I have noticed, with growing despondence, the growth of bureaucracy and the push to justify shiatsu ‘scientifically’ in the shiatsu community. I note that the second half of the word ‘bureaucracy’ only needs one letter to change to reveal its true meaning.
More and more our learning institutions, organisations and practitioners succumb to the pressure exerted by the bureaucratic machine to justify the existence of shiatsu within the community. I have not been able to actually identify this machine. It seems to be some entity that we speak of but can’t actually point to. Shrouded in mist and legend, seemingly everywhere and nowhere. A presence that compels us to change the curriculums of our colleges to include subjects with questionable connection to our art. It sends committees on endless quests for something tangible to hold up as proof of shiatsu’s authenticity, and bogs down practitioners into a mire of box ticking and wasted endeavour, justifying a course of one action over another.
Listening to radio national the other day, I was pushed over the edge by the reporting of a young scientist who was commenting on alternative medicine and its ineligibility to be taught in universities on the basis that alternative medicine is unscientific. After listening with dismay to this nationally broadcast program (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/the-march-of-pseudoscience/8585048) I was moved to begin writing this blog in an effort to place some weight on the other side of the story.
Why is it that we have to pay homage to this all knowing arrogance? Is there some all-seeing bureaucratic, grey-suited briefcase in the mist? Are we asking for credibility? Do we need a nod of approval so that shiatsu can exist?
Shiatsu is an art. An art with a linage that traces its roots back millennia. Practised by caring people, this fundamental modality has earnt its place in our community. Every shiatsu session offered is a testimony that speaks its own truth. There is no person or entity that can dislodge the right of shiatsu to exist within our community.
The only homage we need to pay is to the art itself.

Honour the art
Russell Makoto
Shiatsu Shihan

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