inspire others to heal themselves” you ask?  Great question.

1)     Immerse yourself totally in the “doingness” of any method that appeals to you.  Some of the really great practitioners I have met practice 12 hours a day and 7 days a week and love every minute of it.

2)     Devote yourself entirely in the “thinkingness” of any approach which you like.  Others have written tomes of papers exploring or describing their ideas or perhaps have lectured on the subject hundreds of times or more.

3)     Apprentice with a few who already demonstrate mastery in their practice.  I have simply attended a workshop with another whose inspiratory force is greater than my own and experienced this “shortcut to mastery” multiple times and in profound ways.  It was easy to recognize, for example, that upon returning from a workshop, the therapeutic results had immediately jumped but not due to a change in technique or the acquisition of some obscure knowledge.  My own “radiance of being”, if you will, simply had gotten some kind of a spontaneous upgrade in the direction of wholeness and thereafter influenced those positively in each therapeutic encounter I made, granted there was sufficient rapport. 

To learn more about the Tong Ren healing approach, please visit

To learn more about the author of this article, David Holt, please visit


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