I look forward to working with you!
What Is Shiatsu?:
Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork that works with the Meridian System & Five Element (Five Phase) System. Meridians are energetic channels that run bilaterally throughout the entire body. While acupuncture works with the meridians using needles, Shiatsu uses hands on touch, finger pressure & physical movement. The word Shiatsu literally means “finger-pressure.” Japanese and Chinese philosophy believes that all of life is made up of Ki (Japanese) or Qi (Chinese), which loosely translates to the all encompassing energy which runs through and makes up all things, animate and “inanimate”.
The Five Element System illustrates patterns of nature (including the Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal elements), a language and lens through which to observe tendencies and relationships that occur both in the world around and inside us. After all, we too are nature. The Five Element System is relational, everything is intrinsically connected and always in dynamic exchange. In this way, the system encourages us to do away with judgment and instead build constructive relationships with our strengths & growing edges to more fully embody our whole and true selves. Shiatsu is an avenue through which to engage with this process.
I believe the body is intrinsically wise and knows how to heal. The body is always engaging in a dynamic dance of homeostasis and working to come to a place of balance. Sometimes it just needs support, or reminders of what balance & alignment look and feel like. This is where I come in as a practitioner and facilitator. This perspective also guides the way I work; focusing on presence & listening to what the body communicates in each moment, encouraging every session to naturally unfold to support a greater sense of balance & alignment.
I focus both on specific meridian points & channels as well as physical movement. Shiatsu is both an excellent form of self care as well as suited for specific concerns such as tension, emotional concerns, stress, long term patterns of holding, etc. Simply put, shiatsu invites us into the parasympathetic nervous system, the "rest, digest, restore" state, which is deeply nourishing in and of itself. I truly believe by taking care of ourselves we are better able to show up in the world more fully.
Sessions are given on a futon mat fully clothed. Pillows and a head rest are used for optimal comfort. And blankets are available for extra warmth.
How to prepare:
Please wear comfortable loose fitting clothing that allows for ease and range of motion. Clothing like jeans and belts don’t work well as they are restrictive.
I encourage, if possible, that folks create intentional space before and especially after their session. I realize this isn’t necessarily realistic for everyone and feel that even small ways of doing so are beneficial. Essentially, the Shiatsu session is a gift of self care for you! By taking time to reflect before and after your session I feel it optimizes the experience. Some questions you may find informative for this process…What are you looking to receive from the session? What is present for you in this current time of your life–physically, emotionally, mentally? Are there patterns you are trying to understand more clearly or want to shift? How might any of your experiences be interconnected? The Five Element language is an informative tool I can offer here if you are interested.
Having space to reflect and notice how your body feels after a session can be deeply informative. I highly recommend not running off to the next “to do” or event right after your session (I speak from personal experience here!) so the session can more fully integrate. For those familiar with Yoga, consider the rest of your day, or at least the next hour or so as your savasana (a moment to pause, rest & integrate). In whatever activities you do engage in the rest of the day, how can you do so from a more rested & grounded place? I find that these practices of self awareness and inquiry support the receiver to build more self agency and be more fully involved with the session. In this way, Shiatsu becomes a collaborative endeavor, a dialogue between the practitioner and the client as well as the client with themselves and their inner world.
The beauty of Shiatsu is that the session does not end when you get up off the mat. The experience continues to ripple out over the next day or longer. I view Shiatsu as an opportunity for transformation along our ever evolving life journey.
A note: Shiatsu moves Ki, or energy. Thus, sometimes a pattern can get exacerbated and agitated before it gets better. While this can be frustrating, I invite clients to be curious, noticing what their body & being is trying to communicate to them.
I offer sessions on a sliding scale of $55-100. If this rate is a hindrance please reach out
& we can discuss other payment options.
No disclosure of finances is necessary, I trust you to choose where on the scale feels right for you based on your circumstances. And I ask that you pay what you can, as that directly supports others to access bodywork. Note that what you pay can shift over time as your financial resources may shift. To read more about the sliding scale model click here.
I practice out of a sweet cabin space in the woods of Wendell. I find this setting in & of itself to be nourishing to the nervous system. Directions will be emailed upon booking.
I look forward to working with you!
3+ years of study at the Meridian School with Nini Melvin
Embodyoga 200hr Teacher Training
Foundation Training classes (ongoing)