What is Shiatsu/Integrative Bodywork?
Shiatsu is a touch therapy based in Chinese medicine that promotes healing and wellness. Integrative bodywork means that I combine shiatsu with a broad variety of other approaches to healing, using whatever approach would be helpful or needed for a particular person at a particular time. My work aims to encourage your settling into yourself, experiencing yourself on a deeper level, and finding positive pathways to relaxation, healing, growth, and transformation.
Goals of the sessions include: deep relaxation; fewer stress-related symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, physical symptoms like headaches; relieve muscle tension and stiffness, experience of pain; greater sense of well-being, clarity, feeling centered and embodied; more complete connection of body/mind/spirit; greater awareness of experience, both positive and uncomfortable; support those with physical illnesses by encouraging better sleep, rest, energy; support the ability of the body to heal itself.
A basic idea in Chinese medicine is that when a person is healthy energy ("chi") flows freely and abundantly along certain pathways ("meridians"). If energy is out of balance, this is experienced as dis-ease and ultimately can result in disease. Another basic idea is that the mind, body, and spirit form a whole: what happens in one is intimately tied to what happens in the others.
The goal of shiatsu is to encourage the balanced flow of chi. This is experienced by the receiver as feelings of deep relaxation, feeling whole and embodied, and as greater awareness of positive states and of tensions. When energy is balanced, the body is better able to follow its natural impulse to heal itself.
This balance is achieved through touch: The receiver lies on a massage table fully clothed while the giver touches points on pathways of energy and other important locations and gently moves the limbs and other parts of the receiver’s body. Zen shiatsu emphasizes that healing touch is a communication between giver and receiver.
I combine shiatsu with a variety of other approaches to integrative bodywork. Shiatsu shin tai ("life force recovery") addresses body structure and energy flow. I also draw on techniques from zero balancing, myofascial massage, Reichian work, imagery, breathwork, and other practices. The bodywork may be combined with conversation to clarify concerns, engage in problem-solving, or facilitate planning. My role is that of a facilitator, educator, and consultant.