Guided Shiatsu Swaps

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    Written last Friday – Following suggestions to keep the flow moving following the online teacher training last weekend and to explore, concepts of experiential movement shiatsu and working online, Svenja and I had a little session today. As Bill suggested to use the forum for feedback…Primarily I attempted to guide Svenja with exploring an area of tension and numbness in right shoulder, neck and triceps indicated by body scanning at the start of the session . We worked with some Dao in for bone touch, shaking meditations in horizontal and vertical planes to bring consciousness and wake up the energy, rotation of the scapulas to explore what spontaneous movement might transpire and bringing intent and awareness to stiff musculature in trapezius and other areas of highlighted tension in the SCM to experience tension with muscle release techniques and breathing with an amplified touch like focus to expand into the area. Space was given to compare how one side of the body felt after working in contrast to the other and again with body scanning at the end of the session.
    The feedback was that the session was delivered with clear instruction, and that Svenja felt held in the space during the session. It was also clear that the session felt in some ways too guided and more space is needed for dialogue and open questioning so that the session would be more client led and facilitated rather than therapist guided. What is also apparent to me, is that working online feels that even more so than in a hands on shiatsu session, due to time constraints and extra time needed to facilitate ‘guided’ exploration that the need to focus on less, is needed even more. So for me, more listening and less doing next time.
    Looking forward to my session as client next week. Really useful exercise thank you Svenja to get valuable feedback in the framework of Movement Shiatsu and to explore this less familiar way of working online etc etc Hoping that others will also want to get involved with swaps of some sort, to support each other, and keep the movement going…

    Love Jo x


    Hi all and thanks Jo for the insightful write up of last week’s session.

    Jo and myself had the 2nd session on Friday 3rd July – my focus as a facilitator for this session was
    1. following on from the shared weekend we had – holding the space safely virtually
    2. being open, responsive and in listening mode to Jo’s needs

    Having had the advantage and experience of being the receiver the week before, it definitely helped me to think ‘less is more’ and not to try to address/work with a whole range of issues.

    Listening to Jo I felt working with the 3rd family most suited. We started with body scan, then abdominal breathing exercise, then body scan again with regard to held areas which actually had shifted from what they were before the breathing. We moved into seaweed qigong and then worked with valuing touch, also bringing in some sound work. The question for me still is how to make the decision which family/touch quality to focus on at the start of the session.

    Working via the screen, I had to remind myself to stop and observe Jo, giving her space to work at her own pace and to notice the changes in her body – which was good for me in contrast to my online self-care classes where I’m focussing more on ‘bringing everyone with me’.

    Jo was able to tell me areas she wanted to spend more time on and in feedback after the session commented that this really allowed her to release at a deeper level. Jo felt safely held, and I felt not trying ‘to do’ but listening and responding facilitated a meaningful process with no ‘expected outcome’ other than witnessing and providing a space.

    We both really enjoyed this session too and felt they are definitely valuable even remotely. We both thought even though we know and have the tools as practitioners to do these exercises ourselves, it makes a big difference that someone holds the space and is present with you. We also commented that as practitioners we are more able to connect and work in this way due to our experience as bodyworkers, so for clients it may be more difficult to do so in the virtual realm.

    We have planned another session where we want to explore whether we can guide each other to access clarifying touch on ourselves. Looking forward to it!

    Anyone else up for swaps or a small group session with a focus on an aspect of MS, please get in touch!

    Svenja x

    Bill Palmer

    Great that you have been following this up Jo and Svenja.

    We are teaching workshops in the forthcoming European Shiatsu Congress in Amsterdam at the beginning of September and we aim to give people the choice of doing the work through touch or learning how to guide people to explore the same thing through movement and self touch.

    So your feedback about what works for you and not is and could be very valuable.

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