As shiatsu practitioners, it is in our interest for the name of our art to be widely recognised. However, it is more important that those who do recognise the word shiatsu, associate it with the life changing potential that it carries. There is a trap that I believe we, as the shiatsu community, are at risk of falling into. This is that we do not appreciate the depth and potential of our art: that we do not honour our art for what it is!
When we treat shiatsu as a ‘brand’; when we put our energy into following bureaucratic pathways; and when we spend more time writing up case studies than developing ourselves as practitioners; we have lost sight of the forest as we look at the trees. I feel it is time to stop and take stock; to look at the path that we (the shiatsu community) are travelling, and contemplate whether this path of seeking credibility for shiatsu through the western medical model is actually legitimate or effective?
Perhaps there is another way. As a shiatsu practitioner, to honour the art of shiatsu, I am asked to be the best practitioner that I am able to be. Not only in clinic hours, but to live a life in alignment with the principles and advice that I give to clients. If we put our energy into being the best practitioners possible and we really plumb the depths of this beautiful healing art and connect with clients in life changing ways, shiatsu will move forward is a steady grounded way that requires no justification.
The testimony of those who have been touched by shiatsu hands would be all that is needed. The language of shiatsu is the physical touch. It is up to us to teach this language in the greater community.

Honour the art.
Russ Makoto
Shiatsu Shihan

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