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 ...
By Catriona Murray
One of the comments most often heard from clients on receiving Shiatsu is how much more aware of their bodies they are after a session. Although as Shiatsu practitioners we work actively on our clients' bodies, physically moving joints, applying pressure or movement via our thumbs, elbows, fingers palms and feet, what our clients often do not realise is that 50% of the effort comes from them!
Every movement, every ...
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Relaxing and being aware of your body (as you might be in a Shiatsu session or similar) has its own side-effect - the aches that have faded into perception background suddenly get a spotlight, as do emotions and thoughts we keep well hidden. I am certainly not the only person who has experienced feeling like EVERYTHING in my body is tense, achy and just plain WRONG at the start of a Shiatsu or a massage treatment. This is the start of the process of resolving/ transforming these stale states of being into a healthier you, but it can be a bit of a shock.
by Catriona Murray
Breath is important. In the last newsletter we touched on how important an awareness of breath is – especially when stressed – and how we can use “3 deep breaths” as a way to consciously calm, ground and center in moments of anxiety.
But we can use breath in so many other ways. It is the cornerstone of many health-giving practices, from yoga to Qi Gong, from singing to pilates.
Sometimes we can even just focus on breathing and forget the physical movement, and still feel a benefit …
by Catriona Murray
One thing which I have noticed in my short (3 year!) time as a student practitioner is how often we forget to breathe, or rather, that we forget to breathe fully and deeply.
As a child my father used always to say “take 3 deep breaths” before anything scary or intimidating … I always took that as a turn of phrase. Not so! For me, those 3 deep breaths have become one of the most important ways of centring and calming, whether I am about to give a lecture to the great and the good of Edinburgh, or am simply beset by negativity which I have no idea how to dispel – breathing in to the count of 8 (4 seconds), holding for a bit (another count of 8) and breathing out to the count of 8 – I never fail to be astounded by the power of such a simple action.
Find out more on the Shiatsu Society website.
What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu translates as ‘finger pressure’ and is based on traditional Japanese massage. Combining acupressure, massage, flowing movement and joint rotations helps to disperse tension, reduce pain, promote relaxation and healthy functioning of the body systems (circulation, breathing, digestion etc.). Shiatsu therapists are guided by their experience & knowledge of physiology and traditional Chinese medicine and apply pressure using fingers, thumbs, palms and elbows and combine it with other techniques.
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