I learned about Shiatsu from my supervisor when I lived in Tokyo. She was accepted as a student by Chinese acupuncturists, which was really unusual. She needed someone to practice on and I volunteered.
Shiatsu helped me live and helped me help other people when I was in Israel. I lived in a farming village in the Arava desert. Our closest neighboring village was several miles away and Eilat was an hour or so by car. We had no stores and our supplies did not include medicine. I was able to help relieve headaches, help relax a mother enough so she could nurse, help toothaches, back aches and so on, including relieving menstrual cramps.
I earned a certificate as a Shiatsu practitioner in Tel Aviv.
When I returned to the States, Ohashi, who wrote the book I learned from, had a school in NYC. Massage in general was still unrecognized and Shiatsu was practically unknown.
I finally moved to Florida in the '90s and became a licensed massage therapist. Swedish massage, sports massage and other advanced modalities are wonderful, but, compared to Shiatsu, they are not 'medicine.' Shiatsu is based on Chinese acupuncture; the difference being that no needles are used, only your hands. Other than that, the principles are the same.
It amazes me that people still would rather pop pills than use acupuncture or Shiatsu. When I was a massage therapist, one of the other therapists at our location had hurt her wrist. I had had hurt myself around the same time. I got a treatment and was back at work the next day. She, on the other hand, was in a restraining device and out of commission for a few weeks.
I've been to some acupuncture clinics here in Florida. They are amazing. Upgraded and beautiful. How times change!
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