My Shiatsu Story
I first read about shiatsu in the magazine of a Saturday newspaper. I had always been interested in complementary therapies and had heard of it, but had no idea what it was. The article was interesting and, when I got to the bit that said what shiatsu could be good for, well - I could tick most of the boxes. Stress, insomnia, digestive problems, backache and general anxiety. My life was quite frantic then, I was working as a Business Development Manager for a large careers company. This meant driving upwards of 1000 miles a week, working in the office 40-50 hours, caring for my parents and trying to keep up a home.
I went to the Shiatsu Society webpage, found a practitioner in Oxford where I was living then and booked an appointment. I went for the session one evening and came out feeling completely different. I now know that I had been living my life totally in my head, completely ungrounded, with my brain spinning from one thing on my To Do list to the next, and then the next – you get the idea! This Shiatsu session reminded me that I have a body and it needs looking after too. The Shiatsu massage grounded me. I was astonished.
I carried on having treatments and decided after some months that I wanted to do more than just receive the healing, I wanted to find out how this worked and to see if I could pass on this amazing therapy to others. So I registered with the Shiatsu College and completed 3 years part-time training, then 1 year being mentored and having the sessions I was doing analysed by one of my teachers in order to get my MRSS qualification (Member of the Register of the Shiatsu Society). I followed this up with 2 years volunteering as a teaching assistant at the London branch of the college, which deepened my knowledge. I am now a Fellow of the UK Shiatsu Society.
My Qigong Story
I first encountered Qigong when training in Shiatsu. Our teachers often had us doing some Qigong in the morning and after lunch of Shiatsu training days as a warm-up. I enjoyed what we did and, although it wasn’t specifically taught to us Qigong forms, I tried to remember some of the flowing movements to practice when I was away from college.
A few years later, after I had qualified in Shiatsu, the Shiatsu College started up a 2-year part-time Qigong Teacher Training course. I wanted to take the Qigong that I had learned a tiny bit of much further. I had been attending classes where I lived at the time, but I wanted more. So I signed up for the course and successfully completed it. I started teaching part-way through my course, with the encouragement of my teachers and found that others were enjoying it too. I taught community drop-in classes and also on a number of Executive Education courses at Said Business School, which is part of Oxford University. So I have been privileged to teach people from a huge variety of backgrounds and a broad sweep of countries around the world.
In terms of my own health and the benefits I get from Qigong, I have increased energy overall. But, more importantly I think, I have increased calmness and ability to deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life. Physically, I am much more aware of my posture and avoiding the hunched shoulders that often come with age. In fact, I am actually a little bit taller now than I was in my 20’s. I am also more flexible and I am much stronger than I was. The Qigong I teach and practice myself have increased my strength, flexibility, stamina and suppleness. I feel more vibrant now than earlier in my life.
I have a daily Qigong practice – it’s taken quite a while to get here, but I now do Qigong every day. There are times when it may only be 5 minutes, but that’s enough occasionally. As well as all the other benefits I’ve mentioned, I get a sense of achievement from making my daily practice an important part of my life.
Other items of interest
Dr Hilary Jones is a frequent supporter of shiatsu and is featured in several articles on the website of the Shiatsu Society.
See below for quotes from him regarding this subject:
DR HILARY JONES
"I am delighted to be associated with the Shiatsu Society as I’ve had Shiatsu myself” said Dr Hilary who is a practicing GP as well as a supporter of complementary health therapies.
“Shiatsu Society practitioners are all fully qualified with a minimum of 3 years training."
"I believe that modern medicine and complementary therapies can often work together to achieve the best results for patients. Using a practitioner from the Shiatsu Society (UK) assures you of professional, expert attention."
"Shiatsu can help alleviate illness and maintain health and well-being. Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience and regular sessions help to prevent the build-up of stress in our daily lives. Knowing the benefits of Shiatsu (I’ve tried it myself) and the professionalism of the Shiatsu Society (UK) I am happy to support them in raising awareness of Shiatsu and the importance of going to an appropriately qualified practitioner."
"Our association with Dr Hilary is very exciting. Sadly, not enough people know about Shiatsu. As practitioners, we know the wonderful ways in which Shiatsu can help many people achieve a better quality of life. By working with Dr Hilary, we aim to ensure that more people understand the real benefits it can offer."
Shiatsu is ‘hands on’ yet not intrusive; no needles, no oils and you remain fully clothed. “Finding a therapist via the Shiatsu Society website means you’ll definitely be in expert hands” explained Morag.