Quarterly newsletter

Winter solstice newsletter 2017

Winter Solstice Newsletter


The main story

Hello Shiatsu community,

As some of you know, I have been deeply absorbed in birthing an art called Tsukido, which is Japanese for the way of the moon. This lunar way/path invites us to consciously re-member (put back together) our connection with the natural world. As we bring awareness to this cycle of ebb and flow, we find its rhythm holds a key to restoring wholesome relationship not only with the outside world but within ourselves.

​The 'Wheels' that are the foundation of this art are fractals of the same pattern of the Taijitu (yin/yang). These 'maps' help us to bring our connection with the natural world into conscious awareness where we have access to their wisdom in our everyday life. At a time when there is so much disconnection in the world these maps aid us to reconnect, make decisions that support us better, and consequently heal as we re-member our wholeness. Explore them as a personal journey, with your children or in groups. The Wheels draw on a millennia of wise-women’s ways before me, integrating insights from the traditions of aikido, shiatsu, traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM), shamanism and a life lived deeply immersed in nature. If you connect to this offering and you want to support us they are available in the Store on the new website (www.tsukido.com) for $15 each or $10 each when you buy 6 or more (free postage worldwide). Particularly of interest for shiatsu/TEAM practitioners may be the Circadian Wheel, which I sell to clients who wish to have a map for connecting to the rhythm of the horary clock. See my website, blog page and my first ever vlog on my facebook page (tsukido) for more information! Please comment/like/share! Namaste, Annica
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The dojo is well underway now. This photo gives a glimpse through what will be the zen garden entrance. The dojo entrance proper, shiatsu room, zendo & storage cupboards are pretty much complete. Stumps are in for the main floor, which will be sprung and overlayed with 30 shogun tatami mats. It has been a big journey to give this 20 year old dream form. There is a bit to go yet, but I am enjoying this build as I have no other. Often find myself sitting in the semi dark after working on it all day just letting the place soak into me.


The summer past was not particularly duck friendly in our neck of the woods. After four fowl years of paradise, suddenly their evening fortress was rendered penetrable for the first time.

We always find the scaly perpetrator (it’s hard to get out the way you came in with a duck in your belly), but we just couldn’t locate where the break-in had occurred (was the snake going in during the day while the pen was open and we just weren’t seeing it?). It took three ducks before we finally found the hole. It was via a bush rat’s tunnel that came in invisibly under the nesting box. No doubt the rat was just a tasty morsel on the way through for Mr Diamond python! This picture is the last of the three evictees. Russ magnanimously suggested that it was my turn to terrify a python. I don’t know who terrified who more but wrangling snakes is not a skill that I’ve yet mastered, that’s for sure.


A (shiatsu) room with a view. It has been wonderful to be giving and receiving shiatsu in our new clinic room. There is something very special about creating a space from the ground up for shiatsu, and then using that space exclusively for shiatsu: especially when coupled with being a couple of kms from the nearest grid power, overlooking national park, no background traffic and being in a mobile phone black-spot. There is a very pure energy that has a strong contribution to the quality of the sessions. Feeling ready now to sink back into shiatsu land.

We have a couple of new projects that we are working on that will be floated in the next month or two. So stay in touch.

Annica & Russell Makoto



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Autumn equinox 2017

Ningendo Autumn equinox newsletter 2017
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It seems we’ve had some extraordinary weather events this year clocking 43°C in February for a couple of days here just post Lammas—something the locals have never seen. And now, just a month later, I’m sitting snug upstairs in our mud brick cottage with torrential rain outside (more than 130mm or 5 ins today, 300mm for the month so far). Today would usually be a shiatsu day for me at the Bellingen Market but it was literally washed out. So instead of heading down the mountain this morning, Russ and I climbed 70 metres down to the Nymboida river below us and pulled our Kayaks up onto safer ground. Given the surging river rise they possibly would not have been there in another few hours! 

As I write I can hear the generator going outside as Russ sands a door ready for the shiatsu room. It’s close to finished such that I was able to give the first shiatsu treatment in the room last week. The quality of the building and space is already palpable with its ochre/lime paint on earth wall and cypress floor boards. The only sound was that of the river below and the leaves shimmering in the breeze. It’s the first that we know of—a purpose built shiatsu space. Still to go up are the bamboo rails overhead for barefoot shiatsu support, a fireplace, cupboards, bookshelves, a little outside deck for outdoor sessions and glass for the sliding door that opens onto it.
Also significant in these last months is progress in the dojo with the frame up for the meditation space and veranda roof on over the entrance area. Russ located a potent feature stone for the Zen garden that leads to the dojo. It was of such a weight that it lifted the back wheels up on one side of the 3 tonne tractor we used to move it but the rock got where it needed to go in the end!

During all the building I’ve been bottling (in numerous variations) tomatoes and apples, and I imagine the daikon are next followed by the quinces that will soon need harvesting. I’ve also been away for a third trip this year with Shamanic Midwifery and am grateful for the tools I am receiving that I know will be of benefit to more than myself. We have had a number of people this year already spend supported time at the hermitage and have another hermitage booking for April and an uchi dechi (live-in student) coming in May. We are also quietly exploring the potential of offering ‘deep immersion healing’ for those people who would be coming with a specific focus on their own healing. An intensive therapy period over a number of days where clients receive shiatsu, trans-personal counselling, guided meditation, one on one guided yoga as well as exploring dietary therapeutics and the principles of aikido.
Autumn equinox is almost here dear friends. May you reap a bountiful harvest on all levels.

Russ & Annica

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