Reponse Ability

Shiatsu is both treatment and training.  When you study shiatsu you’re bound to come across Shizuto Masunaga’s edict that when one makes an energetic diagnosis by palpating the back or abdomen that this action is both treatment and diagnosis.  in shiatsu one shouldn’t separate treatment and diagnosis or knowing.  The receiver should also not separate treatment and knowing.

Perhaps a particular physical or psychological pain has brought you to my praxis but rather than focus completely on whether the treatment relieves the pain or not the receiver, I think, is obliged to explore his own kinestheic sense and increase their own self knowledge.  You may think, “shiatsu and acupuncture are just placebos so of course you rely on a conditioned response from the client.”  Without directly refuting that statement just yet I would say that having the ability to respond to both the treatment and the knowlege it brings, is ancillary to the treatment and is instead part of your job as a client or patient seeking health.

One of the faults of our health (re: insurance) system is that we try to insure not just accidents and catastrophic occurences but also all of our normal maintainance.  If you have car insurance, you’re insured if someone barrels into you as you wait a stop sign, but you’re not insured for every oil change or tire rotation. That would increase your insurance costs exponentially.  Yet in the field of their personal health most people are hard pressd to do any “maintainance” unless their health insurance picks up the tab. Yoga or pilates classes, sure if my insurance will cover it.  Shiatsu or psychotherapy? Only if I can bill it to the collective. I’m not saying this is you, but the existence of particularly in europe, of socialized medicine encourages this type of thinking to a large degree. If you’re a “health nut” like me, and you try to make conscious food choices and exercise regularly you’re not getting any recognition, encouragement or financial incentives for these positive behaviors per se. But if you’re waiting until you’re “ripe for the emergency room” before you act, then the system is designed to kick in and give you the most expensive care imaginable. Penny wise and Pound foolish.

In this interview Dr. Smith tries to make the point that health care is theoretically inexpensive and that it would actually be inexpensive if the market were free and government would get out of the way and let health providers compete.  I think there are many merits to this argument but it presupposes a client and patient base willing to take responsibility, willing to pay for their oil changes out of their own pockets, so to speak.  The day when most everyone has the ability to respond to what their body is saying to them may be coming soon and is one of the advantages to using modalities like meditation and bodywork. If you’re willing to invest more mentally and psychologically in shiatsu than “I hope my knee pain disappears,” then evolving your own health routines are not far down the road.  As you evolve your own singular approach and awareness of who you are in this body, all of the seemingly hot air I spew about nutrition and training can be gradually integrated into your unique approach.  Eventually you may be willing and able to easily compare this surgeon with that and decide if you’re better off heading off to Poland for your dental procedure or Nicaragua for a cancer therapy. But as Stephen Molyneaux alludes to in the above article this mindset has to be in place before disaster hits. You have to buy your the insurance before the flood sweep your house away.

Begin with the simple routines and awarenesses in and of daily life. These don’t have to be shiatsu or yoga or kinesiology if you don’t believe they’re proven or effective. But don’t just wait around doing nothing, eating chips and watching Big Time Wrestling on Saturday mornings either. Don’t be penny wise and (£)pound foolish.



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