Meir Schneider Method of Self-healing Massage

What is it?

Dr Meir Schneider developed his methods of self-healing from his own experience of profound disability. Born blind from congenital cataracts, he was told at age five, that he would be blind for life and had better learn Braille if he wished to have any chance in life.

Being more independently minded than the physicians around him Meir embarked on a personal journey of study on amongst other things Yoga, Bates Eye Methods, Feldenkrais Method, Breathwork, Movement and Visualisation.

30 years later with a US Doctorate in Physiotherapy, Meir does not require any kind of eye glass or prosthetic, he has a full Californian Driving License and his own School of Massage and Self-Healing licensed by the Californian State Government. He is one of the world's pioneers in self-healing methods. He works with Natural Vision Improvement with leading American Opthamologists and eye surgeons.

His work involves several techniques not accessible through other bodywork forms of training, and, when combined with specific movement and individual exercise programmes offers help to a wide range of long term and physical ailments.

Who developed it?

Dr Meir Schneider and subsequently developed by trainers around the world, particularly Brazillian practitioner Beatrice Nascimento.

What conditions is it good for treating?

Meir; at his school in San Francisco works with patients with muscular dystrophy (MD), multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal injuries, degenerative conditions, and a range of eye conditions, including Natural Vision Improvement (NVI) training.

His work at this level of severe musculo-skeletal conditions involves the patient in an intense experience of bodywork and personal development.

However his work is useful for any physical limitation or impairment and people often take his classes for general well-being and health maintenance.

What is the evidence base that supports its effectiveness?

Meir's school in San Francisco has collated many case-histories of successful treatment with many intractable conditions (supported by patient testimonial) and his work is now being replicated in many countries, which will build towards a data base for potential patients, but at the moment no controlled studies have been undertaken to compare Meir's methods with standard medical care.

What are the risks and benefits of treatment?

Apart from the inevitable risk of minor side-effects as with any physical modality, the other main risk with any modality is that it does not work for you.

Self-Healing does require a level of personal commitment which will create a certain amount of challenge, However, the benefits of increased functionality and quality of life does outweigh the temporary psychological challenge when working with a new technique.

Are there any side-effects from the treatment?

If there are side-effects they are within the normal range of temporary tissue irritation from soft-tissue manipulation. When capillary action to skin and dermal tissue is stimulated there can be some local topical inflammation. This should reduce within normal time limits of between 24 to 48 hours. Depending on the patients' starting point on their road to recovery, by encouraging more movement in joints and better quality in tissue, there maybe temporary soreness which again should resolve as movement and tissue quality are restored.

How many sessions does it need?

Because of the severity of the conditions that Meir typically sees, treatment can be long term, and needs maintenance programmes. For less severe conditions the combination of groupwork and individual work can be tailored to the needs of the group or the individual. A minimum of attendance at one group session and six individual sessions would be needed to assess progress and suitability for follow-up work

How long do sessions need to be?

The groups would typically be up to 3 hours but can be shorter depending on client ability. Individual sessions can be up to two hours.

How many practitioners need to be available?

For both groups and individual work one practitioner is perfectly adequate, but sometimes both aspects of the work can be enhanced by two or more practitioners being present. Once patients have been educated in the philosophy and methods of Self-Healing they can practice on each other in a supervised conditions, thus enabling larger groups to experience the methods efficiently and group dynamics can be used to motivate and empower the patients.

Does it need follow-up support? If so what, how often, by whom...?

Ideally group work would be regular and ongoing, but can be designed to fit requirements and logistics. Ongoing individual work can also be best supported by group activity.

How does it work as a self-care tool?

The main way in which Meir's methods work is through utilizing a profound knowledge of anatomy and physiology to address lack of functionality. Alongside this a process of patient education in kinaesthetic awareness and movement builds new patterns of movement within the body to support therapeutic change and restore functionality.

The therapist works with the patient at whatever level of impairment they have; the first priority is to conserve functionality and then improve the patients' level of function and well-being. Whilst not primarily a psychological therapy the best results are obtained with the method when the patient fully engages with the process.

What is the best way for teaching the self-care techniques?

Whilst many people initially made contact with the methods through reading Meir's account of his own history of self-healing, and there are many learning resources available including DVDs and CDs on conditions and treatments the best way to experience the methods is through a Self-Healing group. This combined with individual work is a very powerful method of demonstrating the potential of the method.

The classes can be supported with:

  • Paper based information sheets
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • And free Web-based learning material
  • Where can Self-Healing methods be accessed?

    There are several practitioners of Meir Schneider's Self-Healing Methods in the North-west. TSHP Colleagues in the Northwest who have trained in Meir's work have developed individual health support programmes and workshops using Meir methods.

    TSHP have had successful workshops in Well-being, Natural Vision Improvement, Massage Techniques and Multiple Sclerosis which we hope to build upon in the coming years. In addition, through an annual programme of visits by Meir we will enhance accessibility to his methods throughout the region.

    Our partner organization Self-Heal UK (website under construction) has been specifically created to develop Self-Healing work in the UK and a web site is being constructed to promote the method in the UK to give notice of forthcoming meetings, events and workshops.

    Self-Heal UK can be contacted through :

    Barbara Heron
    Phone 0161-798-5280

    The School of Self-Healing in San Francisco can be contacted at