- What is shiatsu?
- How does it work?
- Why should I try it?
- What happens during a typical session?
- What should I expect in the way of benefits?
- What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
- Do you take insurance?
- How many sessions will I need?
- What kind of training do you have?
- Will you do house calls?
1. What is shiatsu?
Calm Blowing Winds: Shiatsu is a form of Japanese bodywork that predates acupuncture. One of the seven branches of Asian medicine, Shiatsu bodywork is a powerful practice. It has the potential to significantly increase the quality of your life. Based on the principles of nature, this system is thousands of years old. Ancient Asian peoples first noticed that there were certain points on the body, that when pressed, seemed to make them feel better. They then noticed that these points ran in lines. Grandmothers taught children this system. These are the pressure points and meridians (energy lines) we use today. They are the same ones used by acupuncturists.
2. How does it work?
Smooth Rough Waters: I apply firm and nourishing touch to your meridians and pressure points. I also utilize many types of Oriental diagnosis. The Five Element chart from TCM is one of the main tools I utilize. Using a variety of diagnostic methods, I constantly check and cross check your energy. I look for the lowest energy meridian and the highest and work to bring them into balance. Your body also knows if it needs to release excess energy or redistribute it to areas that are low. Stretching and rotations also aid in the balancing process. The emotional correspondences are one of the most fascinating aspects of the meridians.
3. Why should I try it?
Weather Life Storms: If a picture is worth a thousand words what is a touch worth? Touch is one of our basic needs. Our culture is very touch averse. Many of us are touch deprived for numerous reasons. For clients who come with an open mind and open heart, a great deal of healing can take place. Sometimes we are not even aware of what healing may be needed. We can process, on a physical level, what the mind/body may have stored away many years ago. The body never forgets. People who are ready to release negative patterns benefit a great deal. Many clients come in due to some kind of physical pain. If they are ready to fully experience the healing power of shiatsu they may find that it has benefits far greater than just calming the muscles. Being in any kind of pain is very debilitating and will reduce your quality of life.
4. What happens during a typical session?
Avoid Rocky Shores: You will wear loose comfortable clothing. The work is done on a floor mat or special futon. A history is taken at the first session and during subsequent sessions it will be reviewed and added to. We will have a short interview before each session. You may have music to aid in relaxation. I also use some Chinese compression tools. I may use moxabustion or beans to stimulate the pressure points. I sometimes use a two hundred year old Tibetan metal healing bowl. You will be in seated, side lying, face down or face up positions.
You may notice energy moving from place to place or just an overall relaxing feeling. It may take a session or two before you can let go and fully trust. The deeper you allow yourself to go the more you benefit. The goal is a relaxed, yet energized feeling that indicates a balanced and healthy individual. No two sessions are exactly alike. For most people this work is very comprehensive, long lasting and deeply satisfying. I also offer support with diet, exercise and many different simple self-care techniques.
5. What should I expect in the way of benefits?
Live Life to the Fullest: Optimal health is based on the choices you make on a daily basis regarding diet, exercise, rest and relaxation. If you are in good health you can expect to feel better than you have in a long time. You should notice in the first session if your energy has become more balanced. If you have not had any bodywork for some time, you may experience a reorganization phase after a session. You may have fatigue or feel mildly achy or have unfocused thinking. This means that lots of energy is realigning and when this passes you should feel better than before the bodywork. The amount of progress with regard to physical injury depends on the severity of the injury.
If you are dealing with work or family stress it may take some time to sort out an action plan that will allow you to make positive changes in your life off the mat . I have seen many people gain awareness about the situations they gradually moved into begin to see ways to gradually begin to find happier ways to live. Sometimes all it takes is feeling good to help clients believe that they do have choices. The emotional aspects of the work are related to the organ systems that we work with.
6. What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
Remember Who You Are: TCM was developed in China as a way to standardize the many styles of Chinese medicine that developed over many centuries. There are seven branches including; meditation, diet, exercise (martial arts), massage, acupuncture, moxa and herbal medicine. The principles of the yin, yang, meridians, pressure points, the five elements and the philosophy that humans are part of nature and are affected by it daily are all part of TCM. There is a great deal more but these are the parts used in the practice of shiatsu if the practitioner employs more than just the physical technique.
7. Do you take insurance?
Think Out of the Insurance Box: I do not take insurance. However, if there is an injury that has a lawsuit involved, I have been able to provide receipts and clients have been reimbursed. I have clients that have used health savings plans funds to cover their shiatsu sessions. I don’t work with insurance companies in general. Your health and well-being are your most precious possessions. Too often we postpone taking care of annoying symptoms because we are in denial or don’t want to pay out of pocket. The longer you wait to try to correct any problems the more difficult it can be to correct without greater risk involved. Being proactive and taking positive steps to stay healthy may cost money but you have a greater chance of bringing yourself back into balance. How much is your health worth to you? For the price of a couple dinners out, depending on where you go, you could have a shiatsu session a month.
8. How many sessions will I need?
Learn to Trust Life: You will know in one session if shiatsu will meet your needs. Depending on the severity of the issues, you may need to see me every other week for a month or two. Then I would suggest what combination of other self-care you might do at home. I may also refer you out to a complimentary practitioner if you are out of my scope or need additional care. Clients who are on a wellness program come on a monthly basis. Some come every three weeks. It also depends on your budget.
9. What kind of training do you have?
We All Have a Blueprint for Health: I have been in private practice since my intermediate level as a student in 1996. I graduated with 650 hours of training from the Ohashi Institute in 2002. My American Organization of Bodywork Therapists (AOBTA) certification was obtained in 2004. I am currently enrolled in the Primordial Limitless Gate School for Qi Gong studies. My daily meditation, yoga and qi gong practice are very important to my practice of shiatsu. Continued professional development is ongoing. There is currently no state licensing required for shiatsu.
10. Will you do house calls?
Find Your Joy: Shiatsu is very specialized and requires my complete attention. In order for you to fully relax you must leave all distractions behind. I find that I do my best work in my office. It is a sacred space and a safe space for optimal progress. For these reasons I am not available for house calls.
Do you have a question you don’t see here? Feel free to call or email for more information or to set up an appointment to try Shiatsu for yourself:
Five Element Shiatsu
click here to email