I met Richard a few months ago at a small gathering of friends. I thought I was making the acquaintance of a kid when, to my true dismay, I found out he was 46 years old. I wanted to know more about the reason of his youthful appearance and discovered that Richard E. Bush, a Certified Shiatsu Practitioner and Usui Reiki Master, is the author of a holistic health book and has practiced Tai Chi and Hatha Yoga for more than 20 years.
Trained to hone in on one’s ailments, Richard almost immediately observed my deficient posture and inquired about the state of my health. Uneasy with the thought of a public examination I made a house appointment for the next week, but not before he handed me a copy of his book - Growing Ageless.
For a while now, I had developed this cough. I think my doctor called it a wet cough, something one would associate with an emphysema patient. That’s how it felt like, anyway. And part of me was afraid to enquire into it any further. At first it was just a bothersome nightly occurrence, but then my breathing turned into a wheeze, most nights. Sleeping became difficult and I found myself falling asleep with the help of a breathing machine prescribed by my doctor.
Soon I grew interested in any form of alternative advice, so now, in the possession of what seemed to be a fascinating book that held the promise of getting better, I started reading it avidly. The first thing I learned is that after extensive training in the U.S., Rick - the name he prefers to be called by, traveled to Thailand in 2006 to study and certify with Grandmaster Mantak Chia’s Universal Healing Tao.
We started our session on my front porch, under a canopy of vines. Rick spoke softly and without the ritualistic pomp I was used to when guided by a Western doctor. He began by leading me into simple breathing exercises (see pages 36-37 in the book), the sort I may have surely read about before, but which now crystallized into useful practice as I felt a quiet peace descend over me. He continued by stimulating several pressure points on my chest, clavicle and abdominal area. After this we moved onto our yoga mats where Rick initiated me into the 5 Tibetan Rites, a sublimely simple yet powerful abbreviated yoga routine, practiced by millions and meant for the beginners, believed by many to hold the secrets to the fountain of youth.
While up to this moment I presumed this was going to be an easy half hour of losing myself in absent indolence while my well trained guru worked his magic over my afflictions, the first step of the yoga routine signaled that I was heading towards an unforeseen end. At first I spun around, with hands held to the sides, while trying to maintain a vertical axis in my body. Twenty one times around was the goal to achieve over many session, and now, after my third spin I felt that somehow, without meaning, I might just discover the mystery of creation. “We’re going to stop here for now”, murmured Rick, “and move into the next pose, lying on our back.” I laid relieved, but only for a few seconds, when he continued with “now raise your head off the floor, tucking your chin into your chest; as you do this, lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position; if possible, extend your legs over your body and towards your head; do not let your knees bend; then slowly lower your legs and head to the floor, always keeping knees straight; allow your muscles to relax, and repeat.”
And the succession of poses - only three - continued for a longer time that I thought I could bear. I looked at him disquietly as he launched into the third rite and I feigned to follow. RIck briefly approached to correct this posture without mind to my alarmed countenance. “No more!” my entire body seemed to scream, inspite of stoic efforts. “Keep going”, was Rick’s tacit response, signaled with a peaceful glance. I abandoned claim to my last bit of dignity by the time we reached the 4th rite. I eked out an incomplete last ritual after which my mind simply left its body to go play on other, less demanding realms.
I got better with subsequent weekly meetings, and to no surprise, my symptoms started to ameliorate. With each ensuing session, Rick gently rehashed the basics while introducing new elements of his holistic approach. From the breathing techniques, to the yoga poses, meditation and choices of diet, what I’ve learned from Richard Bush and his book, I plan to keep as part of my life. I highly recommend you make acquaintance with his teachings. You can find “Growing Ageless” everywhere books are sold online. To book Rick as a guest speaker to your event or to schedule sessions, please visit his website.