As I sit here writing I can see and hear the first signs of Spring in the garden – the daffodils are up, the snowdrops are in full bloom, the birds are definitely making more noise. But in my clinic I am still seeing lots of people suffering with winter ailments – colds, coughs, exhaustion, earaches, depletion of energy. What’s going on? In shiatsu we are trained to look at the whole picture of health and energy in a client and there is a pattern in what I’m seeing - continued “water imbalance” – a hangover from over-doing it in the winter months. No wonder really, with the onslaught of Christmas and then the insistence to get fit and lose weight and exhaust ourselves in January too! We cannot be ready physically and mentally for the rising energy of the wood in Spring if our water is depleted.
In zen shiatsu the water element governs our systems of purification and impetus – our kidneys and bladder, our hormones, our willpower and our impetus to make change. These too can get out of kilter if the water is not rested and supported during winter. What does that mean in practice and how can shiatsu help? If a water imbalance is diagnosed then work on the bladder and kidney meridians of energetic flow in the body will be used, perhaps with specific work on acupuncture points (with finger pressure rather than needles)Rocking the body and deep work to connect with the bones might also be part of the treatment. All shiatsu treatments are fully clothed on a mattress on the floor which allows for a large range of movement and stretching that other types of massage can’t offer.
The shiatsu treatment allows for the body to rest deeply and for you to come into relationship with yourself and to really connect with your body. I find time and time again that the shiatsu experience allows for symptoms to really be felt and then to shift. We all need reminders to rest and shiatsu is a wonderful way to help us to remember – only then can the energy needed for Spring to really rise flow freely!