Physical Communication: Shiatsu
Is Shiatsu Nonverbal Communication?
You want to help your group change the world. You know nonverbal communication is key to your work. Don’t dismiss the importance of physical communication. We contend maximizing communication between two people involves physical communication. This can be as simple as touching someone on the shoulder or as involved as Shiatsu. Shiatsu is perhaps the most developed means of physical communication. Originallly shiatsu was used within families. It has since become a professional therapy tool. Here we will be approaching shiatsu as it was originally intended: a means of deepening communication between people who already know each other well.
The effectivenesss of shiatsu and all physical communication increases exponentially as you eliminate worry and stress. Techniques derived from yoga can be helpful. Some are as simple as exercising your smile and the sixty second mediation.
Often key in our society is releasing tension in the neck.
Shiatsu is an ancient form of oriental medicine dating back 5000 years to the beginning of acupuncture. It is a traditional Japanese healing art which literally translated means finger pressure.
In Shiatsu the practitioner uses his/her own fingers, palms, elbows, knees and feet to press along meridian lines on the body. These meridian lines, which have been described as “channels of living energy in the body,” pass through the body and connect the vital organs. Although named after the vital organs, the functions of the meridians are much wider and encompass the whole being, at the emotional, mental, and physical level.
An imbalance in a person’s vital energy may manifest itself as a back problem, a headache, a mental depression, or in many other ways. By working along the meridians the practitioner summons energy to the places most in need and disperses the energy from the areas where it is congested, thus restoring balance to the whole body.
Meridians – Qi Pathways
Each meridian corresponds with the main organs of the body. Meridian system of healing is used in herbal therapies, massage, acupuncture, and Shiatsu.
Meridians are the pathways of qi (chi) and blood flow through the body. Qi flows continuously from one meridian to another. Any break in the flow is an indication of imbalance. If a person’s vitality or energy is recognizably diminished it is an indication that the body’s organs or tissues are functioning poorly, therefore the qi flow is inadequate.
Meridian Healing System
The meridian healing system (originating in Chinese Medicine) is based on the concept that an insufficient supply of qi makes a person vulnerable to disease. Restoring the qi is the ultimate goal in restoring overall health and well being to the individual. Practitioners (acupuncturists, Chinese herbalists, massage therapists, etc.) assist clients in repairing dysfunctioning areas within their meridian systems to restore a natural balance by utilizing various healing methods.
Twelve Major Meridians
The twelve major meridians correspond to specific human organs: kidneys, liver, spleen, hearth, lungs, pericardium, bladder, gall bladder, stomach, small and large intestines, and the triple burner (body temperature regulator). Yin meridians flow upwards. Yang meridians flow downwards. Pathways corresponding to the Yang organ is often used to treat disorders of its related Yin organ.
Yin – Yang
Lungs – Large Intestine
Pericardium – Triple Heater
Heart – Small Intestine
Spleen – Stomach
Liver – Gallbladder
Kidney – Bladder
Eight key pressure points
In China, many elderly people practice the Tai Chi Chuan in public spaces, which keeps them healthy by circulating energy through the entire body. The regulating points of the eight curious meridians can also be used by people who are physically disabled or have a rigid constitution. Before they start doing the stretching exercises they need to prepare and loosen the body by applying pressure to those points. Those lacking the energy to do this by themselves, should ask someone else for assistance.
It is important to acquire the habit of pressing the regulating points daily so that as time goes by one starts to feel more relaxed and notices the benefits of stretching the body. As we know, if the muscles are not regularly stretched and exercised they tighten up, eventually becoming impossible to move like an oak tree. In the case of a broken ankle bone plaster is applied to hold the ankle tight during the mending of the fracture. But if these points are pressed right after the accident the healing power can be accelerated and increased to the wounded area.
Shiatsu in water: watsu
Watsu (Water Shiatsu in English) is presently practiced worldwide in clinics, hospitals and spas, not only in the US and Canada, but in Japan, Australia, throughout Europe and now in Brasil, as well. Psychologists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, massage therapists, and lay people are all enthusiastic about the benefits of giving and receiving Watsu. It is for everyone – the very young, adolescents, the elderly, pregnant, athletes and those suffering from simple stress. Watsu is effective in a wide variety of neorologic and orthopedic problems. It’s gentle rocking movements, stretches and nurturing support in the arms of the practitioner convey receivers to the peace and simplicity of their earliest childhood and womb states, allowing physical and emotional blockages to be gently released. Above all, Watsu is deeply relaxing, guided by a philosophy of gentleness, complete acceptance, and unconditional love.
Other links on yoga and shiatsu: