By Catriona Murray
Shiatsu is a way of creating space:
in our lives - a brief hour in which to chill undisturbed
in our minds - by bringing our attention into our bodies, habitual thought patterns may slow or even stop
in our bodies - gentle movement, whether hip rotations, stimulation of pressure points or vigorous palming, helps blood to flow, nerves to fire and space or a feeling of ease to spread in the body.
Regular shiatsu can support you in handling either daily life, or exceptional circumstances, by providing space in which to relax body, mind and spirit. Aches and pains may be soothed away; stressful situations momentarily suspended.
This is all most helpful, and yet, there are ways in which our own contributions may assist this process: we may help ourselves...
Take time to centre.
Simply paying attention to ...
... our breath, perhaps even putting hand on the heart and feeling it beat, may help us to manage a tricky moment.
Take a moment to do nothing:
it's amazing how therapeutic staring at a wall can be. Even if you can only manage it when sitting on the loo - put away the paper, try just sitting and paying attention to your breathing, just for a minute or two - aaaah!
Sometimes we are so caught up in doing that we miss how much we are actually achieving.
If you clean the bathroom - pause to pat yourself on the back; if you make it through the day without an extra cinnamon bun at 3 - make sure you give yourself an internal 'HIGH 5!!' Whatever it is, how large or small, pause just for a mo and say, 'Go You!!' It's astonishing how such a tiny thing, ongoing, can lift the mood and create that elusive feeling of space.
Perhaps you've achieved something: finished a spreadsheet, left work on time for once, kept your promise to yourself to go to the gym. So? TREAT YOURSELF.
Yes, it could be a food or drink treat, but it could be as small a thing as dancing in the kitchen to your favourite song, flicking through your favourite grandchildren pics, or buying yourself a sneaky lottery ticket... whatever floats your boat - is it feeding the ducks? If so: DO IT :-)
These are some simple ways to create that lightness, space, that lift in mood that can come through shiatsu.
Go on: treat yourself.
Look out for a guided relaxation to help you bring space into the body between treatments - coming soon!
Find out more on the Shiatsu Society website.