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About the Author

Tobe Hanson

When I was a kid growing up in Stockholm, Sweden, I dreamed of being a professional hockey or soccer player. At fourteen years of age I had the crushing realization that my childhood dream was not to be, and my dad inspired me to start weight training so I’d have another exercise 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. 

I was pondering what to do for a living. While attending a lecture, when I was twenty years old, I stumbled across ancient acupuncture philosophy and applied kinesiology. The experience from this lecture helped me realize that enhancing human well being and performance through holistic healing was the path for me.

I studied acupuncture, Eastern medicine philosophy, alternative medicine physio therapy, anatomy, physiology, applied kinesiology, reflexology, “Touch for Health,” and massage. Upon my graduation in 1983 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. I became a syndicated columnist for B&K Magazine, Scandinavia’s biggest bodybuilding and fitness publication. The elite bodybuilders, power lifters, and Olympic weight lifters who were my patients, gave me the nickname “the Witch Doctor” because of unconventional holistic methods and immediate results from my therapy.

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 my 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. Between 1984 and 1990 I wrote and developed my own material and taught seminars in Sweden, Norway, Holland, England, Canada, and the United States.

My extensive search for a better therapy led me to the development my own system based on everything I learned about how the human body works. HansOn Muscle Therapy (HMT), a new and holistic approach to sports medicine, is a feedback-based, customized therapy for injury rehabilitation as well as performance enhancement. Since 1991 I have had over 100,000 patient visits, and currently have a three-week waiting list for an appointment. I’ve grown my practice 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 NFL, MLB, PGA, triathlons, and mixed martial arts, as well as college and recreational athletes. I am currently part of the San Jose Sharks NHL medical staff. My work using HMT has a long record of successfully giving instant relief from pain and functional improvement in muscle/joint pain syndromes. . I now teach and certify other healthcare providers my HMT techniques and was contracted to teach my workshops to Stanford University’s Athletic Training and Physical Therapy department.

Today at 55 years of age when I look back at the road I traveled, I marvel over how everything happened for a reason. To aid fellow human beings in their healing and to inspire growth on both a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual plane is more fulfilling than anything I could ever have dreamt doing for a living. In fact I would not want to be any other person throughout history than me right here or do anything else than what I am doing right now.

Explaining my profession is hard because it is so different and very few understand what I do or know what I am. I am not a physical therapist, even though I use similar methods to evaluate posture and range of motion. I am not a chiropractor, even though I restore joint function and use a derivative of applied kinesiology, a method used and developed by chiropractors. I am not practicing as an acupuncturist, even though I treat acupuncture points and frequently refer to acupuncture philosophy and teachings. I do not practice acupressure in a traditional way. Even though I provided therapy using my hands, I do not practice massage because my patients remain fully clothed through the therapy. I am not a personal or athletic trainer, even though I use exercises to rehabilitate injuries and improve performance. I am not a life coach or sports psychologist, even though I coach my patients in cause, effect, and how to improve performance and quality of life. With my development of the Four Season System and the writing of this book I am hoping to provide knowledge that will enable everyone to understand cause and effect on human health, performance, and well-being. So what am I then? Perhaps one day, God willing, I could just say I am a HMT practitioner and everyone would know what that is, but for now I simply am Tobe.