• Wye Valley Shiatsu

Monmouthshire Grassroots Shiatsu

Today I celebrated Shiatsu Awareness Month by hosting my first grassroots event in my village in Monmouthshire and welcomed a group of friends to experience mindful movement activities, a scattering of theory and some take away points for self care with me.


What is Grassroots Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is perhaps one the lesser known supportive healing treatments available and my Grassroots Shiatsu class was designed to increase awareness and understanding of how the body can benefit from a more mindful approach of movement, breath-work, simple touch and improved sense of wellbeing in a small group setting.


The more I discover about Shiatsu during my training programme, I am finding out how unique every treatment and practitioner can be and that this personal aspect of touch and delivery is welcomed. In 2018, Phillip Cheshire-Neal wrote in the Autumn edition of the Shiatsu Society Journal that:


"The reality for me is that Shiatsu is a practice, a mindful discipline, of which only a part is one-to-one bodywork. The foundation of Shiatsu practise is self-development through movement, mindfulness, breath. Then there is the art of touch. Our personal Shiatsu toolbox- becomes filled with the techniques that have resonated with us from all the Shiatsu experiences we have shared."


With this in mind, I can say that I drew on my skills as a contemporary dance teacher, mentoring skills and my learning experiences from our training programme at the Bristol School of Shiatsu. I set out to create a supportive space where participants could experience breath-work; mindfulness; some physical contact and learn some key points for self-care.


What did we do?

Following some settling activities to arrive in the space, I used a combination of gentle movement exercises to explore the ever present Ki energy in our bodies. We learned a sequence of meridian brushing and the Makka Ho stretching sequence. After some additional breath work we were ready to work more closely with the Ki energy in our bodies. I shared some key points for self-care to assist with calming, clearing the mind and benefitting the ears and head. We moved on to working in pairs to find some points in our feet and along our spine. It was important to me that the group were able to relax deeply, share their thoughts and feelings, whilst feeling nurtured and safe in this setting.


Feedback from today certainly confirmed that my fellow 'grassrooters' felt empowered and nourished and relaxed. I am inspired me to further my work in this area and have so many creative ideas in my mind which link movement and Shiatsu with wellbeing and self-care.


I felt very moved that at the end of our two hour workshop I had supported others to feel more balanced within themselves and nurtured. Thank you so much to Sarah, Fiona, Leanne and Claire for being my participants today and for embracing the activities so fully and with commitment and honesty. May the benefits last.



Thanks to:

Phillip Cheshire-Neal for his article in the 2018 Autumn edition of the Shiatsu Society Journal.

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