Jenny has just moved her practice to a brand new Nepalese-inspired treatment space/Cafe/ Yoga Studio/ shop - Santosa in Albert Street, just off Leith Walk. I met her there to have a nosy and find out more on her take on Shiatsu.
Santosa is a beautiful place- spacious, welcoming and full of tempting goodies. We occupy a couple of comfy sofas and prepare to talk about bodywork, but our conversation inevitably turns to the EU Referendum fallout.
It seemed important not to skim over this, so here are some thoughts on the supportive things you can do for yourself and those around you, including some calming acupressure points and a meditation to try.
Maria: What emotions come up for your clients and folk around you?
Jenny: The heightened emotions of grief shock, insecurity, shame, anger and fear seem to dominate. I think the change was inevitable, but change makes things unstable.
I want to help community and individuals to deal with these emotions, feel more empowered and embodied, so that mind is not in the clutches of the media and swept away with the high-charged emotions.
When we are in our body, our core we can make decisions based on the stable feeling of worth. We can find grounding in our bodies and emotions.
[This can be an opportunity for} more consciousness, more awareness – chance to progress and make better.
If you look at the media you get frightened and unstable, but when I actually look around I see more people smiling. People around me want to make connections with each other, there are good things happening in communities. Whatever way people voted we are asking for change and make things better.
Maria: I believe that majority people who have voted in the referendum wanted to improve the wellbeing of their families and their communities. They may have done it differently, but that is ultimately what they wanted. That’s why so many people have voted.
Jenny: Well that’s it. We can help and support each other. And we can act through grass root activity. If we are strong in ourselves we can make right decisions for ourselves and act with integrity.
There are plenty of ways to centre or ground yourself - here are some simple pressure points and a meditation from Jenny, which is useful for all sorts of upheavals!
Post-referendum pressure points to use?
With all of these take your time and a few slow relaxed breaths whilst applying firm (but comfortable) pressure to the point.
If you feel angry, frustrated, “in your head”, headachy, tense Liver 3 is your superhero - it's located on your foot about two finger widths above the place where the skin of your big toe and the next toe join. It's location makes it perfect to cool a hot head by moving energy towards the feet.
Two other great calming points, Heart Protector 8 and Heart 7, are both conveniently located in hands and wrist, so that you can be your own therapist. They can be used in combination with Central Chanel 17 point in the middle of the breastbone.
Meditation for uncertain times
Jenny: When we are being kind to ourselves we are a bit more aware of where our boundaries and when we need to look after ourselves. We can get rattled by other people being stressed whereas if you can check in you can realign yourself.
I’ve been combining CV17 and HP8 points with self-compassion mindfulness technique to do just that.
Connecting the two points (in the palm and the middle of the chest), keeping hands on heart signals our brain to self-soothe, releasing oxytonin.
Start by noticing the heart beating, dropping into sense of self and your own body. Noticing if you are feeling a strong emotion. Being with it and being with yourself in a way you’d be with a child or a friend who needs soothing.
I can deepen this technique by repeating to myself: "This is a moment of suffering and is part of human condition. May I meet it with kindness. " Do this a few times to bring a really soothing self-healing effect.
What I like about this meditation “this is part of the human condition” makes you aware that other people have experienced this, helps to keep you connected to other people. To be kind to ourselves and others.
Find out more on the Shiatsu Society website.