Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Connecting to ME

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a weekend-long workshop in Jin Shin Do and Shiatsu. Why would I do such a thing? Two reasons: 1) my massage therapy license was due for renewal and 2) I LOVE SHIATSU!

As I was finishing massage school, I knew that I loved massage but I was still hesitant about my skill level and abilities. I wasn't always confident in my touch. I hadn't connected to my craft enough to really make a good, solid connection in my sessions. I had potential, but there was something missing. Then we started learning Shiatsu. A short definition of Shiatsu might be that it is like having Yoga done to you. Shiatsu is a bodyworking technique that uses pressure and stretching along the meridians (lines of energy in the body) to facilitate and stimulate the flow of qi ('chi').

Since Shiatsu was so different from the other forms of massage that we had learned, I was forced to put aside what I thought I knew and simply listen to what my body and my client's body were telling me. It's an incredible experience to even begin to open yourself up in this way. I am by no means an expert Shiatsu practitioner, but I adore the work that I am able to perform. I incorporate some Shiatsu work and/or principles into every massage session that I do.

The last time I attended a workshop of any kind, I was 20 weeks pregnant and just days away from discovering that my baby was a girl. It was also a Shiatsu workshop taught by the same instructor. That time, we were doing 'table Shiatsu', so you can just imagine my rounded, loose-jointed self STANDING on a massage table hauling a fellow therapist around in the name of learning. It was a BALL.

It was incredible to learn from Randy again. It was an honor to work with my friend June - something we haven't done since we initially learned Shiatsu from Randy in 2005. Attending this workshop felt like coming home into my own self. I was able to move and breathe and inhabit my body in a way that I haven't done in quite a while. I could close my eyes as he talked us through the sequences and feel what was coming next.

I am so blessed, ya'll. I truly am. I have an amazing career (on the back burner) and opportunities to breathe in the love and support of talented, incredible people who share my passion for the healing power of touch. This is what I need to think about when the funk tries to set in or I feel that lull in the still of the night. 

This is a short video of my favorite instructor, Randy, performing his magic on my good friend Anthony during a recent workshop. You can either listen to the audio or not - he's teaching, so it may not interest you. What I want you to notice is how close the practitioner is to the client and how still he is. The man never hurries. Never.

It is magical to know how to do this stuff. It is amazing to know how to put my entire (not small) weight on a person, and have them thank me for it. It is an honor to be that close to another person. It is incredible for someone (often a stranger) to trust you enough to be all up in their business :-P

When the videos from our workshop are posted, I'll add some here. They may or may not include Randy and I both working on June - an awe-inspiring experience...

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