Self Shiatsu

Self shiatsu builds the shiatsu therapist. It’s the main way I achieve and maintain everyday shiatsu. It’s like the ground tone or SA in Indian classical music. My hands are full however in not letting it degenerate into white noise. Few books are written about self anma or self shiatsu. Maybe you should write your own. That’s the thing; every self has its own shiatsu. You can codify it and try to sell it but its no use. You have to develop your own.

Suddenly you surprise yourself by this small act of “giving a shit”, about tending to the body electric and you wonder, “-Why don’t I do this more often?” The thought floats in the mind like clouds finally raining. Self-shiatsu unlike “shiatsu-as-therapy” is too easy to know, to easy to forget.

Simple tools, a child’s toys, expand your reach; a rolled cloth, the infamous pain balls, and the humble couch help you reveal the whole limpid pool of your body, stars reflected. Self shiatsu is like constantly training through etudes. You are able to apply more and more practice to your perceived patterns. But also practically, the flexibility and mobility gained by using self shiatsu consistently builds a foundation for developing strength, endurance, speed and power according to your capacities and goals.

Self-shiatsu also grows the so-called receiver. Know your body through becoming intimate with it and you will be able to wisely choose a therapist that really complements your understanding (that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will always take you to places you might expect). Really come to know your body, speech and mind and now you can work in an empowered way with your primary care physician or psychotherapist. Perhaps, in time, your visits to them could even become rare.

I often ask “What would you like to work on today?” I don’t ask that because, I myself, don’t have a useful plan, I ask because health care should tailored to and at the service of the client’s/patient’s needs. Some clients have pretty good ideas of what they want and expect from shiatsu, for others, the inquiry stresses them. That’s ok because they’re responsible for knowing who they are and what they need whether my asking stresses them or not. Self shiatsu is a wonderful tool for self understanding. It’s very practical and basic. It also makes for more effective treatment outcomes, so I ask relentlessly. I ask because as the themes you wish to address through bodywork clarify in waters of your mind stream, your wishes for specific kinds of touch will inform you interaction with your therapist and your self shiatsu will also naturally change in focus. This in turn gives longer lasting support to the therapy session.

In self shiatsu you are in complete control and decide on the input. A therapy session complements this by presenting a paradigm you are not capable of introducing alone. Your body and mind adapt. Your subsequent practice enables you to keep the pathways of the new paradigm open. Yoga, tai chi, dance and sport are structured ways of developing“body knowledge.” Self shiatsu can be structured as well, but doesn’t have to be. Maybe you are drowning in structure in your everyday life. I could be helpful for you to allow yourself “special” freedoms. Consider adopting the little movement suggestion I often give after sessions. Your treatment series will probably bring more fruit.


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