Interesting article from our Shiatsu practitioner Joerg Sommer:
Are treatments making me happier?
A client asked the other day if the treatments she had been receiving could be contributing to her feeling happier and more fulfilled in her life. It may seem obvious to a bodywork practitioner that treatments would contribute to happiness, but many people who receive treatments think of them as mainly for symptom relief and physical health.
This person wanted to know more about what was happening to her and sensed it was related to the treatments. She wanted to understand why she was feeling different. It is important that she was noticing something in herself and then also making a connection between her experience and her body. This is a dynamic that often plays out in our clients (and in ourselves!): as the body becomes more free of restrictions, a person begins to experience more clearly what is actually going on in real time.
You will notice more, feel more, and be able to settle down into ‘present’ time more fully. Peace, gratefulness, and enjoyment of simple everyday experiences that we tend to take for granted or miss altogether move more into centre stage. Rather than being eclipsed by past stress and trauma, the present begins to shine though more clearly like the sun breaking through the clouds.
Shiatsu/Acupressure/MFR Liberates Life Force
Shiatsu practitioners facilitate the free flow of life force, or chi, through the body. This is done by releasing compressive forces that have been restricting the flow of energy, instead of letting it move through the system. Treasure troves of energy that have been tucked away and unavailable are released and redistributed throughout the body. Space and motion increase as this is happening, and are a main indicator of the process. When there is more space and more motion, the body is becoming more free. Energy flows better, alignments take place and the body systems begin to function more optimally.
This is all done at a very practical level. Practitioners use a highly developed, highly effective system for reading the body, interpreting responses and applying techniques. Even though receivers often experience relief from troubling symptoms, the symptoms are not usually the central focus of a Shiatsu treatment. Of course practitioners care about the ailments and sufferings of whomever they work with, but they are trained to try and reach underneath those issues rather than focus on them. They empower people’s bodies to be more clear, powerful and self-healing.
Stress = Compression = Misdirection
Whenever there is stress, emotional or physical, the body tightens in some way. When there is some time and care given right after a stress, the body often readjusts and re-establishes the original ‘nonstressful’ condition; homeostasis is restored. However, sometimes homeostasis is not restored. Many stresses occur with no subsequent ‘healing’ period. These unresolved micro- and macro-stresses build up over time and create compression in different layers of the system. Emotions and feelings are more restricted. Muscles, glands, organs and bones become compressed. Beliefs, ideas, and perspectives become more rigid. The ability to connect, listen and relate is reduced. The body functions less and less efficiently. Many parts of the body/mind/spirit begin to operate out of sync with what is actually going on in present time, because they are literally locked into stress matrixes from other time periods.
This in turn creates slower functioning in organ systems, circulation, respiration, elimination, etc. Emotions do not flow as easily. Thoughts get unclear and jammed up, just like the organs. Impulses and desires, which are supposed to lead us in the direction of our true nature/soul path/whatever you want to call it, become distorted. People lose direction and tend to follow paths which bring them further from what they want in their hearts. Addictions, illness, and blatant self-destructive behaviour become more prominent.
Treatments = Release Stress = Back on Track
Shiatsu-acupressure/MFR treatments release compression and liberate the innate wisdom of the body. As compression releases and space opens up (and I mean this literally), organs begin to function better. Alignments take place naturally or with non-force guidance. Vertebrae shift, sciatica resolves, bowels move. The immune system operates more optimally. Muscles repair, nutrients distribute, reproductive organs regenerate. The body cells begin to function more in present time. Information related to life direction, health, and consciousness that is encoded in the DNA starts to more accurately direct the body processes again.
Treatments also bring people into more direct contact with their feelings. This will not necessarily always feel good. Buried pain and unresolved wounds will work their way to the surface to be felt and processed. Even though this can be disturbing or uncomfortable in the short run, it is better to address this pain rather than leave it to fester and express itself indirectly through addiction and illness.
Treatments lead to more consciousness, and more ability to listen to oneself and others. The larger goal of Shiatsu is to bring a person into alignment with their true nature, their soul. And I don’t mean in an abstract way, I am being specific. As the physical body balances and becomes more free, the higher vibrational parts of who we are can align and ‘plug in’ to the body. Practitioners are trained to see when this is happening and when someone can handle it.
So treatments do help lead people towards more ease, clarity and happiness. They do often give relief from physical ailments. Those are not the focus however. Focus is on reestablishing the free flow of life force and thus empowering the body to self-heal, self-regulate, and self-direct.
When the Body Shifts, the Life Shifts
Certain treatments create tremendous amounts of change. Some unfold small amounts of very potent change. Other treatments lead up to those ones. Sometimes a session is dealing more with integrating shifts that have already occurred. These types of treatments are all valuable. The ‘really big ones’ are not better. A practitioner works with whatever the receiver is ready for during the session. They listen to the receiver’s body and facilitate the release and distribution of energy.
It is usually best to introduce change in incremental waves that someone can integrate easily without blowing the life structure to pieces in a destructive way. Often someone will have to retrace through certain patterns, sicknesses, and behaviors. They may go through a period of experiencing an old cycle of anger or insecurity that they used to feel all the time and then buried. They may go through periods of old illness as past toxins and patterns discharge from their body. So treatments do not always lead to immediate peace and vitality. They often lead someone through cycles of detoxing physical and emotional debris before they feel ‘better.’ This does result in a deeper ability to engage in life, appreciate what is happening, and align with the more true aspects of one’s nature.
Getting treatments means someone will need to be more true to themselves and others. It is inevitable. When the body shifts, the life shifts. And more freedom in the body will lead to more freedom in life.