It is a strange thing being a hands-on practitioner in a pandemic, lots of people have needed support but I haven’t been able to give it in the usual way .
The stress and strain of this strange situation has had quite an effect on people’s bodies. I am so looking forward to getting back to work – offering hands-on Shiatsu – even if the extra measures will make it a little different.
A couple of days ago my 5 year old assistant took this photo of my hands. I have been keeping them busy doing lots of gardening and caring for my children. However Shiatsu is what they are best at!
I have been busy putting extra measures in place – to make sure my practice is as safe and hygienic as possible.
I am presuming that Shiatsu can begin again from july 4th, in line with the government guidance. Maybe this will be delayed- but if not me and my hands will be ready and willing.
We started a walk, a few days ago, by going through this beautifully overgrown ‘secret path’
Such a great start to what turned out to be a pretty special walk overall. The weather was beautiful, the pace was slow, and nature was doing it’s thing all around us.
There were birds nesting, ducklings in the river and blossom beginning to bloom. Spring is in full flow. This is the time of year that relates to the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians in Shiatsu.
Meridians are lines of energy that run through the body, they relate to certain organs but also to many other symptoms and conditions. They also relate to a time of year. These are the same Meridians used in Acupuncture and Acupressure. Shiatsu doesn’t use needles but massage techniques, through clothes, to help balance the energy in the Meridians.
Spring is a time for ideas and for nurturing new seedlings and buds. The Summer, which is yet to come, is the time to really push for these ideas to come to full fruition. In a way the slowing down of our daily lives, for a lot of us, due to the Coronavirus situation, has allowed us to watch Spring unfurl and take place.
In Shiatsu terms this is more of a correct rhythm for this time of year. The really busy days should be more in the Summer time. Pushing to keep on top of busy work and home lives is exhausting.
At this time of year if your Liver and Gallbladder Meridians energy is out of balance you may notice the following symptoms/ issues:
Tightness in the body – muscles and joints
High level of thirst
There are other symptoms and issues relating to these Meridians, particularly at this time of year. This list is just a quick insight into what things you may notice if these Meridians are not in balance.
Shiatsu can help ease all of the above symptoms, using relaxing and satisfying massage techniques, to bring the body back into some balance. Getting the energy flowing at this time of year can feel really good, providing relief of symptoms and release of tension.
The Liver and Gallbladder Meridians love the following things:
Stretching – gentle movement and stretching of the whole body and rotations of the joints – if you would like more guidance I can always provide this
Drinking water – drinking plenty, but not excessive amounts, of water helps the body keep it’s own energy following
Creativity – Spring is the time to dust off the easel or pick up that guitar or pen – expressing yourself in whatever way feels good to you
Try these ideas out and see if you do begin to feel a little more in balance with yourslef, nature and the season.
I am now in my mid forties and I feel like each morning and now watch myself age. I see more grey hairs and looser skin around my neck. I’m ok with this really.
I am also aware of changing inside my body. My menstrual cycle in changing and so is the way by body reacts to excess food intake (this is a no-no now!)
In the past couple of years there has also been moments of full-on emotional strain. They talk about a mid-life crisis and now I have begun to understand what they mean. Suddenly I felt like I had run out of time to do anything else in my life, that my work life was nearly at an end and that I hadn’t achieved anything.
Once I calmed myself down I remembered all the things that I had done. I also realised that I am in a good place, doing a job that I love and loving bringing my kids up. I also remembered that I have years ahead of me, hopefully, and that people continue to strive towards goals and achieve them at all sorts of ages.
I am affected by hormonal imbalances in my body. I am now very much Peri-Menopausal. In the last couple of years I have attracted more clients of my own age and a little older. The women are all showing imbalances that have been diagnosed or suggest they are going through the Menopause or Per-Menopausal. The men are feeling unsettled and unbalanced in themselves and their personal and or working lives.
Shiatsu is great for helping to balance out any imbalance, be in physical, mental or emotional. It can help eased symptoms related to the Menopause. It can allow the client to feel that they have options again, that their symptoms aren’t taking over their life.
I can’t wait to get back to giving hands-on Shiatsu treatments and supporting women going through this process. It can be a challenging phase of life but it is a time of change and this can bring new beginnings and perspectives.
No actually paid Shiatsu happening still. I can’t wait to get back to work but looking like I’m going to have to be patient for a while longer.
In the meanwhile I have been using Shiatsu to support myself and my family.
I have used Shiatsu to help me digest – after a large meal! I have used it to keep my energy flowing. I have used it to ground and centre myself – amongst external turmoil.
I have used it to calm the kids when they are hurt or upset. I have used it to help their digestion and to calm before sleep.
I have used Shiatsu to boost my husband’s energy and to loosen tight muscles and joints.
On top of Shiatsu I have found getting out into nature has been a real tonic.
I know this isn’t possible for everyone but the boys, my husband and I have loved our natute hunts and discoveries.
I have appreciated the slower pace that we can go when out – this allows the space to spot things we may have just whizzed past previously.
I have relished watching spring take place – plants blossoming and new life emerging.
I have always known that getting out into fresh air and connecting with nature makes me feel good. In these strange times it has helped me feel grounded and stay calm when there is uncertainty and anxiety around me.
In can be easy to lose contact with nature and the seasons. An easy exercise is to stand, or walk, outside with no shoes on for a few minutes. Another idea is to go for a walk and look for small things – what can you see when you look closely.
We haven’t been able to get into proper nature do everything we have found has been close to our house in Exeter.
