Finding your internal balance with shiatsu
What fascinates me about shiatsu is its capacity to enable us to liberate our own sources of healing, to guide us to a better understanding of ourselves and our environment and to allow us to more fully align our internal and external worlds.
Shiatsu is a system of bodywork that creates two of the most fundamental experiences we have in life, the circulation of energy – with the consequent release of information contained in the body – and the sensation of empathic touch. In shiatsu, the practitioner applies pressure along channels in the body. These channels are related to the major organs in the body and their function, but they also encompass the whole being at a mental and emotional level as well.
There is also a strong connection between touch and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS has two branches: the parasympathetic and the orthosympathetic. The former activates the various functions of our organs and body systems and regenerates and conserves the body’s energy. It is the more primitive of the autonomic branches and operates at a deeper level of the body. It makes us feel more relaxed, which is why we feel so good after bodywork. The orthosympathetic system discharges energy to enable us to carry out the various activities of our lives and, in extreme situations, takes over the body switching on the “flight or fight” response. Too much stress and tension and the ortho response becomes overactive and inhibits the deeper body processes governed by the parasympathetic system. Take any physical action such as simply walking across the room and then add the thought “I hope I don’t get this wrong” and see how that subtly affects the chemistry in the body and you will know what I mean. I live in a busy, fascinating part of London but come out of the tube station at practically any time of day and you can feel your body’s defenses getting ready for the challenge of simply walking down the street!
Ideally we want both systems to work in harmony providing the appropriate level of energy for the moment. This is where shiatsu comes in. Through the quality of touch, the parasympathetic nervous system has a chance to re-engage, relax the body and begin to absorb and process the physical, emotional and mental stimulus we receive each day.
For more information about individual sessions with me, and to book, please contact me.