The roots of shiatsu
I guess it depends on how narrow we want to define the word shiatsu. Technically the word was coined in the early part of the 20th century. It is hard to pin down exactly when but it was certainly in use by 1919 when Shiatsu Ho (finger pressure method) by Tamai Tempaku was published. Tempaku is most often credited with the creation of modern day shiatsu. He first used the word shiatsu in an effort to distinguish it from anma, as he considered the traditional form of Japanese body therapy was losing its emphasis on health and being mainly used for pleasure and relaxation.
Shiatsu that explores the depth of what it is to be human
Shiatsu is an art, and as such is bottomless. Ningendo shiatsu focuses not only on the physical but the whole being, striving to plumb the depths of our human condition. Ningendo shiatsu explores an exchange of energy between giver and receiver, where both parties are required to contribute and where there is potential to move beyond the ordinary waking state and into a level of consciousness that can only be described as a spiritual dimension. I use the word 'spiritual' in the context that we are required to experience ourselves in a wider context, beyond our 'small' self. In this state of consciousness there is acknowledgement of our greater being, and with this acknowledgement the potential of deep healing on all levels of our existence.
At the spiritual level of expression, shiatsu is an exchange of energy via the physical touch, but the subtleties of this art carry us far beyond the physical, and deep into the realm of what is a spiritual practice.
The philosophy of Ningendo is encased in the expression of our most fundamental nature as human beings. To love & to be loved; to support & to be supported. To see truly & to live fully. To be in intimate contact with our environment & the beings we share our environment with & above all to find & express the true meaning of our life. Our natural humanness is the simple expression depicted in the Japanese character for human being, where one brush stroke rests on another.... supporting & being supported. To express our lives through Ningendo is not a small matter; neither in result nor in endeavour. To live this way requires constant practice and attention. It requires us to consciously place ways in our being that allow us to refer to the larger perspective (to carry & share our uniqueness). In order to embody these ways we are required to practice... to practice with joy, with our whole being engaged.
How we practice is to begin using a form; a framework that provides references so that we learn to see when we deviate from the way we have chosen to live. These practices can take many shapes but the best of them carry two important elements; they nurture self awareness and they give an environment in which we experience ourselves in a larger context. For me, the arts of shiatsu, aikido, yoga and meditation form the framework in which I practice; & the natural environment is the stage. For you, it might be any of a myriad of structures. Whatever vehicle we choose we ultimately need to imbue our whole life with this way of being. Each of us carry the responsibility to find our own path & to share that path with the world. We have much to learn from masters, guides & elders of the present and past but each of us must ultimately carry our own load and find our own unique path, expressing Ningendo in our own truth.
At Ningendo we offer a traditional style 'uchi-deshi' program for experienced shiatsu practitioners. Also 'deep immersion healing' programs tailored to the individuals need for those wishing to work seriously on the path of being human.
Touch of Awareness by Russell Makoto (nee McClelland).
Russell conveys the importance of attitude and self development in a natural way! (Sonia Moriceau... Healing touch shiatsu UK).
This book is a must read for anyone interested in developing their intuitive faculty and especially for shiatsu therapists.
Russell uses shiatsu as a vehicle to explore the intuitive part of ourselves that has been suppressed in our modern culture.
A deeply spiritual book that takes us on a journey into the depths of what it is to be human.!
Touch of Awareness explores one of our most powerful allies in the quest for enlightenment. Understanding the communications of the universe can guide our days and reveal the depth of our true nature.When we bring our intuitive ability to consciousness and give it value, we have the means to receive the universal knowledge that has always been available to each and every one of us. In his book, Touch of Awareness, Russell uses the art of shiatsu as the primary vehicle to explore our intuitive ability and calls on many years study of Buddhist and Taoist philosophies, traditional cultures and the martial art of aikido to examine the essence of our connection with the matrix of the universe. A unique approach to the mechanism and manifestation of intuitive understanding; of direct understanding beyond the influence of the thinking mind.