There are different stretches that relate to different meridians (lines of energy in the body.) Each meridian related to a season of the year. The below stretches relate to the Summertime. As always with stretches warm up before & down after. Be gentle when doing them & don’t push. The idea is to take a few breathes in the pose. See how the body feels whilst holding it, tight or very comfortable, these senses may show an imbalance in the body.
I’ve been prompted to write this particular blog today as I have personally had a busy, stress-inducing, multi-tasking frenzy of a day.
I questioned what my life was about as I drove to two supermarkets with my 2 year old in tow. Ideally I would stay away from Supermarkets but we are not in a position not to try & buy things at the lowest price we can. One of the supermarkets have the only healthy bars my eldest son will eat, the other the only one that has the washing powder we use.
I then tried to catch up with emails whilst cooking lunch for the two of us, also unpacking the shopping. My two year old couldn’t wait for food! At this point the postman arrives with a number of parcels (upcoming birthdays & no time to buy presents so online gits purchased.) I sign for the parcels whilst my son chooses this moment to need a poo, out comes the potty, off goes the cooking lunch, apologies to the postman.
Lunch eaten & rain pouring inside play it is. Reading stories & I have a telephone call about Shiatsu. Whilst talking to a possible client I am opening & emptying play dough pots to entertain my son whilst I chat. He is pulling at my leg & I give in, pick him up & head to the kitchen for a bribery snack.
It gets even more complicated once I pick up my eldest son up from school & don’t even imagine what it’s like once my husband is home. Suffice to say I have made it to this point in the day, a little weary & with a slight headache!
I am going to sign off from this blog, leave the washing up & toys on the floor & take an hour to rest, chill, relax & just be. I am writing this almost to force myself to do this as I know when I try to slow down & relax it will be harder than I think.
Lives for us seem to be non-stop. There are people which much busier & more stressful lives than me & there seems to be an expectation that we just keep going, relentlessly. Rest & quiet seem the least important thing & actually they are the most important. Without rest & deep stillness our bodies don’t recoup the energy we exert & then we risk burn-out & serious health issues.
Shiatsu massage is a great break, for an hour, away from the world. Supportive & nurturing touch, nothing to do but lie down & breathe.
There are also many ways to get some peace & stillness into daily life. 5 mins of meditating or breathing if that is all the time there is. I have advised clients in the past to schedule in rest times when they are filling their diaries. Don’t fill up all your time & hope you have some left for yourself, book in the space first then the work around it.
So this is me signing off, I’m going to do some stretching exercises, some sitting Qigong & a little mediation. Maybe tomorrow will be a little less full-on……….
Shiatsu is a form of massage therapy that has its origins in Japan. It involves lots of different massage techniques & the client is fully clothed. It is given on a mat on the floor, although it can be given in a seated position if lying isn’t comfortable.
It’s an enjoyable & relaxing experience, the client can feel calm & peaceful. It is tailored to suit each client on the day they are treated, so each Shiatsu treatment is different. It can be a very satisfying experience with a lot of ‘that’s the spot’ moments.
It’s a form of massage therapy that is suitable for all. It is great for young & old, for babies & children, for families, for pregnant ladies. I have had clients come for a wide range of complaints or concerns, backache, siatica, chronic pain, headaches, neck ache, depression, stress, anxiety, work injuries, relationship difficulties or breakups, pregnancy & fertility.
I have been practicing Shiatsu massage in Exwick, Exeter for 5 years. I have been qualified for 7 years having completed the 3 year training course at the Devon School of Shiatsu. I have continued to complete professional development work since I qualified.
My practice room is calm & quiet. There is easy on street parking & it’s easy to get to by bus or train. The space I offer is a chance to step away from life for an hour, to take a breath, to have nothing expected of you, it’s safe & confidential, supportive & nurturing.
I love Shiatsu as a form of therapy, it is gentle & not intrusive. I love the effect it can have on people’s energy levels, focus & drive. It is a pleasure to see people have relief from symptoms & to feel taller & stronger. It is a powerful form of healing that is also enjoyable, supportive & comforting.
I’m also happy to talk Shiatsu so do get in touch through the ‘contact me’ page. Have a look on my Facebook page & please like if you fancy it. You can check out the Shiatsu Society website for information on Shiatsu.
There are set of stretches that go alongside Shiatsu. They can be done at home, to support Shiatsu treatment & to encourage well-being. This stretch is a great stretch if you feel tired & drained. It’s good if you have done too much & feel like you are burnt out. It is great if you have fatigue or exhaustion. Like all stretches it is important to not push too far. This is particularly important if you are very tired, pushing too hard may use up the last of your energy & leave you feeling worse.
