More and more people fall into the category of what we may call “semi-sick”. They have something wrong with them, little aches and pains, feel uncomfortable, indigestion, some depression or anxiety, difficulty concentrating etc .etc. – nothing sufficient for a doctor to diagnose and give a name to or prescribe an effective treatment for. So, the symptoms come and go, may get worse but very seldom seem to disappear completely. The body’s not quite up to sorting out these little problems.
Western Medicine has followed the highly scientific mode of determining the nature of an illness on the basis of its symptoms and causes, giving the illness a name and then treating it with medicines (which often have side effects) or surgery which is not strictly necessary.
However, the natural tendency of a living organism is to cure itself. Surely, the most effective and natural way to cure an illness is to stimulate self healing.
As a result of this dilemma many people are now re-evaluating oriental health systems where the emphasis is on stimulating and supporting the body’s powers of self-cure within a therapy that is in harmony with each individual’s entire organism.
Shiatsu is such a system: – for, the healthy, the semi-sick and the sick.
The months of autumn in Chinese Medicine relate to the element metal represented by the energies of Lung and Large intestine which control the elimination and respiratory systems.
The external injuring condition affecting these energies is cold which starts to become prevalent in these months and our bodies need to adjust to this. The body areas related to these energies are the shoulders, abdomen and chest and the negative emotions, grief and depression. The body fluid corresponding to metal is mucus which of course lines all the surfaces of these two systems.
Metal energy is the most contractive of all the energies. It is not surprising then, that during the months of autumn many people tend to have respiratory and elimination upsets and are more susceptible to depression as our bodies are adjusting to the new seasonal conditions.
In a Shiatsu treatment to help these problems we would treat the relevant energy meridian / s along with others which would nurture or help unblock stuck and contracted energy (e.g. earth and fire energies).Stretches and other dispersion techniques might also be used. Advice on suitable stretches and breathing exercises to open and free contracted energies would be given along with nutritional suggestions. Rice and ginger are regarded as particularly nurturing foods for the metal element.