Shiatsu and the Three Treasures
Central to the ideology of Shiatsu lies the belief that prevention is the key to health. Shiatsu seeks to assess and treat imbalances in the body, so that health and longevity may prevail. Pain is usually a symptom of an underlying disharmony. So treating both the symptom and the underlying imbalance is important in order to fully heal the pain.
If we look at Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as the mother of Shiatsu, then we may consider the Taoist system of health to be it's Grandmother. This theoretical system can be difficult to explain in one sentence. Explaining this system is like telling a story. It is about metaphorical relationships that have been learned through thousands of years of observation. It is one of the earliest sciences.
According to TCM and Taoism, we as humans are endowed with three aspects that allow our existence: Essence (Jing) which allows us our form, Energy (Qi) which allows us to function and Spirit (Shen) which allows us to think. These are called the Three Treasures. Essence is the most substantial of the three and can be likened to a piggy bank of vitality which we begin to draw from the moment we are born. The aim is to slow its depletion by taking in quality air and food and practicing moderation. Energy is the essential force behind our functioning and manifests as light, heat and motion. Spirit describes the mind and all of its functions. The mind is reflected in the eyes. The Taoist practice therefore aims to preserve Essence, balance Energy and cultivate Spirit. This brings health and longevity. Massage (tui na, thai yoga bodywork, shiatsu) is just one branch of this practice. Other branches are meditation, exercise, diet, acupuncture and herbal medicine. Each branch has significant benefits of it's own, but they are most powerful when used as a whole system.
Protect the Three Treasures by living in harmony with nature rather than at odds with it. Nature is constantly changing and the way to harmonize is to respond to change with both flexibility and spontaneity. One of the ultimate goals of Shiatsu is to facilitate this harmony.
Until next time....
Enjoy the transition to autumn and relish the sweet earthy foods that fall provides!
All the best,
about the wisdom of Chinese Medicine as applied to Shiatsu & Massage, healthy living, the benefits of Bodywork and simple healthy lifestyle practices.