The first thing we have to investigate is our internal motivation to approach massage training. Perhaps, initially, the germ is the curiosity for contact and the desire to know how to massage our family or friends. Thus, at this basic level we will attend to the fundamental of all learning: curiosity and enjoyment. This objective will channel the efforts to a place of relaxation and to the universe of the human body. Intuition will operate as a compass to know how to make the first pressures and start in this field. Likewise, our vital and/or professional path may impel us to study this millenary technique. If so, the gaze will be deeper and more exhaustive, thus seeking a more complex interiorization and focused on a practice not only playful.
Broadly speaking, these two motivations (personal or professional) initiate us in this praxis. From there, the following steps will lead us to choose the way in which we are going to learn. We can look for a shiatsu initiation course, either in the form of a civic or cultural centre course, or in the form of an introductory course in schools dedicated to the academic formation of shiatsu. This aperitif can become a more extensive course, the 3-year Shiatsu training. Currently, there are different training proposals linked to the three major styles of shiatsu (Namikoshi with Emili Estivill, Zen Shiatsu with Imma Bonet and Shiatsu in Motion with David Ventura). In another article we will look at the differences between shiatsu styles. These three traditions have been disseminated in different parts of the world. In Barcelona and Catalonia we have many new reformulations of this ancestral practice with professionals such as Jaume Bort, Cristina Hernando, Pere Aguiló or Jaume Gómez. Normally, these are intense three-year training courses in which we are impregnated with a base on the routine of contact. Continuing with a training in elementary notions of Traditional Chinese Medicine, continuing with specific techniques of each of the styles. All this complemented with knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Thus, it is a practical training (approximately 150 sessions to give and receive) that leads you to discover yourself as a person, therapist and as a future companion through contact.
How to do Shiatsu sessions
After analyzing the where, let’s go back to how to do shiatsu. Fundamentally, we have built our first floor on motivation and the desire to learn. Next, it is basic that our second level is the ability to receive and feel what shiatsu is, namely, receiving many shiatsu sessions allows us to feel in depth how this technique works. And is that, like any nervous system, before issuing an answer (know how to shiatsu) we have to feel and integrate all the sensations and experiences that this therapy gives us. In fact, my path in shiatsu comes about thanks to experiencing the great benefits that we have already reviewed in other chapters. So, choosing this path, like all Do (path or way in Japanese), has to be done from the dialogue between feeling and doing. Between receiving and giving. It is this second level that in the long run will connect us with the people we touch, since thanks to this we will be able to intuit and even empathize and vibrate in the same frequency with what the person in the futon is living.
And with the futon we enter the logistic part of the sessions. It is a therapy that is most commonly performed on a futon or Japanese type mattress. With comfortable clothes and a calm atmosphere. This does not mean that we cannot make a shiatsu on a stretcher, or that the therapist uses essential oils and works with the skin contact, or even that a treatment cannot be carried out in the middle of a business congress. Each person adapts their abilities to the context that leads them to perform shiatsu sessions.
Last but not least, we will outline some basic axes on how to make shiatsu (if we want more depth, we go a few lines above and follow the teaching proposals exposed). From the outset, we will talk about the ability to place ourselves and be in our centre. This means being fit enough to work with the demands of therapy (normally bent knees, intense pressure, manipulating the weight of patients, sustaining energy wear physically, mentally and emotionally …). And, at the same time, to have the capacity to be for others without abandoning ourselves or sacrificing ourselves. With this clear center, it will be easier for me to take care of myself and, therefore, to take care of myself. Another fundamental element is to work with one’s own weight and avoid unnecessary efforts. In this way, we will be able to accompany the treatment avoiding excessive wear and tear, as well as being present in our posture and without making contortions that may injure us in our practice. Equally key is the ability to be available and listen to what the person who comes to treat exposes us. Because it will be the way to make good contact with the exposed demand, with the person and their circumstances and will avoid falling into projections, paternalisms and dualities. If the person who comes to treat finds a workspace where he feels respected and accompanied, we have much of the work done.
What do I need to know how to make shiatsu? Well, after receiving a shiatsu treatment the ideal will be to be critical with what I have lived and to find my way to approach this wonderful technique. We return to that elemental principle of relativity and impermanence of our current liquid reality: does this proposal make sense to me? Does it interest me, motivate me and make me happy? Do I enjoy living and sharing it? The more affirmative answers, the greater our ability to come into contact with shiatsu. Once we know what it is and what shiatsu is for, hoy vamos a reflexionar sobre cómo hacer shiatsu.