THE ROOTS OF SHIATSU
The root of Shiatsu is ‘Te-ate’ (which means ‘hands-on’ in Japanese). When we feel pain, we usually place a hand on the affected area in attempt to relieve the pain. This behavior is called ‘Te-ate’, and nowadays the word ‘Te-ate’ indicates medical treatment in general. More than 2000 years ago in Japan’s mythological age, an old Waka (Japanese poem) talks about the first doctor in Japan, named Sukunahikona-kami, healing people with his bare hands. There are many records throughout the world of people healing with their bare hands and over time this practice has developed to become massage in Europe, chiropractic in the USA, Anma/Tsuina in China, and Shiatsu in Japan.
WHAT IS SHIATSU
It is a method of healing based on the origins of oriental philosophies, now integrated into the West, evolved to this day from teacher to teacher and according to the increase of pathological complexities. SEIKI is the life energy of Life (Sei: life / essence / pure, Ki: energy). The heart of every human being contains within it this spark of energy that is part of the Creation, of that infinite ocean of purity, and in turn, of the Universe. Before the complementary opposites Yin / Yang. According to Eastern philosophy, the disease manifests when the body loses its harmony with the internal nature of the individual, because the alternating currents of energy between the patient and his internal self are obstructed. The Seiki treatment focuses on the internal healing power of the patient by stimulating the dormant / stuck vital energy and restoring its normal and harmonious state.
The Simple Distinctions Between Shiatsu and Massage Therapy:
- For a shiatsu therapy session, you wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- Next is the area of focus. Massage therapy works primarily with the muscles; shiatsu focuses on the joints and fascia (connective tissue) and Meridians (energy body lines)
- While massage therapy is most often performed with the client lying on a massage table, a shiatsu session is done on the floor, with the client lying on a comfortable mat, futon or other padded surface.
- The most common difference is in how you’ll feel afterwards. Most people report a very relaxed and almost sleepy feeling following a therapeutic massage. After a session of shiatsu therapy you’ll most likely feel full of energy and revitalized.
HOW DOES SEIKI SHIATSU RELIEVE PAIN, INJURY AND PROMOTE BETTER HEALTH?
During a treatment the application of steady continuous pressure using the thumbs, hands and knees affects the circulation of Ki. Stuck or stagnated energy (jaki), the root cause of all diseases, is released through the combinations of deep rhythmic movement, assisted stretches and the treatment of specific release points. This stimulates the body to regain its’ natural equilibrium. Seiki Meridian shiatsu treats the whole person, concentrating not only on the symptoms, but also on the individuals’ vitality and innate healing power.
Treatment Benefits of Seiki Meridian Shiatsu Include:
- Restore and maintain the body’s energy, especially helpful to those suffering from fatigue and overall weakness
- Improves circulation
- Reduces stress and tension as well as anxiety and depression
- Relief from headaches
- Promotes healing from sprains and similar injuries
- Helps bring relief to arthritis sufferers
- Reduces problems with stiff neck and shoulders as well as backaches (including sciatica)
- Coughs, colds, and other sinus and respiratory problems
- Helps those dealing with insomnia
- Aids in treatment of such various things as digestive disorders, bowel trouble, morning sickness, and menstrual problems
SHIATSU HISTORY AND HIERARCHY
Tokujiro Namikoshi Sensei, the Founder of Shiatsu Massage Therapy, was born November 3rd, 1905 in Kagawa prefecture on Shikoku Island, Japan. When he was 7 years old, his family moved to Hokkaido where the weather was cold and harsh. His mother “Masa” developed rheumatoid arthritis as a result of hard physical labour and the change from a warm to a cold, damp climate. There was no doctor or medicine available due to the isolation. Tokujiro, only 7 years of age, tried to ease his mother’s pain. He discovered that she felt better when he pressed on her body with his thumbs, rather than stroking or rubbing. He concentrated his pressure on points which he found on the cervical region of her spine as well as the middle and lower back. As he applied himself, he also learned the relationship between the Adrenal glands and rheumatism. Eventually Masa’s rheumatoid arthritis was cured by Tokujiro’s treatment. She lived in good health to be 88 years of age.
From his study and practice he subsequently developed a scientific anatomical and physiological theory which explained his treatment. This unique Japanese hands-on therapy, he called “SHIATSU” (meaning thumb and finger pressure in Japanese). He then opened his Shiatsu clinic in Sapporo in 1925 and in Tokyo in 1933. In 1953, he was invited to introduce his Shiatsu at the Palmer Chiropractic School in Iowa, U.S.A. There he developed a good relationship with Dr. B.J. Palmer who was a founder of Chiropractic.
