Hemos estado en un congreso de Shiatsu en Inglaterra. En este vídeo os contamos qué nos ha parecido la experiencia y lo mucho que hemos aprendido.
Of course stress can be provoked from external causes (work, family, illness etc.) but clearly it is our inner attitude to adverse situations that determines the grade of stress we suffer and whether or not we are able to release it.
What occurs physiologically in our bodies when we encounter a stressful situation? The body prepares itself to flee or fight the situation by producing adrenaline and cortisone; blood pressure rises, breathing becomes more rapid, muscles receive more blood, digestion stops or slows down etc. Is this harmful? On the contrary it is a positive reaction that can give us the necessary forces to resolve a critical or dangerous situation. The concern is that these reactions can become installed in our life styles as a normal function which is not the way it should be. The person who lives constantly in a state of high tension, without time to “disconnect” and recuperate is liable to become ill as a result of the constant metabolic build up from their mental and emotional concerns.
O.K., once we recognise we are stressed – what can we do to reduce it and take on the situation that caused it? There are various possibilities:
Probably the most immediate is to express what we feel to those closest to us, family / friends. For some people it’s easier to write their feelings down. In either case after a time we become spectators to our own problems and are able to distance ourselves from them. They loose part of their terror and we can see them in perspective and deal with them.
Another way is physical exercise (running, walking, playing a sport etc…) are all excellent to lower pressure at all levels.
Shiatsu y Acupressure can help at a subtle level to bring attention inside the body to calm us and what previously was insoluble, after a treatment, can become manageable.
Finally, yoga, chi-kung or meditation practised regularly can have an effect similar to Shiatsu or Acupressure.
In the last issue of the British Shiatsu Society Journal appeared an article by Marianna Lazana, head of a team of Shiatsu therapists in the Pain Management Clinic of the University Hospital of Athens, one of the principle health centres in the Greek capital.
Marianna and her team are offering free treatments to patients with chronic problems, as they wouldn’t be able to pay for them given the serious social crisis in Greece. In addition, they are working hand in hand with doctors who refer patients to Shiatsu and other Complementary therapies such as Acupuncture and Reflexology.
The Shiatsu team since 2008 have treated 400 patients (80 men and 320 women). Most of them suffered from musculoskeletal pain (back, knees, shoulder joint). Other conditions treated were fibromyalgia and headaches.
The average number of treatments received by each patient was 12.
Results reported by patients in pain reduction were considered to be excellent: 23% were free of pain after treatments. The majority of others had a 50% reduction in the intensity of their pain. Other conditions improved, such as having a better sleep.
Marianne notices that the patients problems were as much physical as they were emotional and psycho-social, considering the difficult life conditions in Greece at the moment. As a consequence, therapists had to be good listeners and show empathy to the people.
We congratulate Marianna and her team for the great work they are doing, another example of Integrated Medicine, the one that takes the best from Traditional Medicine and Complementary therapy.
The external injuring condition affecting these energies is wind, which is prevalent in these months and we need to take adequate precautions if we want to avoid adversely being affected by it.
The body areas related to these energies are the muscles, ligaments and joints and the negative emotions, anger and impatience. The body sense and sense organs corresponding to wood are sight and the eyes.
Wood energy is directed upward and outward and can be very powerful as we can see in the attached photo*, where wood in nature has the ability to break through and split solid rock in its quest to go upward and outward. During the spring time, when this energy is out of balance people tend to suffer with muscle and joint problems, often with wandering pains in different joints / muscles. Anger and impatience as the result of the strong upward movement of energy can also result in violent headaches and eye problems, along with high blood pressure and its consequences.
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. Water and Earth energies). Stretches, joint mobilisations and other dispersion techniques might also be used. Advice on suitable stretches and exercises to open and free contracted energies would be given, along with suggestions to guard against wind and drafts, plus suitable nutritional advice.
*We want to thank our friend Paco Frontiñán for the attached photo.
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.
In whom do they trust? Primarily in themselves and in their own bodies ability to recuperate and return to its natural state of healthy balance.
In addition they trust in the ability of the practitioner they have chosen to orientate their healing path, give helpful advice and an appropriate nurturing treatment.
A personal friend of ours has recently recuperated from a long standing thyroid problem after choosing to have a course of homeopathy treatments. She tells us that all the unpleasant symptoms have disappeared and she feels very well and now considers herself cured. She doesn’t feel the need to have a conventional clinical analysis to confirm she has recuperated her health. She trusts what her body feels.
We thank our friend for sharing this enriching experience with us and congratulate her.
We first learn techniques, tools to do our work with. We learn, what they are and then how and when to use them. The more we use them the more confidence we get and if we pay attention the more we get to notice what happens when we do things in a certain way, move faster, slower, apply more or less pressure, pause, listen, feel and sense with our hands and our body. How and what we say, see, hear and even what we smell contribute to a treatment. It is the integration of all our senses to connect with and help others.
It is a journey of personal development, getting to know more about ourselves, who and what we are in relation to our environment and to the people we treat and those around us. We are able to benefit others as well as ourselves. It’s exciting and its fun and it’s continuous because there is always something new and different to learn.
Help yourself and help others – learn a therapy.