FAILING eyesight would have been for some people the beginning of a life of destitute but not Tevita Bolakiveisusu.
It was a challenge. Just one the many that had to be overcome on his way to becoming a black-belt judoka and now a fully qualified pressure-point masseur.
In 1973 he developed headaches and then his eyesight began to fail. His mother taught him some of the basics of a traditional massage when he was a nine-year-old.
It was at a judo tournament in Thailand in 1999 that Te was really taken by the finer points of relieving stress through a massage.
This interest was further stoked when he was in Busan, South Korea in 2002 so much so that in 2010 he attended a masseur's course in Seoul.
His inspiration to master the finer techniques of being a pressure-point masseur came from when he was part of the Doc Ministry which was a part of the Disabled Outreach Ministry.
Speaking in the iTaukei language, Te said he wanted to help those who he saw were confined to wheelchairs and the various other ailments that befall us.
"Niu dau lako meu lai qito, au sa dau raica tiko e so na i vukivuki ni veibobo. Au sa dau vakatotomi toka mai kea." (While at judo tournaments, I saw how they massaged people. That was where I picked up tips from).
Te explained that some afflictions can be addressed by focusing attention to the soles of one's feet. In that region of the body, the 50-year-old who is originally from Ravitaki in Kadavu says there are 30,000 capillaries or small blood vessels. Between the pelvic area and the abdomen, the number is around 60,000.
The numbers Te says are nothing new to the Chinese as they have been using this method to their benefit for thousands of years.
Carrying on with numbers Te said there were 400 muscles in the body, 206 bones and 370 pressure points. Up until recently, the rest of the world including what is recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records, had the number of pressure points at 361. The Chinese have since found another nine.
He said his trip to China was greatly aided by former ambassador to China, James Ah Koy. With only two days to go to the departure date, Ah Koy stepped in and liaised with the officials at the Chinese Embassy.
Te says he was one of 15 trainees, the rest of whom were qualified doctors, from different countries with most from Asia.
Since returning from China in late 2011, Te says he has treated more than 200 patients. Among them are Taveuni chief Ratu Talemo Ratakele. Another is Cicia native Kaulotu Vono who had been unable to walk for 10 years.
For women who may not be uncomfortable with the idea with the idea of being massaged by a man, Te says they will be attended to by his sister.