So no real Shiatsu practice, to regulate and support myself, but a settled and happy family routine and LOTS of nature!
Yesterday I was watering the allotment. This involves carrying two watering cans, a fair distance, a number of times……
When I do this I think about my Shiatsu training and the idea of ‘coming from Hara.’ This is the abdominal area and all my movements when giving a treatment ideally come from this area.
Whilst training I remember trying to do every task from Hara – washing-up, gardening, hoovering – one fellow student even tried to brush her teeth from Hara 😁😂😁
Why is Hara such an important focus in Shiatsu?
In Shiatsu it is the centre of energy in the body. In a treatment my energy flow is at it’s best when it comes from the Hara. This in turn helps the flow of energy in the client’s body.
It represents the ‘Intuition’ rather than the ‘analytical.’ In a treatment it is a grounded and quiet space. This helps the client to feel safe and secure. It also allows me to hear what treatment the body is asking for.
How is the Hara relevant to everyone?
Often in a treatment it becomes clear that either the client is caught up in their own thoughts – constantly using their analytical brain – or that their life demands they use their analytical brain a lot.
I often suggest to a client that sitting quietly and connecting to their Hara (their intuition) may help still their mind – and may also generate more energy across their whole body.
A good exercise to begin to connect with the Hara is to practice some deep breathing. Taking slow deep breaths right down into the belly area.
Also taking a moment to sit quietly before deciding on a decision. What is your ‘gut’ saying? What is the quiet, centred area of your body saying? What is your Hara saying?
This maybe useful as we head out of lockdown. There is likely to be more decisions to make – and maybe coming from Hara can help.
In this strange time being at home is helpful in some ways – don’t you think? I have been feeling levels of fatigue and tiredness at times, particularly in the mornings. However when I do have the energy getting to grips with some of those ‘I haven’t got time and space’ jobs has been satisfying.
My husband has been able to give the Shiatsu Shed some care and attention. Giving the outside an extra coat of protection. It is a lovely thing to give some care to our joint work space.
It was looking like it was going to be difficult to fit this particular job in. We use the shed a lot but this unusual situation has provided the space to get this job done.
Whenever the lockdown is relaxed the Shiatsu shed will be ready for more therapeutic and healing work.
Really missing my job now. I have enjoyed making the most of the family time but the longer the lockdown goes on the more I am missing what giving Shiatsu gives me.
Whilst supporting clients to work towards their own health, happiness and wellbeing I also get a chance todo this for myself. I am missing being part of the therapeutic journey.
I also have a quiet, calm and special place to practice. Fondly nicknamed (by me) as the Shiatsu Shed. It is actually a shared space, with many husband who practices meditation teaching in there too.
At the moment the Clematis is blooming beautifully outside the window. This is one of my favourite times to practice Shiatsu as I can catch a glimpse of this beautiful plant through the window. The Shiatsu Shed is a great place to practice, even in the rain or cold. I even gave a Shiatsu whilst a thunder storm took place above.
It is a special place to provide a safe and secure environment for healing to take place. I can’t wait to get back in there. Hoping it won’t be long until I can get back into the flow. Until them I’ll make do with watching the Clematis.
Mother’s Day is coming up and I wanted to take the opportunity to write about my own mum. The photo below shows her, on the floor, helping my young son cause chaos.
What the picture doesn’t show is the support and willingness mum always has to help me achieve yet another crazy idea. This photo was taken at, one of many, DIY birthday parties. The type of party that take lots of preparation, lots of helping hands and lots of tidying up.
Mum is great at organising and helping out wherever. she generally ropes her partner in as well. On this occasion they not only help with set up and tidy up (which by the way took ages) they also made jacket potatoes, beans and cheese for a dozen or so children and their adults! It was a cold January day and the kids were still little, good food made for a happy and relatively calm party.
Mum is genuinely supportive and generous whenever possible. Although I am an only child she has always been a support to my friends and other children in our lives. These kids know they can rely on her and her problem-solving practicality, now they are adults, they can discuss with her about any situation they find themselves in.
Now she is on serious granny duties, supporting and caring for my two energetic and rambunctious boys. She is again a consistent support to them, they know she will help them practically but also that she accepts them completely. My boys are so comfortable and relaxed around their granny and it’s a joy to see what they get from her and also what joy she gets from them.
Although the times are a little uncertainty right now I wanted to remember Mother’s Day and put a massive shout out for my mum. Amazing support, wisdom and care. Thanks xx
I am offering gift vouchers for Mother’s Day. They can be purchased before Mother’s Day, sent out, dropped through a letter box or sent electronically. Vouchers can be in any denomination.
Shiatsu is a very supportive, nurturing and relaxing treatment – so perfect to treat a well deserving mother or grandmother. It can also be very invigorating and energising, can help with sleep and rest and can ease tension and stress.
Have a look at the pages on this website for further information on Shiatsu and my practice in Exeter. To purchase gift vouchers either head to the ‘Contact Me’ page or call 07791 070837
Ha the school holidays can create stress and tension for sure. Lots of parents, including myself look forward to having time as a family, but even so there are always tough points.
So although it’s half term next week, down here in Exeter, Devon at least, I am still offering Shiatsu appointments. Obviously this is for those if you who are on a normal week and those of you who need to escape the half term madness. It’s also going to help my own sanity and energy for the kids too!
I’ve limited appointments but do still have spaces left. Have a look at the pages on this website for more information. To discuss or book message me at firstname.lastname@example.org