This was meant to be a weekly reflection on my work: but I have been so busy working with the aspects of my work which don’t involve sitting at the computer that I haven’t been able to write about it! In this Blog I talk about embryology, cranio sacral work, the Cossham birth centre and Cherionna’s course.
How embryology helps us understand the Extra-ordinary vessels
After posting my last blog I managed to send out my first re designed newsletter before I went to Zurich to teach my foundation course for shiatsu practitioners. Recently I have been using more visual images to support my teaching and had prepared some slides and DVD clips to show the different stages of embryological development. I am finding that when students actually see the images, it evokes so much more than some words and often starts a process of remembering in the body. Then when I start explaining how the Extra-ordinary vessels develop from the moment of conception and what energies they regulate, students can relate to this. Once we start doing exercises, they find they are able to connect with the energies in themselves and they are able to work at a deeper level when they start working with shiatsu. My translator, Eva, is William Emmerson’s translator and is able to tune easily into this way of working and helps me hold the space. William is a pioneer in the field of pre and perinatal psychology http://emersonbirthrx.com/
Cranial sacral connections with Shiatsu
The following week I did a cranio sacral day in Stroud, near to Bristol, where I live, with Paul Vick of Resonance http://www.resonance.org.uk/. Many shiatsu practitioners in the UK, including my good friend and colleague Tricia Teahan, have studied or work also as cranio sacral therapists. I have been introduced to some concepts before when I studied massage with Sheila Kean (Paul’s colleague at Resonance) but want to deepen my understanding. I could only attend one day which introduced foundation concepts of how to orientate to the client, the quality of the energy field between the client and therapist, quality of touch and so on. This is interesting as in some shiatsu trainings I find that not enough attention is paid to this and sometimes I find sometimes people are too much in their heads with all the eastern theory and I have to work hard to bring them back into their haras. Although we talked about the three tides which cranio sacral therapists work with, and began to experience them in our own bodies, I missed the touch exercises the next day. However I am starting to feel that the long tide relates more to the Extra-ordinary vessels and the mid tide and cranial tide more to the 12 meridians. I stayed with Tricia on Sunday and we discussed how much cranio sacral work can integrate with shiatsu and the differences and similarities between them. This is a whole other blog, but certainly would include exploring qualities of touch, especially more slow deep touch and the slowness of the approach, which for me relates more to the Extra-ordinary vessels, support for the practitioner and anchoring practices and working with the field. The Breath of Life feels for me like the Tao described in Chinese medicine. I also am reminded of how I see my work, which is not about fixing the body but supporting the body’s life force. Sometimes I find that some shiatsu practitioners can focus on getting the right diagnosis/assessment and then re balancing it. Shiatsu is far more subtle and complex for me than that! Would love to hear thoughts from those of you who work with cranio sacral therapy and shiatsu.
Midwives and shiatsu
Then I was in London teaching the last two days of my shiatsu for midwives course and it was great to see how they are beginning to use shiatsu in their work. One of my former students is working at the Cossham Birth Centre in Bristol which should be opening today. Hooray. This is great news after years of work and inspiration, especially from the wonderful independent midwife Sue Learner. We are hoping to get the midwives there trained up in massage and shiatsu for labour and another of my students is trying to get shiatsu used for post term women in Frome.
Fluid movement with Cherionna
And I spent the last four days in the continuum of womb life with Cherionna (the course I mentioned in a recent Blog). I am so glad that I asked Cherionna to integrate her work with Body Mind centring and Continuum: it gives a wonderful dimension to experiencing our own embryological journey. This was a profoundly healing experience and deepened yet again my understanding of my own process. This deserves a whole Blog piece which I will write this week.