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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Preparing for a Shiatsu Session

The setting: the room where you give a Shiatsu treatment should be big enough for a person to lie down and for you to walk all around them easily. There should be a 'mat' of sorts for the recipient to lie on - ideally a thin mattress or futon, though even a thick blanket will suffice: it should be wide enough for you to kneel alongside to give protection to your knees. A sheet laid on top of the futon will keep it clean. It is also useful to have some cushions or pillows handy. The room should be quiet and free from disturbances such as a ringing telephone or doorbell. Some people like to play peaceful music while giving treatment. Lighting a fire or candles, or burning incense are also very useful ways of enhancing the atmosphere. The temperature should be slightly higher than normal; although you will be moving most of the time, the receiver will tend to cool down as they fall into deep relaxation.

A blanket or duvet can be spread over them for parts of the treatment. On completion, you may find that the room feels stuffy, musty or somehow slightly uncomfortable; this is due to the elimination processes that have been taking place during treatment, even if only at a level of energy discharge. You can clear the atmosphere by ventilation, by lighting a fire or by burning incense, if you had not already done so.

Yourself: the most important thing is to be inwardly calm and focused - not overtired, flustered or ill-prepared. A short preparatory relaxation or meditation session can help with this. When giving a treatment wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows you complete freedom of movement; natural fibres such as cotton are best. It is wise not to have just eaten a big meal. Make sure your hands are clean and your fingernails not too long; the thumbnails are particularly important. If you have long hair tie it up, so that it does not fall over the recipient when you are working close in. The receiver: Shiatsu is usually received when clothed, as this facilitates contacting the underlying energy without the distraction of skin effects. The receiver's garments should also enable freedom of movement and be comfortable. Ask them to remove items such as watches, spectacles, contact lenses, jewellery, belts, shoes and any metal objects that are easily removed. They should not have just eaten a large meal, or be extremely hungry.

If this is the first session, let the receiver know a bit about what they can expect during treatment. You can say a word or two about what Shiatsu is, and mention the sequence of three positions you will be taking them through. Emphasize in particular that they can become completely relaxed, and do not need to help you by moving any part of their body, apart from when you ask them to lie down or turn over. You should also advise them that some points will inevitably feel a little tender, but that they should alert you immediately if any stretch or pressure is sharply painful or distressing.

Work through the checklist provided under 'cautions', to discover whether there are any health problems that will influence the treatment you are about to give, or will incur the cautions in the sequence. Some people have particular sensitivities or intolerance to touch, such as in the abdomen or toes. As you practise and learn more, you may also want to find out what the person hopes to gain from the treatment, and proceed accordingly.

It is not uncommon for recipients of Shiatsu, especially after a vigorous treatment, to experience a temporary 'reaction' in the twenty-four hours or so afterwards. This may take the form of extreme tiredness, cold-like symptoms or sometimes mild diarrhoea. The reaction is the result of toxins being released into the bloodstream before being excreted, and this can be explained to the recipient if it occurs. Sometimes a reaction can be experienced more at an emotional level, such as unaccountable temporary irritability. It is a good idea to warn the receiver about the possible reactions they may encounter.


Prices and Tuition

£50 for "First Session" Pilates or Pilates/Yoga or Yoga session, 1 1/2 -2 hours (where a consultation is involved). The first Pilates only or mixed Pilates/Yoga session is £50 for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. £30 for 1 hour £45 for 1 1/2 hours (Minimum rate is £45 for 1 1/2 - 2 hours unless it's a regular £30 1 hour session. ) £60 for 2 hours Other options are available, contact us if for other options. One-to-one rate/small group rates (2-4 clients, rate is the total payment, irrespective of number of participants.) Price reductions are negotiable for regular sessions.

Yoga and Pilates are excellent promoters of relaxation as well as good forms of body conditioning. They are very beneficial for managing stress, improving posture and maintaining a supple, healthy, well-balanced body.