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About Zen HandsQuestions and Answers

On this page are some common questions and answers that have been asked of me over the years of practice. I have published them below to help increase the understanding of Shiatsu and wellness along with it. You may also wish to read questions regarding Massage Therapies.

Where does Shiatsu come from?

Shiatsu is Japanese in origin but is based in many parts on Chinese Medicine. For example the Yin and Yang or the 5 Element theories are used in Chinese Medicine (such as acupuncture) today. The meridian system of energetic pathways within the body are also common to both.

How old is Shiatsu?

Well, I understand that Chinese medicine is approximately 2000 to 3000 years old. Shiatsu predates acupuncture thought to be some 8000 years old. Archeologists have discovered a book of Chinese medicine that made references to meridian channels some 206BC. When this knowledge reached Japan in approximately 6AD it evolved into Shiatsu therapy. In contrast antibiotics a large part of Western Medicine are only some 70 years old and a large part of drug research is only some 10-20 years old. That is not to say that there has been no development of Chinese medicine or Shiatsu, to the contrary it continues to evolve. However key concepts and methods have stood the test of time and are only today being re-affirmed via studies in western medicine.

Quote: When there's a disappointment, IAre treatments claimable?

Yes. Please see this

for more details.

I am insured with BUPA, HBA etc and they ask me what my provider number is.

Some insurance companies have individual provider numbers and others accept a registering professional association's member number. In the case of the latter I am a member of ATMS and majority of insurers would use my membership number - 23194. Others such as Medibank Private have their own - 1431051H & BUPA/HBA use C041722.

What are meridians?

Meridians are energetic pathways within the body that carry Qi between organ systems. There is much study in the scientific community to understand just what they are. Some studies point to them as being our very first (embryonic) nervous system. Others point to them carrying nerve electrical impulses back to the brain. Whilst many of these theories abound 2000 years of Chinese medicine proves their safe effectiveness.

Why do you talk about foods and Can I use foods/meals to treat my self?

Yes, absolutely. Depending on your specific conditions you may be given guidelines on which foods would be beneficial to you. This aspect is an ongoing subtle but powerful system of supporting your wellbeing. Why is it subtle? Well eating a meal that supports you will most likely leave you feeling with more energy but more importantly without bloating, burping, indigestion or anxiety and the absence or these often goes un-noticed. Why is it powerful? Because eating suitable foods nourishes your body and helps rid your body of illness causing factors. This is all good but it is the ongoing nature of this action as in with each meal every day that these positive steps to healing add up and give your treatment a real boost. I will be adding information to this site to assist you with this process so check back regularly.

I feel like I'm getting a cold can shiatsu help me?

Yes, I have special methods for dealing with these and the earlier we address it the better for you. You wil expel the pathogens faster and thus weaken your energy reserves less.

Are particular stretches beneficial?

Absolutely. You will find them listed on this page for your reference.

Is yoga beneficial? Should I continue doing yoga?

In most cases absolutely. It builds core strength, deep breathing, flexibility. Yoga brings calmness to busy minds, moves lymph to increase immunity, and in cases of Qi stagnation yoga's gentle stretches can be of great help. In cases of viral infection it may be best to rest to conserve your energy and allow your body to use maximum energy in responding to the virus. It is also a good idea to minimise your contact with other people to limit the spread of the virus.

What are the exercises that you have given me for?

Makko-ho stretches are somewhat similar to a few yoga postures but with a particular focus on the meridian system. They are used to effectively extend your Shiatsu treatment to your home to enhance the therapeutic effects.

Do I have to undress?

No, at no stage do you need to be naked. I may ask you to remove heavy jumpers but that is about it. If your symptoms require cupping, moxa or spooning I will ask you to make the relevant areas available - you always have the option of saying no if you are uncomfortable. Just quickly, some of the areas are in the vicinity of your wrists, ankles, immediately under your collar bone, along the sides of your spine, soles of your feet and around your knees. You are covered by a blanket and the mat is warm and comfortable.

Will you use needles?

No, Shiatsu whilst using similar diagnostic processes to acupuncture does not use any needles. Finger pressure is generally enough to stimulate the Tsubo (acupuncture) points and meridians. If stronger stimulation is required heat via moxa can be used.

Should I discontinue my medication?

Not without consulting your physician. Shiatsu therapy will stimulate body's own healing systems and as such your medication doses could very well be reduced however you should ONLY do so in consultation with your doctor.

Should I do anything special before a session?

It is good to follow some simple steps such as not eating prior to a session. They can be found here.

Updated 28/1/14

Elwood,Victoria Ph:0433 095 277