You are looking to stretch the meridians, lines of energy, that run along the back of your legs & down your back. Remember to warm up before, breathe whilst stretching & only go as far as your body is comfortable with.
The body should feel stretched, of course, & lengthened. You should feel quieter & more peaceful. You may want to meditate or lie afterwards, as this is the sort of energy you may generate doing the stretch.
It is really easy to overstretch ourselves, there seems to be so much to do & so much demand on our time. This stretch helps renew Water Element energy in the body. Shiatsu uses 5 Element theory as one form of diagnosis. Within 5 Element diagnosis the Water energy is so important, it is our vital energy, our core energy. If we push to do too much in our lives & don’t rest enough our core energy can be used up, then we feel deep tiredness & exhaustion. Using this stretch regularly, daily, can help build core energy & relieve tiredness.
Try it out & let me know the results, I’d be interested in knowing what effect it had on you. You can get in touch through the ‘contact me’ page. I’m always happy to talk Shiatsu so any questions or comments please send me a message.
Spring is a time of budding of opening of new life & new starts. This goes for us humans too, Spring is a great time for coming up with ideas & new ventures, for jotting down our dreams & aspirations. A time to enjoy our creativity & draw inspiration from the new life emerging around us.
Spring is the time of year that relates to the Wood element, within 5 Element diagnosis, which Shiatsu massage uses as one form of diagnosis. If you imagine a tall, strong tree moving & swaying in the wind, this is the wood element in harmony. The body feels flexible & fluid. The mind & emotions are flexible & adaptable. Everthing happens with ease, joints move smoothly & the whole body is supple.
When the wood element is out of balance you can imagine the tree in two ways. One, it is brittle & unflexible, unable to move with the wind, it is stiff & may break, or becomes rigid & stuck in one position. Two, it is too eager to grow & expand, it pushes itself higher forgetting its lower trunk & roots, it becomes thin & weak & can be pushed too much by the wind. Again it’s the same with our bodies, we can become inflexible, rigid with tension, we can become stuck in a rut. Or we can become too driven, push ourselves too hard, we can become driven by our emotions, become angry too quickly for instance. Often this also leads to a lot of tension, headaches & eye complaints.
How do we keep our wood energy in balance then? Well Shiatsu massage is a good way to start!! Of course I would say that right – so let’s come back to that. Here’s some tips that you can use on yourself at home.
1. Stretch every morning & night – just 5 minute if that’s all the time you have. Be gentle & don’t push too hard, listen to your body. Warm up before stretching. Work on your neck & shoulders & your inner thingh – all places where tension maybe found with excess wood energy.
2. Massage your feet before bed – just 2 minutes is fine – relax & calm your body to get a good night’s sleep & bring your energy away from your shoulders & neck.
3. Eat as little fried food as possible. This can really encourage the wood energy to stagnant, so leave it alone where possible.
4. Eat your greens – not salad or stir fried greens – eat deep, dark, rich greens, steamed with a little soy sauce or sea salt. This supports the flexible & adaptable Wood energy.
5. Meditate & rest when you can. Quiet, calm stillness builds Water energy & in turn this feeds the Wood energy.
So back to Shiatsu massage. It can be great if you are feeling stuck or stagnant, it can be great for tension or strain, Shiatsu massage can be a massive energy boost. It is a relaxing & enjoyable experience & afterwards you may feel invigorated, energized, more flexible & adaptable.
Similarly if you are feeling over-worked & stressed, like there is too much happening & you can’t settle, Shiatsu massage can be calming & centering. Bringing you back to a place where you can feel your roots & the strength in your trunk. Quietening the mind & emotions & giving some sense of strength in your core. Shiatsu works to balance the energy in the body, to get the tree strong but flexible as it were.
If you’d like to know more please get in touch through the ‘contact me’ page. There’s more info on th e other pages on this site too.
Breathe in as you raise your arms to a comfortable height behind you. Always be gentle & never push to hard.
Breathe out as you lean forwards, again being gentle – it’s not about going as far as you can it’s about enjoying the stretch, your breathe going out & the feeling of movement as the energy flows around your body.
This is a makaho exercise, they go alongside Shiatsu massage. They help stretch specific meridians, or lines of energy in the body, the same lines that Shiatsu massage works with. If you’d like to know more feel free to get in touch through the ‘contact me’ page.
Thanks for reading & a happy & calm day to all xx