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A Word From The Inventor,
Daniel Carr

It is said that pain is a great motivator. For me, that was very true.

My invention all began with pain…and a plan. The pain led me to find relief and healing. I had a strong desire to help others experience the same freedom, so the plan was to import the expertise back to the USA.

My story starts out in Bangkok in 2002 at Pisit Thai Massage Training School for the Blind where I met Ajahn Pisit, one of the highest, most acclaimed teachers of Thai Massage – and the blind successor of Pisit’s art, Ajahn Yong Kiat.

Ajahn Pisit instructing the blind in Bangkok, Thailand 2003. “Ajahn” translates to “Professor” in Thai.
Live in 2003, private training video session in Ajahn Yong Kiat’s room, where the techniques go beyond the ordinary.

Upon training with Ajahn Yong Kiat, the top massage therapist and instructor at Ajahn Pisit’s Academy, I was so amazed with his healing capacity and technical expertise that I sought private instruction from him. After all, who wouldn’t want to train under this tremendously talented Thai Massage Master?

Initially, Ajahn Yong Kiat refused my request, but I persistently pleaded with him. Eventually he relented after he understood how serious I was. My advanced training under the Thai Massage Master was underway.

So we embarked on an intensive training schedule. The typical day was 8 hours at Pisit’s school and then 2 hours at Ajahn Yong Kiat’s apartment. The training was brutal enough that I had to soak my thumbs in ice water every night to deal with the pain of strengthening them.

My thumb is like a King Cobra that people fear.” – Ajahn Yong Kiat, 2002.

It was well worth the pain I endured to master this healing art of the Blind.  I now could fulfill my quest to bring back this kind of expertise to the USA and treat people who were needlessly suffering.

This ulterior motive was for me to be healed from all the injuries I had accumulated through years of martial art training, instruction, and competitive fighting.  That would be the proof that the Blind Thai Massage system actually worked.  It had an incredible reputation within Thailand as being the best.  So Ajahn Yong Kiat’s system would be put to the test, with me being the 40 year old wounded, but extremely motivated guinea pig.

There is a background for all of this.  Having practiced Muay Thai in Thailand in the 80s and 90s, I had been introduced to some great, gifted Thai Massage healers by some of the top Muay Thai Krus (Thai for “Guru”) I had studied with.

Primitive psoas and abdominal muscle massage hieroglyphics from 2003.

This ulterior motive of being healed from all the injuries I had accumulated through years of martial art training, instruction, and competitive fighting would be the proof that the Blind Thai Massage system actually worked.  It had an incredible reputation within Thailand as being the best.  So Ajahn Yong Kiat’s system would be put to the test, with me being the 40 year old wounded, but extremely motivated guinea pig.

There is a background for all of this.  Having practiced Muay Thai in Thailand in the 80s and 90s, I had been introduced to some great, gifted Thai Massage healers by some of the top Muay Thai Krus (Thai for “Guru”) I had studied with.

Me with one of the most famous Muay Thai instructors, Kru Yodtong Senanan of the world famous Sityodtong Muay Thai School, 1995.

The treatments I received from those Krus’ massage therapists were not only amazing for quick recovery from my intense training, but they had also improved my range of motion in kicking…which was an incredible, unexpected result. Could expert massage improve your flexibility? This was a wild concept at the time, especially in America.

Some years had passed since then, and the time spent competitive fighting had taken a toll.  My body had endured 5 years of competitive fighting and training consisting of full contact Kick Boxing with throws. The pain was unnerving me at times, thinking it was going to be permanent. I set my sights on a return trip the Thailand in 2002 to have extensive bodywork done.

Ajahn Yong Kiat did not disappoint, as he “rewound the clock” for me on a number of injuries including:

  • Constant throbbing knee pain…vanished
  • Limited range of motion in the left shoulder/neck…restored to full capacity
  • Limited range of motion in hips and lower back…restored to full capacity
  • Damage from sciatica in 1987…healed

Having completed Ajahn Pisit’s first course, I made yet another self-interested request: to pay extra to have Ajahn Yong Kiat as my private instructor for Ajahn Pisit’s second course in his series, “Therapeutic Acupressure for Local Pain” – the course where you become an advanced healer.

The testing standards at his school were pretty ruthless (during one of my early tests Ajahn Pisit said, “You push like a little girl…fail” and walked off as I sat there slack jawed). There were a lot of foreign tears staining the front desk, where they would cry to no avail for a diploma.  Way more students failed than passed his exacting standards.

The journey was grueling, but I passed.  The coveted diploma was mine.  And I had a set of thumbs to prove it.

A lighter moment at the school – Ajahn Pisit loved his blind students dearly.
Yep, I passed…and have the diploma with the mug shot to prove it. Note the number on the top right: these didn’t get handed out very often.

Even with my diploma in hand, the healing training wasn’t finished.  The next leg included me joining Ajahn Yong Kiat in sampling and studying the best techniques from the top healers in Bangkok by receiving treatment from them.  He would tell me that this Ajahn had great leg technique, while another Ajahn had amazing neck technique…”So pay attention and learn.” 

Master Thai Massage instructor, Ajahn Yong Kiat, lifts his blind friend, Toon, into the air with his typical ease, 2003. These private sessions at Yong Kiat’s apartment would prove pivotal in my learning curve. Taking video of these sessions was invaluable.

The plan to have the capacity to help others back home was a success with all of this elite training, but it came with an unexpected twist – a missing piece of the therapeutic puzzle was coming into sharper focus.

As I began to use all that I had learned from Ajahn Yong Kiat in private practice back in California, I became increasingly aware of one aspect of back pain treatment where the USA execution was clearly lacking: PSOAS MUSCLE injury. Approximately 60% of all the chronic back pain patients I was seeing in private practice had untreated injury to the psoas muscles…and most of these patients had previously seen a multitude of physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, etc. before seeing me.

Top Secret, so take a good look: this is a fundamental psoas technique, 2014.

I set about to place more emphasis on psoas muscle techniques because they play a huge role in treatment that results in complete recovery from back pain. By executing release on this muscle, injured hips and backs can function at full capacity again.

Ajahn Yong Kiat and Daniel Carr in front of Ajahn Pisit’s hands-on clinic and treatment center where local Thais would come for treatment, 2012.

Realizing that what I missed most about my sessions with Ajahn Young Kiat were his psoas muscle treatments, my goal became to recreate the same therapeutic strategy and outcomes with the use of a simple, but well crafted tool…one that actually works.

Ajahn Yong Kiat and I have been great friends since 2002. We have spent hundreds of hours training and laughing together. From this unlikely friendship, a tool that will change self-massage forever was born – the AcuLever®.

May you experience real healing.

Thanks for reading,

Daniel Carr

 

Epilogue

  • Los Angeles Thai Massage & Rehabilitation

    I have successfully treated over a thousand clients since I began studying bodywork 40 years ago as one of the few non-Thais to learn the secrets of Blind Thai Massage in Bangkok.

Authorized To Teach Thai Massage By Thailand Ministry Of Education
From Google Maps, 2022
  • Awarded as Kung Fu Master

    I am one of two Kung Fu Masters awarded a teaching sash by Grandmaster Wong Jackman in the last 20 years of his career.

Grandmaster Wong demonstrating the “Dragon” form from Xing Yi Ch’uan
  • Martial Arts Hall of Fame

    I am in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

And…the certificate to prove it!