What does it mean to be a holistic massage school alternative?

At our school, holistic therapy means being able to help with the entire range of problems that humans experience. We help by giving direct touch techniques for symptom relief, and we help by giving holistic lifestyle coaching that helps our clients consider the dietary, environmental and emotional factors that contribute to their health.

In our Shiatsu Massage Therapy Diploma program, we learn holistic bodywork rooted in Asian healing traditions. Shiatsu uses East Asian medical principles, developed in China and Japan. As such, shiatsu can be used to help with pain, injury and feeling good in the body. People seek out shiatsu to help with the same things that massage therapy generally helps with. Shiatsu also helps with internal health issues such as problems with sleep, digestion, elimination and energy level.

Here is an example of a standard shiatsu massage client interaction:

A client shares their problems:

  1. Body Fatigue. They feel heavy and tired in their arms and legs, a body fatigue. When they go up the stairs, it gets worse.
  2. Digestive & Elimination problems. Also, they share that they have a digestive problem. They don’t feel like they are absorbing well. They feel bloated and uncomfortable after they eat. They have multiple loose bowel movements every day, kind of watery and even with undigested food.
  3. Emotional Stress. And finally, they share that they have emotional stress in the form of intense caregiving responsibilities. They have teenage children and also care for their elderly parents who are in poor health. This person puts out a lot of emotionally invested caregiving effort. And they have very little support to be able to find time to give that same kind of care back to themselves or to receive it from others.

We help them understand the connections; the holistic massage approach:

Massage school alternativesAll these problems are related in East Asian medical thought. It reflects a general challenge with absorbing nourishment. We see this in the bloating and discomfort, and the loose undigested stools.

This explains the body fatigue. Because of their absorption problems, they actually have a low-grade malnourishment. They feel tired in their body as a result.

Sometimes this kind of problem happens as a result of dietary factors, or just from really bad stress. And this kind of problem can be very much exacerbated by the specific kind of emotional stress that they have: if they are putting out warm, emotionally invested caregiving and not receiving it back, it will very much worsen their digestive symptoms.

We offer lifestyle suggestions tailored to their needs:

holistic massage school demonstration

Dietary: This kind of person will benefit from cooked, warm foods. Their center may actually be cold. We see that they have difficulty warming the contents of their stomach and this is evidenced by the watery loose stool. So the closer their food is to warm soup already, the easier it will be to absorb and rebuild their strength.

Environmental: This person should keep their center warm and wrapped, possibly using things like hot water bottles on the abdomen to help them cook their stomach contents more effectively.

Emotional: This person would really benefit from setting the boundaries that let them scale back the intensity of their caregiving responsibilities. It will have a direct impact on the quality of their digestion and their feeling of physical strength.

We directly help with relieving their symptoms through shiatsu:

Our shiatsu can help relieve their body fatigue and improve their quality of digestion. We can treat points and meridians that activate and warm the center. As a result, they will feel more energetic and ready to try some dietary changes or lifestyle changes. We both help point the way towards what they can do for themselves, and help give them the energy and freedom to actually do it!

This is what we mean by holistic, and why we like to call Zen Shiatsu the holistic massage school alternative. Our viewpoint can shed insights on every aspect of their condition, we can offer clear steps they can take to maintain balance, and give the direct relief and support that empowers them to go for it!