Toru Namikoshi Sensei, who is a son of Tokujiro, stayed at the Palmer Chiropractic School for 7 years to study and compare Shiatsu and Chiropractic. After he returned to Japan from the U.S., he contributed to the development of Shiatsu Therapy based on modern Anatomy and Physiology. In 1940, Tokujiro established his school, the Japan Shiatsu College in Tokyo, and began to train Shiatsupractor’s Shiatsu Practitioners. This was the first Training school in the world for Shiatsupractor’s Shiatsu Practitioners. In 1955, the Japan Shiatsu College was officially licensed by the Ministry of Health in Japan. At present, the 3 year Registered Shiatsu Therapist program requires students to be in full attendance for 2500 hours. Upon successful completion of the program the students are eligible to take the government examination.
In fact, there is only one type of Shiatsu Massage Therapy in the world today, the original Japanese Shiatsu Therapy of Namikoshi Sensei, but there are many derivatives. The most popular and best know of these derivatives is Zen-Shiatsu developed by Shizuto Masunaga Sensei. He graduated from the Japan Shiatsu College in 1958 and devised his style of Shiatsu based on the Chinese Meridians. It is known around the world.
This form of Shiatsu was derived by Shizuto Masunaga sensei. Because ìZenî is a religious word, this form of treatment was not called ìZen Shiatsuî in Japan. This is a part of Meridian Shiatsu, but follows a separate Meridian theory from that of TCM. In Zen Shiatsu, practitioners use their elbows, knees and bony parts of the body to apply stronger pressure to the Meridian points instead of using their thumbs, fingers or palms. For this reason, some believe that this technique should not be defined as ìShiatsuî. A three-month long, non-credit workshop is available at the ìIou-kai Shiatsu Centreî, opened by Masunaga sensei in Japan. Masunaga sensei studied Shiatsu directly from Namikoshi Sensei, who is the founder of Shiatsu, and graduated from the Japan Shiatsu College in 1958.
SEINSEI RYOKYU ENDO
Ryukyu Endo sensei introduced this form of Derivative Shiatsu. He followed Zen Shiatsu theory, but left ìIou-kaiî after Masunaga sensei died. This theory contains religious and spiritual practicum. There are several one- and two-day workshops available in Tokyo and Kyoto. Endo sensei studied Shiatsu directly from Namikoshi Sensei, who is the founder of Shiatsu, and graduated from the Japan Shiatsu College.
SENSEI CALISAR TZVIKA
SEIKI MERIDIAN SHIATSU
Tzvika Calisar was born in 1962 and has been a shiatsu therapist from 1985. His clinical research and extensive teaching experience led to the development of the Seiki Shiatsu method. He is the co-founder and principal teacher of the Seiki Meridian Shiatsu International association that has centers in the UK, Europe, North and South America, Israel, Australia and New Zealand
Tzvika first visited Japan in 1985, living in Tokyo for 2 years and studying at the Namikoshi Shiatsu school. He took specialized classes in Zen Shiatsu at the Iokai center of Master Masunaga, and participated in the study group of one of his students, Suzuki sensei.
From 1987 until 1990 he trained with Ryokyu Endo, the founder of the Tao Shiatsu method, and gave treatments in his Kyoto clinic. In 1990, Tzvika returned to Israel and established the first Tao Shiatsu center in Tel Aviv. Over the next decade he built a network of shiatsu clinics and centers throughout the country while travelling extensively and giving seminars and workshops throughout Europe.
In 2001 Tzvika returned to Japan and established the Tao Shiatsu School in Tokyo. He was the school’s manager and senior teacher and further duties included responsiblity for the development of the international training curriculum and programs.
During this decade Tzvika became a well-known and highly regarded Shiatsu therapist and instructor in Japan. Simultaneously, he lectured and gave workshops and treatments worldwide at international shiatsu congresses and notable Shiatsu and Chinese medicine schools. His involvement and interaction with shiatsu patients, teachers, therapists and students, in Japan, Israel, England, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, USA, Canada, Argentina and Chile, gave a unique perspective to his research. From this he has developed unique therapeutic approaches for Shiatsu treatment and training.
Tzvika Calisar was involved in the writing and translation of the following books on shiatsu that have been translated into multiple languages:
- Tao Shiatsu – Life medicine for the 21st century
- Kyo and Jitsu – Diagnosis in Oriental Medicine
- Tao Shiatsu – Revolution in the Oriental medicine