Shiatsu & Springtime, Exeter, Devon

Spring is a time of budding of opening of new life & new starts. This goes for us humans too, Spring is a great time for coming up with ideas & new ventures, for jotting down our dreams & aspirations. A time to enjoy our creativity & draw inspiration from the new life emerging around us. 

Spring is the time of year that relates to the Wood element, within 5 Element diagnosis, which Shiatsu massage uses as one form of diagnosis.  If you imagine a tall, strong tree moving & swaying in the wind, this is the wood element in harmony. The body feels flexible & fluid. The mind & emotions are flexible & adaptable. Everthing happens with ease, joints move smoothly & the whole body is supple.

When the wood element is out of balance you can imagine the tree in two ways. One, it is brittle & unflexible, unable to move with the wind, it is stiff & may break, or becomes rigid & stuck in one position. Two, it is too eager to grow & expand, it pushes itself higher forgetting its lower trunk & roots, it becomes thin & weak & can be pushed too much by the wind. Again it’s the same with our bodies, we can become inflexible, rigid with tension, we can become stuck in a rut. Or we can become too driven, push ourselves too hard, we can become driven by our emotions, become angry too quickly for instance. Often this also leads to a lot of tension, headaches & eye complaints. 

How do we keep our wood energy in balance then? Well Shiatsu massage is a good way to start!! Of course I would say that right – so let’s come back to that. Here’s some tips that you can use on yourself at home. 

1. Stretch every morning & night – just 5 minute if that’s all the time you have. Be gentle & don’t push too hard, listen to your body. Warm up before stretching. Work on your neck & shoulders & your inner thingh – all places where tension maybe found with excess wood energy.

2. Massage your feet before bed – just 2 minutes is fine – relax & calm your body to get a good night’s sleep & bring your energy away from your shoulders & neck.

3. Eat as little fried food as possible. This can really encourage the wood energy to stagnant, so leave it alone where possible.

4. Eat your greens – not salad or stir fried greens – eat deep, dark, rich greens, steamed with a little soy sauce or sea salt. This supports the flexible & adaptable Wood energy.

5. Meditate & rest when you can. Quiet, calm stillness builds Water energy & in turn this feeds the Wood energy.

So back to Shiatsu massage. It can be great if you are feeling stuck or stagnant,  it can be great for tension or strain, Shiatsu massage can be a massive energy boost. It is a relaxing & enjoyable experience & afterwards you may feel invigorated, energized, more flexible & adaptable. 

Similarly if you are feeling over-worked & stressed, like there is too much happening & you can’t settle, Shiatsu massage can be calming & centering. Bringing you back to a place where you can feel your roots & the strength in your trunk. Quietening the mind & emotions & giving some sense of strength in your core. Shiatsu works to balance the energy in the body, to get the tree strong but flexible as it were. 

If you’d like to know more please get in touch through the ‘contact me’ page. There’s more info on th e other pages on this site too. 

Shiatsu Event – June – Exeter, Devon

The year is whizzing by & before we know it, it will be June already. My colleagues & myself will be giving Shiatsu massage tasters at Exeter Respect Festival again. We are going to be in the healing area this year, which is a little away from the noisy main stage & community stalls. The tasters will be 30 minutes long, so not much less than a full treatment. 

You can find more about the festival here

It’s a free festival with so much going on & an amazing message behind it. It’s such a happy day & represents Exeter so well. Shiatsu massage fits in perfectly & is a great break from all the dancing, stall-wandering, chatting & fun

Shiatsu massage for motivation & focus

Here we are again on a Sunday evening. Lots of us are running around preparing for Monday & the week ahead. I have chosen to take a break from the organising to write this blog! 

Sunday evenings used to fill me with dread – the feeling used to creep up on me from mid morning, building to its strongest as I tried to get to sleep on a Sunday evening. I had a stressful & not particularly happy-making job. I had chosen to take the job so that I could make the move back to Devon from the Manchester area but the pay off was a long commute on slow, winding Devon roads & a job that was unthankful & relentless when I finally got there. The pay was ok & pretty good for Devon but I spent a majority of it on petrol & car upkeep, then had very little time to spend the rest of it in. 

I was unsure how I would be able to change my situation, I couldn’t see any options & felt trapped. Sunday evenings were the worst. Not long after starting this job I began my Shiatsu training, the first few months of the 3 year diploma course that I completed in 2010.  I started to do energy work consistently for the first time in my life. I had done yoga & tai chi & meditation at times but I threw myself into my Shiatsu practice & the exercise & meditation to support it.

I began to feel a fluidity that I hadn’t felt for a long time, I started to see options & opportunities to make changes. I began to feel healthy in body & mind & started to have more energy. I felt more focused & driven & able to take advantage of what opportunities life showed up. Within the first year of my Shiatsu course I had found a new, happier & lot less stressful job. I felt supported & respected by my employer. I did unfortunately spilt with my partner but actually this was a positive change, if not sad at the time.  I made new friends & found new interests.

I really believe in Shiatsu massage as a form of therapy that can support people to make changes that they hope or wish to make. I have had clients who have felt stuck, who have then felt more movement & energy after their Shiatsu & have been able to implement changes in their lives. 

If you are feel the ‘Sunday fear’ & feel it’s time to see if you can find a new path then maybe Shiatsu massage will be able to help. It can really transform lives. Get in touch through the ‘contact me’ page or my Facebook page. I work in Exwick, Exeter, Devon on Tuesday’s,  Wednesday’s & Saturday’s. 

Shiatsu stretch for spring

Following on from my blog yesterday, about Spring really starting to happen, here is a stretch which is really good for this time of year. It is a strong stretch so take it gently, listen to your body & only do what feels right. 

Shiatsu has six stretches that support the twelve meridians, lines of energy in the body. Each stretch supports a pair of meridians, this stretch relates to the wood energy, within the 5 elements, the form of diagnosis that Shiatsu uses. There can be a tightness within these meridians that can make you feel inflexible. You can feel like you are unclear of what direction to take, or that you are unable to adapt emotionally to situations. You may get headaches or eye issues. Stretching is really helpful. It can get the flow of energy moving thriugh the meridians & can help you feel fluid on thought & emotion too.

Here’s a photo of the stretch. 

It is possible to do this stretch with only one leg straight & the other folded up. Also if you can’t reach your foot, don’t worry just go as far as is comfortable. Hold the stretch for a couple of slow breathes then repeat on other side. Rotations of the shoulders, back twists & inner thigh stretches are also good for these meridians.