Tobe has practiced for over 33 years and had close to 120,000 patient visits in releasing pain and restoring function to patients from all walks of life who suffered from muscle and joint pain.
Tobe does not fit in a cubbyhole; what he does cannot be described with one sentence. There is not one title that fits him since there is no one doing exactly what he does or provides the multitudes of services he does.
He has been called many things; Bodyworker, Kinesiologist, Trigger Point Therapist, Acupressure therapist, Trainer, Master, Miracle worker, “Witch Doctor”, Muscle Whisperer, Teacher, Performance Coach, Life Coach, Author,Philosopher, Speaker, and natural bodybuilder.
Tobe himself does not like or use any titles. He consider himself a student of human behavior, pain and performance. He is committed to whole heartedly learn something new every day in a never ending strive for Excellence.
His work is a revolutionary and holistic approach to Sports Injuries, Sports Performance and Sports Psychology
Sports Injury Specialist and Performance Coach
How it all started
When I was a kid growing up in Stockholm, Sweden, I dreamed of being a professional hockey or soccer player. At 14, I had the crushing realization that my childhood dream was not to be. My dad inspired me to start weight training so I’d have another athletic activity to enjoy. Weight training helped me build both confidence and muscles, but it also inspired me to further investigate the function, potential, and performance of the human body and mind.
At 21, I pondered on what to do for a living. With my love of athletics and my curiosity about the potential of the human body, I searched for a profession in this field. I considered becoming a physical therapist, chiropractor or PE teacher when out of curiosity I attended a lecture about ancient Chinese medicine and applied kinesiology. The experience from this lecture made me realize that healing pain and enhancing human performance through a holistic approach was the path for me. I felt there were many hidden pearls of wisdom in this ancient Chinese medicine that were seemingly forgotten or misinterpreted.
I studied acupuncture, Eastern medicine philosophy, alternative medicine physio therapy, anatomy, physiology, applied kinesiology, reflexology, and massage. Upon my graduation in 1983 with a degree in acupuncture from the Institute of Alternative Medicine in Stockholm, I had already been a teacher at the school for one year, and I was managing the school’s student practice as well as my own sports medicine practice.
Coming to America
In 1985, I immigrated to northern California with nothing more than a promise of a job interview at a chiropractor’s office and $400 in my pocket. I did not realize at the time of my immigration that I was not allowed to challenge the board of acupuncture in California to get licensed, and so I had to either repeat a three-year acupuncture training in the United States or find another way to practice healing. I chose the latter and started to practice as a certified body worker, using my hands instead of needles and traditional acupuncture
More than 30 years of Experience
I have spent three-and-a-half decades practicing and studying acupressure, trigger point therapy, ancient Eastern medicine, Eastern philosophy, sports medicine, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, psychology, theology, applied kinesiology, reflexology, and body work. My fascination with muscles and knowledge about kinesiology, as well as ancient Chinese medicine, led me on an extensive search for a better therapy. This search led to the development of my own Han(d)son Muscle Therapy, HMT.
Hanson Muscle Therapy – HMT a new and holistic approach to sports medicine, is a feedback-based manual therapy for immediate pain relief, injury rehabilitation, and performance enhancement.The muscles of our body enable us to move, and they also act as an armor that protects us.It is in this armor we find the dents from use, overuse, and abuse.Whenever our body or mind is experiencing stress or tension it will manifest as hypersensitive chinks in the armor – knots in our muscles. These knots are called trigger or acupressure points and act as circuit breakers that tense up when overloaded.
No one has pain, anxiety, or depression for no reason. In the same way, no one experiences failure, sub-par performance or unhappiness for no reason. There is cause and effect, action and reaction, meaning and purpose with everything that happens in life. In my practice of HMT, I learned how to localize points of tension, interpret the cause of the tension, and release the tension for immediate pain relief and improved performance. Teaching my patients the cause of their pain and failure helps them realize what they need to do to change their behavior, beliefs and attitudes.
My Commitment to Excellence
In accordance with the masters of Zen, acupuncture and kung fu, I am committed to The Way of Excellence, an ancient practice to master a skill. This is the ancient practice of kung fu. The original meaning of the word kung fu is made up of two Chinese characters; the first, kung, means skillful work or endeavor and the second, fu means time spent. To practice kung fu in the true meaning is to spend time perfecting a skill. A master of kung fu is one who displays tremendous proficiency in one’s craft.
True success is the satisfaction that comes from doing your best and always learning from the outcome. A day of excellence is to learn something every day. If you always learn then you get a little better every day, and over time you get a lot better. The truth is that no one ever reaches absolute mastery; everyone could get better. Life is not about mastery or winning, it is about commitment to strive for mastery, thriving at being challenged, competing and enjoying the journey, which happens to have no end but is an ongoing process.
Since 1983, I have had close to 120,000 patient visits and currently have a four-week waiting list for an appointment. I grew my practice prior to the internet and search engines simply by word of mouth, without advertising, yellow page ads, or even a phone directory listing.
Orthopedic surgeons, family doctors, chiropractors, dentists, athletic trainers, personal trainers, acupuncturists, and massage therapists refer patients to me on a daily basis and my services are frequently sought after by professional athletes from NHL, NFL, UFC, MLB, PGA, plus Olympians, triathlons, college, and recreational athletes. I have been part of the San Jose Sharks medical staff for more than 10 years and worked with the Stanford football team during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. My work has helped pro athletes get pain free, stay on top of their game and prolonged their careers.
Practice what I Preach
I strive to live the Way of Excellence not only with my healing profession but also with my own marriage, health, fitness, diet and exercises. Today, I have been building my body for more than 40 years and have never gone more than two weeks without a workout. Natural bodybuilding and pure living has made me fit and strong in body and mind. It has given me peace and stability in times of turmoil and it has become a labor of love for a lifetime.
The mind-muscle connection in training has become like meditation or like the 2000-year-old ancient Japanese Zen art of caring for a bonsai tree. The beauty is that you are never finished; the training truly becomes a journey rather than a destination. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the movie Pumping Iron, “Bodybuilding is like being a sculptor sculpting your own body.” Add a little here, remove a little there, all while enjoying the exercise of body and peace of mind. Being fit in body and mind are necessary to be in the Way of Excellence. Any athletic body type is a beautiful and amazing creation.
There is a common prejudice toward bodybuilders, and sometimes athletes in general, that they are unintelligent, narcissistic meatheads. On my path, and through my search and studies, I found that the body is just a shell or a vehicle that allows us to move around in this world. Everyone’s body will eventually break down and decompose. It’s not good to associate who we are based on our body or athletic ability, since this will cause great depression as age eventually catches up with us. Who we truly are is something whole and beautiful that is not subject to time. This, of course, does not mean that we shall abuse and ruin the body we have. Appreciating the fitness you have and taking great care of your body will improve your quality of life, improve your performance, strengthen your immune system, and slow down your aging, all being in the Way of Excellence. There is an athletic body in all of us.
Today is the First Day in the Rest of Your Life
It is never too late to start taking care of the body you have. If you’re already a fit athlete as you are reading this, remember never to take your body, fitness or genetics for granted. You too can stay fit for life and perform at a high level for years to come.
Today at 57, when I look back at the road I traveled, I marvel at how everything happened for a reason. I might never have been the great athlete I aspired to be, but now I am helping world-class athletes perform better. To aid fellow human beings in their healing and to inspire growth on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual plane is more fulfilling than anything I could ever have dreamt of doing for a living.
With the opening of my new HMT Clinic, I plan to revolutionize the fields of sports medicine, sports performance, and sports psychology.
Tobe Hanson (far left) at 56 competing at the 2016 San Jose bodybuilding championship for the first time after 40 years of natural bodybuilding training. Living in the Way of Excellence.