Shiatsu massage & Contact Improvisation – Body awareness and listening touch

When giving Shiatsu, or ‘moving meditation’ as I call it, I move with my body and the body of the receiver in mindfulness and presence. I respond to my client’s body, allowing the massage to unfold naturally, intuitively, touch by touch, movement by movement. It’s like turning the page of a fascinating book, or walking through a new landscape. I never know what the next step or page will bring. The landscape and story unfold in front of my eyes, under my hands and feet as we move along. With as much depth as you and I are able to be present with and to receive.

 

Every session offers the chance for a profound meeting, a dialogue between you and your body. I am merely the facilitator of that meeting. I am here to be present, to meet your body, soul and spirit where you are and to move with you. I am here to help you feel your own body and to help you listen to it.

 

A key moment of my training as a therapist was taking up Contact Improvisation dance classes when I was in the second year of my Shiatsu training. I was a good ‘giver’ of massage then, but I did not quite know how to listen with my fingers and my body whilst giving massage. I did not know how to ‘sit’ with stillness as my head kept asking: What now? What to do next? Where would this go? Feeling anticipation, the urge to move, to do something… being uncomfortable with not knowing what to do next.

 

And during Contact Dance sessions I sat with exactly the same questions and discomfort – in long moments of suspense… until I started to realize that this really was the key! Sitting with ‘not knowing’. Sitting with emotions, thoughts and judgements. While learning to relax and to listen and resisting the urge of wanting ‘to do’. Stepping back and allowing myself to simply observe and to drop into a sense of trust instead.

 

Awww, and what a relief it was when I finlly discovered trust! Trusting that by allowing space, something would shift eventually. And to my amazement, every time, when the process unfolded naturally, it would do so effortlessly!

 

A movement rising out of stillness has a sense of ease and effortless flow… It requires no action or knowing. It requires only emptiness, to stop being the “do’er” and become the listener, the witness, as the process unfolds. And I vaguely remember a quote by Aristotle:

The aim of every movement is stillness, because at the end of each movement, something has to remain.”

 

Just like the principle of Yin and Yang… the cycle of birth and death. Energy never disappears but transforms, and it is within this process of transformation that our Shiatsu journey unfolds. I don’t know where it will take us. But I always know when we have arrived. At the end of it, we always find a deep sense of stillness.

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