Although this definition is somewhat generalised because in my very limited experience I find Shiatsu to go much deeper than the application of acupressure to specific points on a person’s body. Firstly this could be as a result of my years of practicing Aikido or perhaps due to my interest in the emotional body and its relationship to the physical body. Or perhaps it is something bigger than anything anyone can even put words too.
Secondly Shiatsu and the principles of other Chinese Medicines are not well known. They are certainly becoming more recognised and sought out by western practitioners of medicine however there is still the thought that traditional medicines stem from a “hocus pocus” mentality. The fact that the notion of energy therapy and Chinese medicine has lasted for over 2500 years would suggest to me that the ancient ones were extremely wise in their practices of medicine and the traditional methods should not be discounted as mere medical folly.
Science is beginning to back up the long held tradition of Shiatsu and Oriental therapies through examination of the hidden truths behind the philosophy. Eastern medicine is derived from observation of changes in nature and the interaction of consciousness with matter. Quantum physics is proving the subtle relationships with disease and healing within the physical body and how consciousness, individually and group can affect the energies we generate and ultimately interact with.
But I digress.
Ki energy is something I am passionate about exploring and learning about. The physical body is equally fascinating to me. So after many years of practicing a wonderful martial arts known as Aikido and learning the physical therapy Kiatsu as taught and founded by Koichi Tohei it seemed to be a no brainer for me to further my learning in Shiatsu.
My first choice was to continue developing my training in Kiatsu and gaining my formal qualifications. However this required living and studying in Japan for 2 years. Definitely something that had a lot of appeal but not something my husband would have readily agreed too. Further research found that the practice of Shiatsu and Oriental Therapies was available in Australia for studying as a formal qualification. I could also obtain my Diploma, continue with other personal development and at the end of the day provide my clients with a nationally recognised qualification that would be benefit from by claiming on their private health insurance.
I have finally finished after an epic 18 months journey of studying. Yet I feel my Shiatsu journey has actual just begun. I have a Diploma in Shiatsu and Oriental Therapies and so much information in my head. There is so much gratitude for the clients who have trusted me to date to practice the acupressure, the stretching, bending and flexing of their bodies and the permission to use cupping and moxibustion to assist them with healing.
Traditionally shiatsu is practice on the floor or a low bed however the beauty of the art of Shiatsu is that is flexible. Like the nature of Yin, Yang and Ki Shiatsu is a body work that follows no specific pattern. Shiatsu is “listening” to the requirements of the client’s body and making accommodation to feel into that space and move with their energy so as to facilitate natural healing within them. In saying this as a body work practitioner I do not do the healing. The client is the one who heals themselves. My role is to facilitate the opening of a space for the client’s mind and body to reconnect and to communicate with each other what needs to be done so as to heal.
What a fantastic honour that is for me to do that?
In every session I listen to the body of the client, I connect on an energetic level and I allow a meditative experience to envelope both us and direct me what to do. Now this does sound a little bit hocus pocus for sure but this is how it feels for me when I hand over to the process of a session. Yes there is some science behind it and yes I do use some diagnostic type methods to help direct me. I ask questions, I palpate, and I feel into the physical body. This is what I have been taught. This is the theory behind the session but at the end of the day I am listening to what my client’s body and energetic field is telling me. I work with my client on so many levels even I get overwhelmed.
Oriental medicine is certainly difficult to get your head around and I am only just scraping the surface. In terms of experience I still have only just gotten on my feet and am still a wee bit wobbly. But like a newly hatched chicken I have quickly learned how to do what I need to do to get by. I might need to take it slow and I might get into a little spot of bother every now and again but ultimately my clients will receive all of my attention to assisting them to move to a place of healing. I like to think I am good at what I do but here are a few comments a few of my clients have given me permission to use:
“Deb is superb. I am feeling great and my arm pain is gone” – S 2014
“Very professional treatment, good knowledge of necessary techniques” - P 2014
I am feeling relaxed and settled. On all levels – physically, mentally and emotionally I feel in balance” – A 2015
“Enjoyable and relaxing” – 2015
This article is just a sneak peak at shiatsu and my reason for practicing it. If you would like more information or have questions please feel free to contact me on 0438 264 354, I am happy to chat.