I can make Bolt run faster!

I can make Bolt run faster!

... J'can gains renown in Chinese medicine

BY DANIA BOGLE Observer Staff Reporter

Sunday, November 04, 2012

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IT'S said one can find a Jamaican in any corner of the globe. And while the idea of a Jamaican living in the United Kingdom might not be out of the ordinary, finding one who practises an ancient form of Chinese medicine might be.

This is the life that Errol Lynch, the British-born son of Jamaican parents who has carved out a niche for himself practising Tuina therapy.

It is a skill he has been honing for the last 20 years and has now made a name for himself as the UK's leading practitioner, even running his own business called Touch Tuina.

Among his clients are the former Arsenal, Manchester United and Dutch international striker Robin van Persie and British athlete Perry Shakes-Drayton.

Lynch became interested in Chinese medicine at age nine when he began practising martial arts at his home in Camden, London.

"Where I lived there was gym at the end of the road. When I was younger we used to fight a lot and knowing martial arts was very helpful.

"And when you get to a certain age you get to understand the principles and cultures of Asia and the teachers of martial arts are also healers. It's almost a natural progression within martial arts," Lynch told the Jamaica Observer from his home in York in the north of England.

His father, who was born in St Catherine and returned to Jamaica after several years, suffered from the lifestyle disease diabetes and Lynch said it was something which also piqued his interest in finding ways to heal certain illnesses, especially those which affect Afro-Caribbean people.

He later went to China to study Chinese medicines and herbs as well as acupuncture. Since 1998, he has been back twice every year and now goes there to teach.

"(I'm) one of very few people that lecture in China, especially as a foreigner and as a black foreigner," Lynch said.

He has also seen the effects of his treatments on his clients.

"He (van Persie) had his first year of no injury and before that every year he was injured. It doesn't matter how good you are, if you're injured (you can't play)."

Of Shakes-Drayton he said: "Every time I put my hands on her she runs faster. Most of the races that she has had that she has improved she has been treated."

Lynch believes he could make the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, run even faster if he had the chance to work on him.

"I can make Bolt run faster and any contestant that's running against Bolt run faster," he said.

He said he earns his clients by "friendship, trust, and association", but said Tuina is not for everyone.

"Because it's a very strong type of massage and it can be very painful if you have damaged tissues, but it's my job to remove the damage from the tissues," he said, adding that removing scar tissue can help to increase the oxygen in the blood.

"It's a massage, but it's greater form of massage," he added.

Lynch gave a glimpse into the character of van Persie.

"Generally, he is not arrogant. He earns a lot of money (but) is very humble. The first time he came to treatment he sat and waited his turn to take his treatment. He is very humorous. He is Dutch, so English isn't his first language, but he speaks English better than many Jamaicans."

He added of his celebrity client: "As a star I should be making him (van Persie) feel easy, but he makes me feel easy. The ones that come to see me are nice people. They're appreciative of what I do and they come back, which is also an indication that they like what I do."

Lynch previously ran a clinic not far from where he grew up near Camden Market and also has business in York and Bury St Edmonds.

The father of two sons, aged seven and 14, he plans to re-immigrate to Jamaica in a few years and set up shop.

"What I want to do in Jamaica is open a retreat," he explained. "Many Jamaicans left in the 1950s and 60s to set up life. They built other countries. Watching your parents work hard, live hard, and die in a different country... I've studied and worked in a different country and I intend to take my skill to Jamaica with Jamaicans," he said.

He believes it would also be cost effective.

"It's cheaper. One of the things with Jamaica which is better than the United Kingdom is that you have to pay for medicine. In England we have the National Health Service. Our therapy is very, very effective and labour costs are cheap."

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