Spring Shiatsu treatment
Creating the movement
By Galit Shaviv
Chinese medicine relies on observation and investigation of nature, its phenomena and its cycles. As man is a being on earth, all movements and phenomena are directly reflected in man’s behaviors, moods, actions, energy and every other aspect of life.
We already know that 🙂
In a free-association game within Chinese medicine practitioners when mentioned “wood element” we would probably get this: Breakthrough. New beginnings. East. Morning. Spring. Wind. Keeps the blood. Tendons. Liver. Ligaments. Ability to make decisions and perform. Shouting. Anger. Gallbladder. Allergy. Frustration. Green. Eye-sight. Muscles. Sour. Wheat. Hun. Jue yin. Cleaning. Movement. Renewal. Growth. Ambition. Strategy. Creativity. Flexibility. Wild night dreams. Regularity. Circulation. And more.
All these reflect a movement from within to all directions, like a tree sending its Qi simultaneously to the roots, stem, branches and foliage. Or, in other forms that we rather call “pathology”, the outcome of a movement that got stuck on its way to all directions (frustration for example).
In this article we will try to observe the current phase in nature –and what it brings to our lives and clinics. We will make suggestions of a suitable treatment, with a vision beyond releasing symptoms.
Shiatsu is not a symptomatic treatment. Though it’s common to diagnose in a Chinese medicine tools and implement it in Shiatsu, we often realize that effectively lies with an accurate connection to the meridian system, inviting it to a mutual “joy-ride” – rather than pressing acu-points or working incidentally on a certain meridian.
Shiatsu is, first of all, a movement. Movement that supports the earth element due to a steady, deep rhythm. Movement that assists the wood to regulate all body movement. In the physical: skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, blood vessels, bones. In the emotional that is controlled by the Liver. And mainly the meridian system.
3 remarks about meridians
- Meridians are the “last” phase of superior energy that has chosen to materialize within a body.
When a soul decides to realize itself as a human, it has to “decrease” its mass width in order to “fit” into compressed form (body) in a condensed space (earth).
The soul begins to condense itself through many forms of energy patterns, finally through the meridian system. Meridians exist between the worlds of vast-endless Qi – and matter, physical.
Meridian makes this connection, translating divine energy that had specify itself. Therefore the meridians “final” “condensed” forms are the organs.
- Therefore – the physical body is in the meridian system (in contrary of: meridian are in the body). They reflect in the physical and emotional bodies. A change in the meridian will reflect in the physical.
- All meridians are internally connected to each other. A movement that arises in one reflects the other. All eastern therapy methods, also some of the new-developed ones – are based on this principle.
Therefore, even though it’s more effective to diagnose and treat a specific meridian, the Shiatsu steady movement will, eventually, affect the whole system.
For further information about inner connection between meridians see Master Matsunaga’s book “Meridian Exercises”.
Typical patient in spring-time: Lateral headaches. Stiff neck, Shoulders, Shoulder-blades. Allergy. Wild night dreams. Stiffness in muscles. Severe pms. A drive to make a change without the power to do it. A will to clean up digestive system. Will to learn something new. Frustration.
All these involve Qi stagnation of wood organs, sometimes combined with connected meridians like pericardium or lung.
Our system cries for movement. Regular, long-distant, creative movement. Our mission is mainly to provoke it and by that, assist in releasing symptoms. Our job is to open a window to a larger vision, to encourage greater movement.
How to treat “wood phase condition”
- Make clear that all of these symptoms are normal to the season. Make the suitable reasonable explanation to the patient, in one’s own terminology.
- Find out where and why stagnation is caused. Find out elements that support it (lack of movement, sitting hours in front of computer etc.). Try to suggest change in these habits. Pay attention to weakness that can possibly cause stagnation.
- Indicate strong areas in the body that can support balance. For example, bring energy to belly and pelvic in order for Qi not to rise up to upper part (walking, dancing, massage etc.).
- Qi follows where we look. The liver meridian is manifested through the eyes. Gallbladder meridian, “the general”, has the ability to look at the next to come. Eyes, when looking down create heavy Qi.
Make sure when treating to “open a wide horizon” in order for Qi to spread.
- When treating – create a light, effortless, flowing movement of your own body. Stress and effort will be immediately felt by the patient. Demonstrate lightness and free flow.
Shiatsu treatment for springtime should include some of these elements:
- Optimal basic treatment would be side kata:
- Starting with legs to encourage up-rising Qi to circulate.
- Working directly on side meridians – Liv-Gb, Pc-Th all over the body, including head, neck, shoulders, and arms.
- Releasing “liver belt” (bra area) and solar plexus which connected to emotional expression and personal expression in the world.
- Rotating shoulder joints, wrists, and working directly on shoulder-blades area.
- Chest is in a comfortable position. Neck and lower back like-wise. Pelvic in a perfect position. Comfortable approach to feet.
- Physical aspects in the same way as emotional – start to regulate. Stagnant Qi will spread out through limbs.
- Reaction (in either aspect) may rise in the process of release within the 36 hours after treatment.
- Specific treatment
- Decide according to Hara diagnosis. Note that in many cases the meridian that should be treated (best potential of Qi movement) would be different than we think according to a common Chinese diagnosis.
- Special tsubo treatment.
- Lying on the back with a hard pillow supporting the whole back will allow opening of chest and diaphragm. Solar plexus is open and vast. Breathing is wide and open – To ease and balance emotional state.
- Working on liver meridian in the arms – very close to pericardium, jue yin layer. A comfortable access to chest, Shoulders, Shoulder-blades.
- Liver-gallbladder meridians in the legs.
- Pelvic rotations as required to provoke movement in the pelvic – our creative and sensual center.
- Hara treatment – for same reasons.
- Organ treatment – liver in the Hara in pumping method, for severe Qi stagnation.
- Rocking technique lying on the belly – in order to loose-up and release spinal muscles.
- Healing charging to all energy centers (chakras).
A treatment based on these elements will create a good basis for the guiding questions for the patient to move on in one’s life:
- What is your favorite way of movement? Are you willing to make it a regular part of your life? Talk about importance of a regular movement for the health of body and emotional body. Talk about ways to create a great movement which will open a new direction in patient’s life.
- How do release energy? Walking? Singing out-loud a rock song alone in your car? Punching a punch-bag? Encourage your patient to choose one’s favorite energy release. Also at work (for example for one who is sitting in front of a computer all day – to stand up every 20 minutes and stretch).
- Is there a need of body cleansing? If yes, recommend a suitable nutrition program, juice cleansing, etc.
- What is your vision? How will you get close to it? What is stopping you from fulfilling? Where does this block reflect in the body?
- How do you express you creative energy? Draw? Paint? Write? Sing? Invent? Having satisfactory sex session? Talk about the connection of creative expression to mental and physical health, to self-fulfillment, to a positive movement in life.
Shiatsu is not a symptomatic treatment. Symptoms are glimpses to the inner need of the all bodies – physical, emotional, energetic. A suitable support to the meridian system will affect all.
Now ask yourself all these questions…
I wish you a flourishing spring full in new beginnings and fresh movement!