Bring in the new year - Learn Shiatsu's Introduction to shiatsu contains very important pointers that will help you learn the art of Shiatsu effectively; it also presents some important 'do's and don'ts' to consider when giving a Shiatsu treatment.

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Therefore it is strongly recommended that you read it carefully before proceeding to Part One.


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To complete any Shiatsu sequence where your partner is lying down, use the two steps shown below. Whatever type of Shiatsu you have given, there are a number of factors to consider upon finishing: some relating to your partner and some to yourself.

Sit alongside your partner and place one hand on the abdomen and one on the upper chest. These correspond to the major upper and lower internal energy centres: the Tan Den and the heart chakra. Hold this position for a few moments. Breathe calmly and naturally into your abdomen, and hold an image of peacefulness and healing for your partner's whole being. This brings a unifying and balancing effect to the overall Ki system, after your work on all the different body zones, organ systems and Ki channels.

Finally, stand alongside your partner's feet, and sweep your hands several times over the whole body a few inches above the body's surface, starting at the feet and working up to the head. This draws energy up through the body's external energy field or aura, in preparation for rising shortly.

Caring for your partner

After any comprehensive treatment, let your partner relax for about five minutes, while you leave the room. The deep state of relaxation induced by Shiatsu can be healing in itself and the effects can go on working; people often report that they can feel areas being worked on after the pressure has been released. As peripheral circulation withdraws, the surface of the body cools dramatically, so make sure that your partner is warm enough; cover them with a blanket or duvet if necessary.

When you rejoin your partner it is a good idea to discuss the treatment. Ask them for feedback, so that you can both learn from the practice and understand the condition better for future treatments. Find out which parts of your work felt good to them and which, if any, were uncomfortable. Remember that not all the benefit is felt immediately, and that some points inevitably feel tender - especially the ones that most need treatment. If you can, check how they feel in a few days. If they had lasting aches and pains or a bruised feeling, then you were probably working too strongly.

As you practise more, you will also be able to give your partner feedback about your findings during the session - the state of Ki flow, general well-being or health of different parts of the body - particularly when you have studied Part Three.

The nervous system can remain in the same deeply relaxed state even after the body has resumed activity. Reflexes can be slow, so the receiver should take extra care, especially when driving or crossing roads. In fact, they will gain maximum benefit from a full treatment by taking it easy for the rest of the day. People who have been feeling very weak for some time, and then feel energized from Shiatsu, should take particular care not to squander this energy by immediately doing all the things they have been too exhausted to do. They need to continue at a slow pace for some time, in order to build up their resources.

Finally, point out to your partner that a 'reaction' can occasionally occur in the twenty-four hours after a Shiatsu treatment. This is the result of discharge of toxicity into the bloodstream, and release of Ki blockages. It is a good idea for your partner to drink a glass of pure water after any Shiatsu to facilitate elimination of toxins.

Looking after yourself

Wash your hands immediately after giving Shiatsu; even if they are clean, rinse them in cold water, and shake until dry. This helps disperse any unhealthy energies you may have picked up. Many people eliminate toxins, both physically through the skin and also as energy discharge; you may find this tiring while you are new to Shiatsu. Do some exercises to help you renew your energies, such as visualizations, yoga stretches or meditation, and then rest if you need to. Self-shiatsu or energizing exercises can also help.

It is also important to clear the energies in the room - much as you may have done before beginning, with incense or candles - especially if you are going to start on another treatment, or if the room is about to revert to another purpose